Share on

NBA season 2023-2024

© Pexels

The NBA is back: what to expect from this year’s season?

What to expect from this year’s NBA season? Who are the contenders for the NBA finals? Can Victor ‘Alien’ Wembanyama live up to the expectations with the San Antonio Spurs? Will LeBron James be able to get the LA Lakers to the Western Conference Finals in his 21st year in the league? And what new rules are introduced this season? A preview on this year’s NBA season.

Second Belgian player in the NBA

For the second time in the NBA history, a Belgian player is on the roster. Toumani Camara showed in the pre-season that he’s ready for the NBA with the Portland Trail Blazers. He was first drafted by the Phoenix Suns but a few weeks later, he was included in a deal which made him move to Portland. Camara is the first Belgian player in the NBA since Didier Mbenga, who played for the LA Lakers, Dallas, Golden State and New Orleans. Didier Mbenga is a two time NBA champion with the LA Lakers, although his share was minimal.

This season, all eyes are focused on the number 1 pick from the NBA-draft; Victor Wembanyama. The French superstar is ready for his rookie year in the NBA. During the pre-season games, Wembanyama proved his skills. He is a special talent because he looks like a center (2,24m), shoots like a point guard and dribbles like a real playmaker. The whole world is excited about the ‘Alien’, that’s what LeBron James called him.

Who are the title contenders in the Eastern and Western Conference?

If we look at the Eastern Conference, the Milwaulkee Bucks may be the favorite. With ‘Greek Freak’ Giannis Antetokounmpo, who signed a 186 million contract extension and Damien Lillard, who came from the Portland, a new star duo is born. Can the Bucks repeat their victory of 2021 or will the Boston Celtics prevent them form doing that? Superstars Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown get help from Kristaps Porzingis and Jrue Holiday this year to turn up the heat in the TD Garden.

Teams like the Cleveland Cavaliers, Philadelphia Sixers and the Miami Heat, who lost the NBA finals last year, will be the outsiders this year.

In the Western Conference, there may be more title contenders. Of course, the defending champions: the Denver Nuggets with NBA Finals MVP Nikola Jokic. During summer, he was busy with his horses in Serbia but how motivated is the ‘The Joker’ to lead the Denver Nuggets to their second consecutive Larry O’Brien Trophy?

Will the LA Lakers, with LeBron James and Anthony Davis be the Nuggets’ biggest challengers for the Western Conference title? Both are well over 30 and it remains to be seen whether their bodies can still handle the large number of games.

What about the Phoenix Suns? Can Devin Booker, Kevin Durant and Bradley Beal be the trio everybody expects them to be and contend for the title in the West? Can Kawhi Leonard do with the LA Clippers what he did with the Toronto Raptors in 2019? Or are the ‘Splash Brothers’ Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson aiming for their fifth Ring together?

And it doesn’t stop there, a lot of teams have shown ambition to fight for the play-offs and take a chance for the title in the West: Sacramento, Dallas, Oklahoma and Memphis could be the underdogs this season.

In-season tournament

A new format is introduced in this year’s season: the ‘in-season tournament’. It looks like an extra competition within the season. Some games of the regular season will be part of the in-season tournament. It starts on the 3rd of November and the final will be played in Las Vegas on December 9th.

The goal of the new format is to make the regular season a bit more exciting and create more competitiveness during the months of November and December. Players won’t have to do it for the money, each player of the winning team receives a 500.000 dollar check, which looks like peanuts compared to their annual salary.

Player Participation Policy

Also new in the NBA: the Player Participation Policy (PRP). This policy encourages players to play more games during the regular season. It is so that a lot of star players skip games sometimes to get rest. This is quite normal in a season with 82 games in the regular season and a lot of travelling between the games. The NBA introduced this rule so that fans will have a bigger chance to see their star players play when they buy, often very expensive, tickets for a NBA game.

If players are injured or need rest, of course they are allowed to rest and skip games. The rule says that teams may not let two star players rest on the same day if they are fit. A star player is a player who was an All Star or in the All-NBA team in the past 3 years.

Sources: Sporza, LakersDaily, Goldenstateofmind

A new agency world © 2023. All rights reserved.