Oh the effect LeBron, Kobe, and D-Wade have on today's game.
It is mid-July, and as a NBA fan I am already getting psyched up for the 2010 season!
I know the season doesn't start until November. Some would even argue to say the 82 games during the regular season are just glorified exhibitions and that the real season doesn't start until April, during the Playoffs.
It is true that the Playoffs have a different intensity about them than the regular season. They very well should though, considering a lot more is at stake from April-June rather than from November-April.
While I was anticipating this upcoming season, I thought about all the questions surrounding this year in the NBA and how they could effect many different organizations. Here are just a few of the teams with questions to be answered this upcoming season that I thought of:
First, you have the defending champion Los Angeles Lakers trading a vital role player in their route to the NBA Title, Trevor Ariza, for a very talented (yet controversial) player in Ron Artest. How will that work out? Will Artest be able to co-exist with Kobe in LA? Will it help them to defend their title? This season will give us the answers!
How about the Eastern Conference champs giving up their beloved Hedo Turkoglu for an explosive player like Vince Carter?
Will Carter give them the scorer who his able to create his own shot like they need? Will he fill the outside scoring void whenever the three-ball isn't falling for them that night? How will his game compliment Dwight "Superman" Howard's game? Only time will be able to answer those questions.
What about the team with the NBA's best regular season record from last season? The Cleveland Cavaliers acquired Shaquille O' Neal in the offseason, so will that ultimately help or hurt them? Does Shaq still have enough in him to "win a ring for the king"?
How will it effect LeBron's game to have a post-up first center on the block while he is used to having his teammates clear out when he gets the ball on the perimeter? Questions, questions, and more questions.
Then, of course, you have the Boston Celtics signing Rasheed Wallace to compliment "The Big Three" in B-Town. Will that get the 2008 NBA Champions back on top?
What about the Spurs acquiring Richard Jefferson? Will that get one of the most consistent teams in the NBA back over the hump again?
How about this Finals projection:
Kobe and Gasol vs. Shaq and Lebron? How incredible would those ratings be?
Those are just some of the questions this offseason has left us to answer, with plenty more to come.
I was actually inspired to write this article while I was on YouTube earlier today. I ran across a video of LeBron James delivering a massive dunk on Kevin Garnett in Game Four of the 2008 NBA Playoffs with a minute and a half left in the game to eventually even the series 2-2 (Celtics ended up winning the series, obviously).
I replayed the video over and over to watch the fans jump up out of their seat in excitement, to see how the arena rocked at James' feet, to notice the amount of intensity on the court, but to mainly appreciate the true passion of the game.
After seeing that video, I realized how much I missed watching the pro-basketball game. I missed seeing the high-flying dunks. I missed seeing the game-changing block. I missed seeing the hustle plays like when a guy dives out of bounds to save the "rock." I missed seeing the game-winning shot. I missed seeing the no-look pass.
But most of all, I missed the pleasure of witnessing the greatest basketball players on earth on a nightly basis.
The NBA players are so smooth and graceful, but also so powerful and dominant. The National Basketball Association has arguably the greatest athletes in the world, and we have the pleasure of watching them for eight straight months.
As a basketball fan I reminisce over seasons past, and look forward to many more in the future. Breaking down the 2010 NBA season and also reviewing the 2009 season keeps me occupied for now, only looking for November to get here again.
After my breakdown of this upcoming season, here is what I came up with:
I'm not completely sure as to how this season will turn out, but I am sure that the 2009-2010 basketball season will be worth the wait and a memorable one for all NBA fans!
One successful month of the offseason down, only four more to go!