The MVP race, the future of the unvaccinated Kyrie Irving, the long-awaited return of Klay Thompson, the possible retirement of Gregg Popovich, th
The MVP race, the future of the unvaccinated Kyrie Irving, the long-awaited return of Klay Thompson, the possible retirement of Gregg Popovich, the records to be broken … the 75th NBA season that begins on Tuesday has no shortage of questions to resolve.
– Will we see Irving play?
Beyond the possible transfer of the rebel Ben Simmons (Sixers), the great discussion prior to the start of the season has revolved around the controversial Kyrie Irving, a base for the Nets, one of the great candidates for the ring.
Irving, who is not allowed to play at home in New York because of his refusal to get vaccinated, has been sidelined by the Nets, who do not accept that one of their three superstars is “only partially available.”
Counting on Kevin Durant and James Harden, who have been immunized, the Nets hope to win back Irving at some point in the season, either through a change in New York’s coronavirus measures or a reversal of Irving, which is He risks losing $ 381,000 for every home game missed.
– Who will succeed MVP Jokic?
Nikola Jokic, the Serbian center of the Nuggets, will have tough competitors to revalidate the Most Valuable Player (MVP) trophy. The bets are mainly aimed at three rivals, the first of them another European jewel, Luka Doncic (Mavericks).
At 22 years old, the Slovenian phenom is constantly breaking precocious records, averaging a staggering 27.7 points, 8.0 rebounds and 8.6 assists last season, but he will need his teammates to beat the stars of favorite teams.
The main one points to being Kevin Durant, leader of the Nets and winner of the MVP in 2014. The forward, 33, starred last season in a stellar return from his serious injury and came close to leading a heroic elimination in the playoffs of the later champions Bucks.
The Greek Giannis Antetokounmpo and Stephen Curry, commanders of the Bucks and Warriors, will each fight for their third MVP while other figures compete for their first award, such as Joel Embiid (Sixers) or Damian Lillard (Blazers), without ruling out a new one. feat of veteran LeBron James (Lakers).
– How will Klay Thompson come back?
The NBA and especially the Warriors have missed Klay Thompson greatly in the more than two years he has been out due to injury.
His return to the field is scheduled for late December and, if he manages to return to a high level at 31, he could turn the tide for the failing Warriors.
Pairing with Stephen Curry, perhaps the greatest shooting couple in history, Thompson was instrumental in the Warriors dynasty that reached five straight finals and won three rings between 2015 and 2019.
– Popovich’s last dance?
At 72 years old, and after finally winning a title with the United States at the Tokyo 2020 Games, the 26th season of the iconic Gregg Popovich at the helm of the Spurs could be his farewell.
In the midst of his rebuilding, no one knows how many years it will take the Spurs to fight for the ring again, but the ultra-competitive Popovich says he still has energy to train.
The mark that he does have within his reach, with only 26 victories, is to surpass Don Nelson (1,335) as the most successful coach in history in the regular season, which could serve as the finishing touch to a spectacular career with five NBA championships .
– What records will be broken?
In addition to Popovich, other figures may have his name inscribed in NBA history books. Stephen Curry only needs 141 3s to advance to category record holder Ray Allen (2,973). Last season, the Warriors star had 337 shots of three in 63 games.
LeBron James, in his career for the league’s Olympus, will try to rise to the second place of the highest scorers in history, which so far Karl Malone holds (36,928 points).
At the start of his 19th season, ‘King James’ is 1,561 points behind the retired center of the Utah Jazz and, in his last four years, he has averaged 1,645 points.