Every year around Halloween I start to get NBA fever. It does not make make sense because the season has already started. You would think I would have gotten excited during the preseason, but I think it is because baseball has ended and the excitement of football starting is beginning to wear off. I have only missed a handful of games, so I can pay attention to the remaining 75 plus games. How will this season play out? I wanted to take a look at all of the player movement that happened over the off-season. I also want to point out the favorites for the playoffs and ultimately the favorites to win it all.
If you like turnover on your favorite teams roster, the NBA should be your favorite league. Every year, especially lately, teams revamp their rosters and some of them can change their fortunes dramatically with just a couple of moves. Sometimes, just a draft can alter the course of your future but very rarely can it turn you into a contender the very next year by itself. Usually, free agency along with a draft is what it takes or sometimes just free agency. What players and teams created the biggest buzz this off-season? The Celtics lost Al Horford and Kyrie Irving, but reloaded with Kemba Walker and a solid draft. This may end up being addition by subtraction? The Nets added Kyrie, Durant, and Deandre Jordan but wont contend until Durant comes back next season after his achilles injury. The Warriors added Russell and some role players, but they lost Durant, Cousins, Livingston, Iguodala, and a few role players. That was a huge roster turnover for the Warriors. Houston basically swapped Chris Paul for Westbrook while both Los Angeles teams made huge changes. The Clippers were able to sign Kawhi Leonard and trade for Paul George while losing only role players. The Lakers were able to add Anthony Davis and Cousins, who later was injured for the year and plenty of role players. They had to give up on alot of young talent and draft picks to get Davis. However, this is the type of deal that will keep the Lakers relevant for years to come.
According to the annual GM survey, the Clipper, Bucks, and Lakers are the favorites to win it all. The GM’s think the Sixers and Celtics will push the Bucks in the Eastern Conference. Denver, Utah, and Houston will give the Clippers and Lakers a push in the Western Conference. Did you notice the Warriors were not mentioned? They lost so much talent as well as losing an injured Klay Thompson for the year and now they will be losing Steph Curry with a broken hand that it will be too much to overcome. They might not even and probably won’t make the playoffs this year! Many of the same faces will contend for MVP like Giannis, Harden, Anthony Davis, and LeBron.
The NBA is great for many reasons, some are mentioned above. However, it is hard for teams to compete unless they have elite talent. Since that is the case, it is fairly easy to make predictions about contenders and pretenders. If you find yourself longing for the old days of the NBA, check out this great article. My favorite was seeing backboards getting demolished. As a kid, it was a pretty awesome site! No matter how the season plays out, it will be entertaining for numerous reasons and I know I will be watching!