You read it right, its seven more days to go before the 2009-10 NBA Season opens on October 27. The opening game will feature the Boston Celtics against the Cleveland Cavaliers while the fourth and last game will showcase the defending champs LA Lakers versus the LA Clippers.
During the offseason, teams have shuffled their respective rosters. Some signed free agents, drafted prized rookies and traded players to bolster their team for the coming regular season. Through these various transactions some teams upgraded to be a contender while some just lessen their salary cap for a chance to get their projected free agents when the 2009-10 season ends. This free agent class consists of Lebron James, Dwayne Wade, Amare Stoudemire and Chris Bosh. Who won't be excited and thrilled if you get any of those players in your team?
The top 5 contender for the upcoming NBA season are the LA Lakers, Cleveland Cavaliers, Boston Celtics, Orlando Magic and San Antonio Spurs. The Lakers are the favorite to repeat because they still have their core lineup but have added the Ron Artest in exchange for the loss of Trevor Ariza due to free agency. They have a much stronger defender in the perimeter area albeit a highly-rated physical defender.
The Cavaliers stole the headlines with the acquisition of the "Big Diesel" Shaquille O'Neal. Shaq still has a lot of fuel left in his tank and he could create a lot of headaches on his inside play which makes Lebron's job much easier. They also added perimeter players Jamario Moon and Anthony Parker.
The Boston Celtics drew a sigh of relief with the return of Kevin Garnett from an injury and have added veteran Rasheed Wallace in their lineup, let's just hope that he won't get agitated as the season progresses. Defending East champion Orlando Magic could encounter some problems with the 10-game suspension of Rashard Lewis due to substance-abuse penalty and hopes that Vince Carter is a major upgrade after losing Hedo Turkoglu to free agency.
The aging San Antonio Spurs should not be taken for granted this season. They shuffled their frontline and got highly versatile Richard Jefferson in their lineup. This could be a huge NBA season as teams are dead serious to bring home the Larry O'Brien trophy.
The handicappers are a little bit antsy on this upcoming season. They have placed the LA Lakers as the slight favorite to win the title again but the Cleveland Cavaliers are hovering around and could spoil the LA party.