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The student newspaper of, by, and for Ames High School.

The WEB

The student newspaper of, by, and for Ames High School.

The WEB

Tall men play basketball

This NBA season promises to bring much of the passion that seasons past have entertained. Although the NBA has had a tough time recently with the crooked-referee scandal, it still holds an amazing fan base. A big question this year is "Who will win the championship?" So far, it is too soon to tell. Although the regular season means nothing when you enter the postseason, it is a good indicator of which teams win when they need to. A repeat is not out of the question for last year’s champions, the Boston Celtics. They have all returning starters which include the big three: Paul Pierce, Ray Allen, and Kevin Garnett. However, questions loom about the strength of their remaining players,. A championship team needs good bench players, and most people say the team with the best bench is the Los Angeles Lakers. They have 8 players who would start on most NBA teams. Oh yeah, and the have Kobe Bryant. Bryant is thought to be the closest thing possible to Michael Jordan (some would say even better). So, the Celtics and the Lakers were the two preseason favorites, and both have started out well. Something that could mix up this year’s playoff picture and produce new and exciting events is the Detroit Pistons-Denver Nuggets trade. Denver gets Chauncey Billups, along with veteran Antonio McDyess, while Detroit gets Allen Iverson. Who got the better end of the deal? I’d say both teams are gambling a bit, but Billups offers more to the Nuggets than Iverson can offer to the Pistons. Billups is a team player who can deal the ball when needed and hit the big shot at the end of the game. Sure, Iverson can put up high point totals, but to win a championship, a team needs a leader like Billups and a team that is willing to be unselfish. Teams make trades like this one to spice up the team atmosphere and change the makeup of a team. If something doesn’t work, they will change it until it does. "Yes, we can." Some teams that could have surprisingly good seasons this year are the Portland Trailblazers, the Atlanta Hawks and the Philadelphia 76ers. The Trailblazers are looking forward to watching their young players mature right in front of everyones eyes. They have three first-year players in Rudy Fernandez of Spain, Jerry’d Bayless of Arizona, and Greg Oden of Ohio State. Oden should have debuted last season but had a knee injury that kept the 7-foot 20-year-old from starting what promises to be an illustrious career. Not to mention the 24-year-old Brandon Roy, beginning his third season, who lead this team to a surprising 41-41 finish last year. The Hawks are brought into the light by the amazing talent of Joe Johnson. Johnson is a scoring machine who stops for no one. He will be joined by high-flyer Josh Smith who is known for highlight-reel dunks and great rebounding ability. As for the 76ers, AI is all that needs to be said. Andre Iguodala is helped out by the new face of the franchise, Elton Brand. With the Los Angeles Clippers, Brand has proven he can make a decent team good, and with Iguodala’s athleticism, they could be a one-two punch. The team’s major problem is finding the other players to make them successful in the playoffs. The NBA MVP award is most definitely an accomplishment to show off. The award is given to a player who is amazing at both defense and offense, as well as being a team leader. Favorites always include the likes of Kobe Bryant and LeBron James. I can see Kobe being overshadowed by his stacked team, and also the Cleveland Cavaliers being too weak to help LeBron win the MVP. I like someone like Kevin Garnett, who is dominant both in and out of the paint and helped his team to the title last year. But my true pick for this year’s MVP is the New Orleans Hornets’ Chris Paul. I remember watching Paul in the NCAA tournament, while he was at Wake Forest. He was the team then, and he has become the same with the Hornets. He makes every person on his team look good, and with his abilities to score around guys bigger than him, he is my favorite for the NBA’s Most Valuable Player.

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