The best basketball league in the world is again underway. After a more quiet market than previous years, the franchises want to wake and renew their illusions in a NBA season that will surely be special.
Several players return from injuries that have kept him out of the court for a long time. Others must now make the most out of their chances to vindicate themselves or be relevant again. No doubt that this is an NBA season full of new opportunities for multiple players.
To start over:
Kawhi Leonard returns after his injury and so Los Angeles Clippers chances to win. They are favorites every year and so they usually end up disappointing, but they certainly have a very completed roster and Paul George and Kawhi form one of the best partnerships in the league.
Many considered Leonard the best player in the world after the ring he earned at Toronto, but his physical shape has always been an issue that has prevented him from being regular and showing up at key moments. We all want to see a dominant version from the cyborg of Clippers.
Ben Simmons is also back to the court after going through multiple mental issues and being traded last season. In the context of the Nets, Simmons should feel more comfortable. He does not have the pressure of being a scoring leader, as he has Irving and Durant taking over that role.
It is clear that Simmons’ main strength is not the exterior shooting neither the free throws, but yes indeed the defense. He can certainly be a great ally in the search of the title for the Brooklyn Nets if he responds in that area.
Jamal Murray is also back after 539 days out of the court due to an injury. He showed off his potential in the bubble Playoffs, as he stood out in the most difficult moments and showed his huge competitiveness. He will play by a two-times MVP Nikola Jokic, who he has lately showed great connection.
Since the 2020 ring, Anthony Davis has not performed at the expected level due to his constant injuries. He has played 36 and 40 games in the last two seasons, respectively.
Davis was expected to be the leader at the Lakers, allowing LeBron to be rested for the crucial moments. Last season they did not even qualified for the Playoffs and it would be unacceptable that a team that LeBron James plays for would be out of the battle for the title for two consecutive years.
Zion Williamson from the Pelicans and Lillard are also back from their injuries. Dame is going through a rebuild process with the Blazers that will be complicated if he wants to compete right away. For now he is hanging on his loyalty to Portland.
The NBA season is also key some players who are entering their last year of contract. Harden and Westbrook are two clear examples. They want to keep being important in the league but neither of them are going through their best moment.
Westbrook is always in the point of view of the Lakers. He has just accepted a player option for 50 million euros that makes any market movement impossible for the Lakers. His performing has been poor up to this point, even though his coach believes that he can still get the best version from Russ.
James Harden is also going through a convulsed moment. He was traded to the Philadelphia last season and he will stay there for an extra year. His time at the Nets did not go as expected and the issues in the locker room ended up breaking down the ‘Big Three’ at Brooklyn. He has seemed to have practiced a lot this summer and he is at his best shape since his time at Houston.
There are many players that have a lot to battle for this season. Some of them are coming back, others conform themselves with just keep being there. We hope to have a great NBA season.
Translated by Guillermo Bermejo.
Main image: @LAClippers.