The NBA has five intriguing story lines, and each one will continue to grow as the season heads into June.
1. The Los Angeles Lakers
The Lakers are important to watch simply because they are always filled with stars. Phil Jackson will be looking for his fourth 3-peat, which has never been done before. Kobe Bryant will be looking to draw a little bit closer to Michael Jordan, if he can attain his sixth championship ring. The Lakers as a team will be looking for their 17th title as they only need one more title to tie Boston for most championships.
2. The Boston Celtics
Out of all the teams in the NBA this year, the Celtics are the team to watch. They can still remember losing a 13- point lead in the second half and watching the confetti fall down as the Lakers celebrated. The pain of still losing is fresh in their mind, and that should motivate them to getting back to the championship. Also, the Celtics upgraded in an area where they had to upgrade. Shaquille O’Neal and Jermaine O’ Neal will add size, so if the Celtics get back to the Finals they won’t be dominated in the paint like last year against the Lakers.
3. The Miami Heat
Everyone is focused on one team this year and that is the Heat. They are stacked with three potential Hall of Fame players. Lebron James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh will get the Heat to the playoffs, but the question is can they all gel in time to win the NBA Finals this year? Will the role players step up? What will happen if one of the big three gets hurt? Can their head coach Erik Spoelstra handle the pressure of dealing with three huge egos? All these questions must be answered if the Heat expects to be holding up the Larry O’ Brian trophy in June.
4. Oklahoma City Thunder
If there is one sleeper team, it is the Thunder. The Thunder finished last season with 50 wins, which was a big jump from there win total of 23 wins a year before. Kevin Durant a.k.a. Durantulla led the league with 30 points per game and helped his team fight the Lakers tooth and nail as they lost in a tough six game series. However, now the Thunder are wiser and talented players like forward Jeff Green and point guard Russell Westbrook have the playoff experience under their belt, which will take some of the pressure off Durant to be the man all the time this season.
5. John Wall/ Blake Griffin
The last reason to watch the NBA this year is John Wall and Blake Griffin. Wall is coming out of Kentucky averaging 16.6 points per game. He is a 6-foot-4 point guard with lighting quick moves that should give plenty of team’s headaches. Wall could eventually change the guard position because he can create for his teammates and make plenty of shots on his own. He is on a weak Washington Wizards team, but his play will help him stand out even on a terrible team. On the other hand there is Griffin. He is drawing comparisons to Charles Barkley because he is 6-foot-10 forward with agile move like a point guard. He is playing for the terrible Los Angeles Clippers, but it should be interesting to see what he does nonetheless.