What will be remembered most about this season? Depends on what your personal tastes are when it comes to professional basketball. If you prefer off-the-court issues, then look no further than franchises like the Knicks and Lakers. I know one can also include the Pacers and Nets in the discussion but because their team will be participating in the postseason, i’d like to omit them. Chicago was a prime candidate to be a “behind the scenes” disaster after Derrick Rose’s injury and the trade of Luol Deng but like coach Thibodeau and team leader Joakim Noah, the Bulls fought the entire year to put together an impressive season. It’s that kind of play that makes fans love professional sports. Ignoring everything that surrounds them and proving themselves on the court. Who else portrays that more than the Bulls? Well, i’d like the nominate the Spurs. As a Mavs fan, I despise them but completely respect them. The irony is that most of the media spends more time talking about how no one talks about the Spurs rather than actually talking about the Spurs. San Antonio bounced back from a heart-breaking Finals to put together yet another impressive regular season. One that included the quietest 19-game winning streak in the history of the league. Which team surprised the most in the west? Portland was not supposed to be this good and with their unconventional roster, neither were the Mavericks. But that honor clearly goes to the Suns. Thought to be in the race for the #1 pick in the draft, the Suns put together a team that almost won 50 games and almost made the playoffs in the ridiculously difficult western conference. Let’s also give it up to the Raptors, who never seem to jump off the page simply because they are a basketball team in Toronto. The 3rd seed in the east during a season where they were supposed to be a lower seed to the likes of Chicago, Brooklyn or New York, only to get bounced in the first round. Now, with Drake’s consent of course, could the Raptors make some noise in these eastern conference playoffs? Let’s not get ahead of ourselves.
Those were some of the team headlines but what story line was the leader throughout the season? No, not Phil Jackson joining the Knicks or anything having to do wit the Lakers. Let’s sick to franchises that are going to matter after tonight’s final day of the regular season. The season-long battle between LeBron James and Kevin Durant for the season’s best player and winner of the 2013-14 MVP trophy. I’ll be first to admit that I was in the camp of “as long as LeBron is in his prime, the award goes to him” before the season started. But as great as LeBron has been all season, there’s no doubt that Kevin Durant deserves the trophy for most valuable player in the league this season. The list goes on for, #35 of the Thunder, when discussing whether he deserves it or not. The incredible shooting goes without saying because once again, Durant will be the league’s champion for scoring. As we all know, that’s the not the trophy he cares about the most at this point in his career. After all he already has three of those. Now it’s time for “KD” to move up to the next echelon of players in history. That means an MVP trophy and if this season continues in the same direction, it means finally getting that first NBA championship. How does LeBron feel about all of this Durant talk? James seems to think Durant is also deserving of the trophy. Does watching Durant get the personal hardware light a first under LeBron during the postseason? It’s surprising that a player with a 27.1-6.4-6.9 stat line needs any help for when “the real season” begins. If this season has shown us anything is that KD and LeBron have brought out the best in each other for the entire season and we can only go up from here because now, the stakes are even bigger.
As usual on the final day of the season, every team in the NBA is in action. There are too many scenarios to list here, but I found a nice link on NBA.com that summarizes them nice and neat. I will be hoping for a Mavericks victory as they try to secure the 7th seed and win 50 games. I’ll be predicting the first round of the eastern conference tomorrow and the west on Friday before things get going on Saturday.View All Photos ›