Ok, here we go in the NBA. The season deadline is wearing down, and the playoff picture is finally forming. This is who I think are the top 10 teams in the NBA right now, and why I rank them as high as I do.
- LA Lakers: The way I see it, the defending Champions are the best until they’ve been beaten. Kobe Bryant is the best player on the planet, like it or not, period, and he has a champion coach and a champion team around him. They did not stop winning even with Kobe Bryant our of the lineup. Shannon Brown was a stud in Kobe’s place, Pau Gasol is an all-star again, Ron Artest has fit perfectly into the Lakers’ system, and Andrew Bynum is healthy. If Bryant can stay on the court, almost no team can stop this team.
- Clevelend Caviliers: Almost nobody. This may just be Lebron James’ year. He has the team around him, and they are playing to avenge last season’s exit from the playoffs in the Eastern Conference Finals. James now has a new all-star with him in the form of Antwawn Jamison, who is smart enough to be able to not take shots away from Lebron, and they were able to obtain him from Washington without surrendering JJ Hickson. One big factor if James is to finally get a ring is Mo Williams, he has to stay healthy.
- Orlando Magic: This team surprised everybody last year when they reached the NBA Finals, but they won’t sneak up on anybody this year. Coach Stan Van Gundy has very greatly assembled a team built around Dwight “Superman” Howard. Give the big guy the ball, let him go to work, and the rest set up for 3’s. That is the old policy, and somewhat the new one. But now jameer Nelson is healthy, unlike last year, and playing great as a leader and the point guard. Rachard is still knocking those shots down, and now there is Vince Carter, a great addition. This team plays at a high level. And when their deep ball catches fire, watch out.
- Dallas Mavericks: I think after the acquisition of Caron Butler and Brendon Haywood. The Mavs have made themselvesthe second best team in the West. No matter who comes onto this team, superstar, role player, whatever. Leave it to point guard Jason Kidd to make sure they fit in. getting rid of Josh Howard was huge as well, Butler is definetly an Upgrade. Shawn marion has played well, and of course, there is Dirk Nowitski, who can put up 30 points a game any time he wants. Look for them to catch fire leading up to the end of the season, and make the conference finals, depending on if Denver has anything to say about it. But Kobe Bryant said that now the Mavs are just as good as the Lakers. That one we will see about…
- Denver Nuggets: This team has gotten a lot smarter ever since Chauney Billups came here in a trade. He, Carmelo Anthony, Nene, Kenyon Martin, and JR Smith can combine to put up many points in a hurry. I also think they have the best 8 man rotation in the NBA, with Smith, Anthony Carter, and one of my personal favorite players to watch, Chris “The BirdMan” Anderson. They Challenged the Lakers last year in the West Finals, and they have every piece to get back there again.
Other teams to watch: Atlanta, Utah, Boston, Oklahoma City, Portland.