All smiles this morning as both sides agree on a tentative deal to end the lockout
That's right, basketball is back starting December 9th with free agency and training camps. The first games of the season will be on Christmas Day. The 149 day lockout can call it quits after the two sides reached a tentative agreement early Saturday morning.
The season will kick off with the Celtics and Knicks at Madison Square Garden, followed by an NBA finals rematch between the Heat and the Mavs. The triple header will be finished off when the reigning MVP, Derrick Rose and the Chicago Bulls take on Kobe Bryant and the Los Angeles Lakers.
Each team will play 66 regular season games, which is 16 games shorter than the regular 82 game season. The season is starting off two months late, so games will have to be squeezed in and teams will be forced to play about five games a week.
So who are the Winners and Losers with the lockout over?
Wilson Chandler- Chandler, along with other players playing in China's CBA will be forced to stay in China for the remainder of the year. At least they will be able to play basketball and stay in shape.
Super Teams- It is likely that the new CBA will try to eliminate the possibility for three stars to play on the same team. That means teams like the Heat, Knicks, Lakers, and other high payroll teams lucked out and made their moves when they had the chance.
Hockey- With football mostly on the weekend, and basketball out of sight, the NHL was loving the fact that they had the weekdays all to themselves. Now with the NBA back, the NHL will likely shadow the NBA again and will lose popularity.
Cleveland Cavaliers- The Cavs could repeat as the worst team in the NBA this year. At least their rookies finally get to work with the team.
Deron Williams- Dwill took advantage of the NBA lockout and played overseas in Turkey. Williams put up a 50 point game earlier this week and has stayed in shape. His contract, along with many other players in Europe, allow them to return to the NBA.
Rookies- Some of the rookies were unsure if leaving college and entering the NBA was the right move. Now, with the lockout over, the rookies will be able to show off their skills and finally start to make money.
Timberwolves- With Ricky Rubio finally coming to the NBA, the Timberwolves have a lot to show in 2011-2012. It will be interesting to see how Rubio plays along with rookie Derrick Williams, and all star Kevin Love. The Timberwolves have a bright future ahead.
Win Now Teams- The Lakers, Mavs, Spurs, Celtics and teams that aren't getting younger would be severely hurt by an NBA lockout. With Kobe Bryant, Tim Duncan, Kevin Garnett, and Dirk Nowitzki all aging, these teams only have a few more years left to compete for an NBA title.
Miami Heat- After disappointing their fans last season, and not winning an NBA title with LeBron, Wade, and Bosh, the Heat will be able to redeem themselves this season and try to win it all.