The clock is ticking, and we’re getting closer to a new NBA season. After the worst playoffs in the history of the league, we witnessed hands down the best offseason ever. We saw lots of crazy trades in the most unexpected moments. Yes, the Golden State Warriors remain the best team in the NBA, but with all this summer madness, we can at least look forward to a very interesting season, where we can expect amazing things from some teams you may not have thought of putting your eye on. This is going to be a list of my Top 5 Must-Watch-Teams in this 2017-2018 NBA season. I believe we all know that the Warriors are an amazing team, and that the Cavs are most likely taking the East (depending on what they can get for Kyrie Irving), so I’m omitting those teams on my list. Let´s start:
#5: New Orleans Pelicans
When DeMarcus Cousins got traded to the Pelicans, I’m pretty sure I’m not the only one who believed that him teaming up with Anthony Davis would’ve been a duo that gave headaches to the Warriors in a first round series. Unfortunately, the Pelicans couldn’t get to the Playoffs, but this season we can have this big man couple and former All-Star Point Guard Jrue Holiday from the start. I feel very confident that this is at least an 8th seeded team in the West. I mean, we are talking about a big man duo, where both put some big stats above 27 points and 11 rebounds per game. Also, they added Rajon Rondo to the team, and I believe (as many of you) that Rondo improves his game level when he’s playing with people who he feels are as good as him and enter his court vision.
#4: Houston Rockets
So, here’s the deal, you have the team with the most three pointers made in a single season (1181), James Harden putting up an amazing stat line of 29.1 ppg, 8.1 rpg, and 11.2 apg (most in the 2016-17 season), new players that nobody cared about that had a career year last season, so then add Chris Paul to that team, and tell me, How isn´t this team the biggest thread for the Warriors in the West? I know that the Spurs are still the same amazing team we all love, but come on, we have a beautiful starting 5: Chris Paul, James Harden, Trevor Ariza, Ryan Anderson, and Clint Capela. Also we got an amazing second unit coming off the bench, I mean, they have the reigning NBA 6th man of the year.
#3 Philadelphia 76ers
3rd pick from the 2014 draft, 1st pick from the 2016 draft, 1st pick from the 2017 draft. What else can you ask for the future of the Sixers? What else can you ask for the process? Joel Embiid proved us in 31 games he is destined to be a legitimate future NBA All-Star; I mean, this team had 2 Rookie of the Year Nominees, Joel Embiid and Dario Saric, and now add the last two number one overall draft picks, which are Ben Simmons, 6’10 Forward, very versatile and with an amazing Basketball I.Q., and Markelle Fultz, 6’4 Point Guard, who is an incredible scorer. Also, add J.J. Reddick and Amir Johnson to that already amazing squad. The Sixers had an offensive rating of 103.2 points per 100 possessions, which was the 30th of the league. But with all these new additions, I believe we’re about to see a better team in both sides of the court, I believe they will be at least in the top 15th in both offensive and defensive ratings. You just got to trust the process.
#2 Minnesota Timberwolves
This team got every NBA fan excited this past summer, with the right trades, nobody sees the Wolves as a 30 wins team this season, they are a true contender. Let’s make the formula: 3-time NBA All-Star and 3-time All-Defensive 2nd team Jimmy Butler + Two former Rookies of the Year who are expected to be All Stars this year, Karl-Anthony Towns and Andrew Wiggins + 3-time 6th Man of the Year Jamal Crawford + former All-Star Jeff Teague + some good role players, such as Taj Gibson, Gorgui Dieng, etc. (maybe Shabazz Muhammad) = A big contender for the Larry O’Brien trophy, not just this season, but for the next 10 years. Karl Anthony Towns is going to be a future MVP, and with this amazing team, we can expect unbelievable things. Having Tom Thibodeua as their Head Coach, one of the best defensive coaches in the league, and adding Jimmy Butler to this team, means they will be explosive in both sides of the court. I’m really excited for watching them play in April.
#1 Los Angeles Lakers
I know you may be thinking I’m delusional for choosing the Lakers as my #1 must watch team this year. Yeah, I know they probably won’t win more than 35 games this season, but come on, let me explain and you´ll understand (I hope so). So, since the Lakers hired Magic Johnson as their new president of basketball operations, there have been interesting trades and declarations. He hired Rob Pelinka as their GM (Kobe Bryant´s agent), they traded Timofey Mozgov and D’Angelo Russell for Brook Lopez and the 27th first round pick of the 2017 NBA Draft, which they used to draft Kyle Kuzma, who I’m very excited to watch this season, he appears to be a very valuable asset.
Magic said that under no circumstance he will trade Brandon Ingram, that he’s very important for this new project they’re trying to do, and it will be interesting putting an eye to players like Jordan Clarkson, Ivica Zubac, Julius Randle, Kyle Kuzma, as I already said, Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, Larry Nance Jr., etc. I know this doesn’t sound very attractive, but I know something pretty attractive; One of the players that had us NBA fans more anxious for the season to begin so we could see what happens with him. He’s been the headline of every trending basketball news for the past year. I’m talking about the face of the Big Baller Brand, the 2nd overall pick from the 2017 NBA Draft, the youngest player in the league to got a shoe deal. His shoes are worth 495$ dollars, son of the most mediatic man of the year, I’m talking about Lonzo Ball.
Now, I’m not on Lonzo’s train, much less on the triple B train. I don’t like LaVar Ball, it has been really hard for me trying to comprehend why that man needs to say so much to sell his product. I mean, had he ever thought he’s looking like he’s using his sons as a product? That was a rhetorical question, he couldn´t care less about that. Maybe in LaVar´s head he’s doing the right thing saying all that stuff he´s said, but we all know it can be really stressful. But believe me Lonzo and his ZO2 are the most interesting thing this season. LaVar has trashed talked the entire league all this 2017, he has managed to annoy every NBA All-Star and every NBA legend, let’s face it, LaVar won. The media has been so focused on watching every word that comes out of LaVar´s mouth, that now every time Lonzo takes a step on an NBA court, the whole world will be watching. LaVar has been so outspoken, that Lonzo has a target on his back, and it will hurt him. But even if you want Lonzo to be a bust, he will be the most famous bust of all time.
LaVar and Lonzo are already on the NBA history books, and Lonzo hasn’t played a minute of NBA basketball. We’re all interested on what’s going to happen with him, and we know he’s the biggest storyline this season.
So that’s my list, now let us know who are your must-watch teams this next season.