1. SUPERMAN’S METROPOLIS- Every word, every win, and every loss will be scrutinized looking for clues as to Dwight Howard’s intentions for next year.
2. LEBRON’S REDEMPTION TOUR- Actually, this won’t begin until the playoffs, and won’t end unless he is holding the Larry O’Brien Trophy. Maybe. Winning probably won’t be enough, he’ll have to win and be the MVP and finish games strong.
3. THE EFFECTS OF A SHORTENED SEASON- Might be true, but will become nauseating to discuss after a good team struggles and we then associate it with their schedule.
4. KEVIN DURANT-RUSSELL WESTBROOK MARRIAGE- You know what I mean. This one won’t be looked at much until the postseason either, but the murmurs began last May and will grow louder if this team fails, and fails because the point guard won’t share the ball enough with the scoring champion.
5. CP3 ALLEY-OOP TO THE POSTER CHILD- The Blake-Show has a new conductor, and everyone is wondering how good they’ll actually be. We know they’ll be fun to watch.
6. THE END OF AN ERA?- Does Kobe Bryant have another title in him? Does Tim Duncan have any gas left in the tank? Will Steve Nash stay title-less in Phoenix to end his career? Does the Celtics trio of Pierce, KG, and Allen have one more run in them?
7. WHO IS THE BEST PLAYER IN THE WORLD?- You could also call it the MVP vote, but it seems we have quite a bit of debate and a few hands on the trophy. It feels like Kevin Durant’s to lose because: Rose has to improve on last year to win it again, Wade and LeBron are still sharing, and Kobe isn’t getting any younger. Maybe Paul, Carmelo, Dwight, or Dirk can surprise us with a successful season by their teams boosting their profiles?
8. YOUTH TO BE SERVED- Minnesota, Sacramento, Washington, Charlotte, Detroit, Indiana, and Denver have a lot of young legs. Perhaps the small markets could use that to their advantage in this compact season?
9. JIMMER-MANIA?- He’s stuck behind Tyreke Evans, Marcus Thornton, and John Salmons, but if he gets on the floor, he could create a cult following like a certain NFL QB.
10. DAVID STERN’S JOB- He’s already ticked a lot of people off. Will he do anything else this year to bring his status as commissioner into question?
11. ALL-STARS IN ORLANDO- The Magic may not be able to bring stars to Orlando to help Dwight Howard, but he’ll be playing with and against 23 others on February 26th.
12. DO THE MAVS HAVE ENOUGH FOR A REPEAT?- Adding Vince Carter, Delonte West, and Lamar Odom sounds fine, but none of them can play center and protect the rim like Tyson Chandler. Dirk finished last year as the best player on the planet, but can he overcome 30 minutes a night of Brendan Stiffwood in the middle?