Once again the bizarre convergence of Halloween and the beginning of the NBA Season are upon us and once again, both are set to be absolutely bonkers. Halloween is of course on Friday this year which guarantees ridiculous shenanigans; the NBA season has no clear favorite for the first time in four seasons because LeBron James improbably reversed “the decision” and even more improbably became one of the first athletes in history to return to Cleveland voluntarily! Do not discount this as being important, it has never happened before.
If only the Halloween similarities ended there…but they do not. Many athletes will appear as if they are in costumes as they play their first games with their new teams. These “costumed” athletes include (but are not limited to): Kevin Love – Cleveland; Lance Stephenson – Charlotte; and, in the most ridiculous looking uniform swap ever, Paul Pierce on the Washington Wizards (maybe the most bizarre guy in a new spot ever).
A few teams are also looking rather terrifying going in to the new season, and a few are terrified for other reasons entirely…
Looking Terrified: OKC (have to play without Durant for at least ¼ of the season which means we get to see Russell Westbrook go off); LA Lakers (Kobe is going to jack between forty and forty-five shots per game, if there is a joke here I am not seeing it); Indiana (no PG-13 = horrific offense and an almost certain trip to the lottery! Yah!); Philly / Orlando / Milwaukee / Utah (none of these teams is good, none of these teams is good at all); Miami (no LeBron to save the day, probably okay, but the safety net is forever gone); Houston (A lot of pressure, and Dwight Howard probably could care less); New Jersey / Brooklynn (older and not as good and they no longer have Jason Kidd as their coach, which may be a blessing in disguise)
Looking Terrifying: San Antonio (they bring everyone back, albeit, a slightly older everyone); LA Clippers (They have a top five Coach in Doc Rivers, a PG with everything to prove in Chris Paul and an emerging MVP candidate in Blake Griffen – what else does a contender need?); Golden State (They have two star guards and will be running and gunning, expect epic offensive outputs); Chicago (Rose. Is. Healthy. Maybe.); New Orleans (New Orleans?!? Ever heard of the third best player in the league…Anthony Davis?); Sacremento (Amazingly, DeMarcus Cousins and Rudy Gay may lead a team to the playoffs); Toronto (A playoff lock, and with one of the best backcourts in the league as well as an emerging center); Cleveland (Let’s count the reasons, shall we? – 1) Kevin Love will be shooting wide open shots. 2) Kyrie Irving is a pretty decent third best player on a Championship team. 3) David Blatt may be the right coach for this team. 4) LeBron James, the world’s best player has returned home and is determined to win a Title for his team. In preparing he has lost weight, added more post moves and now no longer has to handle the ball if he does not want to. He will be literally unstoppable in the paint, where he will be getting the ball, and is surrounded by the best collection of shooters he has ever had around him. At this point he is an unkillable bad guy headed for the cinema hall of fame and numerous title worthy sequels. He is Freddy Krueger or Jason and he is ready to feast on completely unprepared teenagers. It does not seem like the league has fully comprehended this yet, as they are still hiding in their cabins hoping they get passed by without losing their heads. The only thing that can slow LeBron down at this point is a chainsaw…not unlike those movie villains of yore.)
The MVP will probably be: LeBron James
The Champion will be: Cleveland, Chicago, San Antonio, OKC or LA Clippers
Without picking five teams, who will be the Champion: (deep breath) the Cleveland Cavaliers for the simple reason that LeBron is going to lift that team to crazy heights…and the fact that he will now have Kyrie Irving and Kevin Love on his team shooting open shots. No one can double team anyone on the Cavs and LeBron will feast upon soft defenses. Never bet against the greatest player in the world, especially when he is a man on a mission…and not just to lose weight.
The Cavs?!? (yes, I just wrote that) will win the 2015 NBA Title.