A Too Early NBA Season Preview

Marko Barrera, STAFF WRITER

   Even with the NBA Finals still going on in the Orlando bubble, other teams have already started making moves for the upcoming season. As many already know, the 2019-2020 season was paused back in March, then resumed at the end of July in the NBA “bubble” all because of COVID-19. After beginning with 22 participating teams, the Los Angeles Lakers were able to ride it out all the way, defeating the Miami Heat in 6 games for the Larry O’Brien trophy. Even with all the spotlight shining on them, other teams are already up and at it, switching things up while still staying in the guidelines.

   Technically, the offseason hasn’t really started yet, since the Finals aren’t over. Thus, teams can’t do things like sign players or trade players and picks. However, teams can still fire people on their staff, which has been the main story as of recent NBA news.

   One of the main headlines considers the Los Angeles Clippers. The hype for them was already very high since last offseason, after they were able to bring in Paul George, one of the league’s top scorers, as well as Kawhi Leonard, the reigning NBA Champion and Finals MVP. Unfortunately for them, they lost a 3-1 lead, losing to the underdog Denver Nuggets in game 7 of the second round of the playoffs. 

   Their early exit in the playoffs was very unexpected for them, leading them to fire head coach Doc Rivers, who had been leading the Clippers for 7 years. This leaves questionable outcomes for this team in the upcoming season.

   After parting ways with the Clippers, Doc Rivers was in “free agency” allowing other teams to hire him if they wanted. 

   The Philadelphia 76ers didn’t hesitate to hire Doc Rivers as their new head coach. After getting swept in the first round by the Boston Celtics, they fired Bret Brown, leaving them with no coach. That being said, they thought Doc Rivers would be a good fit. With the likes of Ben Simmons coming back from injury and superstar center Joel Embiid, the Sixers have potential to do well this upcoming season.

   The firing and hiring of Doc Rivers is only one of the many moves that has already been made. Other notable offseason coach changes include:

  • Coach Billy Donovan fired by Oklahoma City Thunder, hired by Chicago Bulls who fired Jim Boylen
  • Brooklyn Nets hire Hall of Famer Steve Nash as new head coach after firing Kenny Atkinson
  • Indiana Pacers fire Nate McMillan
  • Mike D’Antoni leaves Houston Rockets
  • New Orleans Pelicans fire Alvin Gentry
  • New York Knicks hire Tom Thibodeau, fired Mike Miller

   Even with the NBA Bubble being something completely new that nobody has seen before, fans can still expect to see a whole different game next season with all these recent changes.