Basketball Article

No favourites for wide open 2019-20 NBA season

No favourites for wide open 2019-20 NBA season Photo: TT
Los Angeles Clippers Forward Kawhi Leonard (2) and Los Angeles Lakers Guard LeBron James (23)

The new NBA season started on Tuesday night with reigning champions Toronto and title contenders Los Angeles Clippers recording victories ahead of an unpredictable season.

There’s no clear favourite for the 2019-20 NBA season, bucking the recent trend given the Golden State Warriors domination.

The Los Angeles Clippers and Los Angeles Lakers are among the favourites, along with Joel Embiid’s Philadelphia 76ers and Giannis Antetokounmpo’s Milwaukee Bucks.

You cannot write off Steph Curry’s Warriors either, despite the loss of Kevin Durant to the Brooklyn Nets and Klay Thompson to injury.

GSW have made the NBA Finals for the past five seasons, claiming the title on three occasions. They’ve also added D’Angelo Russell from the Brooklyn Nets.

The Clippers knocked off the Lakers 112-102 on the opening night with Kawhi Leonard top scoring with 30 points.

Leonard’s $140.6 million move from the title-winning Raptors to the Clippers puts them in a strong position.

The Lakers have added DeMarcus Cousins from the Warriors and Danny Green from the Raptors, while LeBron James will be steeled to put behind last season’s under-achievement.

Toronto may have lost some key players but started the season with a 130-122 win over the New Orleans Pelicans who aren’t expecting to make playoffs.

Pascal Siakam and Fred VanVleet will ensure the Raptors remain a playoffs side, but it’s hard to see them mounting a challenge for the title again without Leonard.

The 76ers have added Tobias Harris from the Clippers along with Al Horford from the Boston Celtics, which makes them a major threat alongside Embiid and Ben Simmons.

Giannis’ Bucks will be determined to continue their rise after their Conference Finals elimination. Milwaukee made a big re-signing for Khris Middleton while Brook Lopez can be relied upon.

The Utah Jazz, Denver Nuggets and Houston Rockets will be title contenders, while the Nets are a danger given their acquisitions, including Kyrie Irving and Durant, although the latter may struggle to play due to his Achilles injury.

Ben somerford
Sports Pundit staff writer @bensomerford
Australian journalist who specialises on all sports, focusing on football, tennis, basketball and racing, having written for global publications including FourFourTwo, AAP, Inside Futbol and many more....

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