The 2021-22 season of the best basketball in the world begins next Tuesday, October 19, and 9 Latin American players would be participating in it. Dominican Republic leads Latinos in NBA with three representatives.
The best basketball in the world is preparing to start a new campaign in which the Milwaukee Bucks will defend the title and in Latin America the fans will be waiting to see several of their native players. Photos: IG-alhorford, IG-karltowns, IG-facucampazzo
LatinAmerican Post | Onofre Zambrano Moreno
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Leer en español: Horford, Anthony Towns y Campazzo encabezan a los latinos en la NBA
The best basketball in the world is preparing to start a new campaign in which the Milwaukee Bucks will defend the title and in Latin America the fans will be waiting to see several of their native players on action.
A total of 9 players (could have been 10 after the New York Knicks cut Argentine guard Luca Vildoza) will start the preseason with different teams, including two surprises: the Mexican-born pivot forward Juan Toscano with Golden State Warriors and the Colombian pivot Jaime Echenique with the Washington Wizards.
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In addition to the two of them, there will be the already more established ones, such as Dominican pivot Al Horford with the Boston Celtics, his countryman Karl Anthony Towns, star forward for the Minnesota Timberwolves, and Argentine point guard Facundo Campazzo already in his second season with the Denver Nuggets.
The rest are Brazilian point guard Raul “Raulzinho” Neto with the Washington Wizards, Dominican-Canadian guard Chris Duarte with the Indiana Pacers, Argentine guard Leandro Bolmaro with Minnesota Timberwolves, and his fellow compatriot and forward Gabriel Deck with the Oklahoma City Thunder.
Now, let's review the possibilities and the scenario of each one for the coming campaign, in which they seek to raise the name of Latin America in one of the most difficult professional leagues for athletes of our region.
In star condition
At 35, Al Horford is preparing for his fifteenth season in the NBA, in which he has contributed to his potential in organizations such as the Atlanta Hawks, the Boston Celtics, the Philadelphia Sixers and the Oklahoma City Thunder. For this 21-22, the experienced pivot returns to the Celtics, where he played between 2016 and 2019 with the intention of paying off outstanding debts.
The five-time All Star in the 2010, 2011, 2015, 2016 and 2018 campaigns told ESPN that “It has been great to be back, enjoying the weather. I have the boys at school, they all feel good and we have been walking around here, people show us a lot of affection and we are excited to be back ”.
Horford joins a team that had an uneven season but, with the advantage that they retained Jayson Tatum, Marcus Smart, and Jaylen Brown, they may be a candidate. In addition to Horford's arrival, Celtics have Spanish Juancho Hernangómez, Enes Kanter and Dennis Schroeder to try to fight again for the Eastern Conference title.
Karl Anthony Towns will live his seventh season in the best basketball in the world. After becoming the only Latino to be the first draft pick in 2015, the Caribbean has not been able to be that great benchmark that leads Minnesota to be a serious contender for the title.
But this year could be different, as he will repeat the trident with two young people who are expected to finish exploding this year. The course of the season and the number of victories will be based on Towns, D'Angelo Russell and Anthony Edwards, of whom there are very good comments in the preseason for their physical corpulence.
While in a short time, Facundo Campazzo is already a reference for Latin American basketball in the NBA. After taking advantage of the injury absence of his teammate Jamal Murray in the previous postseason and staying as the starting driver.
His second season will be as his debut season ended, replacing Murray until he returns from a long left knee injury. In this regard, the Argentine told Sport that he tries "to learn everything I can. The thing for me was that I had to be ready at every opportunity. I keep that in mind, I am 100% ready in every game." It will be a great challenge for the former Real Madrid player, now from the start of the regular season.
To fulfill a dream
Chris Duarte has a good chance of seeing minutes at the Indiana Pacers. His greatest quality to compete with those in his position is his youth that enhance the future of the franchise, and his ability to shoot outside, key for a team that occupied the 18th position in triples scored and attempted in 2020-2021 and that this year he wants to return to the postseason.
Gabriel Deck is not fully assured of playing the season for the Oklahoma City Thunder. However, his youth and the possibility of performing in the positions of forward and power forward (3 and 4) open up possibilities. His compatriot Leandro Bolmaro has it a little more difficult because of his position and the fact of playing in Minnesota, where there is a lot of talent in the lower positions.
Last season was the best of Raul Neto's career by a significant margin as he was key with his respectable three-point shot, playmaking and toughness as he made the starting team replacing the injured Deni Avdija. Because of that, Washington renewed his contract for this season.
After several attempts, Juan Toscano, out of Marquette University, made his degree in the NBA with the Golden State Warriors. Although he has played little, his averages of 6.5 points and 6.5 rebounds per commitment guarantee him to be an interesting element used from the bench.
Jaime Echenique is playing in this preseason being the first Colombian to officially play in the NBA, after his successful stint at Acunsa GBC in Spain. In Washington there are only two places left to be played by four players and the Colombian has the board served.
Una postal que se extrañaba mucho. Cuatro argentinos en el Media Day de la NBA, algo que no sucedía desde la temporada 2016-17:- Hablemos De Básquet (@HDB_ok) 28 de septiembre de 2021
7️⃣ Facundo Campazzo
6️⃣ Gabriel Deck
9️⃣ Leandro Bolmaro
1️⃣7️⃣ Luca Vildoza