The NBA might have more talent from top to bottom right now than at any time in its history. There is also a bigger gap between the best teams in the league and the worst teams in the league than there ever has been. Star players are jetting the teams that drafted them to join already great teams for a better chance at winning. Some people think this is practice indicates a lack of loyalty. Others think that it’s good business to try and win and promote your personal brand simultaneously.
Every team is doing their best to build a super team. The salary cap is doing its best to keep parity in the league, but it can only do much when a team is prepared to pay the luxury tax. The two biggest superteams in the league right now are the teams that met in the NBA Finals last year, The Golden State Warriors and the Cleveland Cavaliers. Golden State had the best regular season record in NBA history, but they were upset by the Lebron James-led Cavaliers in Game 7.
That was the second year in a row that those two teams collided in the championship. Just about every basketball expert thinks that it will happen again this year. It stands to reason. The Warriors only got better as they added former MVP Kevin Durant to their team in the offseason. This acquisition might make Golden State the most potent offense in league history if they can gel.
The Cavaliers roster didn’t change much over the summer. They do have the best player in the league, though. Their balanced offense and veteran experience combined with the talent of Lebron should help them win the Eastern Conference this year. If I were a betting man, I would bet that these two teams will be battling it out again next June.
There is one sleeper in the West that I think could upset the Warriors, the San Antonio Spurs. The team has one of the best coaches in NBA history, Greg Poppovich. They lost legendary PF Tim Duncan to retirement, but the team won 67 games last season with him playing sparingly. They then went on to replace him with Pau Gasol who, despite Duncan’s career contributions to the team, is an upgrade at this point in his career.
The Spurs are an even better team than they were last year. It is Kawhi Leonard’s team now. The fact that they are already familiar with each other and are so well-coached could give them a chance to upset the Warriors in the playoffs. It is unlikely, though.
The only real contender against the Cavs for the East crown is the Boston Celtics. They are a young team even with the addition of veteran big man Al Horford. I think they are still a few years off from being a contender for the best team in the NBA thanks to their youth. They also have a great young coach in Brad Stephens.
The Golden State Warriors are the odds on favorite to win the NBA championship this year. It’s hard to imagine a team right now that could beat them in 4 games out of 7. They will win, of course, barring any major injuries during the season. The only team that has a legitimate chance to beat them out is Cleveland.