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NBA 2018-19 Season Preview: LABron and the Warriors

Why even watch the NBA this season, they said. The Warriors are just going to win it all again, they said. The best player is now in the biggest market chasing the next thing after basketball, they said.  Forget what they said. The outcome could be the same for the next decade and there’s a million reasons to watch this beautiful sport. Here are a few of those reasons why you should tune in this season.

Yeah the disparity in the NBA has got out of proportion with DeMarcus “Boogie” Cousins moving to the Bay. Once he starts playing at the beginning of next year, it will be truly fascinating how Steve Kerr will spread the ball around to this team that could compete for Olympic gold medals by themselves. Would anybody be surprised if the Warriors got that coveted three-peat? No. But it isn’t always a given with superstar teams. The Los Angeles Lakers on two occasions with Gary Payton and Karl Malone in 2004 and with Dwight Howard and Steve Nash in 2012 made the basketball in LA anything but fun.

The East is worse with LeBron James moving into the Western Conference, but with a healthy Kyrie Irving and Gordon Hayward, the Celtics poise a much more legitimate threat to the Warriors dynasty than last season’s east champs did in the Cleveland Cavaliers. Like the Warriors needed any more motivation, now the team has the fuel to win one more championship for the city of Oakland. Next season, the team will move into their shiny new digs at the Chase Center in San Francisco. If you’re only about seeing greatness, this season is for you. For everyone else, Kevin Durant will probably go to the Knicks in a year or two so there’s a glimmer of hope that this dynasty won’t last longer than the Zhou dynasty in ancient China.

It’s officially LABron season and with that we get a new Space Jam movie (Only The Godfather beats the original Space Jam so good luck living up to that) and another misfit cast of characters surrounding James. Signing Lance Stephenson (who’s best talent is blowing in LeBron’s ear) Rajon Rondo, JaVale McGee, and Michael Beasley to surround LeBron doesn’t give anybody the sense that they could derail the Warriors or the Houston Rockets for that matter. What those signing are successful in producing is competition for the Lakers young drafted core in Lonzo Ball, Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, Brandon Ingram and Kyle Kuzma. Last year, coach Luke Walton stuck with them no matter what mostly out of necessity but it gave them a chance to develop. Now they will get better or they won’t play. Good luck telling Lamar Ball that his son can’t play on the Lakers. This will easily be Walton’s toughest year. Until Paul George, Kawhi Lenonard and Jimmy Butler inevitably join LeBron in showtime.

Speaking of Butler, he might have a difficult time joining any team after yelling at his GM during a practice right before the start of the season. For some reason yelling F-bombs at your boss doesn’t make you lose your job in Minnesota as Butler will be suiting up for the Timberwolves to start the season. One of the biggest story lines early in the season will be how long he lasts.  Joining the Heat, Clippers or Knicks are all possible destinations. But for anybody not in the state of Minnesota, let’s hope he stays in Minneapolis. All those housewives that are real have nothing on this drama.

Prediction time

Toronto is going to be better with Lenonard and they don’t have to face LeBron anymore so they have all but cleared their way to the Eastern Conference Finals. They should meet the Celtics who made it to game seven last season by depending on rookies and bench players. The Pacers and Bucks will put up a great showing but it nearly seems impossible seeing anybody but the Celtics come out of the east.

LeBron won’t be seeing his ninth straight Finals appearance and won’t recreate the Celtics-Lakers Finals rivalry just yet. His presence alone though is enough to get them this team that has been bad long before Kobe Bryant left the league to the playoffs, with a good seed at that. But the West is the most difficult conference for a reason. Save the Lakers to be a legitimate threat to the Warriors in LeBron’s second year in LA. Houston will be better by utilizing Carmelo Anthony in a better role than the Thunder ever did. If the Warriors don’t win another championship, it won’t be because of the Celtics, it will be because of the Rockets. If that happens, the dynasty might blow up before it every gets to San Francisco. Yeah, let’s be real. That ain’t happening. This team somehow got better in the offseason. It won’t take seven games to beat the Rockets, let alone the Celtics for that matter.

The Golden State Warriors win their third straight championship over the Boston Celtics 4-2 in their last game at Oracle Arena.

