3 Burning Questions for 2015 - 16 NBA Season
Brace yourselves. The new NBA season is coming. We know as much as Jon Snow as to what's going to happen this year but here are some answers highlighting the key storylines already firing us up before the on-court battles begin.
1. Can the Golden State WARRIORS repeat as CHAMPS?
At the start of training camp, reigning MVP Steph Curry declared that the team's familiarity with their system will only help them get better. If last season's performance is an indicator of what fans can expect this year, then the Bay Area can be assured of another strong showing this season. With the core of Curry, Klay Thompson, Draymond Green, and Finals MVP Andre Iguodala intact, the Warriors are well equipped at every position to defend their title. Then again, they enjoyed good fortune with their health and now assume the role of prey instead of predator every time they step on the court. With contenders upgrading their rosters, it is only a matter of time if the Dubs' exciting brand of basketball can take it all home once again.
2. Which teams have retooled for a better shot of winning it all?
The Cleveland Cavaliers are considered the heavy favorites in the East especially after they outmatched their opponents on the way to the Finals. However, a healthy Chicago Bulls lineup is talented and motivated enough to contend in the Eastern Conference. Out West, the challengers come in the form of the San Antonio Spurs. Coveted free agents LaMarcus Aldridge and David West strengthened the Texas-based squad that made two out of the last three NBA Finals. The L.A. Clippers also look to soar new heights this season thanks to some much-needed bench firepower in Lance Stephenson, Josh Smith, and Paul Pierce. Aside from the aforementioned teams, there is also the ever-dangerous Oklahoma City Thunder. Health issues have derailed them in seasons past but the league knows how menacing this team can be with Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook in charge.
3. Is this Kobe's last dance?
L.A. Lakers superstar Kobe Bryant is in the last year of his contract, fueling speculation that he will retire by season's end. With 19 seasons under his belt, you could say that it is perfectly fine for Kobe to walk away from the game but you could also argue that he can still go for championship number six. Whether he retires or not, what is for certain is that he will leave it all on the floor each time he steps on the court this season and that is something no basketball fan should miss.
Return of the Comeback
Hooray hoop fans! These NBA superstars are back in action this year:
Last season wasn't the same for the Thunder without Durant, who had two surgeries to repair his right foot fracture. Why he matters: Before Durant got injured, he was the league's top scorer during four of the last five seasons.
The Indiana Pacers' star suffered a broken leg during USA Basketball and was lost for the entire season last year. Why he matters: The Pacers forward was already putting his name in the conversation of elite wing players along the likes of LeBron James, Kevin Durant, and Carmelo Anthony.
Blood clots in his lungs forced him to sit out the remainder of the season for the Miami Heat, which was looking solid entering the postseason with the acquisition of Goran Dragic and the emergence of Hassan Whiteside. Why he matters: He makes an already talented Miami Heat team a force to be reckoned with in the East.
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