10 Tough Questions For The Upcoming NBA Season

Tuesday, September 17, 2019 6:13 PM UTC

Tuesday, Sep. 17, 2019 6:13 PM UTC

Today I will be answering the ten most asked questions about the upcoming NBA season. 
<div><h2><b>1. Is the Warriors dynasty over?</b></h2><p>No. I do not believe that it's the right time to close the window on this team. The Warriors shrewdly added D'Angelo Russell in the Kevin Durant sign and trade and a still have the core 3 that won them their first title and achieved the 73 win record-breaking regular season. Klay Thompson should be back sooner than expected, and, NBA awards notwithstanding, Klay is still one of the best players in the league.</p><p>Expect Draymond Green to be a little more focused now in the regular season due to the fact that they don't have Kevin Durant to carry them the team. When KD went out, Draymond looked much more involved mentally and in the offense.</p><p>[/]{"component": "embedHTML", "code": "&lt;blockquote class=\"twitter-tweet\"&gt;&lt;p lang=\"en\" dir=\"ltr\"&gt;D'Angelo Russell, Draymond Green, Klay Thompson, and Stephen Curry are still in it to win it 💪&lt;a href=\"https://twitter.com/hashtag/Warriors?src=hash&amp;amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw\"&gt;#Warriors&lt;/a&gt; &lt;a href=\"https://twitter.com/hashtag/NBA?src=hash&amp;amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw\"&gt;#NBA&lt;/a&gt; &lt;a href=\"https://twitter.com/hashtag/NBATwitter?src=hash&amp;amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw\"&gt;#NBATwitter&lt;/a&gt; &lt;a href=\"https://t.co/1ohcDguxwM\"&gt;pic.twitter.com/1ohcDguxwM&lt;/a&gt;&lt;/p&gt;— Warriors Nation (@WarriorNationCP) &lt;a href=\"https://twitter.com/WarriorNationCP/status/1172886909447618565?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw\"&gt;September 14, 2019&lt;/a&gt;&lt;/blockquote&gt; &lt;script async src=\"https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js\" charset=\"utf-8\"&gt;&lt;/script&gt;"}[/]</p><p>The Dray/Steph pick and roll is still a tough weapon for any team to try match up against, and the addition of Willie Cauley Stein as a pick and roll partner adds another layer on offense. They still have plenty of defensive acumen, and supplemented by offensive firepower, the Warriors will be a formidable playoff opponent.</p><p>They have less expectation of this year. This will be the first year they're not the hunted, with the large target on their backs. The burden of pressure is now on the teams down south, the Clippers and the Lakers. The Warriors will have less media scrutiny this season. and simply making the Western Conference Finals would be considered overachieving. I look for the Warriors to have a strong year, pull off an upset, and make the Western Conference Finals.</p><h2><br /><br /><b>2. Should the Clippers be favored to win the title? </b></h2><p>The Clippers should be favored to win the championship. They played the Warriors fairly close in their first-round playoff matchup last year, and then they added Kahwi Leonard and Paul George, without any major losses. Lou Williams and Montrezl Harrell are going to be a force off the bench.</p><p>The Clippers have the best 8 man rotation in the NBA. Kahwi has shown that he's good in crunch time and that he will take over the game when need be, and more importantly get the defensive stops when needed. Paul George is an excellent defender as well, and this Clippers team is going to have the strongest perimeter defense in the NBA.</p><p>[/]{"component": "embedHTML", "code": "&lt;blockquote class=\"twitter-tweet\"&gt;&lt;p lang=\"en\" dir=\"ltr\"&gt;Sports Illustrated ranked Kawhi Leonard at No. 2 on the best NBA players list. One spot ahead of LeBron James, and one below Giannis Antetokounmpo.&lt;br /&gt;&lt;br /&gt;Btw Kawhi held Giannis to 36.4% shooting on the regular season, averaged more points than him in the playoffs. 🤷&lt;/p&gt;— Farbod Esnaashari (@Farbod_E) &lt;a href=\"https://twitter.com/Farbod_E/status/1172171778694758401?