Three teams to watch in 2017-2018
The East: Cleveland Cavaliers
The notable offseason move for the Cavaliers was the trade of Kyrie Irving to Boston for guard Isaiah Thomas, forward Jae Crowder, center Ante Žižić, and Brooklyn’s 2018 first-round draft pick.
With the projected starters being LeBron James, Dwyane Wade, Kevin Love, Tristan Thompson, and Derrick Rose, you don’t need any more notable all-stars.
Thomas is expected to return from injury in January 2018. He will likely crack into the starting lineup and send fellow point guard Rose to unfamiliar territory: the bench. James on the roster guarantees, at the very least, a run to the Eastern Conference finals.
James on the roster guarantees, at the very least, a run to the Eastern Conference finals.
The West: Golden State Warriors
Coming off an NBA Championship win, it seems as though the Warriors’ motto for this season is: “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.”
The starting lineup for Golden State has not wavered at all this offseason and is anticipated to consist of Stephen Curry, Kevin Durant, Klay Thompson, Zaza Pachulia, and Draymond Green.
Four of these athletes have been named all-stars, and Curry and Durant have each been named the NBA’s Most Valuable Player.
The addition of rookie power forward Jordan Bell will give the Warriors an even larger presence around the rim.
Hometown: Toronto Raptors
The Raptors are building their play around DeMar DeRozan and Kyle Lowry.
Serge Ibaka, a power forward in his first full season with Toronto, may be the difference maker.
It’s clear that the Raptors need to improve their offensive rhythm. Their success this season will be dependent on DeRozan’s capacity to move the ball on offence.
A contract extension makes it clear that Norman Powell will also be taking on a more consistent role off this young bench.
The NBA regular season starts Oct. 17, with the Boston Celtics facing off against the Cleveland Cavaliers in what will surely be the start of a close race for the Eastern Conference title.
Photo courtesy of ABS