Tim Duncan and the San Antonio Spurs dominated the NBA's regular season, won the Western Conference, and then knocked off the two-time defending champion Miami Heat in five games to win the NBA title. Fans are already looking forward to the 2014-15 season -- and we'll see if the Spurs can make it to three straight NBA Finals, and repeat as champions. The Western Conference has the NBA's best teams -- so the road for the Spurs will be difficult. The Oklahoma City Thunder, Houston Rockets, Portland Trail Blazers, and Los Angeles Clippers will all try to dethrone the Spurs next season.
The Heat have dominated the Eastern Conference, appearing in the NBA Finals in four consecutive seasons. Questions surround the Heat, which opens the door for teams like the Indiana Pacers, Toronto Raptors, Brooklyn Nets and Chicago Bulls to make a run at the Eastern Conference title.
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As has been the case the past few seasons, the basketball team garnering the most attention is the Miami Heat, who are aiming for a third consecutive NBA Title. LeBron James and Dwyane Wade have proven they are part of NBA history as two of the most prolific teammates ever, and they are the biggest road draw in the game. LeBron has been a star since he was a teenager, and even after winning two titles America still loves seeing James in person.
The other big players in the 2013 season are the Chicago Bulls, who have Derrick Rose back healthy and are ready to compete with the Heat. Chicago GM Gar Forman has put a solid team around Rose, and they are aiming for an NBA title. The Brooklyn Nets made a big splash when they brought in Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce from the Boston Celtics. They are making a full-on assault on the New York Knicks for relevance in the Big Apple, and from the amount of tickets they are selling they are getting the job done. Of course it's going to take a lot to upend the Knicks in New York, but a little rivalry never hurt anyone!
Out on the West Coast there has been some major upheaval, with the biggest news being Dwight Howard's departure from the Los Angeles Lakers to join James Harden, Jeremy Lin and the Houston Rockets. Howard and the Rockets will try to wrest the Western Conference crown from Tim Duncan and the San Antonio Spurs, who are trying to prove they have another NBA Championship run in them. The other big force in the Western Conference is the Oklahoma City Thunder, with superstars Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook. The injury to Westbrook was a devastating way to end the season, and OKC fans are hoping this team can finish the job in 2014. One big change is that the Los Angeles Lakers might not be great this season, as there is not much of a team around Kobe Bryant.
The other big players in the West are the Golden State Warriors and the Portland Trailblazers, both of whom have put together a solid season so far. Both teams have some incredibly passionate fans, and with a solid product on the court you can expect that fans will show up in droves for their home games. The Western Conference is shaping up to be very competitive this season, and your team needs you in the stands cheering the team on to victory.
Going down at the halfway point of the NBA season, the NBA All-Star Game weekend is full of basketball fun that is the highlight of the year for many. Not only does the All-Star Game provide fans with a chance to see the best players take the court all at once, events like the slam dunk contest make the whole weekend a great experience. The 2014 NBA All Star Game happens at New Orleans Arena in New Orleans, Louisiana on Sunday, February 16. It's going to be a wild couple of days in one of the country's most party-friendly cities, and if you can make it this game is going to be wild. The week-long celebration is great for both fans and players, and NBA All Star Game tickets are always hot sellers.
The NBA's regular season sees the league's 30 teams play 82 games total, beginning in October and running through mid-April. That means a total of 1,230 NBA games during the regular season. The Eastern and Western conferences are broken up into three divisions, each with five teams. The East is comprised of the Atlantic, Central and Southeaster Divisions, while the West is comprised of the Northwest, Pacific and Southwest Division. And the end of the regular season, sixteen teams total make the NBA playoffs, where many fans believe the "real" NBA season begins. But a lot happens during the regular season, and rivalries that are formed during the season often boil over in the playoffs.
After a full regular season, basketball shifts to the post-season, when the stakes are taken up a notch and every possession counts. Each conference sends eight teams total, in what are called seeds. The team with the best regular season gets the "#1 seed," while the team with the worst record is the "8 seed." The #1 seed plays the #8 seed, the #2 seed plays the #7, the #3 plays the #6, and the #4 and #5 all play in a best of five series. At the end of the first round, the seeds are again re-arranged, with the team with the best record again playing the team with the worst record that is still playing in the playoffs, and so on, this time in a seven-round series. After the second round, there are just two teams remaining, and they face-off in the Conference Finals game. And once the Conference playoffs are decided, its on to the NBA Finals.
The NBA Finals are the culmination of a whole season of NBA basketball and normally the seven-game series is the most intense basketball you will see. The best teams in each conference go at it to take home the Larry O'Brien Trophy and the intensity of a NBA Finals game is off the charts. The whole season is defined by the seven-game series, and in some cases it will define the career of a player. Of course ticket prices for the Finals can get pretty expensive, as fans are hoping to be there for the chance to see their team make history. But if you keep your eye out you can definitely find a good deal of tickets. The NBA playoffs are the most exciting time of the year, and that goes double for the Finals.
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While NBA basketball is a lot of fun, its not the only way to enjoy grown men throwing a ball into a hoop. The Harlem Globetrotters have been entertaining audiences for decades now with wild antics and high-flying basketball fun. These guys might be just as talented as NBA players, but the bring fun that you don't normally associate with professional sports. The Globetrotters is a show that you don't want to miss out on, so get your tickets when they visit your town.
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