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Christmas in October is upon us!

It’s that time of year - the NBA is back baby! Wednesday we see the Cleveland Cavaliers raise their banner, in what is bound to be an emotional roller coaster ride in Cleveland (suddenly the city of potential champions with the Indians in the World Series). Will that be too much for them to take on the night? Allowing a new look Knicks team to pounce on them on opening night. Time will tell.

What a contest this will be! Rose v Kyrie, Melo v LeBron, PorzinGOD v K Love. It has great match ups across the board and has NBA fans drooling.

Finishing up opening night we have the most talked about team all summer (Golden State) going up against a team who always flies under the radar, winning 50+ games, the San Antonio Spurs. We all know when the Heat team formed, most basketball purists wanted that team to fail as the idea of a super team was just ridiculous and unfair. Well ladies and gents, we have ourselves a new NBA villain in this Warriors team! Kevin Durant up against Kawhi Leonard, bring that on!!

Yes they’ll be incredibly fun to watch, but every single loss will be scrutinised like no tomorrow and I can’t wait. If the Spurs are smart they don’t run with this Warriors unit and just use Gasol and Aldridge on that low block against an undersized Golden State unit. Easier said than done I guess.

NBA Thursday features a big card, and we get our first look at the OKC Thunder without Durant. Westbrook will be a man on a mission, playing against a Philly team with no Aussie Ben Simmons. It’s very disappointing we won’t get to see him on opening night, but I’m sure it won’t be too long till we see the future golden child of Aussie hoops back out there on court stronger than ever. No doubt this kid’s singlet will be a best seller!! Philly though will still surprise a lot of teams this season, with bigs such as Joel Embiid (coming back from injury himself) and Jahlil Okafor, they won’t have a whole lot to lose. Mike Lazaris was lucky enough to watch them train on his recent business trip to the states and said they looked great, and being such a young team they’re going to be a joy to watch when their whole unit is out there once Simmons is back on the court sooner rather than later.

Getting back to Westbrook though, what kind of numbers can we expect from him this season? Are we going to see him go close to averaging a triple double? If he does it would be impossible for him not to win the MVP.

Last but not least wrapping up Thursdays card the new look LA Lakers go head to head with James Harden’s Houston Rockets. The question on everyone’s mind, will James Harden “pass” the test? James Harden has been given the keys to lead this Houston Rockets offence at point this season. Someone who isn’t known to be one of the greatest passing players in this league, you’ve got to think he has dish the rock to make this thing work.

He also won’t be able to hide this season. Playing point means he would also have to “guard” some of the best in the league. We are talking Steph Curry, Damian Lillard, and Chris Paul. Their eyes will light up seeing him try to maintain them. James was quoted this off season believing he was one of the best defenders in the league. Unless he’s flicked a switch in the offseason, expect to see a lot of this this season!

It’ll be great to watch this match up on opening day, the score board attendant will be busy with the way the Lakers are bound to get up and down the floor this season. Defence will not be high on the agenda come Thursday afternoon!

Here’s my best “semi out there” statements for this season ahead.

  • Indiana Pacers will lock up a top 3 seed in the East. They are stacked and if they stay healthy (always a big IF) then they’ll have the best shot of knocking the king off his throne this season. Boston and Toronto round out the top 4.
  • Houston Rockets will miss the playoffs. The James Harden experiment won’t work, and yes “Houston we have a problem” will be heard a lot this season.
  • Minnesota Timberwolves make the NBA Playoffs. Tibs will have this team ready to go. Yes they’re young, but the crystal ball believes they’re the real deal.
  • Golden State become NBA Champions. No real bold statement here. They’re simply just too talented, and as much as we all want this to fail, it won’t….at least not this year anyway.

Please let us know here at Throwback what your thoughts are for the season, and as always get into the stores for your latest gear so you’re ready to go for the NBA season!!


Dave Bauk

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