The NBA has always been known as a league with the least parody in American sports. As we saw in Oakland, any baseball team can make a run at the playoffs.
Half of the teams that make the playoffs in football every year do not play in January the next year, and the L.A. Kings were a perfect example of Cinderella in hockey. But this year, the western conference is as wide open as any basketball conference has been in recent memory.
Last year’s western conference champs traded one of their best players, and the best beard in sports down to Houston. OKC now has some issues to work out, and the Rockets have an exciting backcourt that will give them a chance.
The Lakers have one of the best players since Michael Jordan, a great point guard, and the best defensive player in the league. However, they are struggling offensively in the early going, and teams traditionally need a year to mesh before they make a true title run, and they might not even be the best team in L.A.
The Clippers, aka Lob City, have an outstanding leader at the point that will keep them in games, while the size and athleticism in their frontcourt will cause problems for anyone in the NBA. With hardened vets such as Chauncey Billups coming off the bench, the Clippers may have a chance to be a legit threat in the west.
Of course San Antonio has been a force in the NBA since the big fundamental came into the league in the 90s. With Tony Parker coming off of a career year, and the youth of the Spurs off the bench, they are also an interesting squad to watch.
And last but not least, the Dallas Mavericks are looking poised to make another run after an abysmal season last year. The addition of O.J. Mayo gives them a guy that can absolutely fill it up on the outside. Mayo coupled with Dirk gives Dallas a one-two punch that is explosive and efficient, which will give them a good chance to play meaningful games again.
The NBA has the reputation of having five good teams, and 25 bad ones. But this year, even if the East will come down to the Heat, Celtics, and maybe a team from the New York; the west will provide some much-needed parody to a sport that has been searching for a wide open race for years.
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