The NBA season has now arrived with the beginning of preseason games this weekend. Now we can stop reminiscing on how the Golden State Warriors somehow blew a 3-1 series lead to the Cleveland Cavaliers in last season’s NBA Finals. It’s now time to begin our smack talking and making our uneducated and irrational choices on who will make it to the finals. Familiar
This season will bring more of the same that we always see. The same teams will make the playoffs in both conferences. In the Western Conference, we saw a huge power shift where normally four teams have the chance to make the finals.
Those teams were the Oklahoma City Thunder whom blew 3-1 lead to the Warriors last year. That spoiled their second franchise birth to the NBA finals since changing its name and location from the Seattle Supersonics.
The second team is the San Antonio Spurs. A team that has been a dominate organization of the past decade winning three conference championships. They have had a major change in their team with future Hall of Famer Tim Duncan announcing his retirement last offseason, however they may have replaced his void with last offseason acquisition, LaMarcus Aldridge.
The third team is the Los Angeles Clippers. This group of Chris Paul, Blake Griffin and Deandre Jordan has never made it out the second round of the playoffs. Will this be the year they do? Quite possibility. If not, how many years could the trio be held together?
Lastly, of course, you have the Golden State Warriors, who last year won an NBA record 73 games surpassing the legendary 95-96 Chicago Bulls.
This offseason, the Warriors made a huge pick up in acquiring Kevin Durant from free agency. This move really upsets the balance, in not only the Western Conference but, in the entire league itself. On paper, this team seems unbeatable with three of the greatest shooters of all-time on one team. Most people have them unequivocally winning this season’s NBA finals.
In the Eastern Conference, we will see what we have always been seeing since the year 2003. LeBron James will assert his dominance again over the conference along with Kyrie Irving and the Cleveland Cavaliers to lead their team to another NBA Finals appearance.
There will be teams who may push them to the brink like the Toronto Raptors who gave the Cavs a scare in last season’s Eastern Conference Finals by beating them in two consecutive games after Cleveland had swept their previous two opponents in the playoffs.
Another team could be the New York Knicks whom also had a huge offseason. They acquired all-star and former league MVP Derrick Rose along with Joakim Noah from the Chicago Bulls. They also were able to bolster their bench players and still have Carmelo Anthony and last year rookie sensation Kristaps Porzingis.
Even with those acquisitions in the East, it still does not lead me to believe we will not be seeing a rematch of the previous two NBA finals with the Cleveland Cavaliers and the prolific Golden State Warriors. Who will win it all this year and take the crown as the NBA’s best team?
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