NBA Season Preview

What do we really know? The NBA’s misconceptions through the years

Every October, the collective NBA intelligentsia generates a consensus on what we know to be true about the impending season. The track record isn’t great.

In 1991, we knew we’d be getting Magic Johnson vs. Michael Jordan for years to come.

In 1994, we knew the NBA was doomed.

In 1995, we knew we better get used to seeing the Orlando Magic in the NBA Finals.

In 1996, we knew 72 wins would stand forever.

In 1999, we knew the NBA was doomed.

In 2002, we knew the Shaq and Kobe dynasty would last forever.

In 2003, we knew four future Hall-of-Famers on the same Los Angeles Lakers team couldn’t possibly fail.

In 2005, we knew the NBA was doomed.

In 2006, we knew LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers were still a year away, Elton Brand and the LA Clippers were finally ready to make the leap, and Kobe Bryant‘s days as a Laker were numbered.

In 2007, we knew Greg Oden was the next great big man, Ben Gordon and the Chicago Bulls were finally ready to make the leap, and we would finally get Kobe vs. LeBron in the Finals.

In 2008, we knew Dwight Howard and the Magic were still a year away, Chris Bosh and the Toronto Raptors were finally ready to make the leap, the Miami Heat would be just fine with Michael Beasley even though they lost out on Derrick Rose, and we would finally get Kobe vs. LeBron in the Finals.

In 2009, we knew the Oklahoma City Thunder were still a year away, the best days of Steve Nash and the Phoenix Suns were finally behind them, the Memphis Grizzlies would be just fine with Hasheem Thabeet even though they lost out on Blake Griffin, and we would finally get Kobe vs. LeBron in the Finals.

In 2010, we knew the public would never forgive or forget “The Decision,” the Chris Paul/Deron Williams debate would be the Magic/Bird or Timmy/Shaq of its era, Philly would be just fine with Evan Turner even though it lost out on John Wall, and the days of a team winning it all with just one superstar — especially a soft, European one — were over for good.

In 2011, we knew the G.O.A.T. conversation would never be reopened after the meltdown in Dallas, Miami better get used to seeing the Bulls and their young MVP in the playoffs, Minnesota would be just fine with Derrick Williams even though it lost out on Kyrie Irving, and the Denver Nuggets would never get over the loss of Carmelo Anthony.

In 2012, we knew we had better get used to seeing the Thunder in the Finals, Father Time had finally caught up with the San Antonio Spurs, the Stephen Curry contract was a risky bet for the Golden State Warriors, you couldn’t build a contender around two star guards, and four future Hall-of-Famers on the same Lakers team couldn’t possibly fail.

In 2013, we knew the Heat dynasty would last forever, Danny Ainge went out on a limb by sending two franchise pillars to the Brooklyn Nets for nothing more than future picks, the Suns’ two-headed point guard experiment featuring Goran Dragic and Eric Bledsoe would never work, and the Clippers finally meant business.

In 2014, we knew Kawhi Leonard would be a Spur for life, the Warriors were just on the outside looking in at the group of real contenders, James Dolan finally got it right with Phil Jackson, the Al Horford/Paul Millsap Atlanta Hawks would be decent at best, and the Clippers finally meant business.

In 2015, we knew a healthy Dwight Howard would help the Houston Rockets challenge Golden State in the West, the Portland Trail Blazers would finally stop overachieving, Jahlil Okafor confirmed that The Process worked, teams would benefit immensely from the impending cap spike, the Nets would never recover from the Boston Celtics trade, and the Clippers finally meant business.

In 2016, we knew Boston would have to back up the Brinks truck to keep Isaiah Thomas, Denver was facing a tough decision between Jusuf Nurkic and Nikola Jokic, Chandler Parsons would become the final piece of the Memphis puzzle, Nicolas Batum at five years, $120 million was a huge get for the Charlotte Hornets, the Reggie Jackson/Andre Drummond combo would take a step forward in Detroit, Avery Bradley and Nerlens Noel were going to get seriously paid, and a second-round pick could never win Rookie of the Year.

In 2017, we knew the Warriors dynasty would last forever, the Minnesota Timberwolves swindled the Bulls in the Jimmy Butler trade, the Indiana Pacers would never get over the loss of Paul George, the Raptors finally needed to blow it up, the mysterious Kawhi injury thing was probably no big deal, the Blazers would finally stop overachieving, the Washington Wizards were finally ready to make the leap, the Gordon Hayward-less Utah Jazz were going to have a rude awakening, D’Angelo Russell was a bust, and Markelle Fultz was the final piece of the Philly puzzle.

In 2018, we knew the Kings would be the worst team in the NBA, Kevin Durant would soon be a New York Knick, the Celtics would coalesce beautifully, Toronto’s bet couldn’t actually pay off, the Blazers would finally stop overachieving, the Nets might actually sniff decency (and maybe even relevance) several years down the line, the Lakers would be good, the Clippers would be bad, and the New Orleans Pelicans might as well fold up shop if they couldn’t retain Anthony Davis.

Next: The Step Back’s complete 2019-20 NBA season preview

It’s 2019. We know culture will win out in Brooklyn, the Knicks are hopeless, the Clippers are inevitable, John Wall is finished, the Dallas Mavericks are ready to make the leap, no one who missed out on Zion Williamson will be just fine, the Hawks are headed in the right direction, the Celtics will coalesce beautifully, the Blazers will finally stop overachieving, the Hornets will be terrible, and two future Hall-of-Famers on the same Lakers team couldn’t possibly fail.

Imagine what we’ll know tomorrow.

Products You May Like

Articles You May Like

NBA rumors: Pistons draft class cooling interest in DeAndre Ayton
Agent: Bulls, LaVine agree to 5-year, $215M deal
Mo Bamba should be the Chicago Bulls dark horse free agency target
Kyrie Irving, Stephen A. Smith are beefing again, this time on Twitter
Sources: Hawks get All-Star Murray from Spurs

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.