It’s time for tip-off!
Get ready for all the big NBA games by making plans to watch with friends using the free allcal app, and keep reading our 2014 NBA preview to make sure you know what to expect this 2014-2015 NBA season.
Last year’s NBA season capped off with three Texas teams making playoff appearances for consecutive years in a row, with one of these taking home the NBA title. After squeaking by the Dallas Mavericks in the first round of last year’s playoff bout, the cinderella-story San Antonio Spurs made a great run in the playoffs and managed to dominant a once unstoppable Miami Heat team led by Lebron James. However, the Big 3 of the Heat (Lebron James, Dwyane Wade, and Chris Bosh) proved to be no match for the Big 3 of the Spurs (Tim Duncan, Tony Parker, and Manu Ginobili) as the closest game in last year’s NBA Finals was by a margin of 15 points – besides game two where the Spurs only lost by 2.
Click here to see the Spurs relive their Game 5 victory in the 2013-2014 NBA Finals
This would mark the 5th NBA Championship for the Spurs franchise as well as the 5th NBA title for Spurs Coach Gregg Popovich. Since taking over in 1996, Popovich is the longest tenured active coach in both the NBA and all big four sports leagues. Often referred to as “Coach Pop,” he has the most consecutive winning seasons (playoffs included) of any NBA coach at 17, and is one of only five coaches in NBA history to win five or more NBA championships (Phil Jackson, Red Auerbach, Pat Riley, and John Kundla are the other coaches). He also took home the Red Auerbach Trophy for Coach of the Year in 2013 after leading his Spurs to a 62-20 record – the best mark in the NBA and the top seed in one of the more competitive Western Conferences in recent memory. When you combine that with the play of arguably the greatest NBA trio to play the game, you end up with one of the most dominant forces in basketball for the past decade and several hall of fame careers.
What’s even more surprising is that they’re all coming back. With the median age between Coach Pop and his three star players being 43, it was unlikely they would all remain as a unit going into the 2014-2015 season. Nonetheless, they have all decided to remain together at least one more year before dismantling the group or before any of them think about retirement, in order to make another run at an NBA Championship – but not if Lebron James has anything to say about it.
The King Returns to Cleveland
This isn’t the first time that Lebron has been thwarted by the Spurs in the wake of trying to win an NBA Championship. Back in 2007 when Lebron led the Cleveland Cavaliers to the NBA Finals for the first time in the franchise’s history, he suffered another memorably embarrassing defeat, getting swept 4 games to 0 in what prompted Lebron to leave his home state in search of better players who could help him win a championship and cement his career as one of the all-time greats.
To their dismay, Cavalier fans were not happy with Lebron for wanting to go to another team after playing 7 seasons for Cleveland and ultimately resented him after “The Decision,” which was a live telecast of his choice to join the Miami Heat. Since that time Cleveland fans have shown their disgust for him by booing him at games, naming him a traitor and even burning his jersey. However, time does seem to heal all wounds and after losing in the finals to the Spurs again last year, the King has finally decided to return to his home and play for Cleveland.
Will the fans be receptive of his return? The overwhelming response has been absolutely yes. As a matter of fact, shortly after his decision to return to his former team, a Harris Poll was conducted in July 2014, where for the first time in his career, Lebron James was voted the most popular athlete in America. This, accompanied with the fact that he will be joining all-star point guard Kyrie Irving and center Kevin Love in Cleveland, certainly makes James excited about where he is in his career and puts him in another position to make a run at the title. In his illustrious career at only age 29, he has already won two NBA championships, four NBA Most Valuable Player Awards, two NBA Finals MVP Awards, two Olympic gold medals, an NBA scoring title, and the NBA Rookie of the Year Award. Only time will tell where he’ll end up on the list of all-time greats and if he’s able to add another championship to his resume.
Back in Business: Injury Report
Bryant, an already established great and future NBA Hall of Famer with too many accolades to name, has missed the past couple of seasons dealing with an achilles tear on his left leg and knee problems as well. During his absence in the past two seasons, the Lakers managed to squeeze in the playoffs in 2012, only to be knocked out in the first round and had a dreadful season last year finishing next to last in the Western Conference. Furthermore, Father Time is not on Kobe’s side, as he is getting up there in age (36 years old) and has played in the NBA an exhausting 18 seasons. Without a doubt, this has taken a toll on his body as well has his production on the court, so it will be interesting to see how many minutes he plays this year and how he’s able to adjust to the young talent around him at a time where the Laker’s are rebuilding. In the on-going seasons, the Lakers clearly need a new face of the franchise to take over Bryant’s spot to reestablish themselves as a dominant force in the best conference in basketball. But for now, the “Black Mamba” has taken back control over his team and doesn’t seemed to be interested in retiring any time soon.
Rose, who has also missed the last two seasons battling an ACL tear to his left knee and a torn meniscus in his right knee, has finally regained his full health and is expected to be a huge contributor to the Chicago Bulls going into this season. Before being injured, Rose became the first guard to be drafted first overall in the NBA draft since Allen Iverson in 1996 and would subsequently win NBA Rookie of the Year. In 2011, Rose was named the NBA Most Valuable Player, becoming the youngest player to win this award at 22 years and 6 months old. Always a dominant force in the Eastern Conference, it will be interesting to see how much Rose’s return effects the Chicago Bulls and just how far they will make it in the playoffs this year. Who knows, it may just come down to the Bulls facing the Cavaliers for a shot at the title.
This year it will be very intriguing to witness how well the Texas trio performs and if they will continue the tradition of making the NBA Playoffs together. There is no doubt that Dallas, Houston, and San Antonio all have the rosters of talent to make a good run in the playoffs and perhaps add another championship to their respective franchises. Which team will make it the farthest? We hope the information from our 2014 NBA preview helped answer that question.
In one of the first games of the season, the Dallas Mavericks and defending world-champion San Antonio Spurs will face off against each other October 28 at 7:00 PM on TNT!
To follow these teams, you can download allcal and go to our Public Calendar’s section to access any of the three Texas team’s full 2014-2015 NBA Schedule. You can add a team’s whole schedule to your account, link individual games to your personal calendar or a calendar you share with friends.
Want to be more involved? If you add a team’s full schedule to your list of personal calendars, you can chat with fans of that particular team and receive important information in regards to that team’s events.
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