The wait is finally over and the NBA season is here which should be a captivating season to say the least. Teams were able to revamp their rosters while others look like they will be going into rebuild mode. Let’s look at which teams that will be fascinating to keep an eye on as well as the prohibited favorites.
To say the least, the most interesting team this year will be the Los Angeles Lakers because of the arrival of LeBron James. He signed with the Lakers trusting Magic Johnson and his vision for putting together a championship product. The King’s inaugural campaign in LA will be about cultivating a winning culture and be good enough to entice another star to join him in Tinsel Town.
This could be the first time in eight years in which LeBron doesn’t reach the NBA Finals. Nevertheless, James will be entertaining in the purple and gold and should be an early favorite to win MVP.
The Lakers did not stop with LeBron as they went on to add Rajon Rondo, Lance Stephenson, and Javale McGee. The biggest thing the Lakers had going in their favor before all of these signings was their youth. They have Brandon Ingram, Lonzo Ball, and Kyle Kuzma, but they lost Julius Randle in free agency to the Pelicans. This team is not a championship contender yet, but will make some noise in the playoffs and should be able to reach the 45-win mark for the first time since the 2013 season.
The defending champion Golden State Warriors are again title contenders in the association.
The Dubs added All-Star center DeMarcus Cousins on a one-year deal that shook the NBA world this off-season. By the time Cousins returns from a torn Achilles injury, this team will have five All-Stars as their starters in Steph Curry, Klay Thompson, Kevin Durant, and Draymond Green.
Golden State is all but guaranteed to be playing in the Finals for a fifth straight year. That has not been done by a Western Conference team, let alone in all of the NBA, in the history of the game. This team looks lethal on paper, but will they be able to accommodate these many personalities on one team? That’s the main concern for Steve Kerr and Golden State ownership.
The hungry and savvy boys in Bean Town will be looking to make noise this year as they are the new favorites of the Eastern Conference with LeBron out west.
Well, not if you ask Tristan Thompson.
The two huge signings that the Boston Celtics made last year in Kyrie Irving and Gordon Hayward were both out with injuries and could not compete in the playoffs. This was a blessing in disguise for the team as their youngsters Jayson Tatum, Jaylen Brown, Terry Rozier, and Marcus Smart were able to reach the conference finals where they fell just short of a Finals appearance.
With Irving and Hayward back, the Celtics should be the favorites out East. They will have some bumps on the road with the Toronto Raptors who acquired Kawhi Leonard and the Sixers boasting their young dynamic duo of Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons. The Raptors and Sixers are talented in their own right, but the depth of the C’s might be too much to deal with.
Come playoff time, the biggest challenger to the Warriors will be the Houston Rockets with the duo of Chris Paul and James Harden. The Lakers are still a few pieces away and quite simply there isn’t another team that can keep up with the Warriors.
The 2019 NBA Finals will most likely come down to the Warriors and Celtics. We can expect a much different finals match-up than we have had in years, one that will be much more competitive.
The Warriors do look extremely better on paper with the names they have and should be the favorites to add another title, but the Celtics will have the home court advantage, Brad Stevens, a disciplined defense, and will beat the Warriors in a seven game series come June.