Editor's note: Welcome to NBA Insider Daily! Devoted readers familiar with the Per Diem column can still look forward to both Kevin Pelton and Tom Haberstroh this season, but they are now joined by fellow Insiders Bradford Doolittle and Amin Elhassan. Every day, one of them will tackle the big topics in the NBA from every perspective, including advanced metrics, scouting and reporting.
The NBA season is officially here. Six teams kicked off their seasons already, and the other 24 will launch their 2014-15 campaigns Wednesday or Thursday night.
With all the storylines swirling in the air, I wanted to boil it down to five essential questions ahead of the season. This isn't meant to be a preview (go study those 30 Insider forecasts!). Rather, these are some of the geeky plots that I'm most interested in following as the season unfolds.
Without further ado, here are five burning questions entering the 2014-15 season.
1. Who will gun for more shots: Russell Westbrook or Kobe Bryant?
I can't help it. This is going to be amazing. In one corner, we have a fired-up Bryant who led all players by averaging 22.7 field goal attempts per 36 minutes in the preseason despite shooting just 39.6 percent from the floor against preseason competition. To put that in perspective, Bryant missed 61 shots in 160 minutes of action, which is about as many as J.R. Smith took in 154 minutes (62). Yes, that J.R. Smith.
Who cares if it takes Bryant 30 shots to get to 25 points as long as he gets there? Well, the opponent. It will be cheering like mad for brazen inefficiency. And with Julius Randle sidelined for the foreseeable future with a broken leg, Bryant will have even fewer players demanding the ball.