27 Sep

NBA Season Preview 2019/2020

Photo by NeONBRAND, License

The long, arduous wait for the NBA season to begin again is finally over, which means we are a while away from finding out who will take the crown this year. However, with the usual trading, training and talk that goes on during the off-season, we can certainly gain an understanding of what is likely to happen on the court this year.

Here is a preview to the NBA 2019/20 season.

Photo by Ramiro Pianarosa, License

Players to Watch
This season will feature 108 players from 38 different countries outside the United States, making 2019/20 the 6th consecutive season that the NBA has had over 100 international players on the books.

Los Angeles Lakers’ legend, LeBron James starts his 17th season this year. He needs 1,101 points to beat Kobe Bryant’s third-place record on the NBA all-time scoring list. He is very likely to achieve that this year. He is also likely to reach 7th on the list of all-time total minutes played, and 8th on the all-time assists made.

James Harden finished last season with the highest scoring average of the season, for the second year in a row. Finishing in the same position this year will make him only the eighth player to achieve this, and by doing so, only Michael Jordan and Wilt Chamberlain will have longer streaks.

Milwaukee Bucks
The Milwaukee Bucks continue to be a strong contender in the NBA, and are not a team that should be written off to reach the finals. They are currently favourites to win the Eastern Conference after topping it last year, above eventual NBA Championship winners, the Toronto Raptors.

2019/20 will be the Bucks’ second season with Mike Budenholzer as coach. Their first year together saw a strong performance by the team and they were contenders for the NBA Championship until they were beaten in the Eastern Conference finals by the Toronto Raptors.

Proving that they have everything needed to succeed, last year, individual members of the Bucks won Coach of the Year, Most Valued Player, and Executive of the Year. If they can bring everything together, they will be a force to be reckoned with this season.

Philadelphia 76ers
Fellow Eastern Conference side, the Philadelphia 76ers are also strong contenders for the NBA Championship this year. Many have said that the Raptors would not have made it to the finals last year if they had come up against the 76ers in the semi-finals.

The 76ers had a disappointing defence last year, demonstrated by their 14th place ranking for defense. Things should be better this year, there were some improvements by the playoffs last year and they have signed more players to strengthen this area. This puts them the second favourite to win the Eastern Conference and 5th to win the NBA Championship.

Los Angeles Clippers
The Clippers are the favourites to win the NBA Championship this season and for good reason. Despite having traded their leading scorer, they still won 48 games last season. Doc Rivers rejigged his team to get the most out of it, with Lou Williams stepping up to the role of the lead scorer.

Since the end of last season, the Clippers have managed to pick up some major talent including Paul George, Kawhi Leonard, and Landry Shamet. These new additions are bound to compliment the already strong line-up. Leonard, who was the top scorer at the Raptors last year, will be a great addition and makes the Clippers formidable.

While there is still a long way to go, it is clear that the Los Angeles Clippers are looking like the team to beat this year. The Raptors win was a bit of luck last year and, with Kawhi Leonard gone, they don’t seem capable of repeating that again in 2019/20. The Milwaukee Bucks are another strong contender, but they don’t quite look up to the level of the Clippers. However, as the 76ers proved last year, fate can go against you on the night.