The 2021-2022 NBA Season is set to kick off Tuesday, Oct. 19.
This is not a drill.
Within the last 12 months, the NBA finished two seasons, crowned two different champions, and will start its newest season next week. Ever since the pandemic started in March 2020, I’ve lost my sense of date and time. The picture of Jimmy Butler on the scorer’s table after Game 5 of the 2020 NBA Finals was going around on Twitter the other day. Had I not seen the date, I would have guessed the picture was from 2018.
Regardless, I’m happy to have basketball back especially after an exciting NBA Finals. The league is in a good spot thanks to so many young budding superstars. Giannis Antetokounmpo sits on the throne as the best player in the league, but Kevin Durant, Steph Curry, and LeBron James could easily take back the crown by the end of the year.
In this exercise, I previewed each team in one sentence. Some are funny, others are brutally honest, and a few might hit home. Let’s dive right in.
Boston Celtics: Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown are the best duo under 25, but do they have enough surrounding talent to become a top-4 team in the East?
Brooklyn Nets: James Harden and Kevin Durant can win a title as a duo, but will Kyrie join them to form the trio?
New York Knicks: Was last year an anomaly, or have things changed at MSG?
Philadelphia 76ers: Is the Ben Simmons relationship salvageable?
Toronto Raptors: If you know the full truth behind the Pascal Siakim injury and his projected return date, I’m all ears.
Chicago Bulls: I like Zach LaVine more than most people, and the team is good on paper (Lonzo Ball, Nikola Vučević, DeMar DeRozan), but the Bulls have a date with the play-in game whether they like it or not.
Cleveland Cavaliers: This roster does not make sense especially in the frontcourt, but they are going to be exciting to watch because of Sexland.
Detroit Pistons: Let Cade do whatever he wants.
Indiana Pacers: Myles Turner is somehow still on this team.
Milwaukee Bucks: If Giannis gets a mid-range jump shot, then the Bucks can repeat.
Atlanta Hawks: After getting a taste of what it’s like to win big games, Trae Young and co. should be back in the mix for a top-4 seed in the East.
Charlotte Hornets: If LaMelo Ball and Gordon Hayward stay healthy, the Hornets should once again battle for a play-in spot.
Miami Heat: After getting embarrassed by the Bucks, the addition of Kyle Lowry means the Heat will try to channel their 2020 success.
Orlando Magic: This could be the worst team in the NBA.
Washington Wizards: The countdown to a Bradley Beal trade continues.
Denver Nuggets: If Joker is the Joker and Michael Porter Jr. becomes a 20+ ppg scorer, the Nuggets are a healthy Jamal Murray away from truly becoming a contender in the West.
Minnesota Timberwolves: It might be time to pull the plug on the Karl-Anthony Towns-D’Angelo Russell pairing.
Oklahoma City Thunder: If the Thunder decide to try, then they could win 25 games, but that won’t happen.
Portland Trail Blazers: If the Blazers get bounced from the first round again, Dame is good as gone.
Utah Jazz: If the Jazz went 82-0, would anyone seriously believe they could win the title?
Golden State Warriors: If Golden State can stay around .500 by the time Klay Thompson returns, the Warriors could be the dark horse to win the West.
Los Angeles Clippers: Until Kawhi returns, keep dreaming, LA.
Los Angeles Lakers: The Lakers are the best team in the NBA if and only if their stars are healthy and that’s a huge “if.”
Phoenix Suns: With the entire core returning, the Suns should battle for the top seed once again.
Dallas Mavericks: Luka must win a playoff series this year if he truly wants to become “the guy.”
Houston Rockets: The Rockets could be the first team to score 100 points per game and give up 200 points per game.
Memphis Grizzlies: If the Grizzlies make the playoffs once again, we might have to change the trajectory on Ja’s ceiling.
New Orleans Pelicans: If the Pelicans are secretly trying to get rid of Zion, then they’re passing with flying colors.
San Antonio Spurs: With all due respect to Pop, is it time for a new voice?
How would you describe your favorite team? Leave your thoughts in the comments below or tweet us, @unafraidshow.