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw\"&gt;September 12, 2019&lt;/a&gt;&lt;/blockquote&gt; &lt;script async src=\"https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js\" charset=\"utf-8\"&gt;&lt;/script&gt;"}[/]</p><p>Patrick Beverly has always been a top defender. Lou Williams is a fantastic scorer who will provide instant offense off the bench and as was successful as the first option on offense, Now that he is the third option in crunch time, he should be able to exploit weaker defenders and provides the Clippers with incredible offensive diversity. Doc Rivers has championship experience. I agree with the betting odds, I think the Clippers should be the favorite to win the NBA title.</p><p> </p><h2><strong>3. W</strong><b>hat are the expectations for the Lakers this season? </b></h2><p>The Lakers have high expectations coming into the season, due to the fact that they traded their young core for Anthony Davis. The expectations are high, they are in "win now" mode. Lebron's health will be key but he's had his first full off season in 9 years, due to the fact that he made the finals the last eight years. Lebron should be coming back fully motivated after a summer of hearing that he is no longer considered the top player in the world.</p><p>Anthony Davis will be a nice complement to his skills. Davis has an abundance of low post moves, with a great range on his jump shot. He has an elite catch radius which should allow he and LeBron to be a force with pick and roll leading to unstoppable lane penetration and alley oops. Davis should space the floor and allow Lebron to get to the rim and finish.</p><p>Danny Green was a sneaky good pick up for this team and he should excel. There's no reason for the Lakers not to expect themselves to be in at least the Western Conference Finals. They might have problems with the Rockets or the Warriors along the way, but the expectation should be a championship.</p><h2><br /><br /><b>4</b>. <b>How will the Rockets do with Westbrook?</b></h2><p>One of the most surprising moves of the offseason was the Rockets unloading Chris Paul in favor of Russell Westbrook. The former Thunder teammates reunite but now the balance is different.</p><p>On the Thunder, it was Westbrook's team, while now Westbrook firmly joins a team that is based around James Harden. The Rockets rely on James Harden iso, but that has led to unsatisfying playoff results, as oftentimes in the playoffs he looked fatigued and unable to get to the free-throw line using his controversial tactics to draw fouls.</p><p>Westbrook provides more speed and athleticism on the floor and will be a better offensive force as he should be able to get to the rim and distribute to the 3 point wing shooters. Westbrook should provide Harden more time to rest and lower his workload during the regular season. It will be an interesting dynamic between the two, who are both ball dominant players.</p><p>The upside is they can both afford to play less regular-season minutes while the other directs the offense. This move will turn out well. The Rockets are serious contenders for the NBA title.<br /> </p><h2><b>5. Will the Raptors go over the 46.5 win total set by oddsmakers?</b></h2><p>The Raptors team total is sitting at 46.5 and I'm all aboard the overtrain. The Raptors still have depth and excel in player development. Paskal Siakam is emerging as a young talent, another great draft pick for the Raptors.</p><p>Marc Gasol is celebrating his second world championship this year as he led Spain to gold in the FIBA World Cup. Gasol will be helped by Kyle Lowry, Fred Van Vleet and Serge Ibaka. The Raptors should be buoyed by the return of OG Anouby, who will provide more wing depth.</p><p>Nick Nurse has proven he has what it takes to make the proper adjustments and lead a team to a title. All in all, this is a very well run franchise. The Raptors have a solid roster and are a well-coached team that has plenty of talent. A great bet this year is the Raptors over 46.5.</p><p> </p><h2><b>6. How will the new-look Philadelphia 76ers perform? </b></h2><p>Philadelphia made some of the biggest offseason moves with Jimmy Butler leaving while adding Al Horford as well as resigning Tobias Harris. They also lost JJ Reddick but added Josh Richardson to an already solid core. Richardson is a little more athletic and should help on defense, and be just as close as good on the perimeter.