In all honesty, some teams were edged out by just pure gut. I had to make this list for teams that had the most realistic chance of holding the O'Brien trophy in June. I'm not saying these teams surely 100% won't... I just have a feeling they won't, that's all. Some were too close to call, I almost switched it up to a top 15, but what's the fun in that?
OKC Thunder - Kevin Durant is a flat out stud, he is a top 10 player, he is elite, and will be in the conversation for the best in the game soon. The Thunder are easy to cheer for. Small market, awesome fans, and young guys maturing before our eyes. Westbrook is one of the best PG's in the game already, just watch the guy play. Still the team is young and another very good player away from being a serious threat to win it all. They realistically don't have much of a chance. Don't sleep on them anyway.
Denver Nuggets - They are a great home team and a very good team overall. Carmelo is one of the most versatile offensive players in the game today. Billups is still a very good point guard but the team lacks star power. Even when Iverson was present, they still lacked that "umph" factor, if I could call it that, to get it done. They will be good and sure to make the playoffs, but adding Harrington is boosting an offense unnecessarily. They need more defense and stability. Injuries to the front court and the uncertainty of Melo will also hurt them.
Atlanta Hawks - I can see where the arguments for the most complete starting 5 in the league come from. The Hawks have a good starting 5 and a top 3 sixth man in Crawford. But when JJ is the main guy on your team, you won't get that far. They were thought to be on the rise and be a serious threat a couple of years ago. But they lack a legit star. 12.8 PPG from JJ in a huge playoff series simply won't cut it. 120 million for that? Don't get me wrong, I think JJ is a tremendous player, Josh Smith is fun to watch, and Horford has game too. Marvin is an underachiever though, and Bibby is on his last legs. Maybe they surprise everyone, but they won't do much damage in the playoffs this year.
Milwaukee Bucks - This team came out of no where last year. The Bucks are the OKC of the east. They don't have a guy like Durant, but they are young and they work. Skiles has proven coaches do indeed matter. Bogut has raised his game and if it was not for his injury last season, who knows what would have happened? The Bucks though suffer from the same problem the Hawks do, they don't have a guy (A star) to carry the load and come through consistently. Not yet at least. Jennings might be it, but it's way too early to say that. Plus Jennings had plenty of off games besides his 55 point masterpiece last season. They still need to grow but will be a tough team.