BY LOREN BRANCH
Championship caliber teams, rookies, injuries, Kobe, and LeBron … These are all popular subjects during the beginning of every NBA season.
However, this year the various moves and trades seem to be the topic of discussion around the league. From the pre and post-game shows of the opening night games to the daily ESPN shows, anywhere the NBA is being talked about, all the offseason moves are leading the discussions.
The nationally televised opening night games were: Boston Celtics vs. Miami Heat and Dallas Mavericks vs. Los Angeles Lakers. All four of these teams made some big personnel changes prior to the beginning of the season so both broadcasts were full of conversations and comments on that topic.
During both pre-game shows, analysts spent a lot of time discussing how the new players were going to fit in with their new teams and how they got there. Specifically before the Celtics vs. Heat game, they commented on how strange it was to see former Celtic Ray Allen playing in a Heat jersey against the team he just left in free agency.
Because the games were back-to-back on TNT, they shared a post-game show centered on analyzing how the teams looked in their first game together. A good portion of the discussion about the Mavericks vs. Lakers game focused on how the Lakers didn’t seem to be gelling together with their new team and offensive scheme. This conversation overshadowed how well the Mavericks played without their best player in Dirk Nowitzki, which was only mentioned very briefly.
In the two days since those opening games, NBA conversations continue to revolve around “same faces, new places.” Whether it’s discussing the playoff hopes James Harden has brought to the Houston Rockets or how well Deron Williams and Joe Johnson will play together in Brooklyn, every single one of the non sport-specific ESPN shows have been discussing NBA roster changes. Pardon the Interruption, SportsCenter, and First Take all discussed the Lakers disappointing 0-2 start and made suggestions as to what they need to do to get their new all-star cast to work together.