Wednesday, December 8, 2021
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HomeSportsNBA preview: Why you should be excited for the upcoming season

NBA preview: Why you should be excited for the upcoming season

NBA action returns this Tuesday night for the 2020-21 season of the most prestigious basketball league in the world.

The NBA is celebrating its 75th anniversary and it promises to be one of the most exciting seasons. The league is returning to its normal 82-game format after having shortened seasons in the previous two campaigns owing to the coronavirus pandemic.

Giannis Antetokounmpo led the Milwaukee Bucks to their first NBA championship since 1971 in July after beating the Phoenix Suns, winning the Finals MVP trophy in the process.

The Milwaukee Bucks celebrate winning the NBA championship. PHOTO/COURTESY

Many stories and narratives have come from the off-season. Very interesting moves have occurred. From Russell Westbrook moving to the Lakers, his fourth team in three years, Kyle Lowry joining the Miami Heat to DeMar DeRozan teaming up with former Lakers Lonzo Ball and Alex Caruso in Chicago just to name a few.

Off-field issues have also dominated the break with Brooklyn Nets superstar guard Kyrie Irving not on the team’s lineup after failing to get vaccinated for COVID-19. This is because he was set to miss 43 of the 82 Nets games this season due to New York City regulations for people who are not vaccinated.

Another star guard, Ben Simmons who faced trade rumours and speculations all summer following his “fallout” with the Philadelphia fans following their elimination at the Eastern Conference semi-finals by the Atlanta Hawks. However, he is currently back training with his team.

NBA championship or bust for Nets and Lakers?

These two teams have assembled very talented rosters with winning the Larry O’Brien being the only acceptable target. Last season, injuries plagued both of these squads and none of them even made the finals.

Durant led his Brooklyn Nets without James Harden and Kyrie and were eliminated by the eventual champs. With the current form of Durant, who was ranked as the best NBA player by ESPN, and health on their side they will surely be aiming to go all the way.

Joined by friends Carmelo Anthony and Westbrook in LA, LeBron will be hoping to put a disappointing last term behind him where the Lakers were eliminated in the first round of the playoffs. They currently possess the oldest squad in the league and they will definitely be banking on the experience these old heads bring to go for the chip.

New look Lakers. PHOTO/COURTESY

Many fans have crossed their fingers hoping these two teams meet up in the NBA finals.

Individual league honours

For the past three years, the league’s MVP has not been a player from U.S after Serbian Nikola Jokic won the last one following a two year domination of the award by the “Greek Freak”.

Steph Curry scooped the scoring title, averaging 32.0 points per game, becoming the second oldest player to win the award after Michael Jordan in 1998.

Twists and turns are to be expected this season and we are definitely in for a roller coater of a ride that is the upcoming NBA season. The players are sure to entertain us with their energy on the court. Every dunk, every game-winning shot to the picture-perfect passes strap yourselves in for the best of basketball.

Oh, and a new ball is being used with the NBA ditching the Spalding ball and going back to a ball made by Wilson, which was used for the first 37 seasons of the NBA.

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