By Patrick Barron,
Sports Business Writer
The NBA season is back in action. Starting on Tuesday, October 17 basketball fans’ excitement, which extends globally was felt throughout the arenas where the games were held and in the homes of many who tuned in to support their favorite teams.
Prior to the start of the season, TNT’s NBA Analyst David Aldridge compiled a list of the most pressing issues that may pop up in headlines throughout the year. He noted a point that many critics of super teams, superstar players who team up with each other when he said, “So … what’s the point of playing this season?”
For numerous people, the defending NBA champion the Golden State Warriors are favorites to winning again. It would complete the coveted back-to-back and thus the team will capture their third titles in four seasons. Can the Cleveland Cavaliers, who beat the Warriors in 2016 coming down from a three to one deficit with the additions of Dwayne Wade and former MVP Derrick Rose do it again? What’s more, can superstar small forward of the Cavaliers LeBron James add another Most Valuable Player (MVP) award in his decorated career? These questions are worth exploring and its answers will be unveiled throughout the long 82 game season.
Unfortunately, opening night brought forth a gruesome injury from the Boston Celtics star small forward Gordon Hayward, who dislocated his left ankle and fractured his tibia. Having recently completed successful surgery, he is out for the rest of the season.
This is sure to be a blow to the team who expectations coming into the season was high; some sport pundits pegged the Celtics in the finals finally overcoming James stronghold on the Eastern Conference.
In addition, another storyline developer is how will Kyrie Irving, whose trade from the Cavaliers to the Celtics change his style now that it is the only consistent and capable shot creator of the team. The unceremonious exit that dominated the sports world in the summer continues in the season.
Furthermore, the Houston Rockets, among that latest iteration of super teams dominating the NBA have their dynamic duo of superstar point guard Chris Paul and superstar shooting guard James Harden. Opening their season in Warrior’s arena the team won in a close 122-121 comeback, but what’s concerning is Paul’s apparent knee injury. Paul who is susceptible to injuries sat on the bench during the waning moments of the highly enjoyable game.
There are other teams in the league that may have to reevaluate their expectations. Take for instance, the Los Angeles Lakers and their highly regarded rookie point guard Lonzo Ball debut performance. Playing against hometown rival Los Angeles Clippers, he had only three points, nine rebounds, four assists and two turnovers in the 108-92 loss. For all of the hype surrounding theyoung player, his debut certainly proved his critics’ argument of him as an overrated player. However, he did rebound with a near triple-double in a win against the Suns.
It is important to note the regular season ends on April 11, 2018 and until that date, anything can occur that shifts the tide in the league. Whether or not the fans want wild unpredictability depends on their favorite team. If you are a Warriors fan, no but if you are a Phoenix Suns fan, where is the harm? In all, the season is young, so sit back, relax and enjoy the show.
A version of this article appeared in the Tuesday, October 24th print edition.
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