Apparently tonight is the opening night of the NBA season. Let me first say, is there a sport that does a worse job pumping up their opening night? NFL gives the Super Bowl champs an exclusive night to kick-off the next season against a rival. Everybody knows when baseball’s Opening Day is because that’s the only day most people have interest until the World Series (please watch the MLB Network this off-season). Even the NHL had a bigger splash on their opening day by not even having any games. The first tip-off of the season is a Washington Wizards-Cleveland Cavs tilt. Oh hell yeah, I can’t wait to have my first NBA boner come from teams that combined to win 41 games. David Stern should work on this before he retires to a life of being condescending to Jamaican resort pool boys and servers. Anyways, enough of my complaining (for now). As the season gets started, here are just a few things I’ll be keeping my eye in 2012-13. Maybe throw a prediction in there too.
How will the Heat defend their title?
I think it’s pretty safe to say the Miami Heat are the most despised team in the NBA. After putting together a pretty impressive series to take down the Oklahoma City Thunder in last year’s finals, the proverbial monkey is off their back. In some cases, like the dynasty Bulls led by Scott Williams, success breeds success and they’ll go on to run the table again (as they should as the most talented team in the league). Or will they follow the 2011 Mavs and struggle through their victory lap? As I write this, they’re up 41-36 on the Celtics, so I think we have our answer there.
Will the revamped Lakers be as good as advertised?
Since all GM’s in every sport, other than Billy Beane who didn’t win shit and then got an Oscar winning movie made about him, are copycats, the Lakers went out and got themselves their own “Big 3”. The 2008 Celtics started the trend with Kevin Garnett (hate that guy), Paul Pierce (him too) and Ray Allen (not as much) and it led to a title in their first season. There was little doubt they were the best team throughout the season, as they finished with seven more wins than anyone else in the NBA. The 2010 Heat took some lumps in their first go around, getting knocked out in the Finals, after finishing as the 2 seed in the East. Will the Lakers big 3 of Kobe, Steve Nash and Dwight Howard hit the ground running or take some time to gel? On paper, they seem to compliment each other perfectly, but then again, I also make love pretty good on paper. And you’ve all heard rumors on how that works out.
Who’s going to be the new Brian Scalabrine?
For all you racists, this doesn’t mean “Who’s going to be the whitest player on the best team in the league?” But since I think the San Antonio Spurs will somehow be really good again, the honor of new Brian Scal goes to Matt Bonner. There’s a good chance Bonner still gets solid minutes, but since he’s white, and on the team that probably will be the 1 seed in the West again, you can expect him to assume the role of “Human Victory Cigar”. Shit, they even look alike. Oh yeah, the racists were right on this one.
Opening Night Gambling Lock of All-Time
Dallas Mavs +9 @ LA Lakers – I never, ever felt better about an NBA opening night bet like I do for this one. Lakers have a Kobe that’s not 100%, I’m not sure Howard has played one second in the preseason and Nash is older than Phil Jackson. Plus, the Mavs are starting Eddy Curry. I really think this is the year he plays up to his potential as #4 overall pick in the 2002 draft.
This was written by newest contributor Jim Cook. Look out for more witty banter from this sports degenerate during the NBA season.