On Oct. 19, all teams will return to a sense of normalcy. For the 75th Anniversary of the National Basketball Association, an 82 game season will return after having an abbreviated pandemic schedule.
Moreover, we find out if the Milwaukee Bucks can defend their title.
For my pick this season, I am thinking that the Golden State Warriors have a chance to win the title.
It might sound crazy, but there is a possibility. Point guard Steph Curry is getting shooting guard Klay Thompson back from his injury sometime during the season.
Let us recall what these two players can do together. Both of them have won an NBA championship three times.
Curry averaged 32.0 points per game and had a three point percentage of 42.1%.
But, there is concern with Thompson. He has not played the last two seasons due to injury, one from his knee and the other with his achilles.
During the 2018 season, Thompson averaged 21.5 points and had a perimeter percentage of 40.2%.
The numbers don’t lie, these two together will disrupt the playing field. In all of the reports that have come out, we expect Thompson back around Christmas time.
You may remember when Curry came back from his left hand fracture in 2020. I remember the arena was ecstatic to see him back, seeing him score 23 points in the process. What is to say that similar patterns won’t happen for Thompson?
Until he comes back, the Warriors will need others to step up again. Power forward Draymond Green will work to give his teammates the assists they need.
The Warriors will see more action out of small forward James Wiseman. The first overall pick out of Kansas averaged 18.6 points last season.
Forward Andre Iguodala will be back with the Warriors this season after being in Miami for two seasons. I expect good leadership out of the veteran that knows how to play under head coach Steve Kerr.
The Warriors finished eighth last season in the Eastern Conference with a record of 39-33.
The Los Angeles Clippers, Los Angeles Lakers, the Phoenix Suns and the Sacramento Kings all stand in their way.
I don’t expect much out of the Kings, regardless of how talented point guard De’ Aaron Fox or shooting guard Tyrese Haliburton is. They aren’t like the other better teams.
One of those good teams in the Pacific is the Clippers. Small forward Paul George comes back with a handful of different vets, including Eric Bledsoe, Marcus Morris Sr. and Serge Ibaka. How experience will define their success will be in question.
The same can be said for the Lakers. With how stacked their roster is, it literally looks like the cast of Expendables 3. All of the old action-genre movie actors are coming together for one last hurrah. They are the oldest team in the League. Let’s see how they hold up.
The Suns are the team that I am the most afraid of. They proved to be formidable opponents last season, but I wonder if their equation for success will repeat.
In this current era, we have seen Golden State win the title before. We have seen them with and without Kevin Durant. Can they do it again? Yes, I believe so, but it will be difficult within their immediate vicinity. They must get out of the Pacific first before winning the West.
The views expressed are those of the writer and do not necessarily reflect those of The Torch.