The Formula for an Exciting NBA Season

More than any other professional sport, the NBA is a league of individuals. We’re drawn to superstars. They have sneaker and clothing lines; they appear on talk shows. The stars of today’s NBA have become celebrities, and the NBA could not be in a better position to take advantage than this season. With the season kicking off on Tuesday night (highlighted by Derrick Rose returning to attempt to slay the Miami Heat), NBA fans across the country will have basketball back, and they’ve been excited with good reason. Here are five reasons why the 2013-2014 NBA season will be one for the ages:

 

  1. Can anyone slay the Heat? After surviving the Indiana Pacers in the Eastern Conference Finals, the Miami Heat somehow fought back against the San Antonio Spurs to win Games 6 and 7 of the NBA Finals and repeat as champions. However, in the 2013 Playoffs, LeBron James and company looked more vulnerable than ever even with Derrick Rose and Russell Westbrook sidelined with injuries. The Heat don’t have history on their side, either, this year. Only two teams (’82-’85 Lakers and ’84-’87 Celtics) appearing in four consecutive NBA Finals since Bill Russell’s Celtics went ten years in a row. However, don’t put it past LeBron, Wade, and Bosh to set their own precedent.
  2. Knicks vs. Nets Who doesn’t love a good rivalry? With the offseason addition of Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce, Jason Terry, and Coach Jason Kidd, the Brooklyn Nets will be serious title contenders this year. Last year, the New York Knicks had the second best record in the East and will still be challenging for that spot. With both teams as serious contenders, this New York-Brooklyn rivalry has the making for a great one. Old school vs. New school. Carmelo vs. KG. James Dolan vs. Jay-Z and Mikhail Prokhorov. What more could we ask for?
  3. The Wild, Wild, West With the exception of the Nets, we more or less know what to expect out of the top of the Eastern Conference. The West, however, is another story; it is wide open. The Thunder, last year’s 1 seed, will be without Russell Westbrook for 4-6 weeks and seem vulnerable for the first time in a few years. Can the Spurs somehow remain competitive for another year as they age? Is Steph Curry reliable enough to carry the Warriors? Can the Grizzlies break through and make it to the finals behind Marc Gasol? Will Doc Rivers solve the issues in Lob City for the Clippers? And the biggest question this season: Will Dwight Howard live up to his potential in Houston? We have more questions than answers, which is always exciting at the beginning of a season.
    Dwight Howard was a disappointing in Los Angeles, how will he perform in Houston?

    Dwight Howard was a disappointing in Los Angeles, how will he perform in Houston?


  4. Injuries All Around Normally, fans hate injuries. They’re bad for the league. While I’m not saying injuries have been beneficial to the NBA, several key injuries add some drama to the 2013-14 season. First, Derrick Rose returning from last year’s ACL tear will be the biggest news of the early season. If he performs like he did in his 2011-12 MVP campaign, the Bulls might become the favorites to win it all. Meanwhile, Russell Westbrook and Kobe Bryant aim for midseason returns. Westbrook’s return will add in a new wrinkle to the race out West, while seeing Kobe overcoming a torn Achilles tendon is remarkable at his age. Kobe, above all else, is a competitor and this season might be the best example for his desire to win.
  5. Breakout Stars Last year, we saw James Harden, Steph Curry, Kyrie Irving, Paul George and a handful of other guys come into their own and develop into full-fledged team leaders and superstars. This year, it’ll be a lot of fun to see a few more guys make that jump to the next level. Anthony Davis in New Orleans appears to be a prime candidate in his second season with the newly rebranded Pelicans. Without Josh Smith, Al Horford could take ownership of the Hawks and surprise some people with his performance. John Wall is ready to break into the upper echelon of point guards if he can stay healthy. Other players like Greg Monroe, Kenneth Faried, Chandler Parsons, Jimmy Butler, Mike Conley, and Serge Ibaka are looking to make their first All-Star appearances. The fun part will be trying to figure out who exceeds expectations and who disappoints. Regardless, the 2013-2014 NBA season will be a wild ride for fans and players alike.

    Who will be this year's Steph Curry and captivate the league?

    Who will be this year’s Steph Curry and captivate the league?

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