Earlier today I broke down the Eastern Conference’s big three teams and who “should” represent the East at the season’s end. Who I thinks going to win may surprise you.
As I look int the crystal ball and try to pick the West, it is much more cloudy. I could go several different ways… I could pick the Thunder, Clippers, or Trail Blazers but you would question my sanity. Instead I am going to go a more traditional and intelligent route.
Oklahoma City Thunder
The Thunder have an impressive duo of Batman and Robin that are almost as good as any in the league. Durant and Westbrook are the key to this team. The rest of the team will play a key role in winning, everything will go through Durant. As teams force the team to go elsewhere, it will be interesting to see how Westbrook deals with the pressure. Last season he had career numbers, if he does it again then this will be a very tough team to beat down the stretch. This team can beat the Lakers in a series! This team is made for the regular season. Durant will put up spectacular numbers but in the end they are still weak at other positions making this a suspect team in crunch time situations. They are one or two players away, but the team of the West in the future.
All of the magic, gam, and lights couldn’t keep Kobe happy over the past few weeks. Trade talks and hurt feelings have tore deep into this team and has Kobe on an island all alone. Suddenly this team looks very average! The lack of Mr. Khloe may not seem like a lot, but in the end it may end up being the reason this team doesn’t get Kobe another ring.
The Lakers need a big man as bad as Santa needs reindeer. If they can not make a move or two, then they will get swept by the Mavs or upset early in the playoffs by a young hungry team that smells blood! Pay attention, this could be the beginning of the end for Kobe and his hall of fame career. He has no Shaq, no Phil, and no Lamar. Time to see just how good Kobe is!
Who woulda thunk it. In the year that Miami played Yankees and purchased a world championship, the Mavs stole a title. The funny thing is, the Mavs may be the best non-talked about champions in the history of the league. Ready for pure comedy? They got better!
This team added both Lamar Odom and Vince Carter. Vince hasn’t been his high flying self in some time, but still adds strength to this deep roster. Lamar if nothing else ads a post presence as wells someone that really thirsts to destroy the Lakers. That in itself is an unmeasureable intangible that will be key as the Mavs try to repeat.
I am not one to ever predict back to back winners. It is extremely hard to do and I really don’t think the Mavs have the strength to take everyone’s best shot all season long. I just don’t see them staying healthy down the stretch and being able to repeat as champions. That being said, I am picking them to repeat out of the West. Confused?
The Lakers and Thunder are now one in the same. They both have a superstar up front and shave a solid number two to back him up. The supporting casts for both of these teams is okay but no longer anything special. Either team is susceptible to an upset early in the playoffs, especially the Lakers with their on and off approach to competing.
That means I have Dallas and Miami in the Finals. Not much of a stretch but it is the most likely scenario.