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2017 NBA Preview

Which+team+will+be+crowned+champion+this+year%3F
Which team will be crowned champion this year?

Which team will be crowned champion this year?

Photo courtesy of logodesignlove.com

Photo courtesy of logodesignlove.com

Which team will be crowned champion this year?

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It’s Game 7 of the NBA Finals. With time winding down and the game tied at 89, the Cleveland Cavalier’s young star, Kyrie Irving, launches a three pointer. The ball flies through the air as the crowd full of Golden State fans holds its breath. The ball arcs toward the rim and finds its way through the hoop. The Cavs win the 2016 NBA championship!

That’s how last year’s NBA season ended, but what about this year? Will the Cavs repeat? Will the Golden State Warriors avenge their bitter loss in The Finals? Let’s preview the 2017 NBA season by first looking at all the trades, free-agent signings, and retirements that took place during the off-season.

The big free-agent question this past summer was which team Oklahoma City superstar Kevin Durant would choose. After being heavily courted by the Celtics, Clippers, Heat, Spurs, and Warriors, Durant, the seven-time NBA All-Star and former league MVP (2014), chose the Golden State Warriors, making last year’s runner up (who broke the NBA record for wins in a season with 73) the heavy favorite to win the title this year. The Warriors will definitely be stacked because they have added Durant to a list of players that includes two-time reigning MVP Steph Curry, two-time All-Star and reigning three-point champion Klay Thompson, 2015 NBA Finals MVP Andre Iguodala, and two-time NBA All-Defensive First Team selection Draymond Green. However, there may be one problem with this terrifying team: Kevin Durant was used to getting the ball fed to him a lot when he played for the Thunder, but with so many superstars on the Warriors, will it affect his game? We may just have to wait and see.

Meanwhile, some other teams also improved this offseason as Derrick Rose left the Chicago Bulls to sign with the New York Knicks, Al Horford bolted from the Atlanta Hawks to sign with the Boston Celtics, and Dwyane Wade said goodbye to the Miami Heat to sign with the Bulls.

“The biggest trade of the offseason is Derrick Rose to the Knicks,” said seventh grader and avid Knicks fan Will DiMaio. He’s very happy about the trade as New York will look to Rose, the oft-injured but former Rookie of the Year and league MVP, to revitalize a Knicks organization that hasn’t won an NBA title since 1973.

However, since we all live in Florida, most students follow the Miami Heat. The Heat had a great run, making four straight NBA Finals appearances between 2011-14, winning back-to-back championships in 2012 and 2013. However, with the departure of LeBron James prior to the 2015 season, the recent shelving of 11-time All-Star Chris Bosh due to blood-clotting issues, and Dwayne Wade’s signing with Chicago this past summer, the Heat franchise is a shell of its former self. Yet some students are still optimistic. “I think the Heat are going to do very well even though they don’t have Dwyane Wade and Lebron James,” said seventh grader Sai Chigurupati.

The Cavs, with James, Kyrie Irving, and Kevin Love, still seem to be the favorites in the East. However, with four-time All-Star Horford joining the Celtics, Rose signing with the Knicks, and Wade going to the Bulls, King James and his Cavaliers could face some stiff competition.

The Warriors are still the team to beat in the West, but don’t count out the San Antonio Spurs. Although their superstar center Tim Duncan retired (future Hall of Famers Kobe Bryant from the Los Angeles Lakers and Kevin Garnett from the Minnesota Timberwolves also called it quits this year), the Spurs have won three NBA titles in the last 11 years under Head Coach Gregg Popovich. In addition, the Los Angeles Clippers, behind Chris Paul, DeAndre Jordan, and Blake Griffin, may be the second-best team in the West. There’s also the Oklahoma City Thunder who still have Russell Westbrook.

We’ll have to see how it shakes out, but as for me, I think this year’s Finals will be a rematch of last year’s championship with the Golden State Warriors facing off against the Cleveland Cavaliers. However, with Durant on their side, I predict the Warriors will come out on top this year with Steph Curry once again snagging the regular season MVP award.

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2 Comments

2 Responses to “2017 NBA Preview”

  1. Tre Williams on October 17th, 2016 4:13 pm

    Great Article, I think that the San Antonio Spurs will win the NBA Finals. I think that the Warriors have a super team and usually to much star power is not the answer. If i had to pick with my heart SIXERS ARE WINNING IT ALL BABYYYYYYYYY

    [Reply]

  2. Bobby on October 22nd, 2016 5:42 am

    Warriors will be one of the all time great basketball dynasties. That they could get even better is incomprehnesible!

    [Reply]

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2017 NBA Preview