It's easy to debate which team will be best this year in the NBA. What's difficult is predicting which teams will step up and not only make the playoffs, but surprise everyone with their play.
Here is a list of the top five teams that will surprise all fans with their play this year.
David Lee is a huge free agent acquisition for this team. Lee is a garbage man who cleans up on the boards and can score anywhere from inside the arc.
Add him to one of the best young backcourts in Stephen Curry and Monta Ellis, and this team has the inside and outside threats needed to win. They could take a few steps forward this season, since some teams in the West have taken steps back.
The Clippers didn't add any big free agents this offseason, but what they are adding is some young talent. Blake Griffin, Eric Bledsoe, and Al-Farouq Aminu could have a huge impact on a team that already has proven players in Baron Davis, Eric Gordon, and Chris Kaman leading the charge.
With the Suns and Jazz losing major interior threats, the door is open for the Clippers to sneak into the playoffs this season.
With the addition of Derrick Favors to a front court that includes big man Brook Lopez, the Nets should be better defensively this season.
A major reason the Nets struggled last year was due to injuries, especially to point guard Devin Harris. With the team healthy and under the direction of Coach Avery Johnson, this team could easily turn a 12-70 season, into the playoffs this year.
The Knicks were unable to come up with No. 1 target this offseason, LeBron James, but they were able to sign Amar'e Stoudemire. Maybe the biggest signing though was of Raymond Felton, who will be an excellent distributor of the ball and is an upgrade in terms of shooting from Chris Duhon.
There team has an average age of 24, and they are far more athletic this season. The playoffs should be well within reach this year.
This team took the next step this past season by making the playoffs. This season the young Thunder team is more experienced and will continue building on their success.
Kevin Durant is the best player in the NBA and that will translate into the Thunder being the best team in the Western Conference this season.