DateDayTime (ET)AwayHomeTV
21-Feb Thurs 7:00 PM Phoenix Suns Cleveland Cavaliers FOX Sports Ohio, FOX Sports Arizona, NBA League Pass
21-Feb Thurs 7:00 PM Miami Heat Philadelphia 76ers NBC Sports Philadelphia Plus, FOX Sports Sun, NBA League Pass
21-Feb Thurs 7:30 PM Portland Trail Blazers Brooklyn Nets YES, NBC Sports Northwest, NBA League Pass
21-Feb Thurs 8:00 PM Boston Celtics Milwaukee Bucks TNT
21-Feb Thurs 10:30 PM Sacramento Kings Golden State Warriors NBC Sports Bay Area, NBC Sports California, NBA League Pass
21-Feb Thurs 10:30 PM Houston Rockets Los Angeles Lakers TNT
22-Feb Fri 7:00 PM Washington Wizards Charlotte Hornets FOX Sports Southeast-Charlotte, NBC Sports Washington, NBA League Pass
22-Feb Fri 7:00 PM New Orleans Pelicans Indiana Pacers FOX Sports Indiana, FOX Sports New Orleans, NBA League Pass
22-Feb Fri 7:00 PM Chicago Bulls Orlando Magic FOX Sports Florida, NBA League Pass
22-Feb Fri 7:00 PM San Antonio Spurs Toronto Raptors ESPN
22-Feb Fri 7:30 PM Detroit Pistons Atlanta Hawks FOX Sports Southeast-Atlanta, FOX Sports Detroit Plus, NBA League Pass
22-Feb Fri 7:30 PM Minnesota Timberwolves New York Knicks FOX Sports North, NBA League Pass
22-Feb Fri 8:00 PM LA Clippers Memphis Grizzlies FOX Sports Southeast-Memphis, FOX Sports Prime Ticket, NBA League Pass
22-Feb Fri 8:30 PM
Denver Nuggets Dallas Mavericks FOX Sports Southwest-Dallas, NBA League Pass
23-Feb Sat 1:00 PM Portland Trail Blazers Philadelphia 76ers NBC Sports Philadelphia, NBCSNW, NBA League Pass
23-Feb Sat 7:00 PM Phoenix Suns Atlanta Hawks FOX Sports Southeast-Atlanta, FOX Sports Arizona, NBA League Pass
23-Feb Sat 7:00 PM Brooklyn Nets Charlotte Hornets FOX Sports Southeast-Charlotte, YES, NBA League Pass
23-Feb Sat 7:00 PM Memphis Grizzlies Cleveland Cavaliers FOX Sports Ohio, FOX Sports Southeast-Memphis, NBA League Pass
23-Feb Sat 7:00 PM Indiana Pacers Washington Wizards NBC Sports Washington, FOX Sports Indiana, NBA League Pass
23-Feb Sat 7:00 PM Los Angeles Lakers New Orleans Pelicans FOX Sports New Orleans, NBA League Pass
23-Feb Sat 7:30 PM Detroit Pistons Miami Heat FOX Sports Sun, FOX Sports Detroit, NBA League Pass
23-Feb Sat 8:00 PM Boston Celtics Chicago Bulls NBC Sports Chicago, NBC Sports Boston, NBA League Pass
23-Feb Sat 8:00 PM Sacramento Kings Oklahoma City Thunder FOX Sports Oklahoma, NBC Sports California, NBA League Pass
23-Feb Sat 8:30 PM Minnesota Timberwolves Milwaukee Bucks FOX Sports Wisconsin, FOX Sports North, NBA League Pass
23-Feb Sat 8:30 PM Houston Rockets Golden State Warriors ESPN3
23-Feb Sat 10:00 PM Dallas Mavericks Utah Jazz FOX Sports Southwest-Dallas, NBA League Pass
24-Feb Sun 3:30 PM Orlando Magic Toronto Raptors FOX Sports Florida, NBA League Pass
24-Feb Sun 5:00 PM LA Clippers Denver Nuggets NBATV
24-Feb Sun 7:30 PM San Antonio Spurs New York Knicks NBATV