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NBA Season 2016/17 Preview

New season of the NBA league starts October 25th, Cleveland defends the title of the best team, after they in last season’s grand finals, with unbelievable return, defeated Golden State with 4:3 in series. It is certain that Warriors, enforced with Durant, will now want to revenge on James and the Cavs, and according to prognosis from all general managers from the NBA, exactly those two teams have the biggest chances to meet again in the finals, but also according to them, this time the Warriors should be closer to winning the NBA ring.

Otherwise, we are entering new NBA season without three true giants and future members of the “Hall of fame”, because after somewhat around 20 years in the league Kobe Bryant, Tim Duncan and Kevin Garnett are leaving. This is going to be a huge void that some other, younger players should fill, although it seems like impossible. Again, the biggest attention will be on LeBron James, Stephen Curry, Russell Westbrook and especially on Kevin Durant who left Oklahoma City and moved to the Warriors.

Frightening offence from the Warriors

During summer Warriors were left without several important players, all this for the sake of bringing the best shooter of the league to their team. The question raised now is if they are going to have a reserve players list long enough and if and how much are Curry, Thompson and Durant able to function together in the offence? If they continue with their good shooting results from previous seasons then they might have a threesome that can score more than 80 points per match, which seems a bit unbelievable. Oklahoma lost Durant and Ibaka so it is now expected from Westbrook to be the first and maybe the only real option in offence. Dallas brought duo Barnes-Bogut from the Warriors, while Houston lost their centre Howard, but brought excellent four Ryan Anderson.

Cleveland kept all the best players (except Dellavedova and partly Mozgov), and James and Irving, together with Love will certainly not quit the fight for defending the title. Of course, the fact that the East is not as strong as the West goes in their favour, but once again they must fight against talented Toronto and renewed Bulls, Pacers and Celtics. Bulls lost Rose and Gasol, but brought Wade, Rondo and Lopez, and their fans are praying to God for them to not get injured. Pacers enforced their team with Teague from Atlanta (the Hawks brought centre Howard), Young from the Nets and a centre Jefferson, while Celtics added excellent centre Horford to already perspective team. We must see how much the Knicks can do (they brought Rose, Jennings, Noah and coach Hornacek) and the 76ersi with finally healthy Embiid and Croat Saric.

Can Ingram succeed Kobe?

When we talk about rookie players, the 76ers once again weren’t lucky with their first pick since young Simmons suffered heavy injury in prep period and he is going to miss first part of season. Lakers tried to find certain replacement for Bryant with Ingram (although Ingram exceptionally reminds of Durant), but he still did not live up to expectations in preseason matches. Boston expects a lot from Brown, and Minnesota from their guard Dunn, and analytics consider Dejounte Murray might be the reals “steal” on the draft, he was picked by the Spurs from only 29th position although he was considered to be picked among first ten.

All-star match in New Orleans

In the end, we will mention some important dates for this season of the NBA, so the start of season is scheduled for October 25th, and from January 5th next year teams will be able to sign ten-day contracts with their players, and from January 10th all unguaranteed contracts will become guaranteed until the end of the season. Two days after that Phoenix and Dallas will play game from the regular part of season in Mexico City, and that same night in London will play Denver and Indiana (on January 14th Suns and Spurs will play tier duel in Mexico). This season All-star match will be played in New Orleans from February 17th until February 19th, while regular part of season will end on April 12th. Three days after that NBA play-off should start. The NBA finals is scheduled for June 1st and last possible day of this season, and final seventh game is June 18th 2017.

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