NBA

NBA

NBA  2018-19

Last season, we saw the repeat victory of Golden State Warriors over the Cleveland Cavaliers. Since then, there have been major changes both on the player and coach ranks
But what would these movements mean? How will they affect the performance of each team? What predictions have been brought up?
Player Movements;
Like death and taxes, player movements are inevitable. Some players just want to make sure that they are getting paid their worth, while some want to play with a team that has a better chance of making it to the finals. Each player has his own reasons for doing so.
One of the most anticipated and most covered player movement must be the transfer of Cleveland Cavalier’s “former” one-man-team, LeBron James, to the Los Angeles Lakers. Almost every basketball fan saw it coming right after last season’s Finals. This is not the first time that The King transferred teams after losing in the finals. James officially joined the Lakers last July 9, 2018.
LeBron’s transfer isn’t the only notable change in NBA. This incoming season is seeing a lot in terms of trades, free agencies, and two-way contracts.
Jeff Green also left the Cavaliers stable to join the Washington Wizards. He signed in last July 10, a day after James did.
Another player who moved from the Cavaliers to another team is Jose Calderon who signed with Detroit Pistons last July 7.
Last season’s champion, the Golden State Warriors, isn’t immune from the roster changes. JaVale McGee has decided to join the Washington Wizards last July 10. Omri Caspi joined the Memphis Grizzlies the following day.
Because of James’ transfer to the already formidable LA Lakers, avid fans are expecting great things to come from this powerhouse of a team. Other players to reinforce the lineup are:
- Rajon Rondo coming in from New Orleans Pelicans, July 7
- Lance Stephenson who left Indiana
Coach and Management Movements;
There have also been significant changes in the management and coaching ranks.
Toronto Raptors management put the blame on Dwane Casey for the team’s inability to make it to the finals so he was fired. Casey recently signed with Detroit Pistons.
Orlando Magic had to let Frank Vogel go in favor of the Hornet’s ex-coach, Steve Clifford. James Barrego from the San Antonio Spurs replaces Steve Clifford.
In Another exchange of head coaches, Mike Budenholzer agreed to part ways with the Atlanta Hawks and moved to lead the Milwaukee Bucks. The Bucks didn’t promote Joe Prunty from interim to permanent coach.
Phoenix Suns also thought interim coach Jay Triano was unfit to be their permanent head coach. They opted for Igor Kokoskov, Utah Jazz’s assistant coach from 2015 to 2018.
Fearless Predictions;
There are still questions left unanswered as the offseason finishes but attention has turned to the incoming season. And with changes come predictions based on those movements. Here are some of those.
Another championship for the Warriors – After beating the Cavaliers in last three out of four seasons and no significant movement from the power players, the Golden State Warriors are highly favored to reach the finals and even win another championship. The Stephen Curry and Kevin Durant duo head the team’s undeniable dominance in the game.
The decisions of LeBron James and Kawhi Leonard will send waves across the league.  Both James and Leonard have decided to transfer to other teams after the last season and this is going to have a big effect on NBA as a whole. Leonard underwent a difficult season battling injuries during his San Antonio Spurs stint and there are still controversies regarding the severity of his condition and when he would be seeing action again. He recently joined the Toronto Raptors. James, fresh from the defeat from Curry’s and Durant’s hands, have moved to the Los Angeles Lakers which is one of the most talked about transfers in the history of the game. These movements will surely send ripples and affect game outcomes.
Suns in the playoffs. After spending a couple of years behind the limelight, the Phoenix Suns might be seeing a big comeback with its newly refreshed lineup which may help the team progress into the playoffs. Dragan Bender, Josh Jackson, and Devin Booker team up with newcomer DeAndre Ayton and might give the team the much-needed push up the NBA ranks. All they need is an experienced point guard and things are definitely looking bright for the Suns.
Raptors firing Dwane Casey was a huge mistake. Detroit Piston’s new coach, Dwane Casey, was let go after the Raptors suffered a huge blow from the LeBron-led Cavaliers. It was another classic case of ‘blaming the coach’ and was thought of by analysts as the team’s scapegoat for missing the finals once again. The real issue with the team was the deteriorating performance of Kyle Lowry and the obvious lack of shooters form beyond the arc. If this roster deficiency is not addressed, history might just repeat itself with the Raptors.
Marvin Bagley III Rookie of the Year 
With so many good newcomers in the league, it’s difficult to predict who will become the next season’s Rookie of the Year. One player seems to stand out, though. His name is Marvin Bagley III and he averaged 21 points and 11 rebounds last season. With those stats, it’s not hard to see that he can make at least 15 points and 10 rebounds a game this NBA 2018-19 season.
Off to the Next Season;
This season marks NBA’s 73rd and things are looking up for both veterans and rookies. There were quite a few impressive changes in the ranks and a few that seem to be big mistakes. All of these decisions will be judged when the regular season kicks off on October 16, 2018. The 2018-19 season will end on February 17, 2019.
But before the new season even begins, people are already clamoring for the preseason games which will commence on September 29 and end on October 12.
As the saying goes, all is fair in love and in war. Let’s just hope the same applies to basketball.
 
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All eyes are on the Golden State Warriors this season after their dominant win over the Cleveland Cavaliers in last season’s NBA Finals. But how will these two teams perform in the upcoming season?

A lot of teams were busy during the offseason. There were a lot of player movements and trades involving big-name players. Many teams did their homework to come up with a competitive roster.

In the East, it looks like the Cavaliers remain to be a strong contender, especially after they successfully signed former league MVP Derrick Rose. Nonetheless, experts believe that the Boston Celtics will still dominate the Eastern Conference this season, with the addition of former Utah Jazz standout Gordon Hayward, and former Cavaliers All-Star Kyrie Irving. The Boston Celtics are predicted to win 49.4 games, while the Cleveland Cavaliers are close behind with 49.2. The Cavs are looking at a tough season ahead.

