The wait is finally over…
A little over four months since Steph Curry and the Golden State Warriors wrestled the Cleveland Cavaliers into submission in Game 6 of the 2015 NBA Finals, it’s official – basketball is back.
To help get you up-to-speed for the first ball-night of the year, here are six things you need to know about the NBA this season:
The Golden State Warriors are really, really good
Like, scary good.
Not only do they have arguably the best backcourt in the NBA (sorry Wizards fans), including league MVP Steph Curry, and a great young coach in Steve Kerr, they also have time well and truly on their side.
If their core group of starters can stay healthy, expect them to be heading straight back to the Conference Championships at the bare minimum – even with fierce competition in the West to contend with.
Win or bust time for the Cavs
If the West is Golden State’s to lose, the East undoubtedly belongs to the Cavs.
Unfortunately, the regular season isn’t really what counts in Cleveland these days. And after spending over $170 million is salaries and luxury tax, there’s only one thing on everyone’s mind at the Quicken Loans Arena in 2015 – it’s time for the prodigal son to start delivering.
If they can integrate Kevin Love into the system more effectively this time round, and Kyrie Irving can stay injury free, they’ve got a good chance. If not? Expect a whole host of personnel changes next summer.
Sorry David Blatt…
Kobe’s last stand
Oh, how the mamba has fallen.
The man with more self-appointed nicknames than any other athlete in the world will make history on Wednesday, setting a new record for the most seasons played with one franchise.
However, the biggest question on everyone’s lips in LA will be just how long Kobe can keep going. After making a career-worst 37.3 percent of his shots and managing just 35 games last season due to a torn rotator cuff in his right shoulder, could this really be the final season we get to see the five time NBA champ?
Let’s face it, Laker Nation. Father time is undefeated…
The happy trails continue
Aside from Kobe, 2015/6 could be the last year we get to see a whole host of future Hall of Famers.
Kevin Garnett. Manu. Dirk. The Truth. The list goes on. So enjoy them while you can, basketball fans. Because once they’re gone, they’re gone.
Oh, and you know, Metta World Peace. Him too.
The rookie revolution
As sad as it will be to lose some of the game’s greatest players, don’t panic just yet.
The latest rookie class is set to be among the best in the last decade, with players such as overall number one pick Karl-Anthony Towns and the 76ers Jahlil Okafor ready to come in and make an impact from the first tip-off.
There’s also Kristaps Porziņģis. Who should ensure that the Knicks are actually a team worth watching as we start the season. Well, for the first few weeks at least.
The Decision 2: This time it’s Kevin Durant
And finally, free agency. Or, to put it another way, WWKDD (What Will Kevin Durant Do).
The Washington native is in the last year of his contract in OKC, and the Wizards are looming. If the Thunder can’t make it work behind first year coach Billy Donovan, the prospect of a homecoming with John Wall, Bradley Beal & co might be too much of an opportunity to pass up.
We’re sure Russell Westbrook would cope just fine.
The 2015 NBA Season tips off at 00:00 on BT Sport.