10 Questions To Consider As The NBA Preseason Begins
Psssssttttttt…Don’t look now, but the National Basketball Association’s season is right around the corner. While the sports world focuses on the start of the NFL season and the end of the MLB season, the NBA is sitting by, rather quietly (save for the Carmelo Anthony trade situation), just waiting to take over the headlines again.
To help get you ready for hoops, DrJays Live decided to take a look at ten of the biggest questions NBA fans will face when the season tips off at the end of October. Then, we offered up some answers to those questions. Let’s get ready to ball.
A: My money is on the New Jersey Nets. At this point, ‘Melo is pretty much beyond the point where he can return to the Denver Nuggets. If you compared his relationship to the team with a real relationship, he’s basically already told them that he’s not sure he’s ready to commit to something long-term. All that’s left to do is cry and part ways. The Nets appear to have the most assets to offer and the Nuggets seem to want a lot for their star player. Look for him to land in the Garden State.
Q: Has Gilbert Arenas really matured as a person and a player?
A: Reports out of Washington are indicating that Agent Zero (who now wears No. 9, thus invalidating that nickname from here on out) is taking things more seriously this season after the incident involving guns and his locker last year. So serious that he’s not even smiling or joking around anymore. Wow. But, does that mean he’s really matured—or is he just putting on an act? I’d say a little of both. And with enough prodding from the media, I’d expect him to break the “no smiling” policy before the first game of the season, if not (waaaaay) sooner.
Q: Is this the year the Boston Celtics finally prove to be too old to contend for a championship?
A: Probably. I didn’t think the Celts had a shot last season, given that half their team is eligible to receive AARP benefits. I’m kidding, of course, but this team (minus point guard Rajon Rondo) is ollllllld. So old that I’m pretty sure a few of them actually remember the events taking place on HBO’s new show Boardwalk Empire. I can’t see them making another run to the NBA Finals. Not even with the addition of the over-the-hill Shaquille O’Neal.
A: Yes. Next question.
Q: Which team will be surprisingly good this year?
A: I’ll take a shot in the dark here and say the Sacramento Kings. At this point, the Kings have been so bad the last five years or so that they’re assembled a pretty nice (and young) squad. I wouldn’t be surprised to see rookie DeMarcus Cousins team up with last year’s Rookie of the Year Tyreke Evans and make a big impact on the team. There’s no reason to think this team couldn’t keep itself in the playoff hunt for at least a few months in a very tough Western Conference.
Q: Will John Wall—the No. 1 pick in the 2010 NBA Draft—be this season’s Rookie of the Year?
A: No. Wall is going to be pretty dynamic—especially on a Wizards team that seems destined to finish near the bottom of the Eastern Conference—but he’s not going to make a bigger impact than the DeMarcus Cousins and, honestly, I could see the ROY award going to someone that was drafted outside of the top 5 this year. That’s an indication of how weak this year’s draft actually was.
Q: Are the Orlando Magic being overlooked?
A: Yes. And it should play to their advantage. In an Eastern Conference that’s suddenly stacked with talent, the Magic will once again be a strong contender to go to the NBA Finals. As always, look out for Dwight Howard.
A: No. Next question.
Q: Will the NBA’s new technical foul policy change the game for the better—or for worse?
A: Worse! Players aren’t allowed to argue anything this season. More power has been given to the referees. In other words, expect a slew of played to get T’d up every game and expect it to slow things down. Hopefully, the refs don’t abuse their power and the players understand that, in recent years, they’ve complained entirely too much. Shut up and play ball, guys.
Q: Did you really think we’d make it through a whole NBA post without mentioning LeBron James, Dwyane Wade, Chris Bosh and the Miami Heat?
A: Give me some credit. I was able to do nine questions and answers without a single Heat mention. Hope you enjoyed it. That might be the last time that happens this season.