On the other hand, things are heating up on the Western side of the country. The Warriors are expected to face bigger challenges this season, especially from promising teams like the Houston Rockets and the San Antonio Spurs.  

But with all things considered, experts still consider the Golden State Warriors as the best team in the West, if not the NBA, and predicted a win of 62 games. With key players like Stephen Curry, Kevin Durant set to stay – not to mention the addition of noted shooter Nick Young – it doesn’t look like the Warriors are giving up the crown any time soon. In addition, the team is masterfully guided by Steve Kerr, who is receiving positive feedback about his improved coaching techniques.

Not much improvement is expected from rebuilding teams like the Los Angeles Lakers, Phoenix Suns, and Sacramento Kings. Of course, it must be kept in mind that these predictions are based on each team’s RPM and may not be 100% accurate.  

 

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One of the four pro sports leagues in the US and Canada, the National Basketball Association or simply NBA is the world’s premier pro basketball league. Basketball players of all ages - from all corners of the globe - aspire to one day play in the NBA. After all, NBA players are among the best paid athletes in the world, based on the average yearly salary per player. The NBA currently has 30 teams (29 based in the US, and 1 in Canada). It is sanctioned by USA Basketball (USAB), the FIBA-recognized national governing body in the United States for the sport of basketball. The league was established on June 6, 1946 in New York City. It was originally named the Basketball Association of America (BAA). Its current name was adopted only on August 3, 1949, when the BAA merged with its rival league, the National Basketball League (NBL). The NBA’s head office is located at the Olympic Tower, 645 Fifth Ave, New York City. It directs the various team’s individual offices, as well as the league’s international offices. The offices of NBA Entertainment, as well as the NBA TV studios are situated in Secaucus, New Jersey. THE NBA BEFORE AND TODAY In 1946, the league started with a total of 11 teams. It continually evolved through the years and experienced a series of team expansions, relocations, and reductions. It currently has 30 teams. As previously mentioned, 29 of the 30 teams are from the US, and 1 team is based in Canada. Currently, the 30 teams are divided in 2 conferences, with each conference comprised of 3 divisions of 5 teams each. This divisional alignment has been followed since the 2004-2005 season.

The Current NBA Teams Eastern Conference: Atlantic Division - New York Knicks, Philadelphia 76ers, Brooklyn Nets, Boston Celtics, and Toronto Raptors Central Division - Detroit Pistons, Indiana Pacers, Cleveland Cavaliers, Chicago Bulls, and Milwaukee Bucks Southeast Division - Miami Heat, Orlando Magic, Charlotte Hornets, Atlanta Hawks, and Washington Wizards

Western Conference: Southwest Division - Memphis Grizzlies, New Orleans Pelicans, Houston Rockets, Dallas Mavericks, and San Antonio Spurs Northwest Division - Oklahoma City Thunder, Minnesota Timberwolves, Portland Trail Blazers, Denver Nuggets, and Utah Jazz Pacific Division - Los Angeles Lakers, LA Clippers, Sacramento Kings, Golden State Warriors, and Phoenix Suns

Top NBA Rivalries:

Boston Celtics and Los Angeles Lakers

When we talk of sports rivalries, few may equal that of the Los Angeles Lakers and Boston Celtics. Their rivalry, often called the greatest of all time, dates back to the 1960s. The rivalry took shape after the Celtics took home the bacon in their 1959 NBA Finals matchup with a 4-0 series win against the Lakers. The two giant franchises followed that up with eleven other championship matchups. The Green currently holds a 9-2 Finals advantage over the Purple and Gold. The team rivalry also spawned probably the two of the greatest personal rivalries in the history of the league. First, there’s Bill Russell and Wilt “The Stilt” Chamberlain, two of the best big men ever to play the game. Earvin “Magic” Johnson and Larry Bird were bitter rivals on the court but close friends off it. The tradition carried on with Kobe Bryant and Paul Pierce. Both teams have been in a rut for quite a while now and only time will tell if the current crop of Lakers featuring youngsters D’Angelo Russell, Brandon Ingram, Jordan Clarkson and Julius Randle can rekindle the rivalry with the C’s led by Isaiah Thomas, Al Horford, Avery Bradley, and Jaylen Brown.

Detroit Pistons and Indiana Pacers

Most rivalries are the result of teams trying to outplay each other, but the Piston-Pacer rivalry stemmed from too many dirty plays. The 2004 Eastern Conference Finals series between the two teams was characterized by its roughness. In the end, the Pistons upset the highly-favored Pacers in a game filled with dirty plays and hard fouls. The game was still fresh in their minds as the two teams faced off in a regular season game on November 19, 2004. With the game in the hands of the Pistons, Metta World Peace, then known as Ron Artest, committed an unnecessary foul on Ben Wallace. Big Ben did not appreciate the shove and the two had to be separated. The encounter took a life of its own as it poured into the stands, literally and figuratively. The aftermath of one of the worst sports brawls ever included suspensions, penalties and a wet Artest.

Cleveland Cavaliers and Golden State Warriors

The best rivalry in recent memory is between the Cleveland Cavaliers and Golden State Warriors, two teams lead by a couple of former MVPs. In the just concluded 2015-16 season, LeBron James led the Cavs to the Larry O’Brien trophy at the expense of Stephen Curry’s Warriors. It was a bitter loss for Dub City as they led 3-1 before King James took over and helped the Cavs to their first ever title. It was a different story a year ago. Chef Curry’s MVP season guided the Warriors to the title against James and the Cavs. It seems the rivalry between the two best teams in their respective conferences will continue as the Warriors stacked up with Kevin Durant while the Cavs secured their future by inking James to another contract.

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