Finally! The NBA has come back to basketball fans. Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson reference aside, the NBA season has begun. And, it’s pretty exciting.
This is a fresh start and a new opportunity for teams undergoing a rebuild, teams that just missed the playoffs, or teams who are contenders on the path to a championship. But it won’t be easy.
The NBA has some talented teams, and one of those teams won a historic championship last season. That team was the Milwaukee Bucks. But one must wonder, can they do it again?
The Bucks Make History
The Bucks won the 2021 NBA Finals after beating the Phoenix Suns 4-2. Their win gave the Bucks their first championship in 50 years, and their star player Giannis Antetokounmpo helped them get there.
Antetokounmpo has been with the Bucks since the start of his career. They saw him grow from a skinny kid averaging 6.8 points per game, to Most Improved Player, to MVP, and now he’s a champion.
Antetokounmpo and the Bucks were the third seed of the East last season, and they fought through the playoffs to earn a championship.
From sweeping the Miami Heat to beating the (arguable) favorites in the Brooklyn Nets, the Hawks, and the Suns, the Bucks’ journey wasn’t always easy. And this year won’t be any different.
East and West Teams Shake up Their Rosters
The Bucks have a target on their back (like all former champions), and teams from both conferences will look to dethrone them. Contenders made moves to improve their roster in hopes of making that final leap towards a title. The Lakers signed a slew of veterans like Carmelo Anthony, DeAndre Jordan, Dwight Howard, and others.
The Lakers also just picked up veteran Avery Brady, who they picked up off waivers after the Warriors released him over the weekend.
The Lakers also have Russell Westbrook, which now makes their duo of LeBron James and Anthony Davis a trio. The three stars were the focal point of their own teams at some point, and now the three of them can come together in hopes of winning a title. James and Davis won in 2020, but for Westbrook, this will be his first title.
Eyes will be on the Lakers all season as, despite their age, they are still contenders. But we can’t forget about the Nets.
The Nets Hope to Contend
The Nets have been in the headlines recently, but not for the reasons they’d like. Kyrie Irving has been a topic of discussion for his take on the vaccine, and as it stands, he won’t practice or play until he is eligible.
Irving’s absence will impact the Nets, but you can’t count out a team with James Harden and Kevin Durant.
The Nets have two of the best players in the league (excluding Irving for now), and they added some pieces to improve their roster. They added veteran guard Patty Mills, who had a pretty good showing at the 2020 Olympics. They also picked up Paul Milsap and brought back LaMarcus Aldridge.
The Nets still have a strong roster and if they can remain healthy, they have what it takes to win.
Will the Bucks Repeat?
The Bucks have a tough road ahead of them. Teams like the Lakers and Nets are improving and trying to win it all. And we can’t forget teams like the Clippers, the Nuggets, the Suns, and others.
Milwaukee could repeat, but for now, it looks like they’ll be dethroned. The question is, who will do it?