On Oct. 16, the 2018 NBA season tipped off. The first games of the year included the Philadelphia 76ers playing the Boston Celtics and the Golden State Warriors playing the Oklahoma City Thunder. As expected, the Celtics beat the 76ers 105-87 and the Warriors beat the Thunder 108-100.
The Warriors and Celtics are expected to be two of the league’s best teams this year, which made opening night so anticipated. Both teams have established what is considered a super team this year.
The Warriors acquired one of the most valuable free agents over the offseason in DeMarcus Cousins. This was one of the most controversial moves of the offseason, as Cousins took a pay cut in order to join the already successful Warriors, who have won the Championship three out of the last four years.
The most talked about move of the year, however, was that of LeBron James. As the face of the NBA, publicity around this move was extremely large. He moved from the Cleveland Cavaliers to the LA Lakers. The Lakers also picked up key players to surround James, including Rajon Rondo, Lance Stephenson and Javale McGee.
Another controversial topic in the NBA this year is the gap in talent between the East and West conferences.
Junior Zach Shane said, “[The West has] better teams including the Lakers, Warriors, Grizzlies, Nuggets and Pelicans. Not to mention, the West conference has players like LeBron James, James Harden, Anthony Davis, Kevin Durant and Stephen Curry, who are top players in the league today.”
Statistically, the West has dominated the league the past 20 years. Teams from the Western Conference have won 14 out of the last 20 Championships, they have had a better average winning percentage in 18 out of the last 20 seasons, and they have won 12 of the last 18 All-Star Games.
In a tweet from American Sports Columnist Skip Bayless, the Western and Eastern conferences were compared to the NCAA tournament and the NIT. The NCAA tournament is comprised of the top 60 college teams in the country, while teams that could not make it compete in the NIT tournament.
As we await the rest of the NBA season, powerhouses including the Warriors, Celtics, Lakers, Raptors, Bucks and Pelicans will all compete for the Larry O’Brien Championship Trophy, as well as for the glory and pride that comes along with it.