The NBA finds itself at a crossroads heading into this upcoming season. How will all the decidedly unwanted “tricks” play out with the average fan?
It does not appear viagra cheap positive that the most talked about story lines leading up to this season were the Knicks and Isiah Thomas sexual harassment trial; a disgruntled superstar, Kobe Bryant, blasting teammates and demanding trades; and, most damaging, the gambling scandal involving one the mostly highly rated officials in the NBA, Tim Donaghy. This comes on the heels of a largely boring and unwatched NBA Finals last year. How will the NBA respond? That is the “treat” portion. We have one of the most storied franchises, the Boston Celtics, with a new hope thanks to an inflow of great talent, some fresh young talent featuring Kevin Durant, and more teams moving to the fast paced fan friendly style of play. The NBA still has the world’s greatest collection of talent in what is rapidly becoming the world’s most popular sport, even if the enthusiasm is slowing here in the U.S. Enjoy The Father Life’s predictions for both conferences along with short questions needing to be answered for each team. Let’s hope for a great season this year as the talent rises above the mess.
Chicago Bulls – They have all the young talent you can hope for. Can they continue to play together unselfishly and dominate teams again with defense? Will GM John Paxson regret not getting a superstar in a trade?
Boston Celtics – How quickly can the new big three (Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce and Ray Allen) gel? Will they get enough support from the rest of the young unproven roster?
Detroit Pistons – How much does the aging but talented core have left? Will the youth movement give them the jolt they need?
Milwaukee Bucks – One of the deepest teams in the league. Can they stay healthy this year?
Toronto Raptors – Was last year a fluke or is this beginning of something big? Can “Euro ball” really translate this well to the NBA?
Miami Heat – When will Dwayne Wade be available to play and will he be his pre-injuries self? How many games does Shaquille O’Neal play this year and how much of a decline will we see with him?
New Jersey – Should they have made a move to change the make up of the team after trying with this roster for the last 3 years? With injuries playing a role with the starters last year, did they adequately fill in the rest of the roster?
Cleveland Cavaliers – Will Sasha Pavlovic and Anderson Varejao join the team eventually? When will LeBron James get the help he needs around him?
New York Knicks – One of the deeper teams in the East–but how do they co-exist as they have too many shooters and not enough defensive players?
Washington Wizards – What kind of impact will Gilbert Arenas’ contract year have? With one of the thinnest rosters in the East, will they again be taken down by injury?
Atlanta Hawks – How much longer will it take for the young talent to develop and gel? Will Acie Law be the solution at point guard?
Charlotte Bobcats – The starting talent is there, but, with season ending injuries to Adam Morrison and Sean May, will they have enough support?
Indiana Pacers – Will Jermaine O’Neal finish the season with the Pacers and how healthy will he be?
Philadelphia 76ers – Will they continue to hustle and work as hard as they did last year if the losses again start to pile up? Can any of the young talent step up enough to help add a few more wins?
Orlando Magic – Why did they spend so much money on Rashard Lewis and Dwight Howard if they were going to field one the worst supporting casts in the NBA?
Dallas Mavericks – They return the same team that had such great regular season success last year. Will they have the same desire this year after the playoff failure last year? How will they stay motivated knowing this team will only be judged on their playoff successes?
San Antonio Spurs – Can they again avoid major injuries? Will they still have the desire again after winning their 3rd title last year?
Phoenix Suns – Can a team with this little depth that plays at that fast a pace stay healthy all year? Will Shawn Marion put aside his frustrations and continue to play at such a high level as previously?
Houston Rockets – How will the team adapt to Rick Adelman’s new offensive system? Will Luis Scola make as smooth a transition to the NBA from Europe as everyone seems to think?
Denver Nuggets – Can Carmelo Anthony build on the success he found with Team USA this summer? Will their three big men (Marcus Camby, Nenê, and Kenyon Martin) stay healthy this year?
Utah Jazz – Will Andrei Kirilenko put his frustrations aside and return to the All Star caliber player he once was? Can Deron Williams build on his success from last years playoffs?
Golden State Warriors – Can they carry last year’s post season success into this year’s regular season? Can Baron Davis stay healthy again?
Memphis Grizzlies – Will all the new faces (Mike Conley, Darko Milicic, Juan Carlos Navarro, and coach Marc Iavaroni) can they now be a winning team? Will they be able to successfully model the Phoenix Suns’ style without having Steve Nash to run the attack?
Los Angeles Lakers – Have you ever seen a team so held captive by one player — even if Kobe Bryant is the most talented player in the world? Will they make any changes to appease Kobe?
New Orleans Hornets – Their health has to better this season, right? After losing a season last year due to injuries why didn’t they add more depth?
Seattle Sonics – Can new coach PJ Carlesimo bring the winning formula with him from San Antonio for this young but deep team? How good will Kevin Durant really be?
Portland Trailblazers – How much does Greg Oden’s injury affect what they are trying to build? How long will it take for the rest of the young talent to develop?
Sacramento Kings – Can new coach Reggie Theus get this potentially volatile team to play together?
Los Angeles Clippers – When will Elton Brand and Shaun Livingston be able to return to the basketball court, and how much will they be able to help?
Minnesota Timberwolves – How will all this young talent work together? How quickly can the youngsters be competitive?
Image By: Jason Antony, stock.xchng
Ben Loux is father of two and husband of one (it works well that way). He makes his home in the Rochester, NY, area.