As the NBA season approaches, there are more than a few question marks screaming out across the league.
I’ll be talking a lot about the Lakers as the season nears, but for now, just this: As the Lakers made their run to the Finals last season, the constant mantra was “If only Andrew Bynum were healthy”. Well, presumably he is back and healthy, and will he be the difference? Can he be the one to put the Lakers over the top and win the Championship this coming season? The short answer is “No”, but a healthy Bynum will be a contributing factor in a talent-laden, well-coached team, that, on paper, appears significantly stronger than last season. They should be NBA Champs.
Can the Celtics duplicate their magic of last season? I was not a Doc Rivers fan before last season, but he did one of the great coaching jobs in NBA history last season, and he may be able to hold this team together to do it one more time. They are without James Posey who played a major role off the bench last season, but I really like Bill Walker, obtained in a post-draft trade, and he can make up for the loss. Leon Powe, who I thought was a budding star in his short tenure at Cal, showed flashes of that in the playoffs, and more playing time for him could be a big bonus for the Celtics.
Maybe the biggest question mark is the Houston Rockets. At times last year they were terrible, but then for a few weeks, after the injury to Yao Ming, they were brilliant. Which Houston team will show up this year? Well, I think the addition of Ron Artest is a major mistake and a step backward. Artest is perhaps the most over-rated player in the league, and has done nothing but make his team of the moment worse. He is a time bomb, and at some point during the season, he will explode, and take the team down with him.
More discussion of these teams, and more question marks, later on.