The NBA season is in full swing, and even if it just started, fireworks are in display in the opening week. A number of off season trades, additions and developments turned the league more into a roulette game: it’s totally unpredictable, the way things are. So, as the sports editor of Scoopfed, I’ll try to make a few FEARFUL forecasts about what may happen this season. Why’s it fearful? Well hey, being fearless is mainstream.
Forecast #1: The Cavaliers won’t win it this year
During the off season, the news that dominated the headlines was Lebron James departure from South Beach, after going to the finals four straight times and winning the title twice. Now the King has returned to Cleveland, and is hoping to lead the Cavaliers to a title this year. Although we can’t deny that he’s arguably the best pound-for-pound basketball player today (whatever, Kobe fans), he won’t win it with the Cavs this year. Why? Well, there’s the chemistry issue: everyone has to get accustomed to James and Love’s addition, as well as the arrival of Shawn Marion, former Heat players Mike Miller and James Jones, and veteran big man Brendan Haywood. Add the fact that they have a new coach in overseas legend David Blatt, chemistry issues will definitely arise.
Even if Lebron finally has a reliable point guard in Kyrie Irving, the latter still has to get used to someone getting the ball off his hands. At best, I still believe we’ll see them in the conference finals, if not, the NBA Finals. Oh and hey, they just lost to Melo and the Knicksin their first game.
Forecast #2: The Bulls will create a stampede
All wind vanes point to the Windy City, and there will definitely be a lot of fireworks in Chicago. Ever since Tom Thibodeau took charge of the Bulls, the team had always been a frontrunner in the Eastern conference. The team even went on to finish first in the conference for two straight years, although they fell short in the playoffs every time (possibly due to Derrick Rose’s ACL injuries). This season however, they have an intact, strong and healthy roster, led by Rose, Hinrich, Dunleavy, Taj Gibson, Joakim Noah and superstar acquisition Pau Gasol. One thing is for sure this season: there’s a storm in Windy City, which will be caused by the rampaging Bulls. If you’ve seen their opener vs the Lakers, you’ll know what I’m talking about.
Forecast #3: Rockets will fly
Houston is always a perennial playoff threat, even before acquiring James Harden and Dwight Howard. This apartment-filled Texan city is the fourth largest in the United States, and is has a rich sporting tradition. With the departure of Jeremy Lin, Patrick Beverley is the Rockets’ starting point guard with Isaiah Canaan reliving him off the bench. With holdovers Donatas Montiejunas and Terrence Jones, and acquisitions Kostas Papanikalaou and Trevor Ariza, the Rockets have a solid roster, and will likely end up deep in the playoffs and could give the Thunder and the Spurs a run for their money.
Forecast #4: The Lakers won’t make it to the playoffs
A season ago, the Lakers were a laughingstock: they finished 27-55 in the season and were no longer the favorite team in LA – the Clippers have taken this honor. Even with the help of Kobe Bryant and Steve Nash (who are on the last years of their career), the Lakers are in a rebuilding phase, relying on young players like Jeremy Lin, Julius Randle and Jordan Clarkson. Their campaign took a blow when Randle was carried off on a stretcher due to a broken leg on their first game against the Rockets, and will be out for a year. Even with Jordan Hill and Carlos Boozer manning the paint, the Lakers won’t win any frontline battles this season. Look on the bright side Lakers’ fans: Jeremy Lin won’t turn the ball over too much if Kobe’s busy shooting it.