What to watch for in the NBA this season

December 24, 2011 by  

Michael Moreno/Toppenish High School

YAKIMA, Wash. — After a delayed start because of a months-long lockout, the NBA season finally starts on Christmas day.

Here are some of the things to look out for while watching the games.

1. How Kobe Bryant and the Los Angeles Lakers respond to their conference finals loss to the eventual champs, the Dallas Mavericks. Will being swept by the Mavs give Kobe the motivation and hunger to go after a sixth championship, or will this season be the beginning of a decline in his career? Stay on the lookout for Kobe and his team.

2. Derrick Rose’s season as reigning MVP. Will he defend this title well, or will he disappoint his fans and confirm his critics skepticism? The addition of Richard Hamilton to Chicago might help Rose and the Bulls be a threat this season.

3. The Miami Heat vs. the Dallas Mavericks. Will this be the season of redemption for LeBron James, Dwayne Wade, and Chris Bosh (collectively known as The Big Three), or will the Mavs again show that they are the better team? With the additions of Vince Carter and Lamar Odom to the Dallas team, combined with the virtually invisible offseason moves for Miami (with the exception of Shane Battier to add to the Heat’s defense), the edge goes to the Mavs. Sure, the Heat have James and Wade, but how well they come back to the court this season will be the biggest question.

4. Chris Paul’s first game for the Los Angeles Clippers. Will Paul and Blake Griffin play just like Paul and Tyson Chandler did when the two played for the New Orleans Hornets? It will take some time for Paul and Griffin to mesh, but it could eventually happen, and the pair could be just what’s needed for the suddenly resurgent Clippers to be relevant in the league.

• Michael Moreno is a student at Toppenish High School and a member of the Yakima Herald-Republic’s Unleashed youth journalism program.

Filed under NBA/NHL/PGA/OTHERS, Season Ticket

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