John Powell, Asst. Sports Editor

It’s that time of year again. People are once again ready for the whistles of corrupt referees,
the yelling of corrupt coaches and the self-centered play of the stars of the court.

With the preseason starting up, the National Basketball Association looks to rectify its broken past with the new season.

“We did in fact tweak the language on traveling in this year’s book,” commented NBA Executive Vice President of Basketball Operations Stu Jackson on a rule change.

For a variety of reasons, mostly because players keep getting away with it, anyone can now take two steps without a traveling call. Now the NBA has finally made some changes to better their sport, second only to the replay rules that have already overturned wins and losses after the post-game celebration.

In the Eastern Conference, the Boston Celtics look to add another championship to the 17 they have already earned and the Wizards look to have a breakout year.

The Orlando Magic had a great year, winning the championship out of the third seed, but Dwight Howard and Rashard Lewis probably cannot put together a good playoff run twice in a row.

The Cleveland Cavaliers look for revenge on the Orlando Magic after the 2009 playoffs.

In the Western Conference, the Los Angeles Lakers are the focus, with the other teams in the conference posting records with more than 10 wins less than the Lakers.

The Boston Celtics begin the year in hopes of a consecutive championship. These hopes rest on Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett.

Pierce averaged more than 20 points per game (PPG) in the 2008-09 season, and is off to a good start in the preseason, averaging near 15 PPG in his first four games.

Garnett, only playing in 57 games last year, hopes to play more this upcoming season, bolstering his stats and his hall-of-fame career, helping the Celtics toward their championship.

The Los Angeles Lakers look to capitalize on last year’s championship, utilizing Kobe Bryant.

While Bryant is averaging 18.3 PPG through three games, teammate Andrew Bynum is having a breakout preseason with 22.3 PPG.

The Lakers look to make it to the finals for a third straight year with these stars of the Western Conference.

The 2009-10 season is set to be the best in the last few years, with powerhouses trying to make a stronger season out of this year and the underdogs trying to lead the pack.

In the final part of the Eastern Conference, the Washington Wizards need to take another look at their team. The Wizards lead their conference in having the least number of wins last year, only totaling 19. The only other team to lose more was the Sacramento Kings, who totaled only 17 wins out of 82 games. Antawn Jamison is sidelined for the rest of the preseason after his shoulder popped out, after playing in five games and leading the team with 15.4 PPG. Stars Gilbert Arenas and Caron Butler, both averaging more than 14 PPG, will need to pick up the slack if the Wizards hope to have a good preseason. A good outlook was the result of a 109-104 win over the Cavaliers.