With the new season under way of course with a ring ceremony graced by the most booed Commissioner of all time in Adam Silver, the Golden State Warriors continue to showcase their dominance in this new empire they’ve created. Demacus Cousins in and Peter McCaw out, the difference is almost the similarity but I hope this season goes smooth on their side for they looked very vulnerable against a Westbrook-less OKC side led by a 5-time all-star, Paul George (PG13). These guys normally put up a show in the post season so they still hold the favourite position to lift the Larry O’Brien trophy one more time creating an effortless back to back to back dimension.
The Rockets still hold the fiercest rival status right now having added a free agent, Carmelo Anthony (Melo) the offence just got better but lost the defensive edge Prince Luc Mba a Moute and Trevor Ariza added to the team not forgetting Ryan Anderson, a perennial sharpshooter. The Rockets are still a team to beat considering the fact that the MVP is in Clutch City ready to defend the title.
The Nuggets are not taking anything for granted after that final loss to the Timberwolves and failing to make it to the playoffs. Nikola Jokic is back with the triple double fever, I think it’s about time he makes an all-star appearance. Paul Milsap is equally onto this fierce team together with leadership services from Isaiah Thomas. I think they’ll make the playoffs and contend for the championship.
Minnesota Timberwolves request that we have our eyes North and watch out for the mayhem they’ll be causing. Jimmy Butler being unsettled and thinking that the rest of the team is not up to the task was greatly welcomed by Tom Thibodeau by rotating the team more on him in stead of the young Karl Anthony Towns. Making it to the playoffs for them is quite unclear but they’ll skip the hurdle narrowly.
The San Antonio Spurs being my favourite team in the wild West has to make the playoffs due to the great discipline the great Greg Popovich instils in the team. Luckily, Kawhi Leonard has left the team, a great loss for us but we shall cope with the new acquisition in DeMar DeRozan and Yacob Poetl who has replaced the veteran Green. I honestly trust the new rookie Looney IV to run the point for us. I can’t deny the fact that we still are a veteran team so the experience will help us out here.
Oklahoma City Thunder still wants to beat the Warriors for obvious reasons we all relate to. Forgiving Kevin Durant will never happen for an eternity but maybe if he returns one day. Russell Westbrook is here for the OKC Thunder for sometime after that max contract he signed. I honestly hope he breaks his triple double record and wins another MVP for he always deserves it. The coach and the general management have added a bunch of new guys and my favourite being Denis Shroeder to equally run the point. They will make the playoffs.
Oregon is where it is going down this year, am really impressed with the Portland Trail Blazers this year and they have to make the playoffs as a must. Dame Lillard has come cooking a tone of stuff this year, flanked by CJ McCollum to the right and Yusuf Nurkic to the left together forming the trinity of this team, I have no doubt of their success this year. Additions like Seth Curry will also put a lot on the table offensively but the loss of Al Farouq Aminu limits their defence to an extent but they’ll be fine.
From #TakeNote to #TeamStrength, the Utah Jazz never really suffered the departure of Gordon Hayward from the Mountains but embraced it by providing rookie Donovan Mitchell with a chance to lift the team together with lots of talent from Joe Ingles and defensive player of the year Rudy Gobert. This team will surely make the playoffs no doubt.
Everyone loves Los Angeles for all the wrong reasons; drinking, parting, slaying, luxury and all the hyperbolic lifestyles exhibited by celebrities and the wealthy but that is not the issue at hand here, the Los Angeles Lakers are. With the acquisition of the King, Lebron James from Ohio and Javale McGee from the bay area together with veteran Rajon Rondo, Lance Stephenson among other rookies to put the Lakers back to its glorious status. Since it’s a young group of guys, my expectations are not so high so if they were to book a playoff berth, it’d be after a 42-42 record.
The Memphis Grizzlies welcome the return of one of my favourite point guards, Mike Conley Jr back from that injury he sustained early last year. He is will improve their record slightly but am certain they will not make the playoffs. Pau Gasol will still do his thing, Kyle Anderson will play slow motion and the new rookie will also turn up no doubt.
Arizona is where the difference will be made, Devin Booker signed a max contract and additions of forwards Trevor Ariza and Anderson will make the difference in the offence and defence for the Phoenix Suns. Rookie DeAndre Ayton will be efficient for them defensively and they will improve their record slightly but will remain under .500 this season as they look to shape and build the team around Devin. The new coach Igor Kokoškov is expected to bring joy back to the desert but it will be at a cost. I honestly don’t see them earn a playoff berth this season.
Sacramento Kings are still a very young team. Additions of Giles III who sat out last season with injury and rookie Marvin Bagley II to the team will improve the offence especially with Fox still running the point but the defence will crumble a bit due to the loss of veteran Vince Carter who was a role model as well. Iman Shumpert comes to this team knowing how it feels to win a championship and this will be good for the team. Am positive they’ll be better than last year but won’t make it for the playoffs.
In the quest to show who the king of LA is, the Los Angeles Clippers have always come second to the Lakers in terms of championships and pedigree but recently the Clippers have been a playoff team till last year when they traded Blake Griffin and Chris Paul and lost the berth easily. Doc Rivers has a lot on his table right now, his son Austin left for Washington and DeAndre Jordan crossed over to the Mavericks costing the team a lot of depth. I don’t see these guys even contest for the eighth spot.
My favourite rookie this year is Luca Doncic who takes position under the arms of Dirk Nowitzki, a role model in Dallas. The Mavericks will truly contest for eighth due to the additions DeAndre Jordan and some new great players but the team will be built around Dennis Smith Jr this time round and they’ll be fun to watch this year. Antetokoumpo has a young brother there as well so I have hope.
Lastly, the team to watch out for this year is going big. #DoItBig as has been the slogan last season has been adapted into this new season and is complemented by the departure of Demacus Cousins and the addition of Julius Randle to the squad. Anthony Davis is going to have fun by playing more openly and relaxing as he hits those jumpers, he is the captain and a good leader. Jrue Holiday has matched up the shooting guard position well as Andrew Payton has taken over Rajon Rondo’s position easily. One uprising star that was not appreciated in Chicago, Nikola Mirotic has really taken it upon himself to create chances for himself and has improved his field goal percentage and 3-point shot to 60% which is good. Having easily swept the Blazers last year and got one at the Warriors, the New Orleans Pelicans are going to be a success this season no doubt they will make the playoffs.