Thankfully, the NBA is about to get on with what they do best. Playing ball.
Personally, I was getting sick and tired of the big names ‘allowing’ their agent to seek international ‘opportunities’. Opportunities which were never going to eventuate I must add.
We can now look forward to a 48 game season commencing on Christmas day with a triple header starting with Boston versus New York, followed by last seasons NBA finals rematch before the leagues MVP, Rose, takes on Kobe’s Lakers.
Although what stands before us is a shortened season, many questions yet to be answered make it extremely enticing.
Let me start with Dallas. The Mavericks are the reigning champions after defeating the 2011 finals series 4-2 against the star-studded Miami. Can they go back-to-back or are they a one hit wonder?
That leads me to the Heat. What did LeBron, Wade and Bosh discover from last years finals performances? Miami went into the ’11 finals series as heavy favourites but left only with criticism and questions over their heads. For the big three it is time to step up and step up big. Miami needs to forget about winning four, five or even six rings. They must focus everything on one. One ring. If King James is to be considered in the same breath as MJ, then he can’t go missing when it counts in the upcoming season, especially finals time.
The old guys on the block are surely the Celtics and Lakers. For both teams it means another year and both teams are not getting any younger. Will the lockout play out to be a positive for them? The Lakers now have Mike Brown at the helm. The shortened season may impact the success of his game plan and style of play being effectively implemented.
Chicago has the leagues MVP in D. Rose. If they are to be a real contender then the Bulls staff and owners must surround him with championship talent. If they don’t, then the best they will do is potentially win the jersey selling title and miss out on that cherished ring.
In the Northwest Division of the Western Conference, the Oklahoma City Thunder has two paths in front of them. Will they be the NBA’s next San Antonio or Sacramento? One had the success whereas one didn’t respectively. They are young and highly promising with Durant and Westbrook leading the way. Oklahoma City possesses inside talent also with Serge Ibaka. Big watch.
In New York, will Stoudamire and the Knicks step up and be a serious contender or another just making the news and numbers?
Orlando and New Orleans receive mentions due to two players. Howard and CP3. The questions will linger with whether Dwight Howard and Chris Paul will remain where they are and/or will the two join forces whenever and wherever? Mentions of trades to New York and LA (Lakers) are starting to gain more volume. Bynum, Odom and Gasol – a few names being thrown up. Kobe, CP3 and Howard in LA. Wow.
It is time to forget what happened before and during the lockout and focus on what lies ahead.
Let’s play ball gentlemen.