We’re still months away from the start of the NBA season, and we’re already in the midst of some incredible moments.
For those of you who’ve spent some time reading our coverage of the 2017 NBA Playoffs, you know we’ve been hyping up what’s coming up in 2018.
But what about for those of us who have been paying close attention?
In the lead up to the start, we took a look at what’s to come in the 2019-20 NBA season and beyond.
Here’s what we thought.1.
The Bulls return to the playoffs in 2019-2020?
That’s a big, big, deal.
If you don’t think that Bulls fans will embrace the idea of the team getting back to the postseason for the first time since the 2007-08 season, well, you’re a fool.
This is not a one-year, one-game plan, as the Bulls are going to have a hell of a time in the playoffs next year.
But there is a realistic chance that Chicago can win it all again in 2019.
If they don’t, the team will be looking to get back to some of the success they had in the past.
In the meantime, this is a huge step forward for Chicago, which is no longer just a team that can play well enough to make it to the Eastern Conference Finals but that can also win it.2.
The Warriors come back to NBA glory in 2019?
The Warriors were supposed to be gone in the offseason, but it appears the team is back.
That said, the Warriors did lose key pieces, so the team’s path back to relevance is still very much up in the air.
That doesn’t mean the Warriors will be out of the postseason altogether, though.
The team is still capable of making it to back-to-back Finals and beating the Cleveland Cavaliers in six games.3.
The Knicks and Celtics are in the same boat in 2019 and 2020?
The Knicks are still a work in progress.
While the Knicks were expected to make a run at the title, their early-season success was overshadowed by injuries to Derrick Rose and Courtney Lee, who both missed significant time due to injury.
The Celtics also had their share of injuries to key players in the summer.
All that said, both the Knicks and the Celtics are still in the thick of the playoff race.
The key for the Knicks is to find a way to play with pace and a willingness to take the ball to the basket.
The big difference is that the Celtics, who won just two games last year, will need to find some sort of chemistry with All-Star forward Jayson Tatum.4.
The Rockets return to a title contender?
With the addition of James Harden, the Houston Rockets will have a very strong backcourt in 2019 with James Harden and Dwight Howard.
The core of the Rockets’ backcourt is back, and the core of Harden and Howard is a lock to be a contender in the West again.
The problem is, though, that it will be up to a young Rockets core to carry the team into the postseason.
The only thing holding the Rockets back is their youth.
If the Rockets can’t figure out a way for their younger players to carry them, the Rockets will be a team struggling to find their footing this season.5.
The Heat will face the Raptors in the 2017 Eastern Conference finals?
The Eastern Conference is a great conference, but the Raptors will be one of the top teams in the league.
In 2018, LeBron James will return to Cleveland, Dwyane Wade will be with Miami, Chris Bosh will be back with the Heat and DeMar DeRozan will be on the wing.
That should be a strong group for the Raptors, who should be able to beat any team they play.6.
The Cavs and Pacers are locked in for the same Eastern Conference title?
In 2019, the Cleveland Browns are a legitimate threat to win the Eastern Division.
If LeBron James can return to form and the Cleveland Cavs can get back on track, the Eastern League is a potential conference championship contender.
If James is out for the year and Dwyne Wade misses time, though?
Cleveland will likely be one step behind the other two teams in both the Eastern and Western Conference.7.
The Thunder take on the Golden State Warriors in the Western Conference finals and lose?
The Thunder, who went to the conference finals last year and have a lot of talent and experience, should be in the hunt for a playoff spot again in 2020.
This time, however, it’s up to Westbrook and the Warriors to keep the Thunder in the game.
This season has been the Warriors’ best yet, but they are a team whose playoff success has been severely impacted by injuries.
The season of the Thunder will be interesting to follow.8.
The Pacers and Hawks battle for the Western Division title?
It’s hard to say who the best team in the East will be