2014-2015 NBA Primed for Exciting Season
by Nathaniel Deacon on Friday, October 17th, 2014
After a busy offseason, the NBA will begin its regular season on October 28th when the defending champion San Antonio Spurs face off against the Dallas Mavericks. Anticipation for the return of basketball has been highlighted by the summer drama surrounding the league’s most dominant player. Lebron James made headlines this offseason when he announced that he would be returning home to play for his former team, the Cleveland Cavaliers. A self-described “kid from Akron”, James released an essay along with his decision which expressed his desire to win a championship for his home state. In addition to James, the Cavaliers also acquired All-Star power forward Kevin Love via a trade with the Minnesota Timberwolves. With these new additions, Cleveland looks to be the preseason favorite to win the Eastern Conference; however, they will face strong opposition from the likes of the Chicago Bulls. After spending the majority of last season sidelined with a knee injury, Bulls Point Guard Derrick Rose will look to return to his MVP-winning ways. Rose looks to be back in good form, as he helped lead the USA Men’s National Team to a championship at the FIBA World Basketball Championships this summer. Other teams that are looking to vye for the top spot in the Eastern Conference include the Washington Wizards, Miami Heat, Atlanta Hawks, and Toronto Raptors.
When compared to the East, the Western Conference looks to be wide open. The defending league champion San Antonio Spurs headline a conference with tremendous depth. Despite the old age of many key players, the Spurs continue to win by using solid fundamentals; they are the favorites until proven otherwise. The L.A Clippers also look like strong contenders. The Clips look poised to begin the post-Donald Sterling era with a successful season. Point Guard Chris Paul will have to play a pivotal role if the Clips are to win the West. Despite the loss of Kevin Durant for 6-8 weeks due to a broken foot, the Oklahoma City Thunder will also be a force to be reckoned with. Look for Russell Westbrook to pick up the scoring until Durant, the league’s highest scorer in four of the last five seasons, is able to return. The Dallas Mavericks, Golden State Warriors, Portland Trail Blazers, Memphis Grizzlies and Houston Rockets round out the top spots in the West. The Phoenix Suns, after a surprising 48-34 season last year, could also be in the mix for a playoff spot.
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