Los Angeles, Boston, C-Town, San Antonio, O-Town: Who Ranks the Best? Pt. 2
Instead of simply ranking the most powerful teams in the league, I have decided to use percentages and determine each organizations chances of winning the championship during this upcoming season.
For some fans, it is believed to be crystal clear that the Los Angeles Lakers rank as the top contending team in the NBA to make it back to the Finals and win it all next season.
Other diehards have concluded that teams like the Celtics and Cavaliers are out for vengeance because of disappointing endings to their '08-09 NBA playoff run.
And to top it off, San Antonio fans are more than ecstatic to have obtained forward Richard Jefferson and are standing on their feet to see a healthy Manu Ginobili back in action for the start of next season.
But at the end of the day, the most underrated team during the '08-09 season that absolutely prevailed throughout the entire playoffs, somehow, still remains as the most underrated organization heading into the '09-10 season.
Most fans will tell me that it is too early to decide who will win it all next year, but I disagree, check it out.
15%: San Antonio Spurs
With the newly acquisition of Richard Jefferson, Antonio McDyess, and rookie DeJuan Blair, the Spurs look more rejuvenated than ever to contend for the NBA title next season.
Assuming Tim Duncan, Tony Parker, and Manu Ginobili stay healthy come playoff time, the Spurs could be a guaranteed lock at the two seed in the West.
San Antonio has the much needed experience, veteran talent, and coaching ability to make it all the way to the Western Conference Finals during this upcoming season.
10%: Cleveland Cavaliers
After winning a franchise-high 66 games last season, the Cavaliers finished their historic year in five games to the Orlando Magic in the Eastern Conference Finals.
The Cavs traded for big man Shaquille O'Neal, who will certainly improve the team offensively and defensively, but will also be somewhat of a burden as well.
O'Neal's presence down low will instantly create havoc in the lane, forcing LeBron to either settle for the jump shot or distribute the rock to another teammate.
Cleveland also signed guard/forward Anthony Parker who will fit in rather well with the Cavaliers system of play.
The Cavaliers only enhanced their roster slightly during the offseason thus far, they will not have another 66-win season this year, especially with the improvement of other Eastern Conference teams this offseason.
35%: Los Angeles Lakers
As defending champions, I gave the Lakers a few extra percentage points just for the hard work they put in all season long.
With the big Ron Artest signing, LA has arguably the best starting lineup in the NBA right now.
Kobe Bryant will head into next season with even more hunger for a ring, along with teammates Pau Gasol and Andrew Bynum.
If the Lakers manage to re-sign Lamar Odom (which looks like they will since the Miami Heat's offer is not sufficient), their team's overall morale goes from better to best.
If they do not re-sign him, they could be looking at a '07-08 NBA Finals repeat.
20%: Orlando Magic
I have heard it from left and right that the Orlando Magic have gotten worse since the NBA Finals, but obviously I beg to differ.
With another addition of a Superstar onto the Magic's roster (Vince Carter), a true power-forward with extreme upside (Brandon Bass), a huge re-signing of the best back up center in the league (Marcin Gortat), and obtaining one of the most underrated rookies from last year (Ryan Anderson), Orlando looks more confident and powerful than ever to compete for the title next season.
Jameer Nelson is back to 100 percent, Dwight Howard will only continue to improve his overall game (who is incredibly only 23 years old), and Rashard Lewis is in the midst of his prime.
The Magic are definitely the most underrated team in the league and they truly have the weapons to obliterate anybody in their path.
20%: Boston Celtics
With a healthy Kevin Garnett and an outstanding signing in Rasheed Wallace and Marquis Daniels, the Celtics will seek to win it all next season.
The Big Three are clearly aging and time is certainly not on their side. They know that if they want to win another championship trophy, the time to do it is right now and only now.
Rajon Rondo is emerging as a top-tier point guard in the league and Kendrick Perkins is rising as one of the best defending centers in the game. Add the big three to the mix and the Celtics starting lineup is also arguably the best in the NBA.
Wallace and Daniels will be two huge role players off the bench and will do nothing but help improve Boston's bench.
Boston fans know the time is now, do the Celtics have it in them to win the gold once again?
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