NBA 2016-17 Season Preview
On 25th of October 2016 a match between the last year’s champions Cleveland Cavaliers and New York Knicks will open a start of the 71th season of National Basketball Association. The regular season will last for 6 months, with 30 teams playing each other in 82 matches and it will come to the end on 12th of April. The Play-offs will then begin on 15th of April.
First, let’s recap the last season
Golden State Warriors were a favourite in many people’s minds, as they dominated the 2014/15 season, giving them the first title in 40 years. The question was, can they repeat their success? Golden State wanted to show the world their success in the previous season was not based by luck. The message they wanted to show us is that they will keep being the powerhouse of NBA. Quite frankly they were on a good way to repeat their success, but Cleveland Cavaliers had other plans. Cleveland was a team, that was not expected to achieve a high finish, at least not by majority of people. But they soon showed they should not be underestimated, as they have finished 1st in Eastern Conference, with Toronto Raptors close behind.
Fast forward to the final match, Golden State Warriors faced Cleveland Cavaliers. This was the final we have seen in previous season, only to have a different outcome. It was the 14th rematch of previous NBA Finals in NBA history and the first Finals in which number one seed in each conference met since 2008 (Boston Celtics vs Los Angeles Lakers). Golden State earned the home court advantage (due to their best overall record during regular season; 73-9), which gave them a confident lead (2:0). But the match played in Cleveland showed us completely different picture and it was a sign we were in for a spectacular fight for the title. At home Cleveland won (120-90) in the game 3. Golden State quickly responded with a win in game 4, thus giving them a 3-1 lead. It seemed as it was all over for Cleveland, or was it? Next 3 games, Cleveland showed us all “It’s not over until the fat lady sings”, and she did, in Cleveland’s favour. This astonishing achievement gave Cleveland a name in the books as the first team to successfully overcome a 3-1 deficit as well as their 1st Championship title.
I might also mention other teams that left their mark in 2015/16 season, not by winning but by other means. One of those teams were San Antonio Spurs, who placed a new team record and second best record in the NBA with 67 wins on the wings of LaMarcus Aldridge and Kawhi Leonard. The return of Kevin Durant to Oklahoma City’s line-up brought back the Thunder dominance in Northwest Division, as well as achieving 3rd spot finish in the West.
Other information about 2015/16 NBA Season:
Regular season: October 27, 2015 – April 13, 2016
Playoffs: April 16, 2016 – May 30, 2016
Finals: June 2, 2016 – June 19, 2016
Top draft pick: Karl-Anthony Towns (Minnesota Timberwolves)
Season MVP: Stephen Curry
Top Scorer: Stephen Curry
And now, for the 2016/17 season
Fall is probably the favourite season for basketball fans around the world. When the temperatures slowly drop, it’s time to get your blanket, sit in front of a TV and wait for the start of a new season of the strongest basketball league in the world. The NBA. Slowly a new season of NBA approaches, and with that a new chapter in the history book of sports. This season we will see new stories being written, new talents being discovered and for sure we will see many thrilling games, as 30 teams from around the USA strive to show their fans and the world, that they deserve the title. Every season has its own rhythm, which is determined by the teams, who were training hard during the summer, with the intention to step into the new season stronger, faster and better than their previous season. In the end, when a team wins, it’s not only the team that celebrates. It’s much bigger than that. Fans and the city from which the team comes all feel that energy. It’s just the way of the sport world, which gives it its charm. With the upcoming season there are many questions in a need of an answer. Who will win, how will each team perform in this season, will we see any player rising to being a new star for his team and much more. The problem is there is no good answer for those questions, but we can analyse each team for the upcoming season and give you a better insight on how will they perform. For a better transparency, I will divide them into divisions they play in. Check below for the links.
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