The NBA season is once again upon us. With the 2017-2018 season just two weeks away, and pre-season already in full force, let’s take a look at the best and worst possible scenarios for the top three title contenders in each conference this season.
Golden State Warriors
Best Scenario: Bread and Butter
Worst Scenario: New Faces in New Places
The western conference is an absolute juggernaut, with teams like the Timberwolves, Thunder, and Rockets all making huge improvements this off-season. The 12-0 playoff run in the west this season will certainly not be as easy as it was in years past. Could the Warriors find themselves in a game 7 against the Rockets or Thunder??? Possibly…
Best Scenario: Launched into another Gear
It could be strongly debated that James Harden should have two MVP’s under his belt. The 28-year-old is ready to win now and the acquisition of Chris Paul could greatly help the Rockets get deep into the playoffs and possibly the Finals.
Worst Scenario: Blows before takeoff
An out of prime Chris Paul shows up in Houston and there are Chemistry issues right off the bat. Harden and Paul both hog up ball time as well as bench depth becomes a problem. The Rockets could fall as far as 5 in the seeding.
Oklahoma City Thunder
Best Scenario: 100% chance of Thunderstorms
Anytime you can trade Victor Oladipo, Domantas Sabonis, Enes Kanter, and Doug McDermott for Paul George and Carmelo Anthony, you deserve to be handed the Finals trophy before the season even starts. A big three of Melo, PG and Russell Westbrook could cause major, major Thunderstorms all over the Western Conference. Do I smell a western conference finals meeting with the Warriors……
Worst Scenario: It’s all Sunshine and Lakers?
Carmelo asks for an Iso every time down the floor, Westbrook tries averaging 30 ppg again and Paul George’s frustration becomes so bad that he books a flight to LA to beg Magic to get him out of there before next July. The Thunder have the roster to win it all, but chemistry issues and stat padding might cause this Thunderstorm to clear up big time
Best Scenario: All the bells and whistles
ISAIAH THOMAS >KYRIE IRVING, DWYANE WADE IS IN. The Cavaliers have the deepest bench in the league and a top three pick. LeBron James is staying, what else do you expect to hear from Cavs fans. After last year’s Finals beat down from the Warriors, it was clear LeBron needed help. The Cavs did just that, they added Isaiah Thomas who, when healthy, is a top five MVP caliber player, Jae Crowder, who is in some ways a want to be LeBron, Derrick Rose, Dwyane Wade and some other nice role players. The biggest thing the Cavs have going for them this season is their depth and experience. With a terribly weak Eastern Conference, the Cavs could cruise into the Finals.
Worst Scenario: Taking my Talents to South Beach Part 2
Isaiah Thomas never returns to his full form and the Cavs are left with a washed up Derrick Rose at point. Kevin Love playing center causes major problems when teams like the Pelicans, Pistons, and Timberwolves come to town. Their bench remains strong, but is weeded out by injury not to mention the Brooklyn Nets find themselves competing for the 8th seed. [Cavs have Nets pick in 2018 draft], Lebron is seen packing his and Wade’s bags after a Loss to the Pacers mid-November….
Best Scenario: SUPERSTAR
The Celtics finally have their superstar and it’s Kyrie Irving. Kyrie, Gordon Hayward, and a nice young core help the Celtics beat out the Cavs in the Eastern Conference finals. Not only does Danny Ainge look like even more of a genius, but the Lakers pick conveys to number two giving the Celtics another high pick in the 2018 draft.
Worst Scenario: If it ain’t broke don’t fix it
The Celtics already looked destined to overthrow LeBron and the Cavs in this season, or the next. A deep bench now gone with only four returning players and draft picks are gone to the Cavs. The Celtics see some early rust and chemistry issues and are not able to climb out of the hole, falling to the 4th seed this season behind the Cavs, Wizards, and Bucks.
Best Scenario: You’re a Wizard, Johnny
The only title contender besides the Warriors to keep most of their team together. John Wall, Bradley Beal, and even more improved Otto Porter come out of the gates flying and take the number one seed for most of the first half of the season, while others shake off chemistry issues. The Wizards are able to beat the Celtics this time around and meet up with the Cavs in the Eastern Finals.
Worst Scenario: Broken Potion
Two years ago, the Wizards failed to make the playoffs. Now, the fall doesn’t go that far because I can see some 33/34 win teams making the playoffs from the east, but the Wizards collapse looms the questions of a possible John Wall trade out West…..
Photo Credits: USA Today