Although some fans may disagree that it ever went anywhere, I’m glad the NBA is back with a vengeance.
Numerous blockbuster deals this season have shifted the power between teams in each conference.
It all started with an off-season trade that sent former Minnesota Timberwolves all-star Kevin Garnett to the Boston Celtics, along with sharp shooter Ray Allen of the Seattle SuperSonics.
This trade immediately made most sports analysts and fans jump back on the Celtics bandwagon, as many believed “the big three” of Allen, Garnett and Paul Pierce would deliver Boston back to the Promised Land.
Big deals have been common this season; we’ve watched Pau Gasol join the Lakers, Shaq relocate back West with the Suns and Jason Kidd rejoin his former team, the Dallas Mavericks.
Fans also watched a total of 18 players traded, as teams tried to keep up with the movement of players in earlier blockbuster deals.
LeBron James finally received some much-needed help in Cleveland, completing a three-team trade with the Chicago Bulls and Seattle SuperSonics.
The surprising leaders of the West, the New Orleans Hornets, also made a huge move as they acquired Bonzi Wells and Mike James from Houston, adding depth to their bench for the final stretch of the season.
With all the moves over the course of this season fans can expect to see some great basketball for the remainder of the year and throughout the playoffs.
Despite all the trades, the western conference still seems to be light years ahead of the East. Ten different teams have a possibility of winning 50 games this year versus only three in the East.
With a talented trio in Boston that has led to a 16-3 record against the western conference, a revamped Cleveland team and an underestimated Detroit Pistons team, things could easily shift leading up to the playoffs.
The teams that once ruled the basketball world in the ’80s, ’90s and early 2000s are back.
The Lakers, Celtics and Pistons all sit near the top of their respective conferences and each has the ingredients to make huge runs at a title, a prize they haven’t been able to get very close to in what seems like ages to hungry players like all-star Kobe Bryant.
The emergence of these three teams and other superstars around the league has proven that the NBA has risen to new heights and that expectations and predictions made prior to the season could easily change.
With a host of other teams now in the title hunt, it may not be the Spurs vs. Celtics match up vying for the championship trophy that a lot of people probably predicted at the beginning of the season.
I can’t wait to see how the drama unfolds.