The NBA pre-season is going on right now. Who will be fresher than most NBA teams going into the regular season? Does Nerlens Noel have what it takes to lead these Philadelphia Sixers? Will Brandon Ingram step up for the Los Angeles Lakers? Can Kevin Durant mesh with his new teammates? Will Dwyane Wade help Chicago into the NBA playoffs? There are lots of questions in the NBA that need to be answered.
The 2016 NBA Draft took place and are we seeing Ben Simmons being injured and not being able to play for the Philadelphia Sixers. What do we consider is the hotshot rookie of this year’s NBA season around the corner? Is it Brandon Ingram of the Los Angeles Lakers? Will Kevin Durant blend in with his new teammates in Golden State? Time will tell.
Now replaced by new Suns head coach Jeff Hornacek, former coach Lindsey Hunter has left. 6 wins and 6 losses into the season, Hornacek is managing a Phoenix Suns club running and gunning with newly acquired Eric Bledsoe from the L.A. Clippers and Goran Dragic in the back court scoring and slashing at the basket while they have the Morris brothers, Markieff and Marcus in the front court grabbing rebounds and getting garbage points. They are creating excitement in the league, but the question is how long can they last since getting a new head coach in Hornacek and trading away Marcin Gortat to the Washington Wizards. There is a lot of buzzing around in Phoenix, because Gortat is no longer the centerpiece of the Suns franchise. Now, it’s up to Markieff and Marcus Morris to generate revenue in Arizona for as long as Phoenix fans want to see their Suns win games. Channing Frye should be Hornacek’s favorite shooting player, because he can shoot the basketball. I’d like to see how Alex Len develops under coach Jeff Hornacek’s tutelage, because there isn’t much damage Len can do yet, but he will gradually become a dependable center who will score points and grab rebounds. Hornacek will be able to identify with the shooters on this Phoenix Suns basketball squad, because he was a shooting guard for the Utah Jazz, Philadelphia Sixers, and the Suns. He will try and get his players to shoot the basketball consistently on a game-by-game basis.
I’m watching the Bulls and Sixers play basketball on TNT. 6-6 between the two teams. Now’s it 8-8. No Rip Hamilton or Taj Gibson, as both are out with injuries.
The Minnesota Timberwolves get Andrei Kirilenko? This is a big day for the T-Wolves. They’ll get a defensive player who will help them stop the opposing team’s best perimeter scorer. They also added Greg Stiemsma, an interior big man who will help Minnesota play tough defense and get those pesky rebounds. Brandon Roy is back in a big way for the T-Wolves and hopefulyl he’ll get back to where he started. Expect another big year from Kevin Love.
So the New Orleans Hornets are rebuilding behind Eric Gordon and Austin Rivers. Getting rid of Chris Paul and sending him to Los Angeles to play for the Clippers was a big deal for them. They got nothing in return for sending CP3 away and will play for nothing in return.
The Knicks will look good on paper with defensive additions with Marcus Camby and Ronnie Brewer and the arrival of Jason Kidd. But New York won’t play any better because of team chemistry. This is a crowded roster that needs time for its starting five and bench to jell and learn how to play together.
The only time OKC will see its championship trophy every time they get to play in the NBA Finals is if they will get to play angry and with a purpose. It will start with Kevin Durant and end with his offensive and defensive repertoires. If Durant gets more muscles and I mean more muscles, get to the weights in the gym and get stronger he will be a force to be reckoned with. His length will be hard to guard.
So the Orlando Magic start over without Dwight Howard. This will be interesting considering that they have new personnel in management and in head coaching status. Expect the Magic to do terrible things because they don’t have a Dwight Howard anymore. On the good side, expect Arron Affalo and Al Harrington pick up the slack.
The Philadelphia Sixers get Andrew Bynum. This should be an exciting time for the Sixers. Bynum should be able to pick up where he left off when he was with the Lakers. I really expect Bynum to make a bigger impact in Philly now. They’ll expect more out of him, but how much can Bynum develop as more time passes by?
The L.A. Lakers flew to Oklahoma City to play the Thunder in front of a loud and boisterous crowd. The game wasn’t even close as the game began. OKC came out firing on all cylinders. In the end, the final score was Oklahoma City 119, L.A. Lakers 90. If anything, this decisive Game 1 means that the Thunder want to set a message to the Lakers about how things are going to be for the entire semifinals the Lakers play the Thunder. The Lakers had no answer for a Thunder basket. In the other semi-final bracket in the East, Philadelphia scrapped up a Game 2 win against the Boston Celtics, 82-81. This is a special Philly team that beat the Chicago Bulls in the first round. There’s no chance that the aging Boston Celtics can do to halt a Sixers squad that is well coached by Doug Collins.
The L.A. Lakers held off elimination in Game 7 against the Denver Nuggets. They won 96-87 and advanced to the second round of the NBA playoffs against the Oklahoma City Thunder. The Thunder will host the first two games in Oklahoma City before going to Los Angeles for games 3 and 4. Pau Gasol finished with 23 points and 17 rebounds and Andrew Bynum had a huge game also with 16 points and 18 rebounds. Kobe Bryant had a quiet 17 points in the Lakers’ decisive Game 7, after blowing a 16-point lead. In the other semi-final series, Boston held on to beat the Philadelphia Sixers 92-91, running out the game clock with 3.4 seconds left by having Rajon Rondo running in the opponent’s direction of the basket.