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Entering the new season, what's the one thing you’re most eager to see?
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Steve Aschburner: Let’s face it, I’m working against my own claim to fame when I say I’m eager to see Minnesota end its 13-year playoff drought. After all, all these years later, I remain the only Timberwolves beat writer (1993-2007) to have covered that franchise’s entire postseason run. I’ve given up hope of convincing owner Glen Taylor to bring me back in a phony-baloney $250K job as a combo good-luck charm/“team historian.” So they might as well go ahead and win 50 games under Tom Thibodeau, with Jimmy Butler showing the ropes to Karl Anthony-Towns, Andrew Wiggins and the rest. At least I’ll be positioned to cover Minnesota’s next playoff game.
Shaun Powell: I can't wait to see how the new pieces with little to no previous experience playing with each other mesh together. Chris Paul and James Harden. Russell Westbrook and Paul George and Carmelo Anthony. LeBron James and Isaiah Thomas. Not all of them will work. Chances are, somebody's bound to flop, and if so, who will it be?
John Schuhmann: Milwaukee's development. With its youth, length and versatility, this could be the next great team in the Eastern Conference. Giannis Antetokounmpo (22 years old) is the league's next top-three player and Thon Maker (20) could has a lot of room to grow as well. Their bench seems thin right now, but the Bucks have the ability to improve both offensively and defensively and approach top 10 rankings on both ends of the floor (and compete for a top 3 seed in the East) this season.
Sekou Smith: As intrigued as I was with the idea of the Celtics going into this season, Gordon Hayward's injury just minutes into his first regular season game in green and white has clouded my view. Prayers up for Hayward and on a complete recovery. The goings on in Oklahoma City moved to the top of my list the moment Sam Presti pulled off the deal to add Carmelo Anthony to core group led by Russell Westbrook and Paul George. It's the latest iteration of the "super team" phenomenon that has spread around the league. Unlike some of my scribe friends around the globe, I don't see this as some train wreck waiting to happen. I love the idea of these guys teaming up to challenge the order of things in the Western Conference. Kudos to Sam Presti for being aggressive in his approach and this is a chance for Westbrook and Anthony, in particular, to change some minds about who and what they are as players in this league.