It’s that time again! The NBA season kicks off tonight and with so many off season moves and changes, everyone is wondering what we can expect this season. Nick and Roderick debate the big questions below!
How do you think the Cavaliers will fare this season?
Nick: I think the Cleveland Cavaliers have a legitimate chance to win it all. They have a load of talent with Kyrie Irving, Lebron James, and Kevin Love. My main concern for the Cavs is the defensive end of the court. The Cavs lack a defensive enforcer on their front line. Kevin Love and Anderson Varejeo are the projected starters at the power forward and center position respectively. Neither average 1 block per game for their career. That can be a real problem playing against the new Eastern Conference front runner Chicago Bulls.
Roderick: I think they’ll be good this season. I think it’s safe to say they’ll most certainly be much better than they were last year. But the addition of the best player in the world with Kevin Love and role players like Shawn Marion and Mike Miller, the Cavs have instantly jumped up the Eastern Conference standings to one of the best teams.
Can Carmelo get over the hump this season and make a deep playoff run?
Roderick: The Knicks now have Phil Jackson in the front office and Derek Fisher coaching. They now also have a new system they brought over from LA, the Triangle Offense. I will go ahead and say with the personnel they’ve brought over they will be a much better team and contend in the East this season. My biggest concerns are wondering if they have the personnel to run the Triangle offense and if they’ll play the defense they need to make a big run.
Nick: The Knicks will not make a deep playoff run this year. I don’t think they have the right players that are willing to buy into the Triangle Offense. J.R Smith won’t be able to hoist up random 3’s in the triangle offense. He struggled terribly in the offense during the preseason. I expect the Knicks to get the 8th seed or even miss the playoffs as a whole.
Will Kobe return to his old form and will the Lakers ever be a major player in the West again for the rest of the time he’s there?
Nick: I think Kobe will prove all of his critics wrong. I think he will average around 24 PPG and be a problem for opposing defenses, mainly in the post. I think the Lakers will be terrible but who knows I will never count the Black Mamba out.
Roderick: I read an article that Nick hated that named an anonymous Eastern conference assistant coach that said this Kobe is like the Jordan era Wizards. He said that sure Kobe will average 20 pts a night on a bad team because he’ll shoot a lot and get to do what he wants. And he said most of the time they’ll still lose. But when they play good teams and he gets doubled or played hard by a great defender he won’t be able to dominate like he once did. I have to say, I’m more inclined to believe this. Kobe was inching towards this the past few seasons. We saw it in the playoffs vs. the Mavs years ago. And against a young OKC team a year after that. They he went down with debilitating injuries and now he’s back. 36 years old with 18 NBA seasons on his body. It’s not looking for him or the Lakers.
Who do you think will win the MVP this season?
Roderick: I’m going with the usual suspects with this one. LeBron, Kevin Durant or Derrick Rose should already be favorites and on everyone’s radar. But with KD’s recent injury and questions about Derrick Rose’s health back from his return, LeBron is the one standout. But with his recent move I think he’s looking to take a load off so that might be a question as well. I think this is the first year we’ll be able to have a new potential MVP.
Nick: I think the MVP will be between Derrick Rose and Lebron James. If Derrick Rose can play like he did in the preseason and remain healthy this year he will have a legit chance to challenge Lebron for this season’s MVP award. I think whoever has the best record in the East will win the crown.
Who do you think is winning the West?
Nick: I think the Spurs are the front runner in a very wide open Western conference . Dallas is a close contender for the Western conference with the key acquisitions of Tyson Chandler and Chandler Parsons. The Thunder and Rockets are dark horses. Golden State and Los Angeles Clippers are at a stand still but have a chance to win it as well.
Roderick: The Wide Open West, as I like to call it, is as open as ever. KD’s hurt so OKC is up in the air (although I know they’ll be fine with Russell at the helm for a few months). The Spurs are back looking strong along with the usual suspects like the Warriors, Clippers, and Houston. But one other Texas team you should definitely look out for is the Mavericks. With the acquisitions of Tyson Chandler and Chandler Parsons they are looking quite formidable.
Who do you think is winning the East?
Nick: I think the East will be between the Bulls and the Cavs. I think the Chicago Bulls are the front runners at the current moment. Will the Bulls have enough perimeter shooting to win the east? Will Derrick rose return to MVP form and remain healthy? Those are the million dollar questions.
Roderick: Right now I have to give the edge to the Chicago Bulls. The Miami Heat is missing the best player in the world Lebron James, and last years winners the Pacers are missing their best player. I just don’t know how well the Cavs will mesh. The Knicks, Nets, Wizards and Hornets aren’t ready yet so it’ll be a two man team race throughout the season.
Who’s the favorite to win the NBA Championship this season?
Nick: I think the Spurs could definitely repeat. They have a great system and a great coach. They are the deepest team in the NBA. If the Spurs can remain healthy, they will be the front runners for another NBA Title.
Roderick: The Spurs should rightfully be the favorites to win. They are returning their coach and all their stars. And now they have a bonafide young stud and NBA Finals MVP in Kawhi Leonard as well. They are the favorites until someone unseats them. But I’m going with the Cavalier’s. They are too talented! And LeBron will defer the Kyrie and it’ll be his coming out party!
The NBA season kicks off tonight at 7pm on TNT!