At last. After months of waiting the NBA’s 2017-18 season kicks off tonight. To celebrate we have prepared a special preview that will serve both the most hardcore fan of the League and the most casual fan.
The highlights of last season
For the first time in eons, Duncan, Garnett and Bryant did not play. Klay Thompson scored 60 points in 29 minutes . Devin Booker scored 70 against Boston . James Harden became an offensive machine. Houston broke the historic triple record in one season. Russell Westbrook made 42 triple-doubles beating Oscar Robertson , averaged a triple-double all season and was chosen MVP. Isaiah Thomas scored 53 points in a playoff game , Zaza Pachulia became a public enemy …
And the summary is that Cavaliers and Warriors swept in the heats in their respective conferences (24-1 between both) and in the Finals Golden State fulfilled its role as a big favorite by winning 4-1 completing the best playoffs in history.
Celtics and Lakers got the number 1 and 2 of the Draft and from there almost everything was crazy: Boston gave its number 1 to Philadelphia ; the Lakers bet on the Lonzo Ball phenomenon; in Dallas they did not believe that the Knicks would let Dennis Smith Jr. free; Phil Jackson was fired; Jimmy Butler, Paul George, Paul Millsap and Carmelo Anthony moved to Western teams; Chris Paul joined Harden and the Rockets; Gordon Hayward left Utah for Boston; the Celtics did not tremble when it came to trading Isaiah Thomas for Kyrie Irving and Thomas blew up ; Dwyane Wade and Derrick Rose joined LeBron James; Russell Westbrook signed the biggest contract in the history of the NBA. Here is a summarya little broader of all this and here the table of transfers and most important of the summer.
Meanwhile, in Oakland, the Warriors further improved their squad with more impact players for the bench and Kevin Durant spent part of the summer discussing on Twitter using fake accounts .
Regarding the Summer League is in the memory that Lonzo Ball was the MVP and we have remembered the two best quintets of the competition to follow the track this season to see how they develop.
Ah, we also knew that there are still many NBA teams that lose money and that Lakers, Bulls or Knicks are income generating machines that have the equipment they have.
The aesthetic changes
Nike is the new official provider of the NBA and a logo of a sports brand will appear on the game shirts for the first time in the history of the League. 22 teams will have four new uniforms and 8 teams will have five uniforms in total, one of them classic . Of course, Michael Jordan’s Charlotte Hornets will wear Jordan and not Nike uniforms . For the time being, the two classic versions (local and visitor that are no longer called local and visitor) have been presented and the other two models of almost all the teams, in addition to the eight retro versions, have yet to be presented. Here are the 30 color versions (former visitor) .
Also for the first time in the history of the competition teams will wear advertising on the game shirts. So far only 17 of the 30 teams have announced their sponsor and Milwaukee is the best: Harley Davidson.
Changes in the calendar
The NBA wants to prevent the stars from resting in important games or away from home -something that brought the organization to its head last season-, so there have been changes in the calendar and Adam Silver is free to fine any team that feels Your best men if you are to play. The main thing:
The season starts between 7 and 10 days before.
There will be no series of 4 matches in 5 days.
There will be no series of 18 games in 30 days.
Less back-to-backs .
Special protection for 22 star matches.
Identification of the competition for weeks, from Week 1 to Week 26.
The changes in the Draft
The NBA seeks to end the spectacle of each season finale in which several teams try to lose the maximum possible games to improve facing the Draft – the famous tanking -. Now, after the modification approved in September, the three worst teams of each year will have the same chances of achieving the number 1 of the Draft . Fortunately for Chicago these changes will not take effect until the lottery of the Draft 2019.
Changes in the All-Star
The traditional East versus West is over. The disappointing last games of the stars have forced the NBA to modify the system: there will be two teams whose members will be selected by two captains, the two most voted players. Details .
Movistar and League Pass
Almost touching the bell Movistar renewed its contract with NBA and will continue broadcasting the NBA in Spain for three more seasons. We will also be able to continue watching the League in almost the whole world through League Pass .
Of course we also have Liga Fantasy , the fifth we do together with the NBA + teammates of Movistar.
How do all the teams face the year?
Some seek the ring, others the playoffs and others finish the worst possible to obtain a better position in the next Draft before the change of rules that will take effect in the 2018-19 campaign. In nanmaniacs we analyzed the 30 teams in 30 days . Find your team to take a look.
The MVP candidates and other awards
We made a list with 11 , but in almost all the publications the list of favorite maximums is reduced to two: Giannis Antetokounmpo and Kawhi Leonard. Why? Because they are the only two candidates who do not share a wardrobe with another candidate.
Here you have our candidates for the Defender of the Year , Rookie of the Year and Sixth Man of the Year .
The teams that will draw attention
Minnesota Timberwolves for having reunited Karl-Anthony Towns, Andrew Wiggins and Jimmy Butler. Denver Nuggets to be building a template that will give much to talk in a short time with Nikola Jokic at the helm. Philadelphia 76ers for facing their first season with real playoff options by joining Joel Embiid, Ben Simmons and Markelle Fultz on the same team.
Chicago Bulls for having assembled the worst squad of the season in search of the number 1 of the Draft 2018. Hello Luka Doncic .
The candidates for the title
Golden State Warriors.
A step below we can place Cavaliers (LeBron, Love, Thomas, Wade, Rose) and two steps later to Celtics (Irving, Hayward, Horford), Thunder (Westbrook, George, Anthony), Rockets (Harden, Paul) and Spurs (Kawhi Leonard)
But the Warriors will win except for a serious injury from Curry or Durant.
LeBron James points to the Lakers. Get ready for nine months of constant rumors about it. Remember that Peter Vecsey was the first journalist to say that LeBron will play in the Lakers in 2018 and that you read it in Nmaniamaniacs .