5. Kobe Bryant chasing the all-time points record -
Right now Kobe is 6th all-time in points scored (8th if you count ABA). He’s 10,519 points away from breaking Kareem’s record. Love him or hate him it’s exciting when all-time records are in danger of being broken. The record is in play, but he’d have to play 5 more years, averaging 80 games and 25 points to break the record. Skip a year and he’d have to either have a season like that at 39 or play into his 40′s at a slightly less productive level to even sniff the record. In other words this lockout might lower his ceiling to 3rd all-time. Still impressive but doesn’t quite have the same ring to it.
4. The Knicks -
We said as a joke when we started this blog/podcast that the Knicks would finally get a good team and then there wouldn’t be an NBA. Fast forward 12 months and we get Amar’e Stoudemire, Chauncey Billups and Carmelo Anthony. Then we make the playoffs for the first time in 7 years. Then….NO DAMN SEASON. It’s just not fair. I’m not delusional, this team needs a lot of work to be a contender but they are at least relevant and competitive now. I’d like to see a season or two of it before Amar’es knees explode.
3. A possible Grizzlies/Thunder rematch
This was the best series of the entire playoffs. 7 games, one of them had three overtimes. Two young, exciting teams in an all out war. And this was without Rudy Gay because he got injured before the playoffs. This will most likely be a 2nd round or conference finals matchup in the next playoffs. Durant, Westbrook, Ibaka, Randolph, Gasol, Gay, Harden….Yes please!
2. The Heatles -
Hate them or love them you are going to follow what happens to them. The most controversial (see: collusion) team ever and we might miss year 2 of their 3-4 year window. Sorry LeBron it’s not 7 or 8. Not when your 4th best player is Mario Chalmers and you have no cap space. So many questions this year, will LeBron get fed up with all the jokes about him and destroy everyone every game, or will he fold at some point in the playoffs again? Will Wade stay healthy for another few years? How many times will Bosh cry this season? Will their bench stay healthy? Will the fans fan up? I need to know.
1. The Mavericks title defense
The 2006 all-star team, erm, the 2011 Dallas Mavericks silenced all their doubters and stomped through the playoffs, sweeping the defending champs along the way. Kidd, Marion, Stojakovic, Nowitzki and Terry all get a much deserved ring after long successful careers. It was the perfect ending to an almost perfect season. Skipping a year means Kidd will be Dirk will be, Marion will be Terry will be and Peja will be. They will have Butler and Beaubois back, but that’s a pretty old team to ask to fend off the Thunder and Grizzlies again in the playoffs. They’ll have to avoid the injury bug and play perfectly just to win again this year.