We can feel it. It’s in the air. It’s just so beautiful. The NBA Season.
As the season openers begin to creep up on us, it’s time to preview each conference. First up, the Western Conference. We’re going to take a look at the five biggest storyline’s that we should keep an eye on as the season unfolds.
WHICH DWIGHT HOWARD WILL SHOW UP THIS SEASON
I really feel that everyone in the Western Conference will be watching the Houston Rockets. What they do, how they look and, most importantly, which Dwight Howard is gong to show up this season. A great Dwight could make a difference between a Finals contender and pretender. He could make or break the Rockets. Houston has talent, which they showed in last year’s playoffs, but a defensive beast and MVP contender like Dwight could make them into a well-oil championship contending team.
SAME OLD SPURS?
I don’t know how many times I’ve said this in the past month but eventually the Spurs have to go away…right? Like they have to accept the fact that they’re old and just, you know, stop contending. I think that starts to happen this season, not entirely but the process will begin to begin. With that said, I’ll probably be wrong and the Spurs will once again finish in the top-3 out West.
BAY AREA HYPE
Quietly, the Golden State Warriors have become a trendy pick to come out of the West (I know that makes absolutely no sense). But the Warriors added even more fire-power this offseason in Andre Iguodala. If there’s one team that is going to be a dark horse once the playoffs start it’s going to be these guys. Barring any injuries, does anyone out West have the depth of quality players that the Warriors have? Maybe the Clippers. Maybe.
LOS ANGELES FAKERS?
With the Lakers’ complete demise in the near future, I still have trouble putting a fork in them. Yes they lost Dwight Howard, but they don’t have the worst roster in the world. In fact, if Pau Gasol picks his game up — which is entirely possible in a contract season — I kinda like the Lakers to somehow sneak into the playoffs. I mean, they won’t beat anybody once they get there but they won’t be as horrible as everyone thinks they’re going to be. Also, are they just going to step aside to let the Clippers run their city? I think not.
One day I’ll wake up and feel like the Oklahoma City Thunder are going to make another run to the Finals, the next day I just can’t see them getting past the Clippers, Warriors or the Spurs. Honestly, the only way I can see the Thunder make another lengthy run in late-may, early-June is if someone steps-in as the new James Harden. I’m looking at you Jeremy Lamb. Yes, Kevin Durant it great and I believe he’s going to take the next step in his progression as a player, but I just think he, and Russell Westbrook, are going to need a third option — especially when the postseason comes. By the way, it’ll be interesting to see how fast, or slow, the Thunder start with Westbrook likely out a month to start the season. Can’t afford to fall too behind.