In anticipation of this new season that starts tonight in the NBA, we will dive into the “heavy” favorites, the dark “horses” and the “fun to watch” teams of the 2019-2020 version of the league.
The “heavyweights” of the West Conference
LA is going to have an unprecedented chance to have at its disposal two of the best teams in the league. For the first time since 1984, when they moved to Los Angeles, the Clippers are going to be legit title contenders.
The nucleus of last season’s roster remained the same (Beverley, Williams, Zubac, Harrell), while Steve Balmer and Jerry West added Kawhi Leonard and Paul George in a team that made it to the Playoffs last season and won two games against the powerful Golden State Warriors.
In the opening night, the Clips are going to face their rivals and title contenders,Los Angeles Lakers.
On the other hand, the Lakers are a team with full championship mentality and great talent. Five players won characteristically the title in the past 12 years more than one time.
Namely, Lebron has won 3 titles in the past with the Miami Heat and the Cleveland Cavaliers, while JaVale McGee and Quin Cook were part of the Golden State Warriors title run in the 2017-2018.
Moreover, Danny Green was part of the championship crew of the San Antonio Spurs and the Toronto Raptors, while Rajon Rondo, along with Paul Pierce, Kevin Garnet and Ray Allen, brought the title to the Boston Celtics in the 2008 Playoffs.
Lastly, Anthony Davis, who came in the LA this summer, after seven years in New Orleans, to become the co-star of the Lakers squad.
The “heavyweights” of the East Conference
Milwaukee Bucks are coming back this season with aspirations for the title, after the 1970-1971 season in which they won their first ever championship having the young Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Oscar Robertson in their roster.
The Bucks are ready to enter this season with hope to make it to the end and return to the NBA Finals for the first time in 50 years.
The presence of the last seasons’ MVP, Giannis Antetokounmpo, along with Khris Middleton and Eric Bledsoe makes quite the case entering the competition as the favorites in the East, after the 60-win campaign they had the previous year.
On the other hand, the Philadelphia 76ers are setting their sights to become the new “powerhouse” of the Eastern Conference.
Namely, Joel Embiid (if he remains healthy), Ben Simmons, Al Horford, Tobias Harris and Josh Richardson are the best starting-five in the Conference.
It remains to be seen if they can be healthy and ready when it matters. Moreover, Brett Brown will be coaching the Sixers for the 7th consecutive year with the hope of completing the “process” with a title.
Last, but not least, the Sixers will open their season against their arch-rivals, Boston Celtics, at Wells Fargo Center.
Fun to watch teams and “dark” horses
This season we are going to see some great teams in the ΝΒΑ, which could make some noise in the respective conference.
First of all, the back-court duo of the Houston Rockets consisting of James Harden and Russell Westbrook will be an interesting experiment and a title contender under the appropriate circumstances.
Furthermore, the Dallas Mavericks, with Porzingis and Doncic in its squad, will surely contribute to more than the 33-win total of the previous season.
Moreover, the Brooklyn Nets and Boston Celtics will try to change the tides in the Eastern Conference based on the guard play of Kyrie Irving and Kemba Walker, respectively.
Also, the last season’s finalists (the Raptors and the Warriors) are determinable teams, while superstars like Steph Curry and Pascal Siakam are ready to enter the game.
Lastly, we cannot forget about the Denver Nuggets and the Portland Blazers, which had some great “battles” in last seasons’ Playoff.