Posted by sasilverandblack on 24th August 2010
Upon reading ESPN’s NBA summer forecast, I saw what I thought I would see. Out of the 93 panelists, 88 picked the Lakers to win the west for the 4th straight season. Who would have guessed right? They kept their core together while also adding veterans Steve Blake and Matt Barnes.
The other five panelists’ picks were what really surprised me. The Rockets and Thunder were picked to win the west by two panelists apiece. As I sat there looking at this, I was baffled. Sure, the Thunder made a monumental leap last year, but to make the Finals this coming year? That is a bit premature methinks. And the Rockets? Yao Ming has not been healthy for a full season in quite some time now. Even with him, they are not a championship caliber team. I’m not sure what makes them look so attractive.
One panelist picked the Dallas Mavericks. Yes, the same Mavericks team that underachieved yet again last spring by being ousted in the first round as the number 2 seed by the number 7 seed Spurs. Again I ask, what makes them a title contender?
Not only was I shocked to see those trio of teams as predicted Finals teams, but I also was shocked not to see a trace of the Nuggets, Jazz, or Spurs. Sure, the Nuggets have the Carmelo Anthony trade rumors to deal with along with an ailing head coach in George Karl, but they are still a great squad. Although the Jazz lost Carlos Boozer, they gained Al Jefferson to fill the gap. And the always potent Spurs could surprise some people this year. The rapid development of George Hill, DeJuan Blair, and the acquisition of the best big from Europe in Tiago Splitter could be enough to vault them into title contention again, provided everyone stays healthy and Richard Jefferson plays to his potential.
The west isn’t as narrow as everyone thinks. There could be a surprise or two left in the teams thought to be below the mighty Lakers.
Tags: Jazz, Lakers, mavericks, NBA, Nuggets, Rockets, Spurs, Texas, Thunder
Posted in Dallas Mavericks, DeJuan Blair, Houston Rockets, NBA, Richard Jefferson, San Antonio Spurs, Yao Ming | No Comments »