2019-2020 NBA season starts

Jaden Tremelling, News Copy Editor

With a new season starting in the NBA, there are a lot of things changing, former powerhouses are falling and new contenders are on the rise. With last year’s champions, the Toronto Raptors, losing their best player in Kawhi Leonard, there will be a shift of power in the basketball world.

The Toronto Raptors ended last season hoisting the trophy over the Golden State Warriors after winning four games out of six, in a seven game series. Much of their success could be attributed to Kawhi Leonard, the Finals MVP, who averaged 28.5 points per game during the series. However, during the offseason, he departed to his hometown, Los Angeles. He joined the Clippers with Paul George, six time NBA all-star. With this loss, the Raptors are the eleventh favorite to win the championship this year.

In the Western Conference, the two teams from L.A., the Lakers and Clippers, are both favorites to win the league. The historically dominant Lakers, led by Lebron James, are coming off a disappointing year, where they finished 10th in the West, missing the playoffs. However, they are looking to rebound this year with the addition of Anthony Davis, six time NBA all-star from the New Orleans Pelicans and Dwight Howard, three time defensive player of the year and eight time NBA all-star.

A falling dynasty, the Golden State Warriors are predicted to struggle this year. The Warriors have made the NBA Finals every year since 2015 and have won three championships during that time. Losing former MVP, and two time Finals MVP, Kevin Durant during the offseason was a major blow to the Warriors. This year they will rely on Stephen Curry, who is a two time MVP, and unfortunately broke his hand and will be out for two months, and D’angelo Russel, who led the Brooklyn Nets to its first playoff appearance in four years.

In the East, people are predicting three main teams to compete for the top spot. One of those teams is the Milwaukee Bucks, which are led by last year’s MVP, Giannis Antetokounmpo and the Coach of the Year, Mike Budenholzer. Last year they finished with the best record in all of the NBA, with 60 wins and 22 losses. In the end, they lost in the Eastern Conference Finals to the eventual champions, the Toronto Raptors.

Some surprising teams so far in the season includes the Charlotte Hornets and the Phoenix Suns. Everyone ruled out the Charlotte this year due to the loss of their best player, Kemba Walker, to the Boston Celtics in the off-season. However, they have started out as 4-3 with some notable wins over the Sacramento Kings and the Indiana Pacers, who are both considered up-and-coming teams.

“I’m honestly surprised on how well the Hornets are doing so far, I was actually expecting them to lose every game,” said Jack McCoy, junior.

Last year, the Phoenix Suns finished last in the Western Conference with a record of 19-63, but so far they’ve had five wins and two losses. Some notable wins are over the previously undefeated Philadelphia 76ers and the Los Angeles Clippers.