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Intriguing Climax Awaits 2010-2011 Season

 

The 2010-2011 season has followed what was the most dramatic offseason that the league has ever witnessed, and so far, the drama of the season has possessed hype and is gearing up for an intriguing climax. Thus far, we have observed an array of entertainments- Miami’s big three struggling and now blossoming, the continued emergence of superstars Kevin Durant and Derrick Rose, the reemergence of the Spurs, the Lakers annual slump, the NBA Jam-esque dunks of Blake Griffin, the despicableness of the LeBron-less Cavs, and the most recent action packed trade deadline, as we’ve just watched Carmelo Anthony finally arrive in New York and Deron Williams suddenly land in New Jersey.

All that to say, the stage is set nicely for what’s left in the 2010-2011 season. With the lingering collective bargaining agreement causing concern about a potential lockout, NBA fans should be quick to soak up whatever events soon transpire. Thus, in looking toward the coming months, let’s gaze at various potentials that could sweep across the NBA landscape. We really don’t know which way the drama is going to turn, so why not dream about what might take place?

The first potential scenario is a rather boring one, because we might as well get that out of the way first. This scenario would feature a recent champion (Lakers, Celtics, Spurs) battling it out with another recent champion. A Lakers vs. Celtics rematch would undoubtedly create some hype, but after all the commotion that has taken place since last year, this would be somewhat anticlimactic. Even more anticlimactic would be the lifeless yet super productive Spurs meeting Boston. Nonetheless, these scenarios are very plausible, but our imaginations can come up with so much more.

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The second scenario would be the heralded matchup that the NBA has been desperately craving for years in the Finals: Kobe vs. LeBron. It was supposed to happen each of the past three seasons, but Miami’s Big Three make it the most possible that it has ever been. Watching the 2-time defending champs duke it out with the flashy boys of South Beach would certainly create some vigor. And if Kobe wins, it would unquestionably link his name alongside some of the greatest. If he can overcome three of the best, current players (LeBron, Wade, Bosh) teaming up while snagging his 6 th ring to sit alongside Michael, then his legacy will surely rest among the all time elite.

The third potential picture features an all-out Miami Heat domination. I hope this doesn’t happen. I would much rather endure watching the methodical Spurs take on Boston. Nonetheless, we can’t say that a Heat domination would be boring, because it would continue to alter the league. Teams would certainly have to size themselves up against Miami, and more and more All Stars would begin teaming up. Let’s hope this doesn’t happen, but with the talent aligned in South Beach, it wouldn’t be shocking.

The remaining potential scenarios are where things get fun, and we will simply refer to them as “wild cards.” The majority of NBA fans don’t want to see the Lakers repeat, the Spurs somehow win it all again, or the despised Heat trounce their way to glory. Therefore, let’s explore the fun potentials.

 


Wild Card #1: Bulls vs. Thunder. How satisfying would it be to see the up and coming Thunder dethrone the seasoned Lakers, and witness D-Rose and the team-oriented Bulls slide through the Eastern Conference? This matchup would elevate the values of continually budding Kevin Durant and Derrick Rose while also revealing that a team-centered approach wins in the playoffs. Both these teams have one superstar and at least one other worthy all-star (Russell Westbrook, Carlos Boozer), while also possessing a list of legitimate role players. It would be great for the league to see a flashy yet team-driven NBA Finals that carries a wave of refreshment.

Wild Card #2: Knicks vs. Mavericks. The addition of Carmelo and wily veteran Chauncey Billups puts the Knicks in a position where the NBA Finals is a realistic thought, even this year, and a matchup against the Mavericks would be compelling because we would either watch Spike Lee or Mark Cuban celebrate a championship. This is undoubtedly a “wild card,” but you never know. An even more intriguing matchup would be Knicks vs. Lakers, especially when you consider Kobe’s dominance that takes place every time he visits the Garden.

Wild Card #3: Magic vs. Blazers. Yes, you are reading that right, I really did say Blazers. Certainly a long shot, but in a fairly open Western Conference (now that Carmelo and Deron Williams have gone East), you never know what could happen. They just acquired versatile slashing forward Gerald Wallace from the Bobcats, Brandon Roy is beginning to make a return, and big man LaMarcus Aldridge was probably the biggest All Star snub (averaging 22 and 9). The Magic are not quite as much of a long shot, but their road to the Finals has gotten much more difficult since last year, as Miami, Chicago, and New York all surround them. Regardless, with Dwight in the middle and shooters outside, a Finals run could be made.

We could keep dreaming if we wanted, and I really hope that a “wild card” scenario does present itself in the coming months. It would be rewarding for the drama, beginning last offseason and continuing throughout this year, to climax in 2010-2011 with an unprecedented outcome. No matter what happens, the league will be altered as a result. If a team oriented approach and defense comes through, we may not see as many superstars team up, but if teams like Miami and New York flash and dash through the playoffs, we could be in for an even more top-heavy league in the coming years. Thus, the future awaits us.

 

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By: Haddon Anderson
ProBasketball-fans.com Staff Writer


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