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5 NBA Stars To Watch Out For In The 2021-22 Season

Kevin Durant
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The 2021-22 NBA season tips off on the 19th of October with the defending champions Milwaukee Bucks taking on the Brooklyn Nets before the Los Angeles Lakers host the Golden State Warriors on opening night. It’s a monumental year for the NBA as they celebrate their 75th anniversary, and here are five players with fascinating storylines to watch out for this season.



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A post shared by Russell Westbrook (@russwest44)

Another Big Three has emerged in Los Angeles as Russell Westbrook joins Anthony Davis and LeBron James at the Lakers following his off-season move from the Washington Wizards. While Westbrook is still an All-Star, this is his fourth team in four years, and if pre-season is any indication, there is a significant adjustment period needed for him to find his place in the Lakers offence.

However, given that the Lakers are in win-now mode with Anthony Davis and a 36-year-old LeBron, there is significant pressure on the Westbrook fit to work and the microscope will be on the former MVP with regards to his poor shot selection and turnovers.



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Steph Curry had an MVP level season in 2020-21 and virtually dragged a Golden State Warriors team that finished a woeful 20th on offence into the play-in tournament. Curry had very little help for much of last season with his running mate and splash brother Klay Thompson injured, and there were plenty of teething issues with Steve Kerr’s lineup while they tried to accommodate the number two pick, James Wiseman.

However, the Warriors have added much more spacing to their line-up in the off-season with the addition of Otto Porter Jr and Nemanja Bjelica to go along with their draft pickups Jonathan Kuminga and Moses Moody. Moreover, with Klay Thompson coming back from injury and the emergence of Jordan Poole, Curry will have a lot more help this time around, and we could see the greatest shooter of all time put on another clinic and reach even greater heights this season.



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Kevin Durant was a toenail away from beating the Milwaukee Bucks and heading into the Eastern Conference Finals last season and the former MVP shook off any injury concerns in 2021 as he registered the most efficient scoring season of his career. The two-time Finals MVP also enjoyed a fruitful off-season as he led Team USA to another gold medal in Tokyo, and with a much-improved Brooklyn roster, KD will be hunting for vengeance in 2022.

With Kyrie Irving’s absence this season, there will be more pressure on Durant to deliver for the Nets, but the Maryland native is still the most dominant scorer in today’s NBA and will be one of the favourites for the MVP title.



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The biggest story of the NBA off-season has been the Ben Simmons Philadelphia 76ers saga with the Australian demanding a trade and not showing up for pre-season before eventually caving in and rejoining the team last week. Simmons is the most polarizing player in the NBA, and the pressure reached a boiling point in last season’s playoffs wherein Simmons failed to take a shot from outside the paint throughout the postseason and passed on an easy layup in Game 7 of the Conference Finals against the Hawks

There is a clear lack of chemistry in Philadelphia with Embiid and Simmons, and with four years left on his contract, the burning question is whether he continues to contribute to ‘The Process’ or if Daryl Morey can engineer a trade for a similar all-star level talent that fits with the roster.



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The 2019 number one overall pick has already established himself as a versatile All-Star talent in the NBA who can terrorize defences in the paint and create scoring opportunities as a de-facto point guard. Zion scored more points per game in the paint (22) last season than anyone in the NBA since Shaquille O’Neal, but there is still plenty of room for improvement as he grows into the league. Defence and health are two major concerns for Zion, and the New Orleans star will need to be more alert on the perimeter and up his motor to elevate his game another notch and guide the Pelicans into the playoff spots.


[Image Credit: @easymoneysniper]