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Five Things to Know Going Into The 2018-2019 NBA Season

Luke Dewey, Editor

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Celtics Are Kings Of The East

The Boston Celtics proved last year that they were big contenders for the NBA Finals with one exciting exception: they did it without Kyrie Irving and Gordon Hayward-  the club’s best two players. Boston’s run to the Eastern Conference was very impressive with the young talents of Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown showing that they have the New England playoff mentality. Now, with Kyrie and Gordon back and their biggest competition – Lebron James – shipped out of Cleveland, the Celtics are now in the perfect position for a Championship run.

New Competition In The West

For 15 seasons, Lebron James has been back and forth on teams in the Eastern Conference and it seems like he has never given any other team the chance to make it to the finals. However, after James made his shocking decision to sign with the Los Angeles Lakers this summer, the West are clearly the most competitive Conference going into the new season which will face Lebron with more of a challenge. Other additions in the Conference include Carmelo Anthony to the Houston Rockets – who will remain a question until fans see if he can fit into head coach Mike D’Antoni’s rotation. Lastly, there is the addition of Deandre Jordan to the Mavericks. Deandre will bring helpful defense and rebounding to pair with Dallas’ promising young roster. With all this in mind, itis looking like Lebron James won’t have his free ride to the Finals anymore now that he is with L.A.

The Jimmy Butler Situation

At the end of the regular season last year, rumors started to spread that star guard Jimmy Butler wasn’t happy with his younger teammates. Consequently, it wasn’t much of a suprise when news broke that Butler had requested a trade to the Timberwolves front office. Andrew Wiggins, small forward of the Timberwolves, was thought to be one of the players having issues with Jimmy Butler. In a response to the initial report of the trade request, Wiggins’ brother responded in a tweet saying, “Hallelujah,” obviously referencing his brother and Butler’s apparent ‘beef’. According to nbcsports.com, Karl-Anthony Towns, another young talent, won’t sign his contract extension with the Timberwolves until the Jimmy Butler situation is handled. All in all, it seems like Minnesota’s attempt to build their franchise around a star like Butler is now crumbling apart with possible rebuilding seasons now on the horizon.

Rookie Profiles: Deandre Ayton, Luka Doncic, and Marvin Bagley

It seems like with each new NBA season comes more and more exciting draft classes and this year is no different. Deandre Ayton, Luka Doncic, and Marvin Bagley are just three of the best names out of this years draft and they all have the potential to turn their individual franchises around. Deandre Ayton is looking to be the perfect big man to run alongside rising star Devin Booker in Phoenix. The Suns are still very young but the new addition of this dominant scoring center is one step closer to becoming a real contender in the West. Luka Doncic is the NBA’s newest and very promising international phenom. Doncic is extremely versatile with his 6’7’’ height to pair with his electric quickness of a guard. He is definitely going to improve he Dallas Mavericks in their rebuilding process and will remain on GM’s radar going forward in his early career. Lastly is Marvin Bagley, the Duke star who averaged 21 points and 11 rebounds in his time as a Blue Devil. Drafted by the Sacramento Kings, Bagley will serve as one of their main scorers and post presences in hopes of getting the struggling organization back on its feet. Overall, it is a draft class full of potential and only time will tell which rookies will come out on top.

Warriors Are Still Unstoppable…For Now

Pretty much every NBA fan going into the summer of 2018 couldn’t imagine the Golden State Warriors getting better than they already were. With the shocking signing 2 years ago of Kevin Durant, the Warriors looked like they had officially assembled the greatest team in the history of the NBA, if they didn’t already the year before Durant joined. But, when everyone thought things could not possibly get worse, Demarcus Cousins, easily a top 3 center in the league, signed with the Warriors on a one year, mid-level exception, $5 million deal this past summer. The center was the only position that the Warriors were really missing and now Cousins will fill that gap perfectly. Golden State remains an offensive powerhouse with a starting lineup of Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson, Kevin Durant, Draymond Green, and now, Demarcus Cousins. The Warriors -if they stay healthy- are basically locked in for a Finals run again but after this year, things will most definitely change. Since Cousins is on a minimum deal, there is almost no way Golden State will keep Demarcus without getting rid of one of their stars or somehow paying upwards of $26 million for him, which they can’t do without going over their salary cap. Until then, a miracle is needed to beat this dynasty that is the Golden State Warriors; hopefully that miracle is the Boston Celtics.

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Five Things to Know Going Into The 2018-2019 NBA Season