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With the NBA preseason set to tip off in just a few short weeks and the regular season right around the corner, basketball fanatics around the world should be excited and pumped for the best time of year. A time when professional basketball one again becomes a part of our lives. A time where a boring Wednesday night can turn into a night of anticipation and delight, or the opposite depending on how your favorite team does, of course.
But because of the "super teams" around the league, particularly the Warriors, many people aren't excited for the season at all because in their minds Kevin Durant, Stephen Curry, and the rest of the Warriors have already clinched the title.
I can't necessarily convince you that that will not happen, mainly because deep down I know that more than likely we will see the Warriors heading back to the finals for a third consecutive time. However, what I can offer you are some alternate reasons to be excited about the 2018-2019 NBA season.
A Wide Open East
For the first time in his career, LeBron James will be playing on a Western Conference team after deciding to sign a long term deal with the Los Angeles Lakers. A lot of people see this as simply the west becoming even more stacked. However this season, for the first time in a long time, we will see a team that is not led by LeBron come out of the east. In fact we may see a rebirth of competition in the Eastern Conference as Philadelphia, Boston, and Toronto all fight for the top seed. Even with the top heavy Eastern Conference, there are several dark horses that could surprise people. The Pacers, Wizards, and even The Bucks may surprise some people. I for one am really excited to see how the Eastern Conference plays out.
I touched on this a little in the previous section, but I mean its LeBron, so I figured he deserves his own section. One of the biggest story lines going into Free Agency was, "where is LeBron going to play next year?" Shortly after free agency began, LeBron announced that he would be joining the Lakers. This caused an uproar in the NBA community as everyone began frantically sharing their opinions on how they feel LeBron has ruined their life (JK :D). Anyways, huge changes did follow Lebron's decision, from his banner in Cleveland getting taken down to murals of the new king of LeBron going up all over the LA area. And despite not having played a single minute of NBA basketball with the young core of the Lakers, Vegas has drastically increased the Lakers Championship odds. Seemingly every single sports analyst has talked about how far they think LeBron can take the Lakers, and whether or not they think LeBron will miss the playoffs for the first time in a very long time. All of these questions should make even the casual fan at least a little intrigued about the upcoming NBA season.
Do the Warriors have competition?
This article wouldn't be complete without talking about the elephant in the room—The Warriors. As mentioned before, many if not all believe The Warriors are destined to three peat and become champions for a third consecutive year. They've reached this decision simply because The Warriors added all star center Demarcus Cousins to their already stacked roster. Contrary to popular opinion I believe there are a few teams in the League who can give The Warriors a run for their money if things work out. I won't go into a lot of details in this article because there's simply too much to squeeze in. However in short The Lakers are certainly capable of surprising some people simply because they brought in LeBron James. LeBron has shown he can carry an under talented team to the playoffs and I feel like a lot of people underestimate the talent on The Lakers's roster. Other teams that may have a chance of making it to the finals if certain things work out in their favor are The Rockets, Spurs, and Thunder.
Note: I focused on Western Conference teams because they have to get past the warriors to even make the finals. I will talk about Eastern Conference teams as well as go into more depth in my next article.
As you can see there are plenty of reasons to continue watching the NBA. The ones I've given are simply the ones I feel are the most intriguing. Whether you agree with me or not, I hope you at least found this article interesting.