October 26, 2016

Is this the NBA’s time to shine? + 2016-7 Season preview

by Dan Bilicki In: Basketball

Much has been made recently about the NFL’s dip in TV ratings, leaving some uncertainty about football’s stranglehold as the No .1 sport in North America.

And do you know which sport has been picking up steam in recent years, is flush with highly marketable superstars and started its season last night? That’s right, basketball.

Steph Curry might be the most popular athlete in the world with the highest approval rating, Kevin Durant just joined him in Golden State to boost an already record-winning team and LeBron James is making an argument as one of the best players ever.

There’s intrigue all over the league, with Russell Westbrook taking full charge of the Thunder, James Harden transitioning to point guard, the youth movement of the Minnesota Timberwolves and the Knicks making a run for the playoffs.

With the NFL slouching due to oversaturation, fallout from concussion cases and weekly injuries, and yet another domestic violence scandal, this is the NBA’s chance to start its run at being America’s sports darling.

Remember, the NFL wasn’t always the top dog in the sports arena and there’s no rule that says it has to be. Baseball faded a few decades ago and this could be the start of football’s decline.

While this may just be a blip for the billion-dollar industry that is the NFL, it could be a cause for concern and there’s no way that the NBA and commissioner Adam Silver doesn’t know that.

As for the 2016-17 season, here are our predictions.

EASTERN CONFERENCE STANDINGS

Cleveland

Boston

Atlanta

Toronto

Indiana

Detroit

New York

Charlotte

Chicago

Milwaukee

Miami

Washington

Orlando

Philadelphia

Brooklyn

WESTERN CONFERENCE STANDINGS

Golden State

San Antonio

Los Angeles Clippers

Portland

Utah

Houston

Minnesota

Oklahoma City

Memphis

Denver

New Orleans

Dallas

Sacramento

Los Angeles Lakers

Phoenix

EASTERN CONFERENCE FINAL: Cleveland over Boston in six.

WESTERN CONFERENCE FINAL: Golden State over San Antonio in seven.

NBA FINAL: Golden State over Cleveland in seven.

MVP: LeBron James, CLE

SCORING LEADER: James Harden, HOU

ROOKIE OF THE YEAR: Brandon Ingram, LAL

FIRST OVERALL PICK: Phoenix Suns

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