Author Topic: 5 championship shifting story-lines that remain to be seen this year.  (Read 616 times)

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Offline Androslav

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It is all about the championship, so here are 5 storylines that keep me intrigued about how will this season play out. If you have another - comment, please.

1. Kawhi and his quad
http://www.rotoworld.com/recent/nba/1833/kawhi-leonard

San Antonio has always been my favorite western NBA team for years, Manu is my favorite player of the last 20 years. But aside from that San Antonio is always a team that can win it all. This year, how?
Need scoring, spacing, 1-1 defense and switchiness?
Leonard, Gay, Green, Brandon Paul sound like a nice set of wings to me. Scorers, vets, shooters, they have them.
Houston needs to be twice as better to beat them in a playoff series. Mike was schooled once again by Pop in the playoffs last year. Harden always kind of folds in the later rounds.
San Antonio remains the biggest western obstacle to the GSW IMO and Kawhi is the linchpin of that group.

2. IT and his hip
http://www.rotoworld.com/recent/nba/1889/isaiah-thomas

Such intriguing story-line for us Celtic fans. Not just because IT was our beloved leader and star for the past 2,5 years, but also cause we know we need to go thru Cleveland to get to the finals.
How much will he earn on his next deal, a Brinks truck or a piggy bank?
And one more related question - how much was he maximized in Brads system and how good can he be in an LBJ led, Lue observed offense?

3. Gordon Hayward returns to spice up our lives
http://www.rotoworld.com/player/nba/1711/gordon-hayward

I am sweating my hands as just writing about it.
In my heart, I really feel/hope that this will happen this year. He will return in good shape.
I don't expect him to be a 22-6-4 guy if he returns by April, but to have such a versatile, good-hearted, smart and experienced guy for the run would be a huge plus. Perhaps even enough to put us in the finals or even further. (Where are the handkerchiefs, my hands are wet.)

4. 2nd Paul George Bazaar

OKC is 12-13.
Not good, but in theory, they can turn it around.
I wouldn't put my money on it, hence his name on this list. Their leader RW always had a tough time to fit with his teammates (except with the ones that don't shoot the ball at all).
Talking about money, OKC is currently putting a lot of it for a non-playoff team.

https://www.basketball-reference.com/contracts/OKC.html

Yes, that much. NY Knicks and BKN Nets would be proud of that payroll.
Considering OKC is a cheap (in this case I'd call them a rational) franchise they might try to flip PG13 once more while there is still some time to do it.

A PG13 trade can shift the title odds. Not sure about it?
How about Cleveland with PG? And that is just scratching the surface of possibilities.
One of my favorite destinations is Milwaukee (Jabari+fillers).
He and Giannis... NG duo!
But not title shifting so let's go back to the last one.

5. Curry and his ankles

http://www.rotoworld.com/player/nba/1611/stephen-curry

Perhaps the strongest title shifter. The one that invented the strongest team of the millennia has his Achilles heel - his ankle. The last time he wasn't 100% - GSW lost the title. One can argue that they are the favorites even with him at say 70%. But when the playoff physicality starts, teams will have a clear target on who to bruise - the smallest guy on the court with a weak ankle that happens to be the best shooter of all time.

The 4 out of 5 storylines are injury related. Sounds like much, but that's how it always was.
If you can't compete at the highest level physically in the NBA, you don't win the title.

EDIT: My 1000th post and I got a star! Whoohoo!
« Last Edit: December 11, 2017, 07:24:40 AM by Androslav »
"The joy of the balling under the rims."

Re: 5 championship shifting story-lines that remain to be seen this year.
« Reply #1 on: December 11, 2017, 04:55:53 AM »

Offline Jiri Welsch

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Good post, you are truly a star. I selfishly am most interested in storyline #3, but I think the one with legitimate championship (i.e. not simply playoff) implications is the health of Kawhi. A Pop-coached squad and a healthy lineup could potentially surprise some people against GSW.

Also.. no Houston! Are we all under the assumption that a James Harden led team will SOMEHOW find a way to lose? Iím cool with that assumption.
Twitter: @ApocryphalTale

Re: 5 championship shifting story-lines that remain to be seen this year.
« Reply #2 on: December 11, 2017, 05:06:40 AM »

Offline Androslav

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Thank you very much @Jiri Welsch.
"The joy of the balling under the rims."

Re: 5 championship shifting story-lines that remain to be seen this year.
« Reply #3 on: December 11, 2017, 07:24:30 AM »

Online Surferdad

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TP Androslav, all good story lines to follow.  However, I don't think Hayward is coming back in a significant capacity.

Here's a few more to follow:

How far can Kristaps Porzingis take the Knicks?

Can anyone displace B.Simmons as leading ROY candidate?.  It's a great crop this year.

Re: 5 championship shifting story-lines that remain to be seen this year.
« Reply #4 on: December 11, 2017, 08:05:10 AM »

Offline Androslav

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TP Androslav, all good story lines to follow.  However, I don't think Hayward is coming back in a significant capacity.

Here's a few more to follow:

How far can Kristaps Porzingis take the Knicks?

Can anyone displace B.Simmons as leading ROY candidate?.  It's a great crop this year.
Thanks.
KP and Simmons are definitely one of the most interesting topics to follow. I love to watch both of them play very much. However, this time I was looking at the ones that can significantly influence this year NBA championship battle.
"The joy of the balling under the rims."