The NBA season is about two weeks old, and already, some primary suspicions have been confirmed. In the West, it appears unlikely that the Golden State Warriors will win 74 games, as they go through the growing process that even super-teams need. The Dallas Mavericks appear to be dead. Everything else is up in the air. In the East, it appears that the Cleveland Cavaliers, unless LeBron James should suffer significant injury, will cruise to another Conference title. Their primary challengers, the Toronto Raptors, yet again have a hole at power forward, despite some interesting youngsters and an en fuego start from DeMar DeRozan. The Boston Celtics — shocker — are maybe not quite as good as their rabid fans thought.
This is undoubtedly a win for a Toronto team that has enjoyed its greatest successes over the past three seasons. The core of a Conference Finals team is intact, a homegrown All-Star in DeMar DeRozan has just re-signed long term, and fans are looking forward to the continued development of burgeoning big man Jonas Valanciunas, who turned 24 in the midst of last years playoff run. It’s not just a good time to be a Raptors fan, but the best time ever. Still though, a little voice wonders: ‘What’s next?’
On July 4th, Kevin Durant irrevocably altered the course of NBA history. Even if the newest version of the Golden State Warriors doesn’t work well together (unlikely) or if he changes his mind before the moratorium ends and goes somewhere else (unlikelier still, but let us never forget DeAndre), the debate his defection to the Dubs has sparked rivals only the kind of frothing rhetoric spewed following LeBron James’ infamous ‘The Decision’.
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