I don’t know about you guys but this upcoming year might just be the most hyped I have ever been for an NBA season to start. There’s big teams, some huge teams, new and upcoming teams that may surprise everyone, and as always, an abundance of talent. After one of the most memorable free agencies in recent memory, the draft, and an offseason that was a little too long for my taste; we look at the “top 5 things to look forward to this season”!
5. A Russell Westbrook Led Thunder Team
With Kevin Durant gone, Russell Westbrook will be more relied upon then ever for the Oklahoma City Thunder. To me, that is an exciting prospect. We could potentially witness a “Oscar Robertson-esque” season from Westbrook, which in today’s league is unheard of. For those that find this dramatic, just remember Russell’s numbers in 2014 when Durant sat most of the season with injuries: 28.1 ppg, 8.6 apg, 7.3 rpg. Russ is favored to win the MVP next year, 2-1, and there’s a good reason why.
4. Old Stars, on New Teams
A lot changed in the NBA offseason. What some may consider the year “team loyalty died”, others may consider the most exciting free agency in recent memory. Wherever you stand, we can all agree that it will result in an exciting season, with these notable signings taking place: Dwayne Wade with the Bulls, Derrick Rose with the Knicks, Kevin Durant with the Warriors, Dwight Howard with the Hawks, Al Horford with the Celtics, Rajon Rondo with the Bulls, and Pau Gasol with the Spurs.
3. The “Up & Coming” Teams
The “rebuiling phase” can be a tough thing for any NBA fan to go through, but for some of you, things are looking up. The Jazz, Pistons, and Pacers could all make tremendous leaps in the standings this upcoming year, with the possibility of putting on a playoff run. Some of the “sleeper” teams may have a chance at the playoffs as well, such as the Timberwolves, Pelicans, and Knicks.
2. The Golden State Warriors & The Cleveland Cavaliers
I know, lame; but whether or not you hate or love them you can’t deny that you wouldn’t love another Finals match-up with these two teams. Just picture it: Kevin Durant vs. LeBron James, Stephen Curry vs. Kyrie Irving; what’s not to love about that!?
1. A Very Competitive Season
While the Doomsayers already have the Golden State Warriors, and Cleveland Cavaliers in the NBA Finals, I am an optimist. With the East becoming more competitive than it has been in the past, and the West still being home to a majority of the top teams in the league, last years Finals rematch isn’t a sure thing. The Warriors will have to beat the Spurs, and the Clippers who both have a good chance at the Finals. On the Eastern side the Cav’s will have to deal with the Toronto Raptors, Boston Celtics, Detroit Pistons, and Indiana Pacers.
Needless to say, there’s a lot to look forward to this season!!!