NBA SEASON PREVIEW 2017/18
And I thought the NFL was dramatic.
16 NBA All-Stars chose this past off-season to switch teams, names like Irving, Wade, Anthony, George, Hayward and Butler.
It’s unprecedented in the NBA and can be traced largely back to a team who made no headline moves this off-season, Golden State.
The Warriors acquisition of Kevin Durant turned everything on its head. Miami’s initial ‘superteam’ of Dwyane Wade, LeBron James and Chris Bosh had nothing on GSW’s line-up, boasting MVP’s Steph Curry and Durant, defensive player of the year Draymond Green and All-Star Klay Thompson.
The Warriors nucleus remains and all its stars are in their absolute prime. It’s up to everyone else to prove this is no one team walk in the park.
Here are the storylines and teams worth watching;
He made a championship-winning three to help bring a title to Cleveland. 12 months later the tables are turned so Kyrie Irving decides he wants out.
You’d think playing with the best player in basketball would be a gift. Not according to Irving who fled James for the Celtics. Having said all that, Kyrie is an amazing offensive talent who will be must-watch TV, particularly as his new team opens the season against his old one.
LeBron is LeBron but a part from that I do believe the Cavaliers are inferior to last season. Losing Irving will hurt, especially with his trade replacement Isaiah Thomas injured for a big chunk of the season.
Wade joins his old buddy but his best is five years past him and his health continues to waiver so keeping him healthy for the playoffs is all that matters.
Kevin Love will need to carry this team for stretches, just as Irving did. They’re going to be around when it counts but pushing past Golden State is a stretch.
An unstoppable force is yet to have been faced with an immovable object. This train is rolling and nothing seems capable of getting in its way.
The only real hurdle for this team would be injuries as team cohesion and chemistry look poles above anyone else.
Curry, Durant, Green and Thompson are all top 20 players and all are at their peak. Scary stuff!
James Harden carried his Rockets throughout the regular season but they crumbled in the playoffs. The team added Chris Paul who is known as a clutch performer despite having few playoff successes.
Harden and Paul will make everything easy in Houston except when its time to face the boys from the Bay Area.
They tried, without success, to add Carmelo Anthony so without him they’ll be an interesting watch but I doubt they can push GSW.
Russell Westbrook is a one-man wrecking crew. Carmelo Anthony can score as freely as any basketball player on earth. Paul George is one of the premier two-way perimeter players in the NBA.
What do you get when you team them up ?
To be honest, who knows but alongside big New Zealander Steven Adams, you know you cannot miss an ESPN game when the Thunder are playing.
IF you’re Australian or a big time NBA fan, you’ll know why I’ve thrown Philly in with the championship contenders.
Joel Embiid is must-watch and Washington grad Markelle Fultz was selected with the No. 1 overall pick.
He may not even be the team’s best rookie though with Aussie Ben Simmons slated to kickstart his NBA career 12 months later than expected.
Simmons is 6-10″ but is expected to spend considerable time at point guard.
The Sixers have been ‘Trusting The Process’ but the time is nearing for them to put the rebuild in the past and make their way up the standings toward a playoff berth.
Enjoy your NBA season!