It’s been only 72 days for Los Angeles Lakers to claim O’brien Trophy in the bubble, but NBA is already back in full actions. This 2020-21 new season, the league is facing unprecedented challenges and unpredictable uncertainties. The whole world is watching, and as a die-hard basketball lover, I cannot be more excited to watch live basketball!
From today till NBA All-Star Weekend, I will share my predictions for the new season. I will cover all kinds of different topics, as long as they are interesting, I will jot down and share my thoughts here.
With 72 regular season games set in placed, this season is going to be a long journey – We get plenty of opportunities to see how players play, how coaches enact game plans, and most importantly, how the narratives will be told. And today, after watching one opening game of Brooklyn Nets vs Golden State Warriors, man… I foresee Nets to win it all in the Eastern Conference Final. (ECF)
Competitors like Bucks, Celtics, 76ers, and even the former ECF winner Heat are nowhere close.
It is all about talents.
NBA is a league with the best talents of the world, and the one with the most usually wins the title. Game theory. Plain and simple. The past decade we witnessed how the talented squads won. Looked at Lakers, Warriors, and even Heat. This Brooklyn team will be the best team New York has ever had in the history and it equips everything to win in the East.
- Superstar: KD and Kyrie combo is the second most elite in the league, only guys named LeBron and AD are better. KD and Kyrie have multiple championship experiences, and some of the finest individual skillsets the league has ever seen. Only one game, I was convinced they are going to be special.
- Playmaker: In the modern small ball era, playmakers are ultra-important. They own the ball, push the pace, and make the right plays. It’s the playmaker’s league. We all saw how LeBron and Rondo controlled the games in the finals. And this team has four guys that can run the floor! No need to mention how capable KD and Kyrie are. Levert and Dinwiddie, two underrated play makers and prolific shot creators, also deserved your attentions.
- Shooter: This group has five elite shooters: Harris, Shamet, Dinwiddie, KD, and Kyrie. They are volume shooter with high accuracy. Harris was former 3 point champion and Shamet has been training with KD off season for few years. Competitors dare to double team KD and Kyrie, sorry other snipers will make you pay. Does this all look very familiar with you? Yes, Splash brothers with KD, the gold dynasty winning formula from Golden State Warriors.
- Rim protectors: Not too long ago we watched how Howard and McGee worn the Joker out in the Western Conference Finals. This team has younger version of two 7 feet big men that are equally, if not better, athletic and agile. DeAndre Jordan and Jarrett Allen will be the nightmares.
Ok now you are probably convinced how loaded the team is.
The next question is – How do they gel? Who is leading the charge?
From head coach stand points, Steve Nash definitely doesn’t have too much in his resume. But based on my personal observations over the years, he got along with players really well. The past few seasons he was being consultant for the Warriors. Yes – That dynasty warriors and he spent much time working together with KD and has built incredible relationship with him. Nash is one of the smartest players on the floor and also as former two-time MVP, I found his interviews full of wisdoms. The way he answered questions reminded me a lot of Steve Kerr. And Kerr is already one of the best coaches.
Besides, the coaching assistant is D’Antoni, who just left the Houston Rockets and joining the Nets coaching staff. People tend to look at him as a mad scientist that is stubborn for limited rotation. Yes! He was indeed stubborn, but let’s not forget he also led the team to 50 wins every season during his time in Houston. He will be a source of immediate solutions when it comes to tough situations for Nash.
Above everything, from the game they played today, I could clearly tell everyone wants to win and play with a mission. KD and Kyrie as leaders demonstrated that up front. After all the incidents outside of the court, this season will be a whole new opportunity for these two insanely gifted basketball gurus to prove the world wrong. I can expect them to put on shows night in night out. From coaching perspectives, Antoni is given a second chance in the east, with less competitions, to prove he can assist his former player Nash, to win it all.
By the way did I tell you the owner Joseph Tsai is already fed up with losing? Trust me, as one of the most successful businessmen in the world, and as one of the richest owners in the league, he will instill this winning mentality to the group. Look at what the front office did in the bay. They built the championship culture from day one. Smart as Joseph, I believe he will learn from the warrior experience and bring that to his team in the east.
X-Factor: KD & Kyries’ health conditions.
Narrative: 72 regular season game is not short, especially for the injured prone Kyrie and newly recovered KD. This is the time for redemption. I will be keen to learn how they re-invent themselves as players and leaders. How they deal with media relationships with some of the toughest journalists in the nation’s capital. And… How their stories will be told throughout the journey.
Which team is your pick?