NBA Is Absolutely Thriving
This is the most exciting and competitive season I can remember in years. I really couldn’t understand why the last issue of ESPN the Magazine was bringing up the “image problem” of the NBA. What’s the problem? The way I see it, the NBA is thriving right now. What we witnessed over the last month in terms of trades, signing, and roster movement, was most likely unprecedented. It’s like every team is fighting, clawing, and scratching their way to try and come out on top in what’s become a lion’s den lately. And I’m only talking about the Western Conference. As it stands, all eight teams that would make the playoffs in the West have winning percentages over .600. The Nuggets wouldn’t even make the playoffs despite being more than 10 games over .500. This is the same team that also set the season high mark for points scored in a game last night. That’s absolutely insane.
In the Eastern Conference, the teams are much weaker top-to-bottom, but the top teams are fighting to improve. The Cavs shook up their roster adding Ben Wallace, Joe Smith, Delonte West, and Wally Szczerbiak. The Celtics just signed veteran P.J. Brown for depth. The Pistons keep rolling along, while the Magic did their damage in the off-season signing Rashard Lewis. The Western Conference saw the Lakers acquire Pau Gasol for nearly nothing, setting off a chain reaction. First the Suns took a risk getting Shaq, then the Spurs got Kurt Thomas, and then the Mavs responded by getting Jason Kidd, and the Hornets even got Mike James and Bonzi Wells. That’s not to mention the Jazz acquisition of Kyle Korver. Nobody is content letting their team stand as is; they all are hyper-competitive trying to win.
Oddsmakers have installed the Lakers as 2:1 favorites to win the title, but truthfully it’s completely up for grabs. It’s wide open, and best part is there are so many teams out there who not only want to win, but are fully capable of winning. Honestly, there are 10 different teams I could easily picture being handed the trophy by David Stern at the end of the season. There’s not going to be one easy matchup in the playoffs — the eight seed will be nearly as tough as the top seed in the West come the post-season. I don’t know about you, but I’m loving what I’m seeing right now, and I credit all the active GMs and owners for making this the most exciting season in memory. It’s like watching a fantasy basketball season unfold between a bunch of drunk fraternity boys, only this is real life!