10 Reasons Why This Will Be The Best NBA Season Ever
NBA Media Day came and went, signaling the start of the annual race to the O’Brien Trophy. Now we’re only hours away from the tipoff of the first game, but something is different about this season. New stars emerged from the FIBA World Cup. The Suns have THREE point guards. Rookies want to prove themselves now. And the All Star game is in New York. In the words of the great Jeff Johnson: “It’s about to be LIT!” Here’s why:
Wide Open East
When LeBron left Miami to go home, many thought it was due to a lack of talent in South Beach, coupled with the opportunity to play with Kyrie and Love [via trade], that made the move happen. But Miami reloaded, adding Luol Deng, Danny Granger and Shabazz Napier. Chicago finally amnestied Carlos Boozer, which should allow Taj Gibson to flourish, and Rose is back. Washington looks ready to take over, Toronto has no plans of relinquishing the Atlantic, Charlotte made a big bet adding Lance Stephenson. Indiana looks diminished without Paul George. Oh, and the Knicks want back in the playoffs. Who will take the lead?
Curious Case Of The Triangle
The Knicks are always an entertaining squad. That doesn’t necessarily translate to wins, but they’re good for a storyline or two. Enter rookie coach Derek Fisher, who’s installing the Triangle Offense with the guidance of Team President Phil Jackson, to be utilized by a group of players known as ‘ball stoppers’. Are Melo and JR up for the challenge? Can Amar’e play himself back into All Star form? Will the Knicks make the playoffs and not waste another year of Melo’s prime? What’s the over under on losses before Knicks fans start watching Scandal and The Blacklist instead of Knicks game?
Who Has The Best Backcourt
Forget about a Big Three, a Dynamic Duo has long dominated the NBA. This season, there are easily 10 backcourts vying for the best in the L. Beale and Wall are downright nasty. The Splash Brothers are unstoppable when those 3’s are falling. Lowry and Derozan carried Toronto to the top of the Atlantic. With the work Lillard and Matthews put in last season, Portland is ready to take over in the Northwest. Kemba and Lance are going to cause havoc. Jimmy Butler spent the last 2 years growing as a player. Teaming him with Rose will activate his greatness. Oh, and then there’s KD and Russy, Dwight and Harden, Kobe and…
The Youngest Ready To Take Charge
This was one of the deepest drafts in recent history, and these rookies are coming in ready to show and prove. Julius Randle will have his hands full every night dealing with all the elite forwards out West. Should he come out of those battles a better player, Lakers fans will be very happy. Andrew Wiggins is ready to show Cleveland they should’ve kept him instead of trading for Love. Jabari Parker will step right in and average 17 and 8. This draft class reminds me of the 1996 Rookie Class [Kobe, Nash, Ray Allen, etc.] who came in and led the NBA into the new millennium. Let’s see what these rooks can do.
This season could be Kobe’s Control verse.We want to see how Kobe accepts the challenge of mentoring Swaggy P, showing Julius Randle how to be great, and carry the Lakers back to the playoffs. Oh, and all this while coming off a lost season due to injury. In many way’s this is exactly what Kobe wants. He’s motivated by all of the doubters who think he should call it a career. He wants to pass MJ on the all-time scoring list this season and maybe Malone in 2015. Does the Mamba still have it? Can the Lakers finally figure things out after totally ignoring the perfect plan we gave them?
The South Got Something To Say
When we talk about a wide open East, the Southeast has the squads to compete. Charlotte is ready, Washington has that swagger, Miami wants to prove they’re still running things minus LeBron, and Atlanta should be a contending team with Al Horford back. The Southeast had four of five teams make the playoffs last season. And coincidentally, the SouthWEST repped with fours teams in the playoffs as well. New Orleans has the talent to be much improved, led by Anthony Davis who got a Masters level education playing on the USAMNT this summer. The Spurs, Dallas, Houston, Memphis are all poised to sing Player’s Ball while piling up the W’s. But who’s going to stop them? The South as a whole has won the last 4 Chips.
The Return Part Deux
It’s been 2 years since Derrick Rose dominated for his hometown Bulls. We can’t wait to see him back out there on the court, but will he be 100% Without Deng and Boozer, will this Bulls team be able to stand up to the Cavaliers? How does Pau Gasol fit in with the defensive oriented philosophy of Coach Tom Thibodeau? Will D Rose be as great as he was or will we see a different Rose who changed up his game like CP3 did after his knee issues. Seeing Rose ball out for the USAMNT this summer was encouraging. We’re rooting for the kid.
Hunger Games aka The Western Conference
Each season, 15 Districts send a Tribute to battle it out for the right to represent. When 10 of those 15 teams have records better than .500, some one has to have the odds in their favor. Teams like Utah and Los Angeles are looking to get back into the playoffs, while everyone else is trying to dethrone the Spurs. Coach Popovich has always treated the season as a marathon to keep his guys fresh. The Clippers look ready. The Thunder have the experience and motivation to reclaim the top spot. Memphis is thisclose to breaking through. Houston lost a tough series at the buzzer in Game 7. They should be ready for war. And Portland has a young star in the making in Damian Lillard who proved he can rise to the occasion.
From South Beach to The Land
You could say LeBron set the stage for his return the moment he left. Without The King, the Cavs were “blessed” to have high draft picks who turned into Kyrie Irving, Dion Waiters, Anthony Bennett, and Andrew Wiggins. And now with LBJ back, they got Minnesota to trade Kevin Love for Bennett and Wiggins. The stars really had to align for this squad to come together, and with a mature James leading a group of young gunners, this team could be downright scary. But Chicago isn’t ready to concede the Central, and Miami isn’t ready to concede the East. Any team LeBron is on is must-see, so get your popcorn ready.
Free Agency 2015 aka the Shmoney Dance
The Sixers are already giving up on 2014, to be in position for 2015. Al Jefferson, DeAndre Jordan, Kenneth Faried will get paid. Kawhi Leonard will definitely get a max contract. But who’s going to show up and show out like Kyle Lowry did to get that paper? Players go harder in their contract year, which makes for better basketball for us right? Does that mean Amar’e will have his best season as a Knick to get that last contract? Teams make moves to get their salary caps in order for the free agent push. The transaction game within the game has always been fascinating.