With the NBA 2018 - 2019 Season on the horizon I would like to see your Top 5 teams coming into the Season. I will post my top 5 you may comment if you don't agree and post your top 5 as well.
I'll start with number 5
5. LOS ANGELES LAKERS
With the addition of LeBron they instantly become a Playoff team. Adding the Best player in the planet is probably the best FA signing last summer. Questions were raised when after signing LeBron, they went ahead and sign Rondo, McGee and Lance Stephenson to 1 year deal. This signing came as a surprise since we used of seeing LeBron surrounded by shooters (Korver, Allen, Smith, Miller etc) to maximize his skill set to facilitate and to drive and kick out and as we all know those players said above are not shooters so this move was questioned by a lot of fans and sports analyst. To be fair LeBron once said that he now wants to play off ball and not be the primary ball handler and wants to play with a playmaker. We all know what Rondo can do, during his Boston days and recently his stint with the Pelicans, a lot of people thought he'll stay with the Pelicans because he had a good run at the playoffs last season but he instead signed with the King for a 1 year deal.
The Lakers are not a title contender but I'm predicting a 50 below win season for them. The world now awaits how the King will fair in the brutal Western Conference.
4. PHILADELPHIA 76ERS
The Sixers made and impressive run last season headed by their young core of Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons and veteran shooter J.J. Redick. No big free agents signing the only addition they got is Amir Johnson, Mike Muscala and Sixers retainer T.J. McConnell. This season with LeBron out of the East the battle for a new supreme team will emerge and the Sixers can possibly win the East this season. With Embiid wanting to prove that he is now the best player in the East battling Giannis of the Bucks, the Sixers will prove once again that this youngsters can go far.
I'm predicting a 50 win season for them as well with the East now getting weaker and a spot at the Eastern Conference Finals.
3. BOSTON CELTICS
The Celtics proved that they are actually the best team in the East last year. Without the services of their two all stars in Kyrie Irving and Gordon Hayward they still manages to take a LeBron James led team to a 7 games in the Eastern Conference Finals last season. With the return of Irving and Hayward this season the team might adjust because of the way they play last season making Tatum, Brown and Rozier there scoring options. With Tatum or Brown now might come off the bench the C's are a very deep team. Recent signings include the return of Defensive Big Man Aaron Baynes and Defensive Pest Marcus Smart. No other big signings we're made. With LeBron out of the east I'm predicting the Celtics will now be back at the Finals. The great coaching of Brad Stevens steered the Celtics at the Eastern Conference Finals last season with their two all stars back we can now be sure that the C's will have a much better overall finish this season.
Celtics will have a 60 win finish this season and a spot at the NBA Finals.
2. HOUSTON ROCKETS
The rockets came very close at dethroning the Warriors last season. The Rockets lose to the warriors in 7 games of the Western Conference Finals, the Rocket came very close but because of CP3 getting injured in game 6 they came in short in game 7. Having CP3 played in game 7 we probably saw a different NBA Finals last season since it was a head to head match up. The Rockets GM Daryl Morey is very obsessed in dethroning the warriors and is now formulating a team specifically to destroy the Warriors. The Rockets recent signing includes an extension of CP3's contract worth $160M with the last year being a player option, resigning an extension for Clint Capela for a 5 year $90M, Capela initially wants a $100 Max offer but the Rockets are very hesitant, personally I think Capela is being overpaid, I don't think he is a max player considering that he is a third option type of player, we haven't seen him play the post well and have a go to move in the paint, he is thriving of the CP3 and James Harden assists so I think Capela is being overpaid. The rockets also kept the services of role player Gerald Green, Bruno Caboclo and former ROY Michael Carter Williams. The most notable signing the rockets made is the signing of Carmelo Anthony with a 1 year $2.4m, a lot of people bashed the Rockets for including Melo in the team because of his performance last season. The former all star and scoring champ became the 3rd option with the thunder last season and he didn't perform really well. The rockets loose Ariza who is a 3 and D player and defensive specialist Luc Mbah A Moute which can hurt there defensive rotation,
This season I'm seeing the rockets still at the top 2 in the West, head to head with the Warriors. A lot of people doesn't like Melo but I think he will thrive much better with a point guard like CP3. If we all remember the last time Melo played with a pass fiirst point guard was with Jason Kidd and the Knicks and they had a 50 win season that year. So I think Melo will be effective with CP3 and Harden facilitating.
60+ wins for the Rockets this season bet my money on it and a rematch of the Western Conference Finals.
1. Golden State Warriors
Still claiming the top spot for the 3rd year straight is the Golden State Warriors. No more long explanation needed, the most recent signing is Jerebko and All star Big Man DeMarcus Cousins. Now cousins is still injured and I don't think he'll make a big impact since the Warriors are coming off a back to back Championship Run. No need to explain having the best back court shooters in history and having the 2nd best player on the planet (arguably) and having a heat seeking defensive missile in Draymond the Warriors are still bound for success.
60+ wins and another NBA Championship. 3 peat for the Warriors and a 3 time Finals MVP in KD.
Please share your inputs as well. I'm glad to have a healthy conversation regarding this season.