What We’re Reading: October 22
It is officially the best time of the year. The NFL and college football are in full swing, the NHL season has begun, the World Series is here, and the NBA season has officially commenced. Let’s dig into major topics to start the season!
The Eastern Conference
For the first time since 2010-2011 the Eastern Conference will feature a team that does not list LeBron James on its roster. It appears that there are really three teams that have a shot at this thing: Celtics, Raptors, and Sixers. The Celtics, who handled the Sixers on opening night, start the season as favorites to win the conference. Clearly, the Raptors command the respect of the conference, though their success may largely be predicated on the success Kawhi’s comeback and his happiness in Toronto.
The King’s New Domain
Speaking of the King, the storylines heading into the season and LeBron’s crew at the Los Angeles Lakers is mixed. On one side, some credible analysts think the Lakers will miss the playoffs entirely. Keep in mind, this would be the first time LeBron didn’t make it to the postseason since the 2004-2005 season (his second year in the league). On the other side are those, like Klay Thompson, who believe that the Lakers will be a serious force. And LeBron remain a favorite in the MVP race, so that will be another fun wrinkle to track.
The Drama in Minnesota
Usually a team that doesn’t attract a ton of national attention, the Minnesota Timberwolves have found themselves in quite the predicament. We all watched the social media saga between feuding stars unfold just a couple weeks ago. While perhaps lacking the same storyline and tension of the DeAndre Jordan situation of summers prior, this was still wildly entertaining to watch unfold. This, of course, was followed by reports of a wild first practice, which included Butler taking it to the team’s young stars on the hardwood and verbally lashing out at front office members. It is clear; Butler wants out, and the situation seems untenable. However, Tom Thibodeau and Butler have a long history together, so perhaps Thibs can calm down Jimmy. Furthermore, with Thibodeau being on the hot seat in Minnesota, it is highly unlikely that he would be willing to part with Butler without receiving a hefty package in return.
The Warriors and the Quest for a Three-Peat
The Warriors have assembled an incredible roster for yet another season. This year’s team comes with the not-so-small addition of DeMarcus Cousins. While this season make prove to be a comeback year for DeMarcus, there is no denying his talent level and what he can accomplish when healthy. The Rockets certainly gave the Warriors a scare last season, and they may have been a CP3 hamstring away from a NBA Finals berth. However, assuming a healthy Warriors squad, it is the Warriors’ to lose.