NBA this year has been dominated by the bigger teams trying to reassert their pedigree, San Antonio in the West still lead, LA have maintained, Dallas, Oklahoma have used Kevin Durrant’s 27.1 points per game to ride high In the East Chicago has re-emerged as a force, as has the Miami Heat and Celtics have enough experience to beat any team.
Playoffs are a totally different universe to the regular season, if we just judged regular season then Dallas Mavericks and Cleveland Cavaliers would have been champions. For the big teams it doesn’t matter how they got there, they can beat anyone.
Of the teams ranked 5-8 in the East, Atlanta, Philadelphia, New York, and Indiana, only New York has a real claim to be a contender, even then it is slim.
New York has actually been weakened by the addition of Carmelo Anthony and Chauncey Billups has upset the balance, Amare Stoudemire is now off-form and only 2 big scoring games from Antony this week has saved them. Denver has benefited from trading its two best players and bringing in hungry players.
Philly still needs more to their game than Andre Iguadola, he is exciting but injury-prone. I expect Indiana to lose heavily to Chicago Bulls.
The West has some very good teams which are not going to make it, Phoenix Suns, Houston Rockets, Utah Jazz, and LA Clippers. The most exciting team and the most exciting player will not be at the playoffs, like having a world cup with no Messi.
Blake Griffin of the Clippers has brought the excitement back to the game like Lebron James, Kobe Bryant, Jordan, Dr. J, he is in that league, maybe much better than Lebron even.
Every week’s top 10 has around 3 of his dunks, the best play of the year saw him dunk on a guy’s head, hit him with the ball on his head and followed through with a downwards slap that raked his face.
The commentator was speechless “That wasn’t a facial it was full reconstructive surgery.”
Sadly Griffin won’t be there, they need to convert his exciting play into points and then wins.
Denver, New Orleans, Portland and Memphis are the outsiders in the West, of these mostly New Orleans pose a threat because of Chris Paul, who should be a free-agent next year, Lakers have the West on lockdown, it is going to be them versus whoever in the finals.
Only Boston can really test Lakers, if Miami get to the final it will be a sweep like the Cav’s 4-0. A lot can change, Kobe could be abducted by aliens, and Indiana could win it, not likely but possible.
The East will as ever give us the gritty grimy games, Celtics x Heat or Bulls x Magic, Lakers could take it easy in a weaker conference.