All of the new, compelling storylines have helped NBA fans who are in basketball withdrawal, as there has not been a meaningful game since June 8th. The most obvious of these storylines is Lebron James’s move from his hometown Cleveland Cavaliers to the bright lights of Hollywood. ]
James told SB Nation that “the goal is always to win a championship.
Unfortunately for Lakers fans, that probably won’t be happening this season with the juggernaut Warriors and Houston Rockets in their way. Both of those teams made important additions this season as well, with Golden State adding four-time All-Star center DeMarcus Cousins (though he may not play until January) and Houston inking 34-year old Carmelo Anthony.
These three teams will almost definitely make the playoffs in the Western Conference, but after that it’s anybody’s guess.
In the East, about four teams will be looking to be the first team to win the Eastern Conference in the post-LeBron era, where his teams won the last eight conference titles. The Sixers, Celtics, Toronto Raptors, and Indiana Pacers are all vying for the top spot in the East.
Though the “Leastern” Conference, as it is sometimes called, has nowhere near as much depth as the West, it will still be exciting to see who takes over the throne. Additionally, the MVP could come out of the East. Milwaukee’s Giannis Antetokounmpo, Philadelphia’s Joel Embiid, and the Celtics’ Kyrie Irving all are among the favorites to win the award.
The NBA wouldn’t be itself without drama. This drama has arisen in Minnesota, where star Jimmy Butler wants out after just one season with the Timberwolves.
Butler was traded to the Wolves from Chicago before the 2017-18 season, but seems to disapprove of the work ethic of some of this teammates, such as budding superstar Karl-Anthony Towns. Thus, Butler wants out, and isn’t shying away from making it known publicly. According to ESPN, he challenged players, the Wolves’ general manager, and their owner at a practice on October 10th, verbally berating them and saying, “you need me, you can’t win without me,” with a few choice words thrown in.
Wolves coach Tom Thibodeau seems reluctant to trade Butler, though the relationship is clearly fractured and may not be able to be fixed.
The most aggressive team in trade talks, according to multiple outlets, is the Miami Heat, but talks have fizzled. At this point, no one really knows where Butler will end up.
Though it is overwhelmingly likely that the Warriors will win their third straight title, it will still be enjoyable to watch the NBA. In cliché form, it’s about the journey, not the destination.
There are so many storylines that are present now and will surface later that will make the 2018-19 NBA season a drama-filled, action-packed, emotional roller coaster for all NBA fans.