Pro basketball is just around the corner

Pacers one of many storylines to watch this season


(MCT photo)

Atlanta Dream guard Alex Bentley (2) encourages teammate Erika de Souza (14) during a timeout in a WNBA playoff game. Bentley led the Giants to the 2009 National Championship and an undefeated season.


After several weeks of watching exciting NFL action, we get some professional basketball.

The Indiana Pacers open NBA action Oct. 29 at home against the Orlando Magic and travel to New Orleans the next night.

Two major players returning to the NBA this season faced off against each other in the preseason opener when Danny Granger returned to the Pacers and Derrick Rose returned to the Chicago Bulls.

Granger could be either a missing link for this team or a trade piece. For the Bulls, Rose could be the piece of the puzzle that allows them to rejoin the NBA elite. He’s missed the last 18 months battling a knee issue but the former MVP played 20 minutes and scored 13 points and shot 5 for 12 from the field in his preseason return.

But those aren’t the only headlines to look for this preseason. Everyone is waiting to see how Dwight Howard works in Houston, will Kobe Bryant play in Game 1 and will the Bobcats ever make the playoffs again?

Well, maybe not that last one but you get that feeling that this year the NBA will be exciting and fun to watch. We may see some surprises this year like the upcoming Cleveland Cavilers, who also acquired big man Andrew Bynum. Like Granger and Rose, Bynum hasn’t played in about a year so that is something else to look out for.

Other NBA storylines include:

Can the New York Knicks make a championship run with Carmelo Anthony and some added pieces?

Is Brooklyn now a front runner with Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett or will they be too old?

Is Toronto a playoff team with Rudy Gay?

Now to me, I don’t believe the Miami Heat will win another championship and three-peat but a lot of you out there do. I think someone will upset them or whatever you’d like to call it but I’m making a preseason prediction that they will not repeat. We will have to wait see and watch. Enjoy the season and go Bulls.

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In other pro basketball news, former Ben Davis star Alex Bentley played in the WNBA finals for the Atlanta Dream. They were swept 3-0 in the finals by the Minnesota Lynx, but Bentley scored 18 points off the bench in the final game of the series.

Bentley helped lead the Giants to the 2009 National Championship before playing at Penn State. In her rookie season in the WNBA, Bentley played in all 34 games, averaging 8.3 points and 2.8 assists per game.