VAVEL USA’s 2015-2016 NBA Regular Season Guide
Javier Robles/VAVEL

After a long summer which featured many interesting headlines, such as DeAndre Jordan’s betrayal of the Dallas Mavericks and LaMarcus Aldridge’s decision to join the San Antonio Spurs, the long-awaited NBA season is finally back.

It’s that time of year again, to begin trash talking with your friends, to begin sharing highlight plays on your Twitter feed, and of course to begin cheering wholeheartedly for your beloved teams. After a 2014-2015 season that saw the Golden State Warriors bring a championship to their city for the first time in 40 years, NBA teams will eagerly look to dethrone them in a new season that promises to be highly competitive in both conferences.

The Contenders

Golden State Warriors – There is no doubt that the defending champions will be top contenders for another title. This team is stacked with versatility and still possesses last season’s MVP, Stephen Curry. They are on a mission to prove that last year’s championship wasn’t a fluke, as some critics have been harping on about.

San Antonio Spurs – No matter what, we cannot get rid of these San Antonio Spurs out of championship consideration, as they have returned with a rejuvenated roster, signing top free agent LaMarcus Aldridge and bringing in savvy veteran David West while retaining their original big three of Tim Duncan, Manu Ginobili, and Tony Parker. Oh, and they still have a guy named Kawhi Leonard who was the 2014 Finals MVP. They are loaded with talent.

Cleveland Cavaliers – The Cavaliers were hit with unfortunate injuries late last season and will get another opportunity to make a long run. We all know that as long as LeBron James is healthy, this team is virtually unstoppable in the East. With hope that this year they will remain healthy during the playoffs, Cleveland is determined to make another Finals appearance and perhaps win it all this time.

Oklahoma City Thunder – After being dismantled by injuries last season and missing the playoffs, the Thunder is suddenly contenders again. Why? Because they have Kevin Durant back into their lineup, and he hopes to register a fully healthy season, along with his running mate Russell Westbrook. With a fully healthy roster, Oklahoma City is probably one of the deepest teams in the league which should help them regain supremacy in the wild-wild West.

Los Angeles Clippers – This is it for the Clippers. No more excuses for this team. They have put together one of the deepest rosters in franchise history and have finally upgraded their small forward position. After a meltdown in the second round of the playoffs last season, this will probably be the Clippers’ final shot to prove that they are a legitimate powerhouse.

This season is expected to be highly unpredictable, with many teams improving from last year, such as the Miami Heat, Indiana Pacers, Milwaukee Bucks, New York Knicks, Sacramento Kings, and Oklahoma City Thunder. Meanwhile, some of the younger teams promise to be more entertaining, including the Minnesota Timberwolves, Philadelphia 76ers, Utah Jazz, and Orlando Magic.

Aside from teams, we should see plenty of competitiveness from many star players. The MVP battle is going to be intense as ever with James Harden, Stephen Curry, Kevin Durant, Anthony Davis, Russell Westbrook, and LeBron James all expected to be in the mix, while Blake Griffin, Paul George, John Wall, Damian Lillard, and DeMarcus Cousins are expected to be the dark horses for the award.

Here is to another sensational NBA season, with hope that injuries to star players don’t become a common theme. Are you ready?

VAVEL USA NBA Previews – Eastern Conference

Atlanta Hawks - Continuity Of Team Play

Boston Celtics - Brad Stevens' Brilliance

Brooklyn Nets - Out With The Old, In With The New

Charlotte Hornets - Something To Buzz About?

Chicago Bulls - Boom, Boom, Pau!

Cleveland Cavaliers - The Second Time Is A Charm?

Detroit Pistons - Andre Drummond's Team Now

Indiana Pacers - The Return Of A Superstar

Miami Heat - New And Improved

Milwaukee Bucks - Fear The Deer?

New York Knicks - Reinforcements For Melo

Orlando Magic - The Young And Exciting

Philadelphia 76ers - The Long Rebuilding Process

Toronto Raptors - Defensive Improvements

Washington Wizards - The Great Wall Of D.C.

VAVEL USA NBA Previews – Western Conference

Dallas Mavericks - Nothing Went As Planned

Denver Nuggets - New Life, New Leader

Golden State Warriors - Defending The Title

Houston Rockets - Fear The Beard?

Los Angeles Clippers - One Last Chance?

Los Angeles Lakers - Kobe Bryant's Last Dance?

Memphis Grizzlies - The Grit-N-Grind Is Back

Minnesota Timberwolves - The Young And The Old

New Orleans Pelicans - Follow The Brow

Oklahoma City Thunder - Return To Supremacy

Phoenix Suns - End The Dry Spell In The Dessert

Portland Trail Blazers - And Then There Was One

Sacramento Kings - More Help For DeMarcus

San Antonio Spurs - It Never Gets Old

Utah Jazz - Playoffs Here We Come?