By Jake Bilyeu, Guest Writer

Just as the Major League Baseball season comes to an end, the National Basketball Association season has come to fill the void.

The offseason was filled with crazy twists and turns, with the greatest being LeBron James taking his talents from South Beach and returning to the Cleveland Cavaliers.

Former Minnesota Timberwolves center Kevin Love arrived with James as well, and the time has come to see if all of the big stars can walk the walk again.

The exhilarating action of Wednesday night focused on the team that ended last season on top, the San Antonio Spurs.

The defending champions hosted the Dallas Mavericks, a division rival and one of the few teams predicted to be atop the stacked Western Conference this season.

The contest got off to a slow start, but after the stars of both teams had shaken off the rust, the intensity picked up very quickly, with the Mavericks taking a 53-45 lead into halftime.

However, the Spurs took control of the game in the third quarter, and then held off a late and furious Dallas comeback to win 101-100.

The second primetime game of the night pitted the Houston Rockets against the Los Angeles Lakers, featuring the highly anticipated return of the Lakers’ star Kobe Bryant.

However, the Rockets were there to crash the party, and they did just that. Houston cruised all game, dominating the Lakers from inside and out and ultimately winning 108-90.

To make matters worse, the Lakers star rookie, Julius Randle, suffered from a broken leg injury in the fourth quarter of his NBA debut, putting a damper on the evening in Los Angeles.

It must be said that basketball’s popularity has waned over the years, and according to statistics taken from the Harris Poll in January 2014, just 6 percent of Americans consider basketball their favorite sport.

Despite this, the Pacific Lutheran University Men’s Basketball team is excited, and shared their thoughts on the upcoming NBA season.

“What I’m looking forward to about the NBA season is to see the NBA teams that completely changed their roster around, like the Cavaliers, Mavericks, Celtics, Timberwolves, Wizards and Bulls,” first-year Dylan Foreman said. “I’m excited to see how the new players mesh with their new teams.”

Sophomore Clint Absher was also ready for basketball season to start. “I’m most excited for Derrick Rose to get to play this year,” he said. “He’s finally returning from injury and his passion for the game makes him exciting to watch.”

It’s sure to be an exciting NBA season, and hopefully PLU is ready for greatness as well. ◼︎

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