The long road to the finals

The NBA is in full swing to start the season

Brandon Bee and Daniel Newman

an illustration of the NBA championship trophy with a bracket leading to it
Chloe Guillot

 For the past four years, the Golden State Warriors have made the NBA finals, but with Klay Thompson out for the season and Kevin Durant signing with the Brooklyn Nets, it appears the dynasty could be over. For most NBA fans, this can only mean one thing.

“The NBA is back to balance again,” senior Connor Schwartz said.

Basketball is finally back and getting into shape. Many teams have acquired new players for their championship runs.  

Power forward Anthony Davis was traded to the Lakers. He averaged 25.9 points per game along with 12 rebounds per game on the New Orleans Pelicans a season ago. 

The Los Angeles Clippers acquired two big stars in the off-season. 

Kawhi Leonard, the two-time finals MVP, signed with the Clippers after being in Toronto for a season. Paul George, who just signed a long term extension with the Thunder a year ago, was traded to the Clippers. 

Leonard had averaged 26.6 points per game last year in Toronto. George averaged 28 points a game in an MVP-type season when he was in Oklahoma.

“I was watching sportscenter and all of a sudden it just came out of nowhere like at 10:00 at night,” sophomore Perry Benisa said. Benisa said the Paul George trade shocked him and everyone else.  

Since the Paul George trade went through, the Thunder then traded Russell Westbrook to the Rockets for Chris Paul. Westbrook had another season averaging double digit points, assists and rebounds for the third year in a row.

The Miami Heat, looking for a star player, signed Jimmy Butler. Last season, Butler averaged 18.2 points a game in Philadelphia. 

Junior Drew Sierra said the offseason was the most exciting one that he has ever experienced. 

Every single year, players try to improve on what they accomplished last year and get even better than they already are. For Lebron James, he missed the playoffs last year with the Los Angeles Lakers and is looking to show people that he is still the best in the world.

Mavericks small forward Luka Doncic, the former Rookie of the Year, has taken his game to the next level alongside power forward Kristaps Porzingis who has returned from a torn ACL.

Former MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo of the Milwaukee Bucks wants to take his team to the finals. 

Last season, the Bucks lost to the Toronto Raptors in the Eastern Conference finals. This year, Antetokounmpo is having a historic start to the season by being the first player in NBA history to have 200+ points, 100+ rebounds, and 50+ assists in the first eight games of the season.

The rookie draft class this year is surprising a lot of scouts and fans out there. 

Even though Zion Williamson, the most hyped prospect coming into the NBA since Lebron, is injured to start the season, there is still a lot of potential and talent in this rookie class. 

Some notable names include Tyler Herro in Miami, Ja Morant in Memphis, Eric Paschall in Golden State, RJ Barrett in New York and Coby White in Chicago. If Williamson stays out long enough, this could be a rookie of the year race for the ages.

Benisa thinks that White, Morant, Barrett and Williamson are the ones to watch in the league this year. 

There are still plenty of games left in the NBA season and it is a long way before the playoffs begin. This season will be a battle of the best teams to compete to try and grab a championship for their city.

Benisa thinks the Lakers will win the title this year, simply because of Lebron James. Sierra agrees with him, saying that he is 100% sure the Lakers will win. Senior Caleb King is about 50% sure the other team from Los Angeles, the Clippers, will win.

“I’m not all in, but I think they’ll win,” he said.

Schwartz also thinks the Clippers will win, but if they don’t, it will definitely be a team from the Western Conference.

No matter who comes out on top this season, it is sure to be an entertaining season for all NBA fans.