Question of the Week: Who will win the 2014-2015 NBA Title?
Colgate Sports Editor
While it is difficult to pick one team, I believe that the Los Angeles Clippers will win this year’s NBA Championship. Overcoming all the adversity this team faced last season was a monumental task and making it to Conference semifinals was an admirable feat. However, behind new owner Steve Ballmer and with the play of key contributors such as point guard Chris Paul and power forward Blake Griffin, the Clippers should be the team raising the Larry O’Brien trophy in June.
Aside from the invigoration the team will get from new owner Ballmer and their stars Griffin and Paul, I foresee the Clippers getting strong performances from their two big men Spencer Hawes and DeAndre Jordan. Both centers are coming off strong seasons and with Jordan in a contract year, he will be looking to put his best foot forward to garner the best contract he can.
While some might argue that the West is too difficult for the Clippers to escape, I believe that the Spurs and the Thunder are due for a drop off. The Thunder will dearly miss star small forward Kevin Durant for the first few months of the season. Additionally, the Spurs have all aged another year and I find it tough to believe that Tim Duncan, Manu Ginobili and Tony Parker will be able to stay on the floor long enough to give the Spurs a fighting chance.
In terms of the East, I refuse to buy into the Bulls until Derrick Rose plays a full healthy month of basketball. While Cleveland could pose a threat to the Clippers, I don’t think that Love, Irving and LeBron will be able to piece together a championship team in just one season.
For all the reasons above, I believe the Clippers will be the team to win the 2014-15 NBA Championship.
By Dan Martucci
For a lot of NBA fans, wherever LeBron goes, rings will follow. After a very successful career with the Miami Heat, LeBron took his talents back home to the Cleveland Cavaliers. Personally, I am not a big fan of LeBron and I do not think that the Cavs will be able to pull off a championship title. That being said, there are several teams that could win it all: the Bulls, the Thunder or the Spurs.
The Chicago Bulls, led by Derrick Rose, will certainly be a tough competitor this season. I would love to see the Thunder win the championship; Durant is my favorite player in the league, and I love to watch him and Westbrook play together. Unfortunately, Durant will be out for six to eight weeks due to a broken foot. The Thunder’s point guard, Russell Westbrook, will have to step up in Durant’s absence and make sure the Thunder does not fall too much behind before Durant returns. I think this will be very difficult to do, but I have hope that the Thunder will be able to pull it off.
The reigning champs, the Spurs, are definitely the front-runner in the standings. Not only to do they have the exact same team as last year – something that is very foreign in the NBA today – but if they can continue to play at the high level that they demonstrated during the championship games last season, there is no doubt in my mind that they could be looking at back-to-back NBA titles.
Although I would like to see the Thunder win it all, I think that the Spurs are going to be too good to beat. The season opener is Tuesday, October 28, and the Spurs are facing off against the Mavericks while the Thunder will play Portland the following day. I am very excited for the season to start and to watch the Cavs, Bulls, Thunder and Spurs play in their first couple of games.
By Paul Smyth
The San Antonio Spurs, led by head coach Greg Popovich, look to defend their 2014 NBA championship. But there has been a shift of power in the NBA this offseason with LeBron James and Kevin Love joining forces with Kyrie Irving to play for the Cleveland Cavaliers.
The Spurs big three, Tim Duncan (38), Manu Ginobili (37) and Tony Parker (32), are all getting older, and I think they will have a tough time competing in the difficult Western Conference this season. With the Los Angeles Clippers, the Oklahoma City Thunder and the Golden State Warriors all expecting to contend to make it to the NBA Finals, I don’t think the Spurs will be able to keep pace with the youth that brings firepower to these three teams. Also, the Spurs have not won back-to-back championships in the Tim Duncan era.
With that being said, I can’t help but going with the chalk here. The Cleveland Cavaliers, led by LeBron James, will win the first major sports championship in the city of Cleveland since 1964. Having potentially the best player to ever play the game in LeBron James, coupled with all- star Kevin Love, is going to pay dividends immediately. If there is any question with Cleveland right now it has to be whether or not new head coach David Blatt is the right guy for the job. Blatt has been one of the most successful coaches in Israeli history, but Blatt has never had a star like LeBron James on his team and has never coached in the limelight that he will this season.
When all is said and done, the Cleveland Cavaliers will be crowned 2015 NBA Champions.