Today is a glorious day for basketball fans all over the world, as the 2016 to 2017 NBA season kicks off tonight. The night will start with the Cleveland Cavaliers receiving their rings for their championship win June of 2016. The Cavaliers will face a tough test repeating with not only a fully stocked, Golden State Warriors team to deal with, but a more powerful and more balanced Eastern Conference.
A lot of fans may be down on the regular season this year because everyone expects a repeat of last year’s finals matchup with the Golden State Warriors and Cleveland Cavaliers facing off again in the 2017 NBA Finals. However, that would not be a good idea, as there is still a lot of games to play in the NBA season, and there are a lot of hungry teams.
One team that NBA fans, pundits, and sports journalist should be watching is the Utah Jazz. The Jazz have added more veteran presence, with the addition of Spurs Forward Boris Diaw and Joe Johnson. The Jazz have been a team that has been steadily on the rise the last few years. I think they will contend for a playoff spot in the Western Conference. Now they have added shooting and passing to a team led by Center and one of the best defensive big men in the league, Rudy Gobert. Gobert is a defensive specialist; he is one of the top rebounders and shot blockers in the league.
Another team that will surprise a lot of people this year is the Orlando Magic. The Magic also added some star power trading for Center and Power Forward Serge Ibaka. Ibaka adds some defensive help and some shooting to a defensively challenged Magic squad. The Magic add Ibaka’s shooting to a franchise that has rising star and all-star dunker Aaron Gordon, point guard Elfrid Payton, and one of the best big men in the league Nikola Vucevic. The Magic now have a strong defensive presence in the paint with Ibaka and Vucevic. We will see if they can really make some noise and fight for a playoff spot.
Not only that there are a lot of old faces in new places this year, Dwayne Wade decided to take his talents to the windy city, Dwight Howard signed with the Atlanta Hawks, Pau Gasol went to the Spurs, and Al Horford joined the Celtics. There are a lot of things to be excited for as this season kicks off, and it should be a really great season to watch all these teams try to spoil the Cavaliers chances at repeating this year.