Most NBA teams have their media day either this weekend or on Monday so the 2014-15 NBA is officially on the cusp of starting.
After a thrilling summer which saw LeBron James bolt South Beach, Kevin Love got his wish and was traded from Minnesota and a handful of young players are poised to enter the NBA after one of the deepest NBA Drafts in recent memory, fans can soon start to watch their favorite players and teams show their worth on the court.
There are plenty of story lines to track and plenty of fun teams and players to track this season. And, if you need some help getting a grasp on how the NBA landscape has changed over the summer, there are sites you can go to for your free NBA picks.
Still, despite the flurry of roster moves this summer, there are only a handful of teams that have legit chances to hoist the Larry O’Brien trophy this coming June.
The Cleveland Cavaliers are the sexy pick to win it all after adding LeBron James and Kevin Love while not needing to trade Kyrie Irving.
James is arguably the top player in the NBA while Love posted monster numbers last season and is arguably the top big man in the NBA.
Irving was named MVP of the All-Star game last season and this summer he put on an impressive performance leading America to a gold medal at the World Championships in Spain.
Still, despite having a roster built around three all-stars, the Cleveland Cavaliers will have issues protecting the rim and getting key defensive stops with the roster as currently constructed. Teams aren’t able to win championships by playing games like video games where they just need to outscore opponents.
The Chicago Bulls, Toronto Raptors and Washington Wizards are all one (or two) injuries away from having their seasons decimated.
It’s lonely at the top, and it appears once again the Eastern Conference likely won’t have any teams that can truly threaten the big boys in the Western Conference.
And from the Western Conference, it looks as though the San Antonio Spurs, Oklahoma City Thunder and Los Angeles Clippers are the only teams who can truly compete for a championship this season.
The Spurs are reigning champs, but it’s only a matter of time before Tim Duncan starts showing his age. Another question mark for the Spurs is if Tony Parker can stay healthy for a full season and extended run into the playoffs.
Oklahoma City is lurking as the alpha dogs in a stacked Western Conference. If Russell Westbrook can stay healthy and Serge Ibaka can take another leap forward, the Thunder will probably earn the top seed in the West.
Oh, and they also have Kevin Durant who is the current MVP of the NBA.
But like any NBA season, it’s a battle of attrition and unfortunately injuries will play a huge role in determining what team is the last one standing.
Personally, my money’s on the Thunder.