With the new season upon us, it’s time for previews, predictions and declarations. But let’s not forget about the questions and concerns. The burning inquiries that we need to know as the 2013-14 NBA season begins to unwind. Hit the music…
WILL THE SAN ANTONIO SPURS FINALLY SHOW THEIR AGE THIS SEASON?
This seems unlikely since a Gregg Popovich coached team has never been bad. It’s fact. But a core of Tim Duncan (age 37), Tony Parker (age 31) and Mau Ginobili (age 36) is eventually going to show its age and flame out, right? It has too. I’ve gone on record saying that the Spurs won’t finish with a top-3 record in the West, but I’m not sure if finishing fourth or fifth qualifies as flaming out?
HOW BAD WILL THE OKLAHOMA CITY THUNDER MISS RUSSELL WESTBROOK?
During last year’s playoffs they missed him a whole bunch. You could see it in their faces, in their play and in their result. But they weren’t prepared, then, to play an extended period without him. Now they are, or at least should be. No excuses now. We’re going to be able to see just how much Kevin Durant has grown and whether he has broad enough shoulders to carry the load. Should be interesting. How many losses will the Thunder have when Westbrook returns late November/early December?
WHO’S THE SECOND BEST TEAM IN THE EASTERN CONFERENCE?
The Eastern Conference is loaded this year. It’s scary. You have the Miami Heat at the top, then a handful of teams that all can make a case for that second spot. But who’s the best from that group? You have the now-healthy Chicago Bulls, the deep Indiana Pacers, the new-look Brooklyn Nets, or the New York Knicks to pick from, who you got?
WHEN WILL KOBE RETURN AND WILL HE BE THE MAMBA?
Believe it or not, we’re less than a week before the NBA season officially starts and we still don’t know when Kobe Bryant plans on returning. There are reports that he could be ready for the opener, and then there are reports that he might not play until December. Right now, we just don’t know. On top of that, we’re still not even sure how a 36-year-old looks like coming of an Achilles injury. All in all, should be interesting.
CAN DWYANE WADE STAY HEALTHY?
This question is more important that you realize. There’s a lot that rides on Dwyane Wade’s health – the Heat’s ability to three-peat, LeBron’s offseason decision and the future of Miami. He hasn’t been able to stay healthy for an entire season in like two or three years, if that trend continues, can the Heat continue to get away with it? Will LeBron look past his health issues and re-sign in Miami?
WILL THE LAKERS COMPLETELY IMPLODE THIS SEASON?
This is the first time in a while that the consensus feels that the Lakers will be bad, with or without Kobe. Pau Gasol could be traded at the deadline and the Lakers leading scorer at the end of the season could end up being “Swaggy P”. YES! Like we said, who knows what Kobe will look like? This could be the first time in a long while that the Lakers and Boston Celtics both miss the playoffs. Weird, but how far will they fall?
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