Even though this a site that mainly covers the Suns, it’s too tempting at this point NOT to do a ranking of the top NBA teams since the Lakers starting line-up now consists of our SUN Steve Nash and also Dwight Howard. Top 5 teams in the NBA heading into this NBA season!!
1) Los Angeles Lakers
It’s pretty obvious why the Lakers are the best team; they have the best passer in the league, the best closer in the league, and the best defensive player in the league all in their starting five. Steve Nash often gets crap for his defense but truth is he never had a defensive presence behind him to help him when the Derrick Roses’ of the world beat him off the dribble, Steve Nash also hasn’t had a pick and roll partner like Dwight Howard since Amar’e Stoudemire. So imagine this, a Nash Howard pick and roll, a low post force of Pau Gasol and the best BAD SHOT maker in the history of the NBA, as a basketball fan it’s almost a dream come true.
2) Miami Heat
The Miami Heat are the reigning champs and with the addition of Ray Allen and Rashard Lewis they are definitely up there with the Lakers however despite the great talent of LeBron James and Dwayne Wade the Heat still has zero low post presence. The Heat matched up well against the Thunders in the finals because the Thunders are a perimeter oriented team that doesn’t score a lot off post plays, and the Heat just happen to have 3 great perimeter defenders in the NBA on their team in Wade, LeBron and Battier. The Heat will definintely run into trouble next year when they play against the Lakers, because no one on the Heat team can stop Howard, not to mention a Howard that plays with Steve Nash.
3) Oklahoma City Thunders
Again the Thunders are still up there with the Lakers and Heat due to their talent, youth and athleticism. The Thunders are most athletic team the league has seen in quite some time and their ability to out jump and run the older guys certainly will prove to be one hell of an advantage. The Thunders also STOLE a top 5 talent in last year’s draft in Perry Jones who I’m confident will help them a great deal throughout the year. The Thunders also match-up pretty well against the Lakers in that they have two great defending big guys in Ibaka and Perkins who can hold their ground against the Lakers’ twin towers.
4) Los Angeles Clippers
The Clippers have quietly made some great moves this off-season adding Jamal Crawford, Grant Hill and Lamar Odom. The Clippers definitely improved a great deal and in my opinion can give top teams issues because of their tremendous depth; their 9 man rotation consists of Chris Paul, Blake Griffin, Caron Butler, DeAndre Jordan, Jamal Crawford, Chauncey Billups, Lamar Odom, Grant Hill, and Eric Bledsoe. That’s one hell of a rotation for any team and had the Lakers not added Dwight Howard I think the Clippers could’ve had a chance to steal the pacific division title. People can say that Billups is coming off injury, Hill is old, and Odom was awful last year; all true. BUT Odom never wanted to be in Dallas and he was obviously going through some issues, can you expect to be the Lamar Odom from two years ago? No but he won’t be far off neither. Grant Hill can still ball, he is one of the best perimeter defenders in the league despite his age, his mid-range game is still golden and he can still run the floor. Billups has never been a athletic jump out the gym guy, he’s always been a grinding, and shooting point guard; those tools will help him as he’s coming off injury and aging.
5) Boston Celtics
It was a tough call to put the Celtics at five but with a core of Rajon Rondo, Paul Pierce, Kevin Garnett and Jason Terry the Celtics will still be a tough team out east. The Celtics still have a chance to contend depending on how well their rookies play and how well Jeff Green proves to be coming off an open heart surgery. The Celtics I would say are better, a lot better than they were last season with all the new additions they made and will definitely be a challenge for any team. Will I bet my car that they’re going to make it out of the east? No. But can they play brilliant basketball and upset the Heat? Hey, crazier things have happened.
Well there’s the top 5, I would love to put Chicago on that list but with a big giant life size question mark on Derrick Rose it’s tough to say the Bulls will contend next year. It’s going to be a great season will all the shake-ups that have happened this off-season and I don’t care who gets to the finals although I would absolutely love to see our two time MVP Stevie Nash get his first ring and if the Lakers do win a ring, Nash won’t be one those veterans who’s just along for the ride; if the Lakers do win a ring Nash will be a MAJOR part of it.