Highlighting 7 Teams for the 2018-19 NBA Season
With the 2018-19 NBA season upon us, there are some intriguing stories and teams that could capture our full attention. Here are my 7 Highlighted Teams for the 2018-19 season.
Best Player: Kyrie Irving
Biggest Question: Can head coach Brad Stevens keep everyone happy with his best lineup?
With players like Kyrie Irving, Jayson Tatum, Al Horford, Marcus Smart, and Gordon Hayward - returning after breaking his leg in last season's first game - Brad Stevens sure has a lot to work with, but is it too much? With a solid starting lineup and an endless depth chart, will Marcus Morris and Daniel Theis be satisfied on the bench? Can Stevens manage four players firing up 12-15 shots per night? Will this locker room burst at the seams? We will have to see if Stevens can make everyone on this team happy enough to stick around.
Projected Round: 57-25 (1st in the East)
GOLDEN STATE WARRIORS
Best Player: Kevin Durant
Biggest Question: Can new addition Demarcus Cousins be incorporated into the offense?
Odds are this will be another championship year for the Warriors, but they had to go out and find a challenge in Demarcus Cousins. Cousins won't come back from injury until January, but when he does, can he fit into this star-studded lineup and make one for the ages, or will chemistry problems open the door for teams like the Rockets or the Jazz? We will just have to wait and see.
Projected Record: 61-21 (1st in the West)
Best Player: James Harden
Biggest Question: Is the defense good enough?
With no Trevor Ariza and defensive liabilities in James Harden, Carmelo Anthony - who was released from the team thanks to his horrid defense - and Eric Gordon, Houston will have trouble defending players like Kevin Durant, Draymond Green, and Klay Thompson.
Projected Record: 57-25 (2nd in the West)
Best Player: Victor Oladipo
Biggest Question: Can last year's success be duplicated?
The Pacers, arguably one of the NBA's biggest surprises last year, have a lot to live up to. With a new star in Victor Oladipo returning, the questions must be posed: will he remain in top form? In addition, after Myles Turner's regression, can the center get back on track to stardom? There are big shoes for the Pacers to fill, and fans will have to see if this team can get a high playoff seed in a weak East.
Projected Record: 47-35 (4th in the East)
LOS ANGELES LAKERS
Best Player: Lebron James
Biggest Question: What will Lebron James bring to the team?
With arguably the biggest free agent signing of the year bring Lebron James from the soft East to the battle-hardened West, the Lakers catapulted themselves from a borderline playoff team to a definite one. What do they have in Lebron James, and can they compete in the West, or will they fall victim to a conference full of contenders?
Projected Record: 46-36 (6th in the West)
NEW ORLEANS PELICANS
Best Player: Anthony Davis
Biggest Question: Can this team be good?
Last year we got a sneak peak of how good the New Orleans Pelicans could be when everyone was at their best. This revelation came when the team defeated the Portland Trail Blazers in the first round of the playoffs. Can this team, with Jrue Holiday and Anthony Davis and new additions Elfrid Payton, Jahlil Okafor, and Julius Randle, be a playoff contender? And if not, could this be Anthony Davis's last season with the Pelicans?
Projected Record: 44-38 (8th in the West)
NEW YORK KNICKS
Best Player: Kristaps Porzingis
Biggest Question: When will Kristaps Porzingis return?
The Knicks' woes continued with Kristaps Porzingis tearing his ACL in the middle of last season. He could be out almost all of this season, but what is "almost?" He could be back as early as February, or he could just sit the whole season, which would be a nightmare come true for Knicks fans. When/if Porzingis comes back, what kind of team will he be coming back to? Will players like Courtney Lee and Tim Hardaway Jr. still be there? How will he work with players like Kevin Knox and Emmanuel Mudiay? Only time will tell.
Projected Record: 29-53 (14th in the East)
Sources: CBS Sports, Bleacher Report, FanSided, ESPN, Yardbarker