Forget the boring old days when the NBA season was a warm up for the Warriors to take the title. This year, we have quite a few really good teams that could take it all.
The Lakers have been fastest out of the blocks. And blocks is the right word when you have Mr. Davis in the paint. Lets not forget the Greek Freak and the Bucs. They are also off to a great start.
This post offers a few insights and speculations.
My take – In the west, expect the Clippers to start inching up now that they are back to full strength. In the east? The Sixers will start to put it together.
We expected this, and now we have evidence of it. The Warriors are not the team that they were. That was driven home last night when the Clippers showed up in San Fransisco for an early season confrontation.
No contest. The Clippers wiped them out.
BTW, the Clippers also rather easily beat the Lakers the other day. This is confirming what lots of people say — the Clippers are gong to be a tough team to beat. And they are currently WITHOUT Paul George (out with a shoulder injury for a while).
I check out the highlights – the Clippers move the ball extremely well, shoot well from the outside, and Kawhi is, well, just Kawhi.
Meanwhile, the Bucks beat the Rockets in their opener.
Sixers fans beware!
The NBA has had big plans for China. They thought they would make huge money selling broadcast rights to an enormous audience, and access a new talent pool. How could it go wrong?
It could go wrong for the reason that stuff often goes wrong in China. China does not tolerate free speech. And when the GM for the Houston Rockets tweeted support for Hong Kong protesters, everything went off the rails.
The first NBA reaction was to try to take it back.
But it was too late. The cat was out of the bag. If the NBA squelched the tweet, the NBA would suffer its own PR loss in the states. So Commissioner Silver waded into the controversy and said that the tweet was ok. Up yours China!
And China has now said, “Up yours NBA, we are no longer broadcasting NBA games.!”
Hmmm … how will this turn out?
My guess is that some sort of solution will b negotiated. Both sides have too much to lose without it. And my further guess is that the settlement will include some sort of discrete limit on what NBA officials can say about Hong Kong protests. That part of the deal will not be publicized.
Stay tuned! We are just in the first quarter of this one!
Sports Illustrated offers its list.
As a Sixers fan, I have to be pretty happy. All of the Sixers starting five are in the top hundred. Not only that Joel is at 7.
But should Ben be at 23? Hmmm … the logic of this might make sense as Ben can play either at a higher or lower level. He gets the benefit of the doubt.
Bottom line — if this list is credible, the Sixers look very good!
Remember when the Warriors had a “lock” on winning the NBA title? Then they got Durant. Then they got Cousins. But surprisingly, their era ended last year when they were beaten by the Raptors in the finals. More than anything else, injuries did them in. Now Durant and Iguadala are gone, and Thomson is out for most of the season with an ACL. We are in uncharted territory.
So what teams will dominate?
In the east, most would say the Bucks and the Sixers. Of the two, I would go for the Sixers. Am I saying that because of my own bias? Of course I am.
And in the west? Abin Thomas writes that any one of five teams might make it to the finals
- the Nuggets (Jokic and Murray? I doubt it)
- the Rockets (Harden and Westbrook? I doubt it)
- the Warriors (Steph and Draymon? Maybe?)
- the Lakers (LeBron and Davis? Wow?)
- the Clippers (Kawhi and George? Wow!)
Of this group, I would have to go with the Clippers. And in a Sixers/Clippers final? The Sixers will get their revenge on Kawhi!
What do you think=
It is an important question because the free agency deals that went down this summer will change NBA power rankings.
No doubt the Clippers get the prize, bringing both Kawhi and Paul George in. They gave up a hell of a lot for George, but many think they now are a good bet to win it all next season. We shall see.
The Sixers? Yes. Exchanging Al Horford and Josh Richardson for Jimmy Butler and JJ Redick upgrades the team. Especially Horford. The Sixers now will dominate the paint and at least on paper, they are a monster on defense. We shall see.
BTW, remember those folks who said that the Sixers made a booboo by bringing in Elton Brand as GM? They are eating their words now.
And that is not all! Here is the full rundown. Enjoy it with your coffee!
Poor Toronto Raptors! They flew so high this year, winning it all! And now their star — the one indispensable dude — the great kawhi is leaving. for Los Angeles Here is the deal
The Clippers will be landing Leonard as a free agent after they acquire Paul George from the Oklahoma City Thunder in a massive trade for players and draft picks, a person familiar with the negotiations said.
Boom! My initial reactions
- the Raptors are now toast for next season. Danny Green also has left them (to the Lakers) for precisely that reason. That changes the chemistry in the East, making it more likely that the Sixers can dominate
- the Clippers who did well last year with no stars now have 2 whopper names. They will be a force to be reckoned with in LA but not the only one. The Lakers are another rising power, with AD and LeBron and now Danny Green. The Thunder go into rebuilding.
As the dust settles, it appears that the next season in the NBA will be wide open. The Warriors are also a “new look” club with Klay Thomson out (replaced by D’Angelo Russell) and Durant gone. The Thunder? Without George, they are toast as far as I can tell. That means the west is in turmoil. The East is as well. The Celtics are hurt, losing Kyrie and Horford. The Nets have Kyrie instead of Russell but no Durant (out for the season with a ruptured achilles). The Bucks lost Brogdan. and got Mathews. The Sixers lost Butler and Redick and got Horford and Richardson.
Wow! I need a drink.