RAHEEL RAMZANALI

The NBA is back, and all is right in Raheel's world

The NBA is back, and all is right in Raheel's world
Will Carmelo Anthony have a positive impact on the Rockets? Gene Sweeney Jr./Getty Images

Today is the holiest of holy days for me, Raheel Ramzanali. The start of the NBA season. If I had it my way, the season would have started even earlier - like on June 9, the day after the NBA finals. We can give the two teams in the NBA finals a week off, but for the rest of the guys, let’s get right back at it so Raheel can watch hoops all summer long. I digress. With the start of the season here, I wanted to layout some storylines that I’m excited for in the 2019 season:

  • Will Carmelo Anthony have a positive impacton the Rockets after the All-Star game? I think Carmelo is going to look pretty good to start the season, but father time is undefeated when it comes to everybody but LeBron James. How is Melo going to look shooting with tired legs? If he can overcome his spotty defense with some good shooting nights late in the season and the playoffs, it will be worth it for the Rockets.

  • Will Russell Westbrook get to the second round? It’s only been two years since Durant left, but those two years have been brutal in terms of team success for the Thunder. Last year’s disappointing loss to the Jazz in the first round was the cherry on top, but will it get better now that Paul George is all in with the Thunder? I love watching Russ play, but it’s time to add some team awards to his mantle in addition to the triple doubles.

  • Can the Raptors make the East fun again? LeBron has finally left the East and now all signs point to a new dynasty rising in the Celtics, but can Kawhi Leonard make this a bit more fun and entertaining? This Raptors team was the No. 1 seed last year and only got better with the addition of Kawhi and Danny Green. I think they win the East. I know I’m crazy.

  • Will anybody ever get any sleep now with the Lakers being a must-watch team every single night? We only have a few more years of prime LeBron to watch and I really don’t want to miss any of the action. In addition to that, we still have those Golden State Warriors fellas to scout if you’re a Houston fan.

  • All signs point to Giannis winning the MVP this year, BUT BUT BUT...indulge me for a second because I think Victor Oladipo has a shot to win it out of nowhere. Oladipo has been progressing every single year and I think has a legit shot to crack 29 ppg this year. While the league scoring leader isn’t guaranteed to win the MVP, it does put him in the conversation and if his team is top 2 in the East, why not?

  • Where will Kemba Walker end the season? I’m thinking San Antonio. I don’t know how, but for some reason I have a feeling something like this will happen.

  • My league pass team for this season: Donovan Mitchell. I can’t say the Jazz.

  • Two storylines for the New York City readers: the Nets will make the playoffs AND Kevin Knox will be a monster for the Knicks.

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The Braves blew the game open against Hader on Monday night. Photo by Logan Riely/Getty Images.

When the Astros signed Josh Hader to anchor the back of the bullpen with Ryan Pressly and Bryan Abreu, we thought the club might have the best 'pen in MLB.

But at this early stage in the season, nobody is confusing these guys with Octavio Dotel, Brad Lidge, and Billy Wager.

Heading into the ninth inning on Monday night, the Astros handed the ball to Hader trailing the Braves 2-1. Instead of keeping the game close and giving the Astros' offense one more chance, the Braves teed off on the closer putting the game out of reach and ultimately winning 6-1.

Hader has one save on the season with an ERA over nine. Which has us wondering, do the Astros have a Hader problem?

Don't miss the video above as ESPN Houston's John Granato and Lance Zierlein weigh in!

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