Q&A with the Society: NBA speculation, expectations for 2015-16

NBA Kobe Bryant

Basketball Society is starting a Q&A series which will be a weekly event where we take questions internally or from the friends/followers about anything and everything basketball. If you have any questions for our take on it, hit us up on twitter @bballsocietyor on our Facebook page.

This first week we have a few questions on some things we expect to see this season. Responders are DJ Allen (@djallen23) and Cee Armel (@cee_armel).

Kobe Bryant

Will this indeed be Kobe’s last season?

DJ: This will be Kobe’s last season if he’s not healthy. If he can play at a high level throughout the season without injury then I believe he will give it another shot. He wants one last chance at a title so he will stick around to see what Lakers’ upper management can pull off during the offseason, just to try to earn #6.

Cyril: As much as I’d love to believe otherwise, I truly believe season 20 will be Kobe’s last. Legacy set in stone, there’s absolutely nothing else for Bean to prove.

Kevin Durant, Russell Westbrook, and Andre Roberson
Sue Ogrocki, STF / Associated Press

Which team is in a position of championship or bust this season?

The season results of the OKC Thunder, Chicago Bulls, and the Memphis Grizzlies over the past 4 seasons.

DJ: The Los Angeles Clippers are an obvious pick here. Doc Rivers himself hinted at the notion that it’s championship or bust due to their consistently coming up short.  With that being said, there are two others teams that I want to throw out there. With Durant’s contract ending, I strongly believe that this this team could be separated next year. Injuries have hurt this team tremendously and if they can’t get it done this year, a change of scenery may be in their best interest. My other team for championship or bust is the Memphis Grizzlies. They’ve consistently been stuck in the mud every single year. They find ways to advance in the playoffs until they hit their peak. The Grizzlies management has had another stubborn offseason and have yet to adapt to the new ways of the NBA. They still lack consistent 3-point shooting and with their resistance to change, it will be another playoff disappointment for them.

Cyril: With Kevin Durant’s looming free agency I’d say the pressure is on in Oklahoma City. Same goes to the Chicago Bulls during this Derrick Rose/Joakim Noah era. Two franchises who have been on the cusp of a title and have yet to produce one.

Anthony Davis
Derick E. Hingle / USA TODAY Sports

Which team/player are you looking forward to watching the most this season?

DJ: Being a die hard Los Angeles Lakers fan, of course I’m excited to see how these young guys mesh together along with the comeback of Kobe Bryant. But one other thing that I’m looking forward to seeing is the New York Knicks. Phil Jackson and staff may not have pulled off any big moves during this past free agency, but they did acquire some solid pieces that I believe can support the beast that is Carmelo Anthony. I’m very excited to see what Kristaps Porginzis will show us as well. I believe he can be a good player in this league. With his versatility and size, he can pose some matchup problems for a lot of teams. With all that being said, I believe they have the capability to sneak in to the 8th seed in the Eastern Conference.

Cyril: I am looking forward to see what next steps Anthony Davis will take in his game. The freakish athlete has such a high ceiling, it’ll be interesting to see what else he adds to his repertoire under Alvin Gentry’s tutelage.

Carmelo Anthony and Paul George
Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images

Who’s your dark horse to put together a MVP caliber season?

DJ: Piggy-backing off my previous answer, Carmelo Anthony is my dark horse for MVP this season. I feel many have forgotten what this man is capable of. He received a lot of backlash after sitting out during the second half of the season due to knee surgery, which was followed by questions of his capability of playing at a high level. We will see Carmelo come out and play with a chip on his shoulder. He’s confident in himself and his team and I believe he will end the season as the scoring champion as well as lead his team to contend for that 8th seed.

Cyril: Paul George. What a difference an injury can make in a player’s career. Looking for PG13 to bounce back mightily and once again cement his status as the NBA’s premier two-way player.

Steph Curry an Kevin Durant
Angela Rowe/NBAE via Getty Images

Which team finishes with the best record?

DJ: The Golden State Warriors will easily have the best record at the end of the season. Many have questioned the validity of what they were able to accomplish last season, but if you watch how they dominated the game all season, it was no fluke. I feel we will see a similar outcome this season. The majority of their team returned from last season, and as long as Chef Curry is cooking, all things will be gravy in the Bay Area.

Cyril: The Oklahoma City Thunder will finish with the best record in the league. I’m predicting 63 wins.


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