Ranking The Best Division in the NBA
Heading into the 2010-2011 season, it's time to look at the best division in the NBA.
To determine this, I will award points based on the current team's state and their caliber. Every team will fall into 3 categories: Contender, Playoff or Lottery.
If the team is a contender, they will receive 6 points, playoff teams receive 3 and lottery teams receive just 1.
All points are tallied up and the division with the most points will be ranked as the best division in the NBA.
Lets get started, shall we...
No. 6 - Central Division
1. Chicago Bulls (playoff) - The bulls had one of the best summers of any team. They filled all their needs and have escalated themselves to the top of the central division. Oh and it helps that Cleveland lost Lebron James as well.
2. Milwaukee Bucks (playoff) - The bucks similar to the bulls had a great summer and will be a perennial playoff team for years to come. However, it's hard to see them being anything more for the time being.
3. Indiana Pacers (playoff) - The pacers would have been much lower had it not been for the Darren Collison acquisition. He will make them a much better team and now the Pacers are playoff bound.
4. Cleveland Cavaliers (lottery) - The cavs still have a chance to make the playoffs because it hard to see a 60 win team go back to the lottery due to the loss of one player. Wait, did I forget to mention that player was 2 time MVP Lebron James? Nevermind, the cavs are doomed.
5. Detriot Pistons (lottery) - The pistons did nothing more than re-sign Ben Wallace and Will Bynum. I'm sorry but Tracy Mcgrady does not make you a playoff team.
Total Points - 11
No. 5 - Atlantic Division
1. Boston Celtics (contender) - The Celtics were mere minutes away from being crowned champs. Over the offseason, they revamped their roster, added key pieces and are ready to be contenders once again. Clearly the best team in the Atlantic Division by far.
2. New York Knicks (playoff) - The knicks came away from the 2010 free agency with just Amare Stoudemire to show for, but also added several other pieces through trades and free-agency. For now, they're simply a playoff team.
3. New Jersey Nets (lottery) - The Nets completely struck out in free-agency and were able to sign mere role players. They may be able to sneak into the playoffs but as of right now, that's all they can hope for.
4. Philadelphia 76ers (lottery) - The Sixers were one of the most inactive teams this summer and have just the No. 2 draft pick Evan Turner to show for. Oh well, its back to the lottery.
5. Toronto Raptors (lottery) - The Raps weren't all that great with Bosh and now that he's gone too, they'll be terrible. Lottery bound.
Total Points - 12
No. 4 - Northwest Division
1. Oklahoma City Thunder (playoff) - The Thunder are one the verge of becoming championship contenders but are not there yet. However, they will be a high playoff seed and will look to make some noise in the west.
2. Portland Trailblazers (playoff) - The blazers, similar to thunder are close to being contenders but are not quite there yet. If they can stay healthy though, watch out.
3. Utah Jazz (playoff) - The Jazz lost Boozer, gained Al Jefferson. Lost Korver, gained Gordon Hayward. Lost Ronnie Brewer, gained Raja Bell. All in all, the Jazz remain where they have been. A solid playoff team.
4. Denver Nuggets (playoff) - They will make the playoffs no doubt but it's hard to see this team going anywhere else with Melo's future still being uncertain.
5. Minnesota Timberwolves (lottery) - They made some good moves, some bad ones. At the end of the day, they were not enough. Lottery once again for the Wolves.
Total Points - 13
No. 3 - Pacific Division
1. Los Angeles Lakers (contender) - The reigning champs got even better over the offseason with the additions of Matt Barnes and Steve Blake. Look for them to make it to the finals for the 4th straight year.
2. Phoenix Suns (playoff) - The suns may have lost Amare but still added enough pieces to contend for a playoff spot. As long as Steve Nash is still on the suns, they'll be a playoff team.
3. Los Angeles Clippers (playoffs) - This has to be the year the clippers finally meet their expectations and make the playoffs. Blake Griffin is healthy and ready to go so there should be no more excuses.
4. Golden State Warriors (lottery) - The ownership change for the warriors was their biggest benefit in the offseason. However it will take a while before the warriors are playoff bound. David Lee is not enough.
5. Sacramento Kings (lottery) - The Kings are building for the future and have no problem being back in the lottery. With Tyreke Evans and Demarcus Cousins as the core of the team, they'll be good for years to come but not for the time being.
Total Points - 14
No. 2 - Southwest Division
1. Dallas Mavericks (contender) - The Mavericks championship window is coming to a close and Dirk Nowitzki needs to realize that. The Mavs will give it another go this year but next year and onwards are uncertain.
2. Houston Rockets (playoff) - The Rockets would have been a contender but It's hard to say because it all depends on the health on Yao Ming but for now, they're a solid playoff team.
3. San Antonio Spurs (playoff) - The days of the spurs being contenders are over, I'm sorry. Tim Duncan is past his prime and Manu Ginobili has aged. They'll make the playoffs, but not much more.
4. New Orleans Hornets (playoff) - Trevor Ariza may help but the Hornets are far from contenders, look for CP3 to bail if the hornets cannot advance in the playoffs in the next 2 years.
5. Memphis Grizzlies (lottery) - The Grizzlies may make the playoffs but they may not. For now, it's not a big deal since the Grizzlies are nothing more than a borderline playoff team in one of the toughest divisions.
Total Points - 16
No. 1 - Southeast Division
1. Miami Heat (contender) - What can I say? Any team with Lebron James is a contender, and now you have Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh with James. The Heat will be very good and are contenders from Day 1.
2. Orlando Magic (contender) - The Magic will be more motivated than ever to take back the division that they once owned from the heat. Look for Dwight Howard and Co. to make major noise this year in the playoffs.
3. Atlanta Hawks (playoffs) - The max signing of Joe Johnson insured that the Hawks will be a solid playoff team for years to come. Unfortunately for Hawks fans' they won't be much more.
4. Charlotte Bobcats (playoffs) - The Bobcats lost a good chunk of their veterans this year to free-agency but look for them to play their hardnosed style of defense and sneak into the playoffs.
5. Washington Wizards (lottery) - John Wall is a nice start but it'll take much more than him, Gilbert Arenas and Andray Blatche to make the playoffs. Back to the lottery for the Wiz.
Total Points - 19