NBA Opening: 6 Areas To Watch

Clippers prepare for NBA opening
Paul George and Kawhi Leonard lead the Clippers in a race to the next NBA dynasty. Credit: AP Photo/Ringo H.W. Chiu

By: Jeffrey Newholm

Are you ready for some basketball? Some (every)night party? That’s right; programmers no longer confine us to the tyranny of weekends for fall thrills. The NBA tips Tuesday, October 22nd, and three critical storylines from each conference demand our attention. So keep these points in mind but most importantly boot up Ticketmaster and League Pass because the ball won’t stop rolling until June.

Western Conference

1. LA Doubleheader

The Lakers have been showtime for 40 years. For almost as long, the Clippers well, haven’t been. However, the reigning finals MVP, Kawhi Leonard, has the mandate to reverse this ineptitude. He joins Paul George in a fearsome duo, but the Lakers barely edge their roommates as Vegas favorites. The casino moguls appreciate the efforts made by Laker brass to obtain Anthony Davis, who joins the king (LeBron). There’s only room for one west team in the finals, so the spotlight in LA is almost burnt out from overuse.

2. Houston Relaunch

Recently, China blacklisted the Rockets for an unfortunate tweet from GM Daryl Morey. (How dare he stand up for human rights!) Once attention mercifully shifts back to Texas, Houston will be in an exciting position. We all know how talented 2018 MVP James Harden is, considering his signature step-back. Now, however, the franchise adds daredevil Russell Westbrook, who averaged triple-doubles for three straight seasons. Those who somehow try to dismiss this accomplishment point to postseason failures. Well, there’s no better time to rectify this shortcoming with Golden State (maybe?) out of contention.

3. Mount Zion

The Lakers robbed New Orleans of AD for a mountain of draft picks and modest talent. Thankfully, the Pelicans won the lottery: the NBA draft lottery to select Duke’s amazing Zion Williamson. Supposedly he’s the best prospect since the king, but too often overhype unfairly sets young men for failure. The Pelicans may not make the playoffs, but when the rookie’s circus comes to town, he’ll leap to swat away doubt and justify praise.

Eastern Conference

1. Bucks Stampede

A 2001 Bucks hype video proudly proclaimed, “who’s gonna win it? The Bucks! The Bucks!” Unfortunately, for 18 years, this statement was off-tune. Thankfully, behind Giannis Antetokunmpo’s MVP euro steps stampedes, the deer dashed to 60 wins and a conference finals berth. The team couldn’t quite reach the finals field, but the addition of Giannis’s brother Thanasis ensures a Greek flavor of basketball will sate appetites of all but the hardiest of Celtics fans.

2. Sixer Special

You may have heard of a particular play that helped the Eagles win the Super Bowl. However, Philly fans are never satisfied. Not to worry, as the long-suffering Sixers are ready to hold off the boos. Joel Embiid and veteran Al Horford lead a franchise with too many 50 loss agonies into co east favorites. Nineteen years is too long for any franchise between finals, so every game counts to keep up with the Bucks for home court.

3. Brooklyn Beasts

Kevin Durant destroyed Twitter when he joined the Warriors, and once engineers rebuilt it, he destroyed it again by joining Kyrie Irving in Brooklyn. Disasterous trades set the Nets back years, but the long-irrelevant franchise suddenly nears contention. With KD needing a recuperation year, 2020 proves a glimpse into a new potential east dynasty.

NBA Fastbreak Excitement

For five years, the NBA suspense was absent with the Warriors and Cavs claiming all but one finals berth. Finally, however, the road has multiple lanes and engines. No one can claim knowledge of the 2020 finals or almost anything else in a season of uncertainty. No matter which team becomes the next powerhouse, the best sports league in the world won’t disappoint.

Jeffrey Newholm
About Jeffrey Newholm 203 Articles
Hey there! I’m Jeff Newholm and depending on your point of view I’m blessed or cursed that my two favorite sports are outside the limelight. Being a UW-Whitewater grad (winter 2013) my first love was d3 college football, but over the last few years I have picked up a huge interest in woman’s basketball (Uconn being my favorite team as their 90 game winning streak helped show me how good a team can get in the woman’s game). I like all the sports everyone else likes (NFL, NBA, MLB, NCAA basketball and football) but those two sports are where I really have a passion.
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