Five Questions for the 2016/17 NBA Season…

NBA

It only seems like yesterday that we saw one of the historic comebacks of any NBA season to date. Fighting from 1-3 down, the Cleveland Cavaliers now have another 82 games to worry about before fighting for post-season glory once again.

But with an entirely new NBA season upon us, what are the biggest questions that need answering? Here are five that we think mean the most.

Will the Warriors Click? Can Anyone Stop them?

Asked by @GingerShaq

How do Golden State do this season?

The big talking point of NBA free agency. Kevin Durant’s move to Golden State has sent fans and analysts alike into a frenzy. But the big question regarding his move is whether he can click with his new teammates.

If Steve Kerr can get him singing from the same hymn sheet as Steph Curry, Klay Thompson and Draymond Green then it’s hard to look past them for the Championship. But there’s still a fair bit to find out about the Warriors compared to last season.

The sheer amount of personnel changes will be interesting, with the Bogut and Barnes’ moves also raising concerns.

However, Warriors fans will look toward Durant’s scoring abilities to answer those doubts. Plus, with this Summer’s Olympic games giving him, Green and Thompson chance to bond – it’s likely that a rapport will already be in place by summer camp.

Simply enough, if Durant moulds with his new teammates, Golden State will be a problem.

Will the Knicks Stay Healthy?

Asked by @Pengedragon and @GMMJohnson

Is there a team more susceptible to health issues this season than the Knicks?

With Carmelo Anthony, it’s unlikely you’ll get 82 games out of him. But it’s Derrick Rose and Joakim Noah the Knicks really need to keep in bubble wrap.

Noah has played just 96 games over the past two seasons, whilst Derrick Rose has well documented knee issues. Basically, there’s a real chance three of the Knicks’ starting five will be on the treatment table at some point this season.

Of course, if they manage to stay healthy then a playoff run could beckon – especially if Kristaps Porzingis continues to develop. But that’s a big if…

Will the Timberwolves Youth come good?

Asked by @Garyw3972

Is this the year the Timberwolves come good?

One of the most exciting young teams we’ve seen. The young Timberwolves core of Andrew Wiggins, Karl Anthony-Towns, Zach Levine and now Kris Dunn looks like it could be special.

What’s more, bringing in an experience defensive coach like Tom Thibodeau is a savvy move. With him there, it gives this Minnesota team a real chance to make some waves – and a push for the playoffs isn’t out of question.

Also, with Kevin Garnett staying put, the battle for a Western Conference playoff spot might be hotter than ever.

Either way, with Levine, KAT and Wiggins, at least we’ll get some exciting basketball out of the Target Centre. So, even if a playoff run isn’t on the cards – we’ll still have some fun watching them.

How do the Spurs move on from Tim this NBA season?

Asked by @Rick_Air

One of the defining players of a generation. Tim Duncan had been a San Antonio Spur for his entire career, a career which came to a close this summer. So how will they cope without him?

The Spurs have a ready built candidate in LaMarcus Aldridge to replace his stats, but his presence will be hard to replace. That uncanny calmness and ability to pass on knowledge is irreplaceable, and San Antonio need to cope without him.

Tony Parker and Manu Ginobili will need to pick up that slack, whilst Gregg Popovich himself will continue his greatness. However, the biggest task now lies with Kawhi Leonard and Aldridge to help the Spurs continue their success.

Given their unprecedented run of playoff appearances and continued quality on-court – the transition should be swift.

Can Westbrook and OKC Recover?

Asked by @Luke_Hatfield

Can Westbrook lead OKC to success?

Kevin Durant’s move doesn’t only affect Golden State, it also plays a major role in Oklahoma’s NBA season. Whether they continue to challenge in the West comes down to Russell Westbrook’s performances this campaign.

Westbrook has a point to prove, and after now he’s finally leading a team he may well challenge for the NBA season MVP award. Whether that brings success to Oklahoma is another question.

Durant’s loss is great, and Westbrook’s output will need to increase massively to match him. However, given Westbrook’s sheer intensity, we wouldn’t bet against OKC making the post-season yet.

Of course, in a stacked Western Conference there are no guarantees. That means we’ll have to wait and see to find out how Oklahoma get on.

Luke Hatfield is the creator and editor of BouncyOrangeBall, with an extensive knowledge of the NBA and basketball in general.

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