Twistity Sports Exclusive: Hello, NBA

HELLO, NBA The NBA season begins on Tuesday, commencing the long haul to its championship series in June. Who’s up? Who’s down? Here are a few questions that will...

HELLO, NBA

The NBA season begins on Tuesday, commencing the long haul to its championship series in June.

Who’s up? Who’s down? Here are a few questions that will be answered over the next eight months.

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Do the aging San Antonio Spurs have enough left in the tank to mount one more good run? It’s possible. The addition of LaMarcus Aldridge adds size and bulk (6-foot-11, 240 pounds) to the paint and eases the burden on Tim Duncan. Kawhi Leonard is also a rising star but Tony Parker is a fading one.

Can LeBron James get the Cleveland Cavaliers a championship? The Cavaliers have a great shot. Their chances last year were hurt by injuries to Kevin Love and Kyrie Irving and James carried the load as best he could through a six-game loss in the NBA Finals to the Golden State Warriors. Now the Cavs are whole again.

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Any chance the Warriors repeat? They’re explosive, behind guards Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson and won 45 games last season by double digits. But that Western Conference remains stacked with talent and teams.

Who else should we keep an eye on? The Oklahoma City Thunder, first and foremost. Injuries early last season to Russell Westbrook and Kevin Durant held the Thunder back. The front office replaced Scott Brooks with Billy Donovan as coach and Donovan knows a little about winning, having picked up back-to-back NCAA titles at Florida. And we always enjoy watching the Los Angeles Clippers. With a deeper bench, they should also be a threat out west again.
 
 
Post By: Larry Weisman, a longtime sportswriter for USA TODAY, blogs for Twistity.com. Follow him on Twitter @MrLarryWeisman .

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