NBA: The Top Five Championship Contenders

Tristan SatherContributor IMarch 28, 2010

ORLANDO, FL - JUNE 14:  Kobe Bryant #24 of the Los Angeles Lakers celebrates after defeating the Orlando Magic 99-86 in Game Five of the 2009 NBA Finals on June 14, 2009 at Amway Arena in Orlando, Florida.  NOTE TO USER:  User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

1. L.A Lakers

It looked like the Lakers were back on track after winning seven games straight (against quality teams, too) until their loss to the Thunder.

However, they still look unstoppable because they are playing team ball with the assistance of facilitator Kobe Bryant.  

They are definitely the most dangerous team come playoff time. The Lakers defense was suffocating against the Spurs in the second half and Ron Artest especially has found a rhythm on defense.

The only slight concern for the Lakers is the way Andrew Bynum will comeback from his injured Achilles. Bynum hasn't played well in the playoffs his whole career with an average of five points. On the bright side Odom is playing well in Bynum's absence which is no surprise.

2. Cavaliers

The Cavaliers are having another crazy regular season with a record of 57-15. LeBron James is in the zone right now, controlling the game on the offensive end and the defensive end.

Mo Williams is the key to the Cavs success. He struggled last year in the playoffs shooting 40 percent from the field.

The Cavs are behind the Lakers because the Lakers have momentum and more experience. The Cavs are also behind the Lakers because of how unpredictable they are in the playoffs.

3. Orlando Magic

The Magic are very talented and streaky. If Dwight Howard can get his act together they will be dangerous during the playoffs. I know Dwight got 24 boards the other night, but he needs to develop a post game.

The Magic aren't intimidated by any team in the NBA.  The Magic are under the radar, but are still a team to look out for. The X-factor for the Magic is Vince Carter because he is capable of doing so much but doesn't always play to his ability.

4. Denver Nuggets

The Nuggets are a better match against the Lakers than any other team in the West, which will make them dangerous come playoff time. The Nuggets are currently second in the West with a record of 48-25.

Carmelo Anthony is having the best season of his career averaging 29 points and shooting 46 percent. Carmelo has reached the elite class of LeBron, Kobe, Wade, and Durant.

Denver is very hard to beat at home and have a great coach, George Karl. The Nuggets' X-factor is J.R. Smith. J.R. is so talented and has the potential to score in bunches.

5. Boston Celtics

Don't worry, the Boston Celtics are experienced and know what do when the playoffs come, so don't underestimate them.

They can get hot in a hurry and are able to play great defense which leads to a high tempo game where Rajan Rondo is so effective.

Rondo is the X-factor, because KG is past his prime and Ray Allen is streaky. Rondo is one of the best players in transition, but needs to work on his shooting because defenders like Kobe Bryant lay off him and use it to an advantage.


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