Enjoying your summer? We are too, but isn’t it crazy how quickly it has gone by? Soon, the leaves will be ablaze in color, pumpkin pies will on sale, and basketball will be back on TV once again.
Shaun Benderson can’t wait, and neither can we, as there is nothing like the run and gun action that the NBA is famous for.
In the meantime, sports bloggers everywhere are reading scouting reports, trade rumors, and tea leaves to figure out who will go all the way this coming season.
In this article, we will add our two cents to the mix, so if you are looking for yet another perspective, read on below.
Are the Spurs a serious contender this season?
The Spurs have always succeeded in fielding a team good enough to make the playoffs, and that in itself is important, as anything can happen in the second season.
However, this campaign is looking to be a more challenging one, as they will be without the services of the retiring Manu Ginobili, and there are several key players eligible for free agency who may fly the coop before training camp begins.
Anyway you slice it, there will be holes in the roster to start the season: the question is, who will fill them and will it be enough to keep San Antonio in the upper half of the league in 2017/2018?
On the other hand, Kawhi Leonard is a force to be reckoned with, and with one of the game’s greatest minds behind the bench (Gregg Popovich), the Spurs should once again have a date with the playoffs this season.
Can the Rockets overcome their disappointing playoff performance last year?
The playoffs are an interesting beast, as some unsuspecting Houston fans found out last spring. While they had all the tools to go to the NBA Finals, the San Antonio Spurs outflanked and kicked the Rockets to the curb in a stunning upset.
With the same cast back this year, they are itching for a mulligan. If they can hold it together this time, a date with Golden State in the Western Finals appears likely.
Can King James lead the Cavaliers to championship glory in 2018?
Any team with Lebron James can be considered a playoff contender, as he is one of those rare talents who makes everyone around him better.
However, the Cavs have relying on the man too much, leading to rumors that management is actively seeking out veteran talent to give Lebron the help he needs.
If they succeed in this endeavor, the Cavs have an excellent chance of emerging from the Eastern Conference – if not, they will struggle to beat upstart squads like the Celtics, and will be at a marked disadvantage against the stacked teams from the Western Conference.
Does Golden State have what it takes to go back-to-back?
The Golden State Warriors had a helluva run last year, especially when you consider they had to contend with naysayers all year long. It was only after they ran the table during the 2016/2017 playoffs that people started giving them credit.
With many of the same faces back for another year of action, they are likely a top four team right from the outset of the 2017/2018 season.
Injuries, blockbuster trades, and dumb luck aside, the biggest issue for the Warriors this year will be the Rockets – will they continue to struggle against their three point shooters, or have they found an answer for one of the most egregious sores in their mouth?
If they have, the Warriors will be the odds-on favorite to win it all in 2018.