NBA Season Shoots Off to a Good Start

The+2016-17+NBA+season+provides+hope+to+newly+revamped+teams+who+didn%27t+make+the+playoffs+last+year.+%28COURTESY+OF+ERIK+DROST+VIA+FLICKR%29

The 2016-17 NBA season provides hope to newly revamped teams who didn't make the playoffs last year. (COURTESY OF ERIK DROST VIA FLICKR)

By SJ CYRUS
Contributing Writer

Fall has come and gone, and winter prepares us for the next phase of sports. The National Basketball Association’s (NBA) basketball season has been off to a good start.

Last year’s championship matchup ended with the Cleveland Cavaliers defeating the Golden State Warriors. After both teams faced off again this season, it looks like they will remain rivals for some time to come.

On the other hand, the New York Knicks’ 117–88 loss to Cleveland in their season-opener shows just how far they are from the Championship-level caliber. This was only the first of 82 games, however. Since then, the Knicks have made some adjustments to improve to a record of 11-9.

The Knicks made some big trades during the offseason with the Chicago Bulls. This season will be a work in progress for both teams. Expectations were set high for the Knicks with the acquisition of Derrick Rose and Joakim Noah, but it takes time for the different players to develop chemistry with new coach Jeff Hornacek and new players. Chemistry was an issue for the Knicks early on this season but they have since worked through those issues.

The rest of the league was rather busy during the offseason and some rosters have changed dramatically in the past year. For example, Kevin Durant in a Golden State Warriors uniform and Rajon Rondo in a Bulls uniform may take some getting used to. Analysts like Charles Barkley had major questions for the 2015 champions, the Golden State Warriors, this should no longer be a concern with the addition of Kevin Durant to the Bay Area team. The Warriors have proven this with a record of 18-3. Coach Steve Kerr and his Warriors are ranked first in the league according to ESPN’s week seven Power Rankings, For the Warriors, another trip to the NBA Finals will be difficult especially with the rise of the Los Angeles Clippers and San Antonio Thunder.

The NBA has changed quite a bit with regards to its diversity as well this season. All the roster moves and the influx of international players filling rosters will certainly change the flow of the game. International players provide some of the fundamentals, play with less flash and work well within a team concept, which are some of the complaints about young american players according to commentator Magic Johnson.

Western Conference teams now have four teams ranked in the top 10, down from the original six at the start of the season. The San Antonio Spurs, who originally topped that list, have now been replaced by the LA Clippers.

Fordham students are voicing their opinions on NBA teams as well. Nasr Bey Fordham College Professional and Continuing Studies, FCPCS ’18 said, “As a Philly guy I normally go with the Sixers but we are in a rebuilding stage, so I am rolling with Golden State with the addition of Kevin Durant.” Playing in this tough Western Conference is very difficult because the teams beat up on each other and they have a few more quality teams than the Eastern Conference. Still, the East has a load of young and upcoming talent.

Basketball is becoming more international now than it ever has been and the Toronto Raptors are a testament to that. They are in the Atlantic Division, which features the Boston Celtics, New York Knicks, Brooklyn Nets and the Washington Wizards, while being headquartered in Canada. Toronto added a few pieces to attempt to push them past their previous season’s second-round performance in the playoffs. The old faces of the NBA: Kobe Bryant, Tim Duncan and Kevin Garnett are gone. Now, there are new young men taking over like Anthony Davis, Lebron James, Steph Curry and James Harden.

At this point in the season, it is difficult to know what the determining factors are to win it all. What we do know is the team that works together best and exercises the team-first concept will usually be around for the Finals in the Spring.

Here in New York City we have the blessing of two teams: the New York Knicks and the Brooklyn Nets. Both of the teams that represent the area based on current records show that we are slightly improving. The NBA formula works for Fordham students as well due to the diverse makeup of the student body, given that there are so many international students who are basketball fans. Jakar Jones FCPSC ’18 said: “Nets tickets are student friendly, and the Nets are a rebuilding organization so I will attend several Nets games.” This is good for the Nets because it works on the community and public relations aspects. It will also help put some fans in the seats despite the rebuilding stage the team is currently in; if you’re a Fordham student and you want cheap NBA seats there are plenty of empty seats at the Barclay Center in Brooklyn.