2016-2017 NBA Season Preview: Storylines To Watch This Year

2016-17-nba-regular-season-kevin-durant-lebron-james-russell-westbrook

Basketball season is officially here with the Knicks invading Cleveland tonight to kick off the 2016-2017 campaign. I really can’t think of another season with this many storylines going into it. A ton of faces in new places, as well as imagining an NBA without legends like Duncan, Kobe and KG. Everyone will have their eyes on the super-team in Golden State, so there will not be any shortage of drama this regular season. The DailyMixReport has you covered with LTS and DG’s Five Things to Watch, as well as our picks to win it all this NBA season.


LTS: Kevin Durant Fitting In With The Warriors 

Everyone’s going to dissect every move Kevin Durant makes while he takes the floor for Golden State this year. It is such an interesting dynamic. A 73 win team added a top 3 NBA player. I can’t get over it. It’s absolute madness and it’s unprecedented in this league. I can’t wait to see how KD fits in as a piece to the puzzle for the Dubs.

Heavy.com
Heavy.com

DG: The Warriors Are The New Bad Guys

Like LTS stated, Kevin Durant to the Warriors is still an unfathomable thing to consider. A 73 TEAM ADDED A TOP 3 NBA PLAYER. How is that possible? You know, I’m not even in the camp of “What Kevin Durant did was wrong.” Sure, was it a little of “if you can’t beat em, join em?” That’s fair. However, I will never fault a guy for leaving for either one of two things: 1) Better chance to win. 2) More Money. Durant didn’t want to continue playing with Westbrook and went to a better situation for him to win. Can’t fault that. I still will love watching the Warriors play, but like it or not, they are the new bad guys of the NBA.


LTS: The Knicks Are Back 

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Giphy

Expectations are sky-high for our New York Knicks, and health will be the key factor. With so many new parts, including a new coach and three starters, I think we struggle off the bat. We should end up around the 4-6 seed with about 45 wins. Brandon Jennings Will Win 6th Man Of The Year.

DG: The Knicks Are (Hopefully) Back

It’s no secret that LTS and myself live and die by the New York Knicks. I can honestly say that this is the most excited I have been for a season since Amare’s first year. On paper, this team should compete for a middle seed in the East. On paper, this team can win a playoff series. On paper, there is no reason why this team should be under .500. Once again, I go in hoping for the best. Stay healthy, and we’ll make the playoffs. Get hurt, and it’s back to dumpster.


LTS: Russell Westbrook Revenge Tour 

Russell Westbrook is going to play like an absolute madman this year. I think he sets a record for usage rate, and will be a joy to watch. I can’t wait until he matches up with KD and the Warriors. The Thunder are still going to be a solid team and will make the playoffs as Westbrook puts together an MVP caliber 2016.

DG: The Celtics Are The 2nd Best Team In The Eastern Conference

This kills me to say, but I am so jealous of what the Celtics have done the past couple of years. All of the draft picks and trades are starting to pay off. Brad Stevens is the second best coach in the NBA behind Greg Popovich. The fact that he’s turned forgotten guys like Jae Crowder and Avery Bradley into solid NBA players is amazing. The addition of Al Horford helps out in the post a lot. Although I feel this is not their year, I truly believe they are one superstar away from legitimately competing with Cleveland in the East.

Celtics
Celtics

LTS: Who Are The Chicago Bulls?

D-Wade shocked everyone when he left the 305 for his hometown Chicago Bulls. To make it even crazier, the Bulls brought in the enigmatic Rajon Rondo. You could have a reality show with those two thrown in with Jimmy Butler on the floor. Fred Hoiberg is going to have his hands full this year. He better have a shit ton of Advil ready.

DG: If The Clippers Do Not Make The Western Conference Finals, Chris Paul Or Blake Griffin Will Leave Next Summer

I’ve actually been saying this to LTS for awhile. I’m not sure how the Clippers have had their nucleus in tact for the past couple years. Every year, you hear how confident they are and that “this is the year to go far” but time and time again, it never happens. I truthfully thought that after they blew a 3-1 lead to the Rockets two years ago, the Clippers would blow up the team and start over. Last year, injuries plagued them in the playoffs. If they don’t make AT LEAST the Western Conference Finals, someone will leave. My guess is Chris Paul, but it would not shock me if they tried to trade Blake Griffin.


LTS: Tom Thibodeau Helps The Timberwolves Grow Up

The Wolves made some serious strides last year with an abundance of young talent. Kudos to them for going out and bringing in one of the best basketball minds in the game in Thibodeau. He will have these kids ready as Wiggins and KAT make the leap to become All-Star level players. Thibs leads the Timberwolves to the playoffs and wins Coach of The Year honors.

Quickmeme
Quickmeme

DG: Damian Lillard Will Win MVP Of The League

Damian Lillard wants to win the MVP and he will win it this year. All of the oddsmakers are saying it will be either Russell Westbrook or James Harden, but do not sleep on Lillard. The guy is a stud and showed me a lot of guts last year in the playoffs. Look for him to be at the top of the scoring leaders. If he can somehow secure a Top 4 seed for the Blazers, he will win the MVP.


EAST – LTS

  1. Cleveland Cavaliers
  2. Boston Celtics
  3. Toronto Raptors
  4. Indiana Pacers
  5. New York Knicks
  6. Chicago Bulls
  7. Atlanta Hawks
  8. Charlotte Hornets

EAST – DG

  1. Cleveland Cavaliers
  2. Boston Celtics
  3. Toronto Raptors
  4. Chicago Bulls
  5. New York Knicks
  6. Indiana Pacers
  7. Charlotte Hornets
  8. Atlanta Hawks

Conference Finals –

LTS: Cavaliers Over Celtics

DG: Cavaliers Over Celtics

WEST – LTS

  1. Golden State Warriors
  2. Los Angeles Clippers
  3. San Antonio Spurs
  4. Portland Trail Blazers
  5. Oklahoma City Thunder
  6. Minnesota Timberwolves
  7. Utah Jazz
  8. Memphis Grizzlies

WEST – DG

  1. Golden State Warriors
  2. San Antonio Spurs
  3. Oklahoma City Thunder
  4. Portland Trail Blazers
  5. Los Angels Clippers
  6. Memphis Grizzlies
  7. Dallas Mavericks
  8. Minnesota Timberwolves

Conference Finals –

LTS: Warriors Over Clippers

DG: Warriors Over Spurs

NBA Finals – 

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LTS: Cavaliers Over Warriors – LeBron defeats the super-team out West to capture his 4th title and passes Michael Jordan as the greatest ever #TheValidationSeason. Plus anyone who can carry J.R. Smith, who just got a huge contract, and someone dating a Kardashian (Tristan Thompson and Khloe Kardashian) to a ring is the GOAT.

DG: Cavaliers Over Warriors – Wow, LTS and I agreeing a lot? That’s a first. That being said, this just reminds me of when Lebron went to Miami for the first year. How they tried to be the villains and it ended up backfiring. The Warriors are not bad guys, and if they try to be, it will backfire, too. Look for Lebron and the Cavs to repeat in another epic series.

Gear up for the season. It’s going to be an epic ride.

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