Basketball is Back


I don’t really have much else to say other than that. I am ridiculously happy — and yet it still eludes me why NBA training camps don’t get even a fraction the amount of attention as Spring Training and NFL Camps. Good lord people, freaking basketball is back. Here’s ten things I am excited about leading up to the season openers:

1. Brandon Roy: I know LaMarcus Aldridge is going to be a studhorse this season, but Roy is the one I am really excited about. Most people passed him off as the ROY winner by default, but most people didn’t take the time to watch him play. He’s a much better athlete than he lets on — and honestly I can’t explain how deceivingly fast he is. He’ll stay under the radar until Oden makes his return and the Blazers become the team in the L again, but not a single player has me more excited.

2. The egos on the Boston Celtics: Since July we’ve had billions of stories shoved down our throats about how the big three only care about winning. Now we get to see how true that is. Either this is a perfect chemistry experiment or we get the east coast version of Lakers drama. I expect the former. Even with the scorers, I wonder how potent that offense will be without a PG. The last big three that sort of worked, in Dallas, had Steve Nash — who also leads a quasi-three in Phoenix. Oh, and there’s also that Kidd guy in NJ putting up numbers with inferior “stars.”

3. Zach Randolph and Eddy Curry “sharing”: I fully expect them to get into a fight during an offensive series at some point right before the all-star break. I have no idea how anybody thinks this will work. Expect this to be a running joke for awhile.

4. Luol Deng: The Bulls haven’t gotten much attention this summer because of all the of moves out east, but Deng should begin to put up all-star numbers. Like Roy, however, he’ll still fly under the radar.

5. Seeing Dwight Howard dominate: Rashard Lewis wasn’t the answer for playoff success, but he will open up the court enough to allow Howard the room to refine his post game for a season. Shaq used to be that one player who every time you saw him in person your jaw would drop. Howard is now that guy. His shoulders are nearly a mile wide.

6. Mike Iavaroni: I explained how much I like this move before, mostly because Iavaroni was a key member of the Suns bench and it was unfathomable how he was still an assistant coach at 50 years old. Unfortunately he has to deal with Pao Gasol, but he should pick out one of his PG’s to lead the running and gunning with some of their talented athletes.

7. The Sonics: They are the Detroit Lions of basketball this year. All their offense will come through the air from Durant but they will be unable to grind anything out in the middle nor will they have good defense by any concept of the word. But unlike the Lions, we don’t know what city they will play for next year. I would contribute to a ‘Keep the Sonics in Seattle’ fund.

8. Kobe: Look, he’s the best player in the league, and as Steve knows, I will fight you to the death on this. The Mamba is pissed off, and he’s going to do one of two things; pout until they trade him or rip the rest of the league to shreds. I’m betting on the latter.

9. Having something to watch at night at work: I work nights, late, on eastern time. Which means, whenever there is down time I can use the wonderful NBA Broadband service to watch whoever happens to be killin.

10. Having a worry free season: Bookending it with the Blazers, this season will be almost entirely stress-free as long as Oden makes the progress I expect him to. It has been awhile since we haven’t had to worry about the law, management holding back the young players to play people like Juan Dixon and wanting to win every game. The lottery no longer matters. We get who we get next season (it will be high anyways since we won’t win more than 30) and everything else – Outlaw, Aldridge, Roy and especially Webster coming alive – is just gravy. Not many teams have been able to sit back and say, “Everyone else, watch out in two years, we are a sure thing” (Knocks on wood).