NBA Season 69 is just around the corner and fans from around the world are salivating over all the drama and glamour set to unfold. With all the player movements in the offseason, Season 69 promises to be an exciting one. Here are the top 5 storylines in the upcoming NBA season:
1) Getting Cavalier—The return of the King to Cleveland was the biggest offseason story. With LeBron James back, the Cavaliers are suddenly contenders in the weak Eastern Conference. James’ entry also encouraged All-Star and stat machine Kevin Love to join the new-look Cavs giving them a potent line-up enough to go all the way. With the hype and expectation, all eyes will be on the Cavaliers and the media will play up every little thing they say or do. The bigger question is: “Can LeBron bring Miami’s culture back and turn this bunch of talented youngsters into winners?” We will soon find out.
2) Comeback Kids—At 36 years old and coming from two serious injuries, Kobe Bryant returns to play his 19th NBA season. He rejoins a Lakers team that has lost its identity due to his absence. He also has to work with a lot of new faces like rookie Julius Randle, Carlos Boozer, and Jeremy Lin. No one gives this team a chance to go deep even with the return of Kobe but don’t tell him that. Expect him to keep on pushing himself and his teammates.
Former MVP Derrick Rose will also make his comeback. He has plenty of rust to shake off since his ACL injury in April 2012. He played only 10 games last year before another injury sidelined him. Despite these setbacks, the Bulls look optimistic of their chances. The Bulls were already pretty good without their superstar and Rose makes them deadly. If he keeps healthy, the Bulls will challenge the Cavs for best in the East.
3) The Class of 2014—Expectations are high for the Class of 2014. This rookie class is the most talented and NBA-ready in recent memory. No. 1 pick Andrew Wiggins is expected to score 20 points per game right away and lead the Minnesota Timberwolves back to relevance. No. 2 pick Jabari Parker, meanwhile, also has some pressure on his shoulders as the cornerstone of the Milwaukee Bucks. There are several intriguing prospects from this class and they are expected to headline the NBA in years to come.
4) Spurred On—Fresh from his 5th championship, the 38 year old Tim Duncan returns for another season. Despite their ageing stars (Manu Ginobili is 37 while Tony Parker is 32), the Spurs believe, and rightfully so, that they have enough left in the tank to make another run at a 3rd straight Finals appearance and their 2nd straight NBA title. There is no question of coach Gregg Popovich’s genius (5 championships and 17 straight playoff appearances) and the Spurs will be in the thick of things once again. They are simply ageless.
5) Rising Stars—Season 69 promises to be the year of breakout stars. New Orleans Pelicans center Anthony Davis leads this cast. He is projected to be the next big thing and he is already being talked about in the same breath as Kevin Durant and LeBron James. At only 21 years, he averaged 21 points, 10 rebounds, nearly 3 blocks with a 52% field goal percentage in the second year of his career. And he will only get better. Another rising star is the Detroit Pistons’ Andre Drummond. Already averaging 13.5 points and 13.2 rebounds, Drummond is a beast with a lot of upside.