Race for NBA title “Heats” up

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This particular NBA season was set to be a memorable one from the beginning. Offseason transactions had sports analysts claiming this was the biggest summer in the history of the NBA. The Miami Heat looked like the clear favorite after acquiring superstars LeBron James and Chris Bosh to team with previous Miami star, Dwayne Wade.
“I was already a Heat fan,” senior Ahmad Smith said. “After they got Lebron and Bosh, I knew it was over. Miami is going to win the championship this year.”
The Heat got off to a rocky start, losing their first game of the year to the Boston Celtics. At one point, the Heat carried a subpar .500 record. The team has responded well to the obstacles, and currently leads their division and is the favorite to represent the Eastern Conference in this year’s NBA Finals.
Another fan favorite is the Boston Celtics. Led by the fearsome-foursome of Rajon Rondo, Ray Allen, Paul Pierce, and Kevin Garnett, the Celtics are always in the discussion as a top team in the league.
“I really like Rajon Rondo,” sophomore Carmen Planells said. “I play point guard for my team, so I can learn things by watching him. I was also cheering for the Celtics in the Finals last year.”
The Celtics were eventually downed by the Los Angeles Lakers in seven games in the Finals.
Los Angeles Lakers guard, Kobe Bryant, is striving for his second career “Three Peat” in hopes of tying Michael Jordan for six total championships. The Lakers returned nearly all key contributors from last season’s championship team, making them the favorite to win the Western Conference for a fourth year in a row.
“In my opinion the Lakers are the team to beat,” junior Justin Campbell said. “Kobe is the best player in the game. He has a good supporting cast also. I look forward to watching them win the championship in June.”
Also in the Western Conference, the Oklahoma City Thunder is a team to watch. Young, athletic, full of potential describe this team. Last season, they improved their win total by more than 20 games making them the most improved team in the league. Unfortunately, their fairy tale season was cut short by a loss to the Lakers in the first round. Led by superstar Kevin Durant, the Thunder are currently in first place in their division and have the potential to make a playoff run in April. Durant returned to the Thunder this season after averaging 30.1 points per game which led the league, making him the youngest player in the history of the NBA to do so.
Quietly sitting atop the Western Conference standings are the San Antonio Spurs and Dallas Mavericks. Both clubs are led by groups of older, experienced players and have plans to upset the heavily favored Los Angeles Lakers.
“I have liked the Mavericks since I was a kid,” senior Meris Hoxha said. “I don’t have much basketball background, but something about them appeals to me. I hope they win it all.”
Even with so much excitement surrounding the outcome of this season, there are some CHS students that choose not to get involved with the NBA.
“I usually don’t watch the NBA until the playoffs start,” senior Kameron Stewart said. “That’s a lot more exciting to watch and I don’t really have time to follow so many teams during the regular season.”
With so much occurring in the first half of the season, frequent watchers should be in for a big second half. This is usually the time where teams struggling find their identity and also a time for winning teams to lose focus. Only time will tell whether or not preseason predictions will hold.

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