Some Interesting Storylines for the 2012 NBA Season
Some Interesting Storylines for the 2012-2013 NBA Season
The 2012-2013 NBA season is primarily about one thing: familiar faces in new places. With as much high-profile free agent movement as there has been in years, the race in both the Western and Eastern Conferences should be as unpredictable as ever, with chemistry of these new squads likely telling the tale. The traditional powers in both conferences-- and in the NBA as a whole-- is undergoing a gradual, but noticeable shift as the new guard of flashy, and style-conscious young players takes over for the old guard.
With superstars like Steve Nash, Dwight Howard, Jason Kidd and Deron Williams all wearing new uniforms this winter it's difficult to assume too much. Each of these guys brings something unique to their squads and should make an instant impact, but only if the relationships they build with their new teammates are based on mutual respect and a goal to help the team win. Other teams have an established and perennial core that may be aging and needs some new life to stay competitive.
There's never a shortage of storylines when a new NBA season is waiting in the wings, and the 2012-2013 slate is certainly no different. Here are a few of the stories we'll be watching closely as the season tips off and progresses through the bitter winter months into the spring.
Can the New Look Los Angeles Lakers Re-Take Control of the West?
With the addition of superstars Steve Nash and Dwight Howard, there's little reason to believe the Los Angeles Lakers won't be square back in the conversation of the West's best in 2013. Nash brings unparalleled floor leadership to a Lakers squad that has needed it for years, and Howard brings a dynamic and athletic presence in the paint, that, when focused, is among the league's best. With Kobe Bryant being Kobe Bryant and helping the Lakers win games when wins are needed, this squad is without a doubt one to watch. Will the Nash and Howard additions be enough to carry the Lakers back to the NBA Finals? Only time will tell, but the process will sure be fun to watch.
Has Dirk Nowitzki's Time Come and Gone?
Has Dirk Nowitzki's time come and gone? It's a question I never thought I would hear myself asking, but with the mass exodus of the Dallas core during free agency and the aging nature of those that remain, it's on the mind of Mavericks fans. Dirk has been the face of the Dallas Mavericks franchise for some time now and he won't go down without a fight. The question lies in whether those he has around him-- guys with a considerably more slight overall talent level than that which he is accustomed-- can do enough to help him stay relevant and keep the Mavericks in the playoff picture in 2013? Occasionally no-name teams gel and become competitive just to spite their doubters. Can the Mavericks be that type of team?
Can Derrick Rose Stay Healthy and Lead the Bulls to Prominence?
Chicago Bulls fans will be blue in the face all season long. The reason? Holding their breath hoping that Derrick Rose doesn't tear another ACL or go down with an injury that will keep him off the court, and make the massive investment in his name look like it'll never see an appropriate return. Rose is one of the most dynamic and brilliant players in the NBA, but his fragile nature hasn't allowed his brilliance to be consistent. If Rose can stay healthy, there's no reason at all the Bulls won't be right back in the mix of the Eastern Conference. It's a talented team that needs a present leader. If all comes together, the Bulls are a dangerous team.
Can an Aging San Antonio Spurs Squad Make One Last Run?
The San Antonio Spurs have been one of the long-term mainstays in the Western Conference, but time is unfriendly to even the most talented competitors. Time certainly hasn't been friendly to the Spurs, as their aging core of Manu Ginobili, Tim Duncan, and Tony Parker looks to stay relevant in what could in fact be their last season together. The Spurs have some nice complimentary talent, that in the right situation could help them to stay viable during the 2012-2013 season, but ultimately it'll be up to the Big Three to rise to the occasion once again in the Alamo City. Can they do it?
Will a Change of Venue be the Tipping Point for the Brooklyn Nets?
The Brooklyn Nets are the buzziest new team in the NBA-- not only due to their flashy, expensive, rock-star look and stature as New York's newest Big Thing, but due to landing the NBA's prize 2012 free agent, star point guard Deron Williams. Can Williams, along with Joe Johnson, and a strong cast of supporting characters bring the Nets back into the Eastern Conference mix? More importantly, almost, can the Nets overshadow the Knicks and start to earn the fan base which "new school" flashiness tends to earn?