Every team is in alphabetical order based on their tier. I don’t think Orlando’s better than Indiana. Or Philadelphia’s better than Minnesota. San Antonio might be the best team in the association, though.
Fun, Young and Bad
Andrew Wiggins, Karl-Anthony Towns, Zack LaVine, Ricky Rubio? This team will be so much fun to watch, but Minnesota won 15 games a season ago. Can we really expect a major win increase? I like what they’re building in Minnesota, but they aren’t there yet.
Philly should be fun to watch this year. Their offense the past couple seasons has been absolutely horrific, but this year’s 76ers’ squad should have lots more firepower with Jahlil Okafor and the subsequent 3-point shooting.
Fun, (sorta) Young and (definitely) Bad
Los Angeles Lakers
It’s really sad that Kobe Bryant has to go out like this. The Lakers won’t be good. They can’t be good with the talent surrounding Kobe. Let’s just hope Kobe gets buckets, stays healthy and maybe lead the Lakers to a couple more wins than expected.
This Could Get Ugly
Emmanuel Mudiay should be one of the favorites for Rookie of the Year. Denver has some pieces, but they’re rebuilding.
Portland still has a star player, but it’s really tough to be successful if your point guard is your only star player (just ask Kyrie Irving pre-LeBron). Sure, Noah Vonleh has intrigue and Mason Plumlee could be solid, but Portland will battle for a top lottery pick.
I don’t know what to make of Charlotte. Zach Lowe does a great job trying to explain them here. They’re desperately trying to replicate what they did two seasons ago. Nic Batum’s supposed to be the creator, a combination of Frank Kaminsky and Spencer Hawes will stretch the floor and Al Jefferson’s should return to former form. Charlotte should be better than last season, but how much better?
Reason Why NBA Should Definitely Have Hard Knocks
Rajon Rondo. Rudy Gay. DeMarcus Cousins. Willie Trill Cauley-Stein. This team has it all. They could be good, too. But I think I like the chances of them being bad.
Someone Has To Finish Second In The Atlantic
Another offseason, another collection of role players plus David Lee. Boston should be better, but that may not result in a higher seed. Remember, Miami and Indiana didn’t make the postseason last year. David Lee and Amir Johnson should definitely help Boston, but they’ve yet to address a rim protector.
Boston’s cheering for Brooklyn to not be very good. Brooklyn still has Joe Johnson and Brook Lopez, but is Jarrett Jack really a starting point guard?
New York Knicks
Adding Arron Afflalo, Robin Lopez and Carmelo Anthony makes any high-lottery team better. The Knicks could very well fight for a playoff spot, however, Derek Fisher is still their head coach.
Reggie Jackson and Andre Drummond played well together, and without Greg Monroe clogging the paint, the Pistons have room to operate on the perimeter. It seems like each year Detroit has this potential to be good. Maybe this year they finally will be.
Who isn’t excited for Monta Ellis and Paul George?
They could very well be like Charlotte. The Magic haven’t showed anything in the regular season even though they have boat loads of talent. But Aaron Gordon looked good in Summer League, Victor Oladipo continues to get better and Elfrid Payton has all the makings of a two-way point guard. I like Orlando, but I’m probably a little naive.
The Atlantic Division Winner
Someone has to win the Atlantic. Toronto really fell off a cliff last season. Maybe they bring back some magic. Or maybe they continue to plummet.
Fun, Young and Good Teams
Tyson Chandler doesn’t exactly scream young and it’s still kind of weird they signed him after they invested a top-5 pick in Alex Len. Devin Booker looks like a threat right away from deep. I love TJ Warren. Phoenix should fight for a playoff spot.
Everyone and their mother loves the Utah Jazz. They had a dominant defense in the second half. Rudy Gobert is everyone’s favorite player. Gordon Hayward can do no wrong. I like Utah, but I’m not ready to crown them a playoff team quite yet.
They Forgot About Dre
DeAndre Jordan would shoot 100 free throws a game if Dallas plays Los Angeles in the postseason.
Can Win East With LeBron On Injured Reserve
I’d rather have Tiago Splitter than Pero Antic. But losing DeMarre Carroll really bites. Who can step up for the Hawks at small forward?
Fred Hoiberg should install a fun, moving offense that gets the most out of Pau Gasol and Joakim Noah’s passing ability. D-Rose will probably have to move off the ball more, but the Bulls, depending if their defense can be sustainable, could be even a bigger threat to the Cavaliers if Hoiberg’s offense works.
The unofficial Eastern Conference offseason winners. How the hell did Justice Winslow fall to no. 10?
This team will continue to grow together. The sky really is the limit. They’re not there yet, though.
Jared Dudley is a great replacement for Paul Pierce. The Truth will be missed, but Washington still has one of the best backcourts in basketball.
Wish They Could Be Considered Eastern
Matt Barnes and Brenden Wright are phenomenal additions. But so many things have to go right if Memphis wants to win the West.
New Orleans Pelicans
Anthony Davis will just keep getting better. That’s good news for the Pelicans. The bad news is the West’s top-5 just got better.
Your 2016 Eastern Conference Champions.
Golden State Warriors
David Lee is out, but Gerald Wallace is in. The same core from a team that won 83 freaking games last year.
Ty Lawson makes them a definite contender. He can really take pressure off of James Harden at times. I just hope Lawson gets better and stays out of trouble.
Los Angeles Clippers
Not only did DeAndre Jordan return to Los Angeles, but the Clippers have actually a good bench.
Oklahoma City Thunder
Kevin Durant will be healthy. That’s all.
San Antonio Spurs
They still have depth AND LaMarcus Aldridge.