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Freeman Cebu Sports

2016–17 NBA season

EVERY POUND COUNTS - Allan Choachoy - The Freeman

Less than two months from now, the 2016-2017 NBA season finally kicks off along with lots of player movements, trades and pickups.

This looks to be a very exciting season starting with the defending champs Cleveland Cavaliers, who will be parading almost the same roster from last season. With the addition of the ‘Birdman’ Chris Andersen, the Cavs bolstered their rebounding with Thompson, who was already wreaking havoc on the boards last season.

JR Smith hasn't signed yet but Cavs analyst Jodl Dabon already said that “JR is not going anywhere... the past two seasons showed Lebron is the only player Smith listens to on the court. Cavs lost Delly and Mozzy.  They got a rookie point guard in Felder an Isaiah Thomas clone (Boston PG). Birdman Chris Andersen, Mike Dunleavy. And hopefully, Swish will be resigned. Lost two, but, gained a lot. Klay Felder, a sleeper that could be a boon to the PG slot”.

I smell a repeat for the Cavs as long as they play smart and paced themselves to avoid injuries along the way.

As for the runner up during the last NBA finals, the Golden State Warriors had completely an overhauled lineup while losing bench players in Harrison Barnes, Andrew Bogut, Leandro Barbosa, Marreese Speights and Festus Ezeli. They let those players go in the exchange of former MVP Kevin Durant.

Who doesn't want KD on a team? Jerry West, Warriors adviser, reportedly called Durant and convinced the all-star to sign with the Warriors. The Warriors main weapon was its bench players and the question is that can Durant equal the performance of five players?  Let’s wait and see.

Meanwhile, for the Spurs, the retirement of Tim Duncan is an end to the Spurs Dynasty but the team managed to sign another veteran star in Pau Gasol who has already two NBA rings with the Los Angeles Lakers. Can he be the last piece of the puzzle for another Spurs title run?The Spurs needs new blood although Manu and Parker are still good even if aged has slowed them down and retirement is also around the corner for the two.

As for the Oklahoma Thunder, the departure of Durant made everything looked cloudy but it could be a blessing in disguised as Russel Westbrook could show us his whole arsenal and prove to the world that he deserves to be the leader and be the only star for the THUNDER!

Going back to the East, other teams that I feel that will give the Cavs a run for their money are the Chicago Bulls, New York Knicks and Milwaukee Bucks.

The Bucks are parading the Greek sensation Giannis Antetokounmpo, who just recently inked a multimillion dollar contract extension. The Bucks also added point guard Matthew Dellavedova who is known to play hard nose defense.

The New York Knicks, on the other hand, got the 2011 MVP Derrick Rose who looks to combine forces with Carmelo Anthony and 7- foot Lithuanian phenom  Kristaps Porzingis.

Then there is the Chicago Bulls who got three-time NBA champion Dwayne Wade during the post-season. With Wade on the helm, the Bulls are hoping to bring back the team’s glory days following the Michae Jordan era.

 My fearless forecast is pointing to a repeat by the Cavaliers, but the outcome again would depend entirely on how healthy each team will be after 82 games. An NBA Finals Trilogy perhaps against the Golden State Warriors?

That would be a dream Finals everybody is hoping for.  Now with less than two months remaining it looks like it will be another fun filled NBA Season.

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