The NBA is back! Tonight marks the start of the 2016-17 NBA Season and the league is getting things started with three games: New York @ Cleveland, Utah @ Portland and San Antonio @ Golden State. All three games are airing on SiriusXM NBA Radio. Speaking of the NBA Radio team, our hosts and experts were touring the country during training camps this fall and we’ve compiled some highlights and more in our list of what to watch for this NBA season.
Kevin Durant to Golden State
You may have heard a little something about this already. One of the two or three best players in the world just joined up with Golden State’s already glittering, championship-contending roster and now Golden State has become an ungodly three-ball launching squad that also happens to boast some of the lankiest and longest defenders in the NBA. Golden State, as discussed in our NBA predictions and preview, is the clear favorite to win the title this season. Kevin Durant’s stats may take a slight dent overall, from a sheer usage standpoint this is almost a guarantee, but KD made it clear that this move is all about winning an NBA title. Here’s Warriors’ head coach, Steve Kerr, breaking down Durant’s impact thus far:
Damian Lamonte Ollie Lillard
In case you had forgotten, Damian Lillard had a career-year last season in dragging the Portland Trail Blazers to the second round of the Western Conference playoffs before bowing out in five games to the Golden State Warriors. For Lillard, the plaudits, the career-high in points scored and assists, is all a jump-off point for his future. “Trillard” only sees the team getting better and is happy to embrace the role of underdog. Lillard, who seemingly takes every game against Golden State personally, his 51-point, one-man demolition of the Warriors last January was a preemptive shot at this season’s superteam version of GSW. Lillard held court on the above-mentioned Golden State superteam (and the trend at large) with NBA Radio earlier this month. Listen below:
And speaking of electrifying players in small markets, Paul George proved last season that he was 100% back from his broken leg and the subsequent rehabilitation. For any doubters still out there, George dominated throughout the 2016 Rio Olympics and now, as told to NBA Radio, George’s personal goal for this season: MVP.
Tom Thibodeau is building a monster in Minnesota. While the Wolves were still way out from playoff contention last season, the justified expectation for this year is the postseason. Karl-Anthony Towns, Andrew Wiggins, Ricky Rubio, Zach LaVine and Nikola Pekovic are as devastating a young core as possible. Toss in Thibodeau’s know-how and knack for getting everything out of every player on his roster and Minnesota should be a fearsome and difficult game for everyone they face. Here’s KAT talking about the squad’s goals and team-wide development with NBA Radio.