The Return of the NBA

After writing a lot about books, movies and video games the last few months, so today is the time to write about the return of the biggest league in my second favorite sport, basketball.
I’ve been a huge fan of the NBA since my teenage years, but I never played organized basketball.

Yesterday evening, the NBA kicked off its 2013-14 season and I’m really excited for it. Here are a few things I’ll be watching throughout the year.

Can the Heat three-peat?

The last two years, the Miami Heat have come away with the championship rings thanks to LeBron James elevating his game to a new level. At the moment, he is the best player by far. But the rest of the league has not been sleeping and championship teams have a tendency to get fatigued by their success. Younger, hungrier teams might be ready to pounce on any perceived weaknesses. Especially in the Western Conference, one superstar seems primed to take the next step in his development: Kevin Durant.

Will KD win the MVP?

Without his currently injured sidekick, Russell Westbrook, the 25-year-old superstar will need to lead the Thunder team on his own for the next few months. While he is good enough to lead the team to more than enough wins, will it be enough to keep in the pole position in a stacked Western Conference? If he does keep them fighting for a 1-seed, he will definitely be a strong contender for the league’s MVP award.

Which Point Guard will be the most fun to watch?

My favorite position in Basketball is the point guard. And there is an incredible number of fantastic players at the position, all playing with a different style. There’s Chris Paul, a leader on the court capable of taking over whenever he needs too; there’s Stephen Curry, arguably the best shooter in the league; there’s Ricky Rubio, a flashy pass-first playmaker and of course the youngest MVP ever, Derrick Rose, returning from a torn ACL. These are just the players are the ones I’m most excited about. But of course, it would be foolish to count out the older geniuses Steve Nash, Deron Williams, Tony Parker, the up-and-coming superstars John Wall and Kyrie Irving as well as the currently rehabbing Rajon Rondo and Russell Westbrook. Every night you’ll be able to see a fantastic duel at the guard spot.

Who will win the Lottery?

This year, there are two tiers of teams: the contenders and the tankers. With the 2014 draft shaping up to include the greatest amount of talent in years, teams like the Suns, Celtics and 76ers have blown up their teams to finish as low as possible. Especially in January and February, when other teams will be eliminated from playoff contention, it will be fun to see who joins the “Riggin’ for Wiggins” (named after probable no. 1 pick Andre Wiggins) craze.

How good will Kobe still be?

And the last question is about Kobe Bryant, who tore his achilles tendon last season and will return to the game sometime this season. Will he be able to continue his quest of catching Michael Jordan and his six years as well as Kareem and his scoring record?
Has his time on the sidelines rejuvenated him? How good is the old Lakers team? Kobe will want to prove all his haters wrong and I’m looking forward to seeing the Black Mamba step back on the court.

Will you be following the NBA? Who’s your favorite player? Or team?
Let me know in the comments or on Twitter!

I’m back on Friday with chapter 22 of “An Elusive Hero”!

Sincerely yours,