Let’s call it Wednesday

Posted: October 17, 2018 by Sports Time Radio in basketball, sports, Sports Time Radio, Uncategorized

The NBA season tipped off last night with two games. The first game saw the Boston Celtics beat the Philadelphia 76ers 105-87 while the nightcap saw the Golden State Warriors start the defense of their championship with a 108-100 win over the Oklahoma City Thunder.

In the first game Jayson Tatum was the leading scorer in the game with 23 points for the Celtics. Joel Embiid was the 76ers leading scorer with 23 points, but Ben Simmons just missed a triple-double by two assists. Simmons had 19 points, 15 rebounds which was a game high, but just 8 assists.

In the second game Stephen Curry was the high scorer with 32 points and was very close to a triple-double himself as he had 8 rebounds and 9 assists. Kevin Durant added 27 points in the Warriors victory. Oklahoma City opened the season without Russell Westbrook who’s recovering from a procedure he had on his knee in September. Reports are Westbrook could miss up to four weeks. Paul George led the Thunder in scoring with 27 points while Steven Adams posted a double-double with 17 points and 11 rebounds in the opening night loss.

There are 11 games on the NBA schedule tonight with ESPN carrying two of them. The first game they’re carrying is the New Orleans Pelicans at the Houston Rockets. The second game they’re showing has the Dallas Mavericks at the Phoenix Suns.

With the season underway the biggest question will be; is there a team out there to challenge Golden State for the title? Let’s take a look and see if we can find a team.

There where quite a few people who thought that if Chris Paul wouldn’t of gotten hurt that the Houston Rockets would’ve knocked the Warriors out of the playoffs last season. Is it possible that the Rockets could come out of the Western Conference?

Of course most of the talk in the Western Conference centered around LeBron James signing with the Los Angeles Lakers. Now I’ve heard predictions about the Lakers winning anywhere from 50 games to not even making the playoffs; so this is a tough team to judge. The Lakers have some good young talent, but they also signed some veterans to mix into their roster. I’m not sure where this team will end up, but I don’t think they’ll win the title.

The San Antonio Spurs are going to have a different look than they’ve had the last few seasons and while I fully expect them to be a playoff team I’m not sure that they’re going to be good enough to challenge for a championship.

Once Russell Westbrook is 100% Oklahoma City will be a playoff team, but they don’t appear to have enough to win the Western Conference.

You can probably throw teams like the Utah Jazz, Minnesota Timberwolves and Portland Trail Blazers into the same grouping. They have some good young talent and should find their way into the playoffs, but they won’t win the Western Conference.

I was a little surprised to hear that there are quite a few people who think that the Denver Nuggets are going to be a serious contender in the Western Conference. The Nuggets do have their Top 5 scorers returning from last season and they’ve added Isaiah Thomas; who will likely be their 6th man, but I’m not sure if I’m as high on them as a lot of people are. I guess I’ll have to wait and see what kind of a team the Nuggets end up being.

While the Western Conference seems to still have the majority of the top teams in the NBA someone is still going to have to represent the Eastern Conference in the NBA Finals, but who will that be.

It seems like most of the experts are picking the Boston Celtics to win the Eastern Conference, but it’s possible they could have some challengers. Maybe there opponent from last night the Philadelphia 76ers will be that team that challenges the Celtics for the Eastern Conference title. Who else could win the Eastern Conference?

The Toronto Raptors won 59 games last season, but lost in the conference semi-finals to the Cleveland Cavaliers and decided to make a coaching change. They added Kawhi Leonard and if he’s healthy could he lead them to the Eastern Conference championship?

The Milwaukee Bucks are another team that should contend in the Eastern Conference. Milwaukee may have the best player in the conference in Giannis Antetokoumpo, but the question is do they have enough pieces around him? The Bucks also changed coaches this off season; so will see if a new coaching staff helps them improve.

Who will the Cleveland Cavaliers be without LeBron James? Cleveland still has some talent, but they lost their best player and one of the best if not the best player in the NBA and that’s tough to comeback from. I actually expect them to make the playoffs and depending on who they match p with they might even win a playoff series, but I don’t think that they’re going back to the NBA Finals.

The Indiana Pacers where one of the bigger surprises in the NBA last season winning 48 games. Of course they drew the Cavaliers in the 1st round of the playoffs and where knocked out. Victor Oladipo had a breakout season and was name Most Improved Player. If Oladipo can continue to play like he did last season the Pacers are good enough to contend in the Eastern Conference.

I think you can add teams like the Miami Heat, Washington Wizards, Detroit Pistons and Charlotte Hornets as teams that will get into the playoffs, but won’t win the Eastern Conference.

What do you think; is there anyone out there that can knock Golden State off of the top of the NBA mountain? I can’t do it; I don’t see any team out there capable of stopping the Warriors from winning another NBA title barring injury of course. Even though the Western Conference is said to be the more talented of the two conferences I’m actually a lot of interested to see who’s going to win the Eastern Conference than I am about anything that will go on in the West.

You can listen to the Sports Time Radio podcast live on BlogTalkRadio.com, but don’t forget that the podcast is available for you to listen to any time you want at TuneIn.com.

Please follow me on Twitter @Burketime

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