Saturday, September 22, 2007

5 NBA Stories to Watch

Even though the NBA season is still over a month away, here is a list of 5 stories which should be interesting to see for the upcoming 2007-08 NBA Season. There's been some big moves in the offseason, some free agent signings that really helped the Eastern Conference and of course the Tim Donaghy referee scandal which hangs over the NBA's head as it enters the season.

1) The Triple Threat in Boston - KG, Pierce, Allen
A no brainer for the top story of the upcoming season. Will the 3 stars co-exist? Will they bring back Celtic glory? It seems obvious that they are destined to hit the playoffs, but the bigger question is how much farther will they go once they're in? It will definitely be a fun season to watch for Celtics fans with plenty of highlight reel plays.

2) Kevin Durant - ROY top candidate
During the summer there was a vote put out to all rookies asking who they thought will be the Rookie of the Year for this season. Interestingly enough, Durant won the vote. He seems to have a "clear path" to the award now due to the unfortunate injury to Greg Oden. Durant should be extremely fun to watch this year and provide some great highlights on ESPN Sportscenter. Don't expect the Sonics to be in the playoffs, but expect Durant to win the Rookie of the Year.

3)The NBA rules & Commissioner Stern
It will be interesting to see how much effect the Tim Donaghy story has had on Stern's watch over the other referees now. Will Stern change rules as the season progresses? Will we hear about referees receiving fines for making bad calls? This should be interesting because many have commented how distressed David Stern appeared over the whole incident. How will the Commish handle the pressure?

4)How Will the Cavs Bounce Back?
The Cleveland Cavaliers were severely outmatched in the Finals this past season. The Spurs had too much firepower and depth for Lebron's gang to handle. Now usually when a superstar receives that sort of beatdown, it only makes them hungrier for the title. How will Lebron and the Cavs respond to the Finals disappointment this year? Will they be back again or will another Eastern team take over?

5)A Stronger Eastern Conference?
The knock on the Eastern Conference for the past several years has been its weakness (despite having guys like Shaq, Lebron, D-Wade and 2 NBA title winning teams: Detroit and Miami). With the free agent signings such as Rashard Lewis going to Orlando, KG and Ray Allen going to Boston, the Knicks getting Zach Randolph, it seems as if the East is ready to contend and shake off that "weak" label its been wearing. It's tough to say which Eastern team will be the Finals contender, and you could easily look at 5-6 teams as potential candidates.

Overall this is going to make for one very interesting 2007-08 NBA season...

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