Golden State and
Cleveland: Round 4. Golden State in 6. Surprise surprise.
The Warriors have
shaken up the NBA since winning the Finals in June, and the only main piece
they lost on their roster is Ros. The West is stacked, especially looking at
Houston, OKC, and Minnesota, but the Warriors team chemistry is unparalleled.
The one thing that every championship team has is the one key piece more
important than talent: team chemistry. It inspires heart. It puts everyone on
the same page. It naturally creates a willingness to execute and win. It also
makes basketball fun for players and fans alike.
It’s going to take
more than a season for any other team to build chemistry like that; however, being that teams
will be so frustrated that they can’t recreate this kind of success, pieces
will continue to flutter about among the league. Steph, Klay, and Draymond are going
into their fifth season together. It took three seasons for them to go from a
perennial second-round team with the Clippers to an overnight success. Adding Durant seamlessly is like a nicely-fitted nitro booster on a car in a Need for Speed video game.
Cleveland has the
famed bromance of LeBron and Dwyane Wade. They were in the same Draft, and have
shared Olympic, All-Star, and Finals moments alike. I have no doubt that their
chemistry is going to be dynamic this season, and that Wade will be inspired to
return to his Father Prime state. What concerns me are the other pieces
aforementioned in the beginning of this post. Again, Tristan Thompson and J.R.
Smith are now on the bench. Richard Jefferson, the spirit of the bench and
podcast co-host on LeBron’s Uninterrupted company, is now in Denver. Much of
the organization is still reeling from Kyrie’s departure; even with Wade, Rose,
and Crowder as new additions, they’re going to miss a dazzling scorer in Kyrie.
Houston reminds me
of Chicago last season: too many ball-dominant guards. It’s the same Rockets, but with a new face
on the roster in Chris Paul. They don’t win the opener if Draymond didn’t suffer an injury.
OKC may have a
less stressed Melo, but I’m interested to see how this team chemistry will work
with him, a proven leader and ride or die in Russell Westbrook, and a Paul
George who could use OKC as a pit stop before going to LA (would he want to
pull a Hibbert, though? Or Howard? Or Lin?). What’s funny to me is that Houston tried to get Melo twice and still lost him.
My dark horse
candidates are the Spurs, Bucks, and Timberwolves.
Spurs are always
in contention thanks to Pop. Kawhi will continue to be a silent force in the
league. They’re like Notre Dame Football traditions: heavily reliant on old
school fundamentals. What they need to do this season is play with a little
more youthfulness while relying on veteran skills. Watching them makes me age 10
years, but if that’s their style of basketball, so be it.
The Bucks are
going to be nice this year. Giannis Antetokounmpo is an early MVP candidate,
but many also forget that they have 2017 Rookie of the Year Malcolm Brogdon,
the first Buck with the honor since Lew Alcindor. They also have a veteran
agitator and 2011 champ in Jason Terry to compliment fellow agitator Matthew
Dellavedova. Top it off with a 7′1″ rookie in Thon Maker, Khris Middleton, a healthy Jabari Parker, and Greg Monroe, and you have a pretty solid squad.
made the best offseason moves. They acquired Jimmy Butler on Draft Night,
reuniting him with Thibs and his defensive philosophy. Taj Gibson also came
from the Chicago philosophy. The key to their season is to stop tanking. There
are no more excuses with Butler and a more mature Andrew Wiggins and Karl
Anthony Towns. They also have a veteran marksman in Jamal Crawford.
It’s going to be
another fun NBA season with a predictable ending.
NBA enforced a dress code, the players have upped their style game becoming
some of the best dress pro-athletes on the planet. Dwyane Wade, Russell
Westbrook, LeBron James and Carmelo Anthony are just a few ballers who have
embraced their inner fashionista’s, raising the swag of the league.
if players could take their stylish tastes to the court? Well, fashion
illustrator Meagan Morrison brought that idea to life, as she created these
creative high fashion jerseys.