The National Basketball Association.
Well, where do we start?
Sure, we could sit here and talk about how certain teams (Los Angeles, Boston, Miami, San Antonio) have dominated this league since the turn of the century. We could also talk about how Lebron James finally got a championship after all his antics.
But who really cares besides guidos in Miami?
The 2012-13 season is up for grabs.
For all we know, the Denver Nuggets may be sitting atop the Western Conference at some point this season.
Hell, maybe even at the end of the season.
Therefore, let’s breakdown seven “random” teams for the upcoming season, the moves they have or have not made, and where their chosen path might lead them.
The Los Angeles Lakers recently dumped Andrew Bynum to pick up the media-driven Dwight Howard.
What does this do for the Lakers?
Well, it adds more media hype to an already press-heavy Los Angeles team. Sure, they retained great size and strength, but Howard lacks real center-like offensive moves such as a turnaround jumper, solid pivot moves, and, oh yeah, free throw shooting. Bynum had all those, and now he is gone to a stronger Philadelphia team.
I guess that’s what Pau Gasol is for.
Shockingly, the Lakers retained Gasol, Kobe Bryant, while adding the ever-aging Steve Nash.
When will poor Steve win a championship? Odds are, not this season.
At some point this season, the Chicago Bulls will see the return of Derrick Rose.
You know, the guy who averaged 23 points per game.
He’ll come back at some point to contribute to the defensively strong team of Luol Deng, Joakim Noah, and Carlos Boozer, but that won’t be until spring at best.
Without Rose’s help, the Bulls may have a disappointing season.
Ah, yes the Atlanta Hawks.
So young, so talented, yet they’ve never made it to the championship.
What will this season hold for the Hawks?
Well, for one, they traded away Joe Johnson to the Brooklyn Nets.
Johnson has arguably been their best player for the past seven seasons. The Hawks will only fall in the standings from this move and will repeat the same path they have been on for years.
The Spurs and Heat have remained, for the most part, consistent with their lineups from last year.
But who wouldn’t coming off the seasons they had?
Expect them to each be at the top of their respective conferences this coming season, pending any major injuries or ego battles.
Through all this, who has remained the sneaky team, keeping two of their “big three” and signing a world champion in Jason Terry, complete with a new Larry O’Brien-sporting leprechaun tattoo?
Ah, of course, the Boston Celtics.
Teams beware; the “aging Celtics” have done some house cleaning.
After Ray Allen signed with Miami, it’s bye-bye Ray Ray, hello Terry. Throw in a fierce Kevin Garnett, an ever-dominantPaul Pierce, a highly competitive and skilled Rajon Rondo, and a rising Brandon Bass and Boston will be right up there at the top of the Eastern Conference.
Put that lineup against any five in the NBA and you’ve got yourself not only a game, but a hell of a playoff series.
Sans-Terry, Garnett, Pierce, Rondo, and Bass make up the core of the team that took down a younger, quicker, more athletic Hawks squad in last year’s playoffs because of knowledge, tremendous use of strengths, and a little thing called championship experience.
So while James, Howard, and Durant may be shining bright with youth, size, and arrogance; the Celtics are quietly putting the pieces together for a championship-caliber basketball team.
Look for the Thunder, Lakers, Heat and Celtics all to be in championship talks come May.
This is going to be a great season, pending David Stern’s mood.