Anybody bored by the NBA offseason clearly can’t appreciate the league’s best storylines. The Brooklyn Nets have reshaped their starting lineup, Dwight Howard finally made up his mind and chose the Houston Rockets over the Los Angeles Lakers. Meanwhile, the Golden State Warriors made the move from likable Cinderellas to downright dangerous.
Both conferences saw power shifts when it comes to playoff contenders, and it’s only natural at this time—the lull between summer league and the preseason—that we look ahead at what 2013-14 will have to offer.
In 2012 it’s true that the Lakers showed us nothing is ever a guarantee. They created the league’s newest super team with Howard and Steve Nash, yet when it was all said and done they flopped to the floor after barely making the postseason.
But while there’s always bound to be a team that surprises us—for better or for worse—it’s never too early to think about who will be chasing the Larry O’Brien Trophy when the regular season comes to an end.