With all the great action of football season, along with the World Series beginning tomorrow, it’s easy to forget that the NBA tips off tonight. There are plenty of angles to look at, and I’ll leave those to other people to take on. For me, there are others that are often overlooked, but are still significant. Today, here are five of my reasons I’m excited the season is starting.
ESPN/ABC play-by-play team and TNT Inside the NBA - For me, there’s no better three-man tandem to call an NBA game than Mike Breen, Mark Jackson, and Jeff Van Gundy. Honestly, it’s really Van Gundy and Jackson that set it off, while Breen provides the balance the games need. You can tell there’s a genuine chemistry there with these dudes. Action Jackson knows the game (even though he says stuff that pisses me off from time-to-time), and Van Gundy brings coaching insight, keeps it 100, and provides comic relief. Think about it; who else can get away with a line like this: “hey, I had to take the SAT to get into college. Who took yours, Mark Jackson?” As for Inside the NBA, as long as Sir Charles, The Jet, and EJ are there, it will remain the best pre-game and post-game show in basketball.
The Return of Gilbert Arenas - Gilbert Arenas has been left for basketball dead by some folks in basketball circles (I use this term loosely; feel free to look in any basketball forums, comment sections, and the like when his name comes up). It reminds me of when Dwayne Wade was left for dead, pre-Olympics, only to come in and play himself into MVP contention. When healthy, Arenas can score with the best of ‘em. He can also play either point or off-guard, and play them well. I’m staying on the Hibachi bandwagon, and once we see him come out of the gate, and sustain it this season, people will rue the day they didn’t do the same.
Sink or swim: The Denver Nuggets - Last year, the Denver Nuggets were a fourth-quarter collapse in Game Five away from making the NBA Finals. Granted, the series ended in six games, but it was over once their offense went to hell in that final period, in the Staples Center. The Nuggets are a matchup nightmare for any team; they have point guard play, perimeter scoring, inside play, defense, and a solid bench. So why aren’t people saying they are the favorite to keep the Lakers from making their third consecutive NBA Finals, or keeping the Spurs from returning to the Finals? Your guess is as good as mine…
Deron Williams will FINALLY be an All-Star this year - I’ve written about the lack of respect for Deron Williams by the NBA’s coaches (as evidenced by him never making an All-Star team), as well as my opinion that he is the best point guard in the NBA. There’s no way he can get juiced out of an All-Star spot this year. The game is in Dallas, and, if nothing else, he’ll make it due to that. Of course, he’ll continue to give opposing teams all sorts of fits, and make life easy for his teammates, but it helps the game is in the D in 2010. It’ll be bittersweet, because he’s been deserving of a spot well before then.
The Reloaded Boston Celtics - Some people won’t like what I’m about to say, but if KG doesn’t get hurt last year, the Celtics would have won the championship again, and at the time, I was willing to put two weeks pay on it. When they signed KG and Mr. Shuttlesworth in 2007, I gave this team a three-year window of dominance. They won it in their first year together, and we all saw what happened last year. What we also saw was the emergence of Rajon Rondo as a legit top-ten point guard. They added Rasheed Wallace, who has no problem being a bit player on a championship team, as well as Marquis Daniels and Shelden Williams (honestly, if he doesn’t contribute on the court, that’s cool with me. At least Candace Parker will be at the games, Lawd have mercy) to help bring some punch off the bench. The only thing that will stop this team is injury, just like last year. As a matter of fact, I’m ready to crown ‘em now.
One More From Ed...The Year of 2010 & LeBron - You already know the deal.
WHAT'S YOUR MOST EXCITING STORYLINE IN THIS 2009-2010 NBA SEASON? WHO YOU PICKING TO WIN IT ALL? LET US KNOW YOUR THOUGHTS!