Story lines to watch as we approach the upcoming 2017 2018 NBA season
With August half over, it is only a matter of time before fall is here. That means NBA training camps will soon be starting up, leading many to prognosticate about the fortunes of their favorite teams.
Shaun Benderson can’t wait for the opening tip-off of the upcoming NBA season as well, as this budding sports blogger has followed and has been involved in sports his entire life.
While he will have to wait until November to watch the first games from his college dorm room in Florida, we have some insights in this post that will give you an idea of what will likely go down as the season unfolds.
Let’s get into it below…
The Spurs will be a contender again, as usual
If there is a team that consistently is in playoff contention year in and out, the San Antonio Spurs are it.
Having said that, though, a repeat trip to the Western Conference Finals may be harder to replicate this year, as the retirement of Manu Ginobili and the upcoming free agency of several players may leave several gaping holes in their roster.
That said, Kawhi Leonard is a beast of a basketball player, and with the expert coaching of Gregg Popovich, Spurs fans needn’t fear about dropping out of the picture in 2017-2018.
Houston: the best possible challenger to Golden State’s dominance
The playoffs can yield some surprise results once the games are actually played. When they happened last year, many were shocked to see the Rockets make an early exit from the playoffs.
Sport series have anomalous results all the time – Houston suffered the negative end of variance last year, and while they could choke again this season, the odds favor them making a deep run next spring.
Throughout the regular season last year, the Rockets were the only team that seemed to be able to outgun the Warriors on a consistent basis, but at playoff time, they lost their focus in their series with the Spurs and lost.
If things go differently this year, we may end up getting a Western Final matchup we all want to see.
Cavaliers always a threat with Lebron
No article on championship contenders in the NBA can be had without discussing the Cavs. Led by King James, Cleveland always has the chance to rise above teams that are technically better in any series they play.
With this team largely remaining the same, we expect the Cavaliers to remain competitive, but with Lebron starting to age, we wonder whether this will be the year when he can’t do everything on his own.
Golden State: the defending champs are the favorites, but not invincible
Finally, we get to the defending NBA champions, the Golden State Warriors. With their roster staying intact from 2016-2017, they have an excellent chance of repeating this year.
Of course, this is easier said than done, as the Western Conference is stacked with talented teams gunning for the Warrior’s crown (like the Rockets, who tripped over their metaphorical shoelaces last year).
A rash of injuries on the part of Golden State or a blockbuster trade by their competition could change things, so hold on to your shorts – 2017-2018 will be a season to remember.