Parker’s Sports Corner: 10 things to watch in the NBA this season


The NBA is back! With basketball soon to be on TV nearly every night, you may wonder: which team should I watch? What can I look forward to this season?

Luckily for you, I’m here to answer these questions by giving you 10 things to watch this NBA season. 

1)  The Celtics’ new additions

The Boston Celtics had a busy offseason, acquiring Jrue Holiday and Kristaps Porzingis and parting with key contributors Marcus Smart, Malcolm Brogdon and Robert Williams. These new-look Celtics should have the best starting five in the league — at least on paper. But will Porzingis’ ability to stretch the floor make up for their lost rim protection from Robert Williams? This question, along with the health of Porzingis, will determine whether Boston can get back to the NBA Finals for the second time in three years.

2)  Will the Bulls blow it up?

The Chicago Bulls seemed destined for a rebuild this offseason after a play-in-game loss to the Miami Heat in the third year of the Zach Lavine and Demar DeRozan duo. Yet, they seem to be sticking with the same core of players. If the Bulls seem to be heading toward yet another mediocre season, they will likely be active on the trade market — especially amid rumors they could be a potential landing spot for James Harden. 

3) Year two of Luka and Kyrie in Dallas

As a franchise, the Mavericks are in a precarious position. Despite possessing dynamic duo Luka Doncic and Kyrie Irving, the Mavericks collapsed in the second half of their last season. The 20 or so games with this duo have shown Luka may be too ball-dominant to succeed with Kyrie. But 20 games is not a lot, and I wouldn’t count the Mavericks out from surging into playoff-contending territory. Important offseason signings, like forward Grant Williams and rookie center Dereck Lively II, should help bolster what was a poor defense in 2023.

4) Chris Paul on the Warriors

This one just sounds wrong to say: Chris Paul is on the Golden State Warriors. He’s there to try to extend the dynasty and move on from the thumping they received at the hands of the Lakers last postseason. Can “CP3” push the Warriors back into the upper echelon of contenders? Probably not. The Warriors are undersized and one of the oldest teams in the league (6-foot, 38-year-old Chris Paul doesn’t help with this). So it’s hard to see them compete with the Nuggets or Lakers this season. Yet, the talent is there, and adding Chris Paul to this dynastic squad will certainly be fun to watch. 

5) The new-look Rockets

The Rockets are a completely new squad this year with immense talent. This offseason, they signed guards Fred Vanvleet and Dillon Brooks and drafted guards Amen Thompson and Cam Whitmore in the first round. They’re added to a team already loaded with the likes of Jalen Green and Jae’sean Tate, making for a clustered backcourt with a lot of talent and limited playtime. Added to the fray is the fact that they brought in a new coach,  Ime Udoka, who has a lot on his plate in his first year in Houston. How the Rockets will look amid all this change will be intriguing to watch.

6) The classic Lakers

The Los Angeles Lakers are always a spectacle, being the most iconic NBA franchise with the most iconic NBA player, Lebron James. Although Anthony Davis, Lebron’s co-star, is always dubious between his health and inconsistent play, the Lakers may be a real contender this year. They built on a Western Conference Finals appearance last season by adding guard Gabe Vincent and forward Taurean Prince, as well as putting shooters around Lebron and Anthony Davis. If they can piece it together, this team could compete for a championship. But a Lakers flameout would be equally as entertaining.

7) Dame on the Bucks

The Milwaukee Bucks made the NBA’s biggest offseason move just weeks ago when they acquired superstar guard Damian Lillard from the Portland Trail Blazers. Lillard and Giannis Antetokounmpo will now form the most prolific duo in the league, and the Bucks will be considered championship favorites by many. There are questions about their lack of depth, but Antetokounmpo, Lillard and company will be a must-see every night due to Lillard’s electrifying shot-making ability and Antetokounmpo’s exceptional physical dominance. 

8) OKC’s young core

The Oklahoma City Thunder have arguably the most exciting young core in the league, led by star Shai Gilgeous-Alexander and emerging young players like Josh Giddey, Chet Holmgren, Jalen Williams and Jaylin Williams (confusing, right?). Coming off a surprise play-in-game appearance last year, the expectations for The Thunder are high this year, especially with potential rookie of the year candidate Chet Holmgren returning from injury. Holmgren is a unique 7-foot-1 must-watch prospect, Gilgeous-Alexander scores a consistent 30 points per game and the rest of the roster is littered with young talent. 

9) Will the Suns’ experiment work?

The Phoenix Suns are experimenting with an idea: winning a championship with a complete offensive focus. The Suns were already a prolific offensive team last year, with two of the best scorers in the game, Kevin Durant and Devin Booker, surrounded by the likes of Chris Paul and Deandre Ayton. They took this approach to another level this offseason by shipping out Paul and Ayton for another elite scorer, Bradley Beal, and offensive players Jusuf Nurkic and Yuta Watanabe. This experiment just may work. Their unrivaled offense could simply outscore teams on most nights. However, it will be interesting to see if this is sustainable or if their lack of reliable defense will come back to bite them.

10) Wembanyama’s rookie year

Wembanyama is the most hyped NBA prospect since Lebron James in 2003, and he could even be the best prospect of all time. At 7-foot-4, Wemby moves like a 6-foot-3 guard, has the shot-making potential of Kevin Durant and can already block shots like Rudy Gobert. He’s truly electrifying to watch, and the Spurs will be a must-see this season because of him. Will he meet the absurd expectations that face him? Can he stay healthy with such a large frame? If he can, we may be looking at an all-time great player in the making.

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