The National Basketball Association is set to tip-off its 69th year this upcoming 2014-2015 season! I seriously began watching basketball during the 1991-1992 season when the Chicago Bulls were in the infancy of their dynasty. As a fan of the game, I began rooting for the Boston Celtics and their up and coming superstar Reggie Lewis. I also rooted for the Chicago Bulls and the Charlotte Hornets (mostly because of their amazing teal uniforms!).
As a fan of the NBA these days, I tend to continue to root for and follow players more so than I root for teams. I am not bound to the Boston Celtics simply because I am from Boston. I actually have rooted against the Celtics ever since Danny Ainge and the new ownership regime took over the team.
Teams That I will Be Watching On NBA League Pass This Year:
I was a fan of the Miami Heat before Lebron James came to town, and I am still a fan after he departed. Dwyane Wade has been my favorite player to watch over the past decade and it will be interesting to see how he and team rebounds after losing the best player in the game. I have watched all of Miami’s preseason games and have been impressed with the way they have been playing. Rookie James Ennis is a journeyman of sorts and looks like he is ready to show people he can play this year. Also, the experiment of playing Mario Chalmers as the back-up shooting guard looks like it might actually work. The Miami Heat will be a factor in the playoffs this year.
New York Knicks:
The storied history of the New York Knicks makes them a compelling team to follow. It will be interesting to see if Phil Jackson and Derek Fisher can get the current bunch of Knicks to effectively run the Triangle Offense. Tim Hardaway Jr. is an exciting young player to watch and his game should only evolve even more this season.
Did you guys see the fans of the Toronto Raptors last year? Seeing the sea of fans hanging outside the arena while the playoffs were going on last year was extremely impressive. This up and coming team should continue to be fun to watch and should challenge for one of the top spots in the Eastern Conference.
LeBron James is must watch basketball. Regardless of how you feel about him, there is no denying that he is one of the most dynamic players to ever play the game. The Cavaliers will go far this season, but I believe they are still one year away from really contending for a title. Every team has to go through some adversity and pain before they win the title, right?
The Chicago Bulls have an excellent chance of winning the Eastern Conference. They have excellent coaching with Tom Thibadeau and have really added some nice pieces over the summer like Pau Gasol. Of course, the Chicago Bulls will only go as far as Derrick Rose takes them.
Losing Josh McRoberts in Free Agency is going to hurt the Hornets, but they are still poised to improve after s successful previous season. Adding Lance Stevenson will help the Hornets (and probably hurt them as well) and Kemba Walker should be able to raise his game to another level this season. The Hornets need Michael Kidd-Gilchrist to be able to put some points up on the board this season. Word around the NBA is that he improved his hideous jump shot, let’s hope so.
New Orleans Pelicans:
Anthony Davis is a monster. Did you see the way he transformed his figure while playing for USA Basketball? Davis reminds me of a hybrid of Tim Duncan and Marcus Camby and looks like he is ready to join himself among the elite players in the game. The Pelicans also have a nice young team, but might not have enough firepower to make the playoffs in the highly competitive Western Conference.
I was rooting for the Suns to make the final playoff spot in the Western Conference last season, but they just fell shot. The Suns are a fantastic regular season team to watch that plays an exciting fast paced game. They will be a team no one will want to face in the playoffs if they are able to make it.
Golden State Warriors:
If you like three pointers and fast paced offense, Golden State is your team. It will be interesting to see what new coach Steve Kerr can do with this team. Have you ever seen a player with a quicker release than Steph Curry?
Oklahoma City Thunder:
Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook are two of the most dynamic players in the game. Can Westbrook hold it down while KD recovers from a foot injury? The Thunder will be a factor come playoff time once agin, but they have to figure out what they are going to do with Kendrick Perkins?
Damien Lillard is the real deal. Do you remember the shot he made against the Rockets in the playoffs last year to knock them out? That shot was cold blooded. The Blazers have a talented team with Lillard and LaMarcus Aldridge that should make them a formidable foe in the West.
These are some of my favorite teams and players that I will be watching this season. Which teams and which players are most exciting for you to watch and which players do you borrow moves from to incorporate your own arsenal?
Contributing writer Jasen Sousa for Premier Hoops is the author of a number of poetry and fiction books for young people. Jasen has an M.F.A. in Creative Writing and is a life-long participant and fan of the game of basketball.