New NBA season sets fan on pace for joy, disappointment

The NBA season is a week underway, and as usual, many overreactions are being made. Many believe the Chicago Bulls are the title favorites. Others think the Charlotte Hornets should be taken seriously as Eastern Conference Championship Contenders. Several other casual fans think the Los Angeles Lakers’s title window has closed up. However, as a self-proclaimed intellectual on the National Basketball Association, I know better.

Currently, the only remaining undefeated team is the Utah Jazz, led by star shooting guard Donovan Mitchell. Mitchell and fellow superstar Rudy Gobert have been playing as a dominant dynamic duo up to this point in the young season. However, other teams are not worried about this Jazz team. Year after year, since Donovan Mitchell’s arrival, the Jazz enter the playoffs with a high overall record. Yet, they continue to flop, only once reaching the conference finals. The fact of the matter is, the Utah Jazz are a regular season team that cannot find their way in the high intensity setting of the NBA playoffs.  

The Lakers, coming off an embarrassing loss to the Thunder, seem to be floundering with their 2-3 record and in-team fighting. Even though blowing a 26 point lead to the previously 0-4 Thunder is never a good sign,  the Lakers are merely in a feeling-out period. Led by many Hall-of-Fame bound veterans, such as Lebron James, Russell Westbrook, and others, the Lakers are an extremely experienced team that will figure out how to win games. Los Angeles has too much talent to be worried about them this early in the season. Although I don’t believe they’ll end up as the number one overall seed in the conference, I thoroughly believe that the Lakers will be title favorites by the end of the year.

The Knicks and Wizards have been two surprising squads up to this point. The Knicks, after ending their long playoff drought last year, have kept up that inspiring momentum. I expect them to be a very good basketball team this year and have a run in the playoffs. The Wizards, however, were not expected to perform anything like this. After trading away Russell Westbrook to the Lakers in the most recent offseason, the Wizards seemed to be a one man team.  However, up to this point, there has been more to this Washington team than just Bradley Beal.  Kyle Kuzma, Spencer Dinwiddie, and especially Montrezl Harrell have been fantastic roleplayers. Sadly, I don’t see this translating to the playoffs. With only one pure scorer, the Wizards would struggle to score in the playoffs and are no real threat.

The NBA season, for many, is the most fun time of the year. People get to see their favorite players and teams either perform to their expectations or fall short of what was anticipated. This uncertainty and change are some of the aspects that make watching professional basketball one of the most enjoyable pastimes on the planet.