NBA season preview and predictions

 PHOTO COURTESY OF WIKIMEDIA COMMONS REIGNING NBA MVP Stephen Curry shoots a three-point shot as Washington Wizards’ Nene looks on. Curry and the Warriors will be looking to duplicate their success from a season ago, while fending off competition from Houston and Oklahoma City.

PHOTO COURTESY OF WIKIMEDIA COMMONS / REIGNING NBA MVP Stephen Curry shoots a three-point shot as Washington Wizards’ Nene looks on. Curry and the Warriors will be looking to duplicate their success from a season ago, while fending off competition from Houston and Oklahoma City.

Published: October 30, 2015

Commentary by
PATRICK MALANGA

The 2015-2016 NBA season is officially upon us, and there is much to be excited about. Last year the level of competition was extremely high, and after an interesting offseason fans should expect even better.

After an awe-inspiring campaign, reigning NBA MVP and champion Stephen Curry looks to lead the Golden State Warriors to a second straight title. Last year’s Warriors team posted the best record in franchise history and is focused to continue similar success this season. However, Golden State will have to begin the season without its head coach, Steve Kerr, as he recovers from back surgery.

LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers will try to bounce back after their NBA Finals loss last season and win their long awaited first championship. This offseason, Cleveland bolstered its roster hoping to help James reach his remarkable sixth straight Finals appearance. Cleveland, however, will start the season awaiting the return of its all-star point guard, Kyrie Irving, as he recovers from a knee injury he suffered during one of last year’s Finals. After a surprising early playoff exit last year, the San Antonio Spurs will try to get back to their winning ways. San Antonio had the most successful offseason by signing veteran all-stars LaMarcus Aldridge and David West. The Spurs have been extremely successful over the past decade and will try to give their legendary Coach Gregg Popovich and player Tim Duncan one last championship run.

James Harden and the Houston Rockets try to recover from their loss in last year’s Western Conference Finals. Although Curry won the NBA MVP, Harden was selected MVP by the NBA players association at its first award ceremony. Last year, however, he ended on a low note by posting the most turnovers in playoff history, 13, during game five of the Western Conference Finals in which his team was eliminated.

The Oklahoma City Thunder is coming off a season in which they missed the playoffs for the first time in six seasons. After a year in which its two best players, Russell Westbrook and Kevin Durant, both missed significant time due to injuries, the now healthy team looks to get back to the playoffs. The team also hired former University of Florida two-time national champion head coach Billy Donovan. Kevin Durant is eligible for free agency after this season, so the team’s success is critical to Durant’s resignation.

The upcoming NBA season will be filled with excitement. My Finals prediction is the Thunder versus the Cavaliers with Oklahoma City winning the championship in six games.

Contact the writer: patrick.malanga@scranton.edu

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