A look into the new NBA season
By Erik Pinto, Contributor
One of the most highly anticipated NBA seasons in the past decade has finally begun. But before we indulge in the highlights of the first week, let’s analyze what moves were made this past offseason.
The 2016–17 NBA offseason was long, grueling, and full of action. It included multiple blockbuster deals that will see big names in new jerseys. The prominent New York Knicks acquired several key players, with their most substantial being Derrick Rose. As his replacements, the Bulls brought Dwyane Wade home to “The Windy City” and added a dynamic playmaker in Rajon Rondo. In the Eastern Conference, the Atlanta Hawks managed to acquire star centre Dwight Howard from Houston. Last, but certainly not least, the Golden State Warriors made the biggest deal this offseason when they acquired former MVP Kevin Durant from the Thunder. It was a deal that sent the basketball world into shock, because the Warriors are the last team to be needing a superstar. Their impressive and record breaking 74 wins in a season made them seem invincible. They are even more so now, after contracting arguably the second best player in the league. The majority of basketball fans viewed this move as unfair, as the Warriors now come into the new season with what seems to be an unstoppable team.
Let’s not forget, however, that despite their invincible regular season, the Warriors ultimately lost in the finals to Lebron James and his Cleveland Cavaliers. With the addition of Durant this new season, the anticipation for basketball was immense. Both finals teams began their seasons on the same note that they ended them. The Cavs raised their championship banner and followed it with a dominating victory over the Knicks, with LeBron James putting up a triple double. As for the Warriors, they fell to the San Antonio Spurs by 29 points in a massive performance by runner up MVP Kawhi Leonard, who scored a career high 35 points and highlighted the opening day of basketball.
Day two brought even more excitement and outstanding performances. Every superstar seemed to be making a statement for their MVP candidacy. Anthony Davis dropped 50 points and had 16 rebounds despite the Pelicans falling to the Nuggets. DeMar DeRozan had 40 on the night followed up by big man Jonas Valanciunas who had 30 himself, collectively lifting the Raptors past Detroit. Russell Westbrook was one assist shy of a triple double, leading the Durant-less Thunder past a struggling 76ers team. Finally, to end day two, James Harden had himself a night, scoring 34 points and passing his way to a career high 17 assists.
All of this means one thing. Basketball is officially back, with stunning performances and superstars in different jerseys. Only this time LeBron is King, the Warriors are out for revenge, and KD has hopped on the bandwagon.