5 NBA Storylines to watch in 2017

NBA Storylines Russell Westbrook

NBA Storylines that don’t include Cleveland or Golden State

The NBA season will now get the major media spotlight as we enter into January, now that LeBron and the Cavaliers won the greatest Christmas Day game ever. With nearly sixty-five percent of the regular season remaining, watch for these five storylines that have nothing to do with the Warriors or Cavs.

Russell Westbrook’s chasing Big O

The MVP of the Oklahoma City Thunder is the frontrunner for the league’s biggest award through the first two months of the season. Westbrook is currently averaging 31.7 points, 10.4 rebounds, and 10.9 assists as of this post, and has electrified crowds around the country on a nightly basis. The Thunder are in the middle of the Western Conference playoff chase, and his 14 triple doubles dwarfs James Harden (6) and Lebron James (3).

The Raptors are for real

We know the Toronto Raptors have been owned by Cleveland this season, but at 22-8, Drake’s boys are only one game behind Cleveland for the top seed in the East. Our first bold prediction of this post is this: Toronto will secure the top seed in the East.

Chris Bosh will play again, just not this year.

February 9th, 2017 will be an important date, as that is the one year anniversary of the last time Chris Bosh stepped on the court for the Miami Heat. That is also when Pat Riley can apply for full relief of the all star forward’s salary. According to the current NBA collective bargaining agreement,

“Any player who suffers a career-ending injury or illness, and whose contract is terminated by the Team in accordance with the NBA waiver procedure, will be excluded from his Team’s Team Salary . . . beginning on the first anniversary of the date of the last NBA Regular Season or playoff game in which the player played.”

“The determination of whether a player has suffered a career-ending

injury or illness shall be made by a physician selected jointly by the NBA and the Players Association. A player shall be deemed to have suffered a career-ending injury or illness if it is determined that the player has an injury or illness that . . . is of such severity that continuing to play professional basketball at an NBA level would subject the player to medically unacceptable risk of suffering a life-threatening or permanently disabling injury or illness.”

With that said, Bosh is scheduled to earn $25.3 million dollars next year, and that is what the Heat want to be free to offer someone (Blake Griffin, Chris Paul?) who can be apart of a new Big Three. Expect Chris Bosh to put a NBA jersey again, even if in a reserve role for his first team (Toronto), or his hometown (Dallas).

Joel Embiid is on the verge of becoming a superstar

“The Process” Joel Embiid let the world know he was going to be a problem before the season began. While the 7-23 Sixers aren’t going to make the playoffs this year, but Embiid could very well be headed to the All Star Game as a rookie.

Philly has the potential to be scary with a few more pieces.

The first head coach to be fired will be…

There were so many coaching changes over the past year, trying to speculate who will be the first NBA coach axed this season is challenging. Our bet right now is on the Bucks’ Jason Kidd. Kidd signed a three year extension last summer, but his team has struggling this year in the weak East. A lot can change between now and May, however watch what happens with Milwaukee.

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