Thinking you have things figured out before they start is a risky game. You look like a prophet when it works. You come off as a clown if it doesn’t. A lot of Bozos love to show up around this time of the year. It’s OK to say “I don’t know” sometimes. Trust me, you can keep your trash preseason NBA takes to yourself.
With the 2023-2024 NBA season just weeks away, we’ve reached the point of the calendar in which anyone connected to sports — fans, media members, and journalists included — feels like they have to know exactly how things are going to play out until mid-June. Now, some of these people cover teams, the league, or need to fill space while working on TV — let’s extend them some grace. But, for the host of people on #NBATwitter or other sports media members who write or opine on radio and podcasts, the idea that you have to share every idea and take on who will and won’t be good or bad this season needs to end — now.
Take a breath.
Watch some games for a few months, and I promise that you will have a better understanding of how things could play out.
For instance, the East
The union of Damian Lillard and Giannis Antetokounmpo has people in an uproar as so many feel that they’re now the best team in the Eastern Conference. But, are we sure, given this team’s history of early playoff exits? Do we know if Adrian Griffin can coach this team? Can Dame can be a second option? Are we positive that Antetokounmpo may like living in a world in which the ball won’t be in his hands during the final possessions of big games?
I don’t know, and neither do they, so why should you?
Also in the East, people are counting Miami out due to what they lost, and due to what they weren’t able to gain — Lillard. But, over the last few years, this team has made a living off making people who counted them out look stupid. In Boston, the idea is that the arrival of Jrue Holiday will do wonders for the Celtics. But, is Holiday a leader in the same way that made Marcus Smart so important to that team? And are people underselling how good Robert Williams was when he was healthy?
There are also some below-the-radar storylines in that conference, like in Washington and Charlotte. Jordan Poole is either going to return to form with the Wizards or show why the Warriors didn’t want him around anymore. He will get more than enough shots, which will either make or break him. And then we have a team full of players who love to make headlines for things besides basketball — the Hornets. They’re either gonna be a TikTok sensation or Adam Silver’s worst nightmare. Only time will tell.
And then there’s the West
Zion Williamson is a helluva player. Zion also had a helluva offseason. Zion also hasn’t played a full season since high school. Zion is going to be a talking point all year, but for what we still don’t know. It could be due to his weight loss, or gain. His dunks or his availability. The possibilities are endless. It’s similar to what’s going on in Golden State and Phoenix. The Warriors added Chris Paul and no one has any idea how that team will look on the floor and in the locker room — due to the relationships between Paul and Draymond Green, Paul and Steve Kerr, and Paul and Steph Curry. And then we have the Suns, a team that has three guys who can go for 50 on any given night — and Grayson Allen coming off the bench. The Suns could be a lock for the NBA Finals or could be destined for a first-round exit if they don’t address their questions at the point guard position.
Oh yeah, Victor Wembanyama will finally be playing NBA basketball this season, and we’re all going to find out if the hype is sustainable. He’s also in San Antonio, which isn’t the best place to have a global star in a social media world playing basketball, given that it’s a small market team that doesn’t play an exciting brand of basketball who’s coached by a senior citizen. And finally, Ime Udoka is back in the NBA. Not only is the man who did Nia Long wrong back, but he’s back coaching a team full of ultra-talented and skilled young guys who all seem to have no idea how to play basketball. The potential is there. The results are not.
After all that, the league has implemented an in-season tournament that feels like the players are going to hate taking part in, as fans still have no idea why this is happening or what it will look like.
There are a ton of things that could and will happen this season, especially for a league that can totally change after the trade deadline. So many questions have been asked, and answers are soon to come. The games will give us data to make informed hypotheses. Patience is a virtue and less is more. So delete those drafts full of your trash takes and analysis, and wait and see what happens. Check back in around Christmas.
Original source here
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