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Wednesday October 4, 2000

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It's showtime

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By Kamy Shaygan

Arizona Daily Wildcat

My patience has run out; I can't wait any longer.

It's October, so you all know what that means?

No, good guess though. Oktoberfest isn't what I had in mind.

I'll give you a hint. Just like in Oktoberfest, there is plenty of slamming and lots of dancing girls.

You guessed it! The start of the NBA season!

Although the actual season doesn't get started until Oct. 31, training camps begin Tuesday and I thought it would be a wonderful time to break down the teams that made moves in the offseason to increase their chances for a run at the title.

Portland Trailblazers: In reality, the Trailblazers should have won the title last season. They blew a 15 point lead in the fourth quarter of Game 7 of the Western Conference Finals against the Lakers.

Any of you who watched that game witnessed some of the poorest basketball played in recent memory. Blazers owner Paul Allen, who is not stingy with money, acquired power forwards Shawn Kemp and Dale Davis in the off season in order to stop the Daddy (Shaq).

In order for any team to win the championship, they have to stop Shaq, and Portland has the best shot at doing that.

Their big-man quartet comprised of Rasheed Wallace, Kemp, Davis and Arvydas Sabonis could make any team weep.

Miami Heat: Aside from having the best dressed coach in history, the Heat will clearly be the team to beat in the East.

Their off season acquisitions of Eddie Jones, Anthony Mason and Brian Grant will give them give them the best team in the East.

With a starting lineup including Tim Hardaway, Jones, Alonzo Mourning and Grant, they will be too much for any team in the East to handle.

The Heat however will not be able to hang with this season's Western Conference Champions, who will most likely either be the Blazers or the Los Angeles Lakers.

Utah Jazz: Who can't get enough of Utah?

Even more so, who can't get enough of the Utah Jazz? Errrr. The Jazz, the most hated and disliked franchise in the league, picked up John Starks in the offseason.

The trio is now complete - Karl Malone, John Stockton and Starks. That is the perfect formula for getting eliminated in the second round of the playoffs.

Los Angeles Lakers: As long as newly acquired guard J.R. Rider doesn't take bong rips out of Coke cans, the Lakers should be all right.

If anyone can control the star guard, it is the Zen-Master himself, Phil Jackson. The Lakers clearly have the most dominant player in league - Shaq, the Daddy, the Big Continuous or whatever else you want to call him.

No one in the league can stop him, and when you mix in Kobe Bryant and Rider, you have an unstoppable team.

Look for this upcoming NBA season to be exciting.

Now that there is potential for a dynasty (the Lakers), there will be plenty of intense games that will make the fans stay in their seats and hold the bathroom break until halftime.