2019 NBA Review and 2020 Preview
The 2018-19 season was one of the best in recent history. New teams were on the rise, old faces missed the playoffs, and emerging superstars sought to take hold of the league. For us basketball fans, this is an era of NBA basketball to rival the Magic-Bird 80’s, Jordan’s Bulls dynasty, and beyond.
This offseason is also shaping up to be one for the ages. We already have a blockbuster trade a la Herscel Walker to the Minnesota Vikings. This time, it is the LA Lakers who are hoping to walk away on top of an epic trade.
With this in mind, let’s review this past season and look ahead to what we can expect from the NBA next year.
Kawhi Leanord and Toronto Raptors win 2019 NBA Championship
“Bucket… No... Board... Board man gets paid.” These are just some of Kawhi Leanord’s favorite phrases when trash talking on the hardwood. Leonard is famously soft spoken, but man does he let his play do the talking for him.
The Toronto Raptors defeated the best team of the decade, the Golden State Warriors, in a six (6) game NBA finals. Most of the games were close, coming down to last minute dramatics.
In a decisive game six, Steph Curry missed a difficult three in the closing seconds, and the Raptors clung on to a slim lead. This leaves many fans wondering what will become of the Warriors dynasty, and whether the Raptors can keep their slew of superstar talent for another run next year.
Best Stories from 2018-19 NBA Season
Beyond bringing Canada its first NBA title ever, here are some other great stories from this past NBA season:
The Greek Freak is no flash in the pan. Giannis Antetokounmpo, better known as The Greek Freak, exploded in production in the 2018-19 season. He ended with 27.2 points, 12.7 boards, 6 assists, and 2.8 steals + blocks per game.
The Celtics are not who we thought they were. This year’s new superteam was supposedly the Boston Celtics. Kyrie Irving is finally captain of the ship...and it looks like that ship is sinking. We’ll have to wait and see what happens with the Celtics underperforming core this offseason.
Trusting the process in the City of Brotherly Love. The Philadelphia 76ers famously tanked their way to the top to the repeated phrase: trust the process. That process has finally bore fruit with Ben Simmons, Joel Embid, and Jimmy Butler set to dominate the East for years to come (if they all stay in town).
Anthony Davis and Lebron James Lead the Lakers
The Lakers finished last season 37-45, the first time Lebron James has missed the NBA finals in an otherworldly eight (8) NBA seasons. That might all have changed with the acquisition of generational talent Anthony Davis.
The Lakers will receive Anthony Davis.
The New Orleans Pelicans will receive:
Three first-round draft picks
The flip side of this deal is of course the Pelicans, who are now set to snag Duke star Zion Williamson and another great talent with this year’s number 4 overall pick. Time will tell how this blockbuster deal pans out, but we see it as a positive for both organizations.
2020 NBA Preview: Favorites and Bottom Dwellers
Our 2019-20 NBA favorites:
Los Angeles Lakers: can you really blame us? Lebron, Davis, and three warm bodies will be favored against most clubs next season.
Houston Rockets: the Rockets have been knocking on the door for several years now. Harden and CP3 are ready to turn the corner, particularly with a potentially weakend Golden State squad.
Toronto Raptors: and of course who could leave out the defending champs. The Kings of the North will stay relevant if they can keep Kawhi happy. A mix of youth, experience, and legitimate starpower is a tough thing to contend with.
Our 2019-20 NBA bottom dwellers:
Phoenix Suns: things look to remain ice cold in Phoenix, where the Suns have not shared the luck of the draft of other teams like the 76ers. Beyond Devin Booker, the talent pool in the desert is about as dry as it gets.
Cleveland Cavaliers: Believeland is likely a thing of the past...or at least a thing which might take some time to return. Aging stars and lackluster depth will likely keep Cleveland pining for Lebron for many years.
The New York Knicks: the Knicks just can’t seem to get off the ground. One of the NBA’s most legendary franchises seems to need a total overhaul to get back to the promise land.
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