5 NBA Storylines That Will Fizzle Quickly Once the Season Starts
With the NBA season closing in quickly, some of the offseason's storylines will assuredly fizzle out once the teams hit the court for real NBA basketball.
Here is a look at five offseason storylines that likely won't carry over for long in the NBA regular season.
5. The Bobcats' Futility
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Last season, the Charlotte Bobcats were statistically the worst team in NBA history. Charlotte finished with an abysmal record of 7-59 in the lockout-shortened 66-game season, giving them a winning percentage of just .106, the worst of all time.
Because of their terribleness last year, one major question coming into this season is "how bad will the Bobcats be this year?" Is there any way they could be worse than they were in 2012?
The clear answer to that question is no.
The simple fact of the matter is that there is nowhere to go but up for the Bobcats organization.
Charlotte may not be anywhere close to contending for a playoff spot, but thinking they will match last year's futility is not realistic.
With a new GM, and head coach, most of the executives who were around for last year's debacle are now gone (except Michael Jordan). On the roster they have young talent like Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, this year's No. 2 overall pick, and a returning Kemba Walker that should win the Bobcats at least some games next season.
While Charlotte may still have one of the worst records in the league next year, once people realize they won't be anywhere close to how bad of a team they were last season, they will go from being historically inadequate to just another mediocre NBA franchise.
4. The Possibility of Big-Name Coaching Changes
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With several big names on the coaching block this offseason, many believed we would see a big name return to the NBA once again to coach.
With legendary coaches such as Phil Jackson and Jerry Sloan unemployed, and other high-profile coaches like Jeff and Stan Van Gundy and Mike D'Antoni not currently coaching in the league, many believed at least one or two of them would be hired in the offseason.
Now that the season is about to get underway, many will continue to speculate which coach will return and when, but the fact of the matter is that no big-name coaches will be taking over anywhere once the season starts.
While it is nearly a sure thing that some NBA coaches will get the ax if their teams struggle, it is highly unlikely that any of the men I talked about would be willing to accept a coaching gig partway through a season.
Instead, some will stay retired or catch on in the broadcasting world, while others will try their luck at finding the right job come next offseason.
3. 2013 Free Agency
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Much like the 2012 class, the 2013 class of NBA free agents will be among the best in years. Players such as Chris Paul, James Harden, Andre Iguodala, Monta Ellis, Manu Ginobili, Paul Pierce, Josh Smith and perhaps even Dwight Howard or Andrew Bynum may potentially be available next year (many are depending on player or team options).
Still, the majority of those players will likely be staying put, and all of the talk of "building toward 2013" that we heard this offseason will likely be put on the shelf once the season actually starts.
Yes, free agency will be thrilling next year, but so will the action on the court and the race for a championship in 2013. That will likely overshadow the anticipation of next year's free-agent class for most fans.
2. The Olympic Hangover
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There is always speculation about the potential for an "Olympic Hangover." Some feel that NBA players will be too exhausted from playing the entire season, followed by the Olympics, to be at their best by the time the NBA season starts in October.
This obviously relates to all members of Team USA, as well as players from countries like Spain, Russia and Argentina who advanced far in the games.
It especially is talked about for players from teams such as the Heat and Thunder who played into June in the NBA Finals, and then turned right around and participated in the Olympics.
However, once the season begins it is unlikely this topic will be brought up again. The majority of players in the Olympics are in the prime of their careers and don't need a full offseason of rest to recuperate from an NBA season.
Remember, last year's season was shortened because of the lockout anyway. I can't see LeBron, Kevin Durant, James Harden, Russell Westbrook or any other player who advanced deep into the postseason and played in the Olympics still feeling the effects of the Olympics by the time the 2012-2013 season begins.
If players were feeling fatigued after the Olympics, they still have had over a month now to recover and prepare for the NBA season. No player would use the Olympics as an excuse if they happened to struggle out of the gate.
1. Jeremy Lin
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After exploding onto the scene last season with the New York Knicks, Jeremy Lin was able to capture the attention of NBA fans like few players have been able to do in recent memory.
Linsanity, as it was come to be known, took over our television sets every night for a few weeks. Lin went from being a backup-backup from Harvard who couldn't see the court, to a dynamic scorer and clutch performer who was carrying the Knicks on his back.
Come the offseason, most people expected the Knicks to re-sign Lin and for him to be their point guard for the future, forming a Big Three with Amar'e Stoudemire and Carmelo Anthony.
However, when Lin signed with the Houston Rockets in the offseason instead, and the Knicks opted not to match the contract, it marked the end of Linsanity as we know it.
As much as Lin may continue to be in the spotlight now, there are two important reasons we will hear less and less about Jeremy Lin once the season starts in 2012.
First off, Houston cannot compete with New York in terms of media coverage and attention. If Lin was doing what he did last year in Golden State or Milwaukee, it would have caught the eye of hardcore NBA fans, but it never would have turned into what it did in New York.
The fact that Lin was doing what he was doing for the Knicks in Madison Square Garden was part of the allure of Linsanity, and it simply won't be the same in Houston.
Secondly, despite all of the Knicks flaws, they are inherently a better team than the Rockets. Houston took huge gambles in the offseason, and almost none of them paid off.
Their roster outside of Lin is paper thin, and no matter how well Lin plays, Houston will likely be nowhere near the playoff hunt.
With Lin playing in Houston, on a bad team, even the most diehard Linsanity fanatics may find it hard to keep up with him religiously during next season.