</p><p>Horford is a solid defender, sets solid screens, he moves the ball well, and can space the floor with his smooth jump shot. He will be a great complement to Embiid, and more importantly, Embiid will not have to go up against him in the playoffs. Horford has done a great job of using his wily veteran skills to shut down Embiid, but now the will be working together, This 76ers team has the look of a championship contender, right up there with Milwaukee. They should make the Eastern Conference Finals and are a real threat to win the East.</p><h2><b>7. Will the Sacramento Kings make the playoffs? </b></h2><p>The Kings are an up and coming team that has high hopes for this season. D'aaron Fox has developed into the top young point guard in the NBA. This could really be a break out year from him. Marvin Bagley should improve by leaps and bounds, he is one of the quickest, most athletically gifted players in the league Harry Giles is a great talent and if he can stay healthy, will make a major impact.</p><p>Buddy Hield has become the player that they expected when they traded Demarcus Cousins a couple of years ago. The Kings were widely criticized for that trade at the time but Hield has made the critics look wrong by becoming a top shooting guard, defending well, and having a very high 3 point percentage. Bogdan Bogdanovic brings wing depth, he excelled in international play.</p><p>Bogdanovic scored more 3 pointers than 7 whole teams in the FIBA World Cup. The Kings are chock full of sharp young talent, and they added veteran some depth. At +300, an excellent bet is the Kings will make the playoffs this year.</p><h2><br /><br /><b>8. What are the expectations for the Boston Celtics this year?</b></h2><p>The loss of Kyrie Irving is almost completely replaced by Kemba Walker. The big losses the Celtics have is in the middle, losing Al Horford and Aron Baynes and replacing them with Enes Kanter. Kanter can score just as well but will be a downgrade defensively. It will be interesting to see if Brad Stevens will scheme around his weakness in the middle because the last couple years they've had a very strong rim-protecting presence.</p><p>Horford's rebounding was often criticized, so it'll be important for Kanter to be a good defensive rebounder to make up for his lack of on-ball defensive skills, although he did do better on the perimeter in the playoffs with Portland, he was not as exploitable as he had been in the past. If Kanter can become just an average defender Boston can continue to ride their superior wings to victory. They have a great coach in Brad Stevens and should probably be expected to be the 3rd or 4th seed in the East.</p><h2><br /><br /><b>9. How will Jimmy Butler fit in Miami? </b></h2><p>Jimmy Butler fits in great with the grit and grind style Miami plays. Miami plays well defensively, they switch fluidly and take opportunities to hit the 3 pointers. Now they find their spirit animal to lead them in Jimmy Butler, who is the epitome of all the concepts at Miami exemplifies. Butler is much more talented though, has great quickness, and really has the alpha dog mentality. Surrounded by these hungry players who all know their role, and led by coach Erik Spoelstra, Butler should do well and take Miami from a fringe playoff team to a to serious top 4 contenders in the East.</p><h2><strong>10. Will the Pelicans make a playoff push?</strong></h2><p>The Pelicans added Zion Williamson, JJ Reddick, and Derrick Favors. They traded Anthony Davis for the Lakers young core of Brandon Ingram, Josh Hart and Lonzo Ball. Last year the Pelicans were able to develop Julius Randle after the Lakers were unable to get the most out of his talent and they hope to do the same with Ingram and Ball. Both were number 2 picks and have very high ceilings. Ingram and Ball have shown flashes, but really need to be playing in a consistent environment.</p><p>The Pelicans have a young core full of potential here, but they're still one year away. They need some time to develop to make a playoff push. An interesting thing to watch will be Zion's health, as he is a pretty big guy to be jumping that high. That has to put a lot of pressure on his knees and back.</p><p>Let's hope he can make it through the season because he has the chance to be an electrifying talent that could really capture the imagination of NBA fans and bring a sense of pride and respect back to the New Orleans Pelicans team, who should improve this year and be ready to make a serious playoff push next season.</p></div>
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