PicturePicture via Robbie Dunne
It's that time of year again.  Both pro and college football are quickly transitioning into mid season.  Baseball is awaiting its exciting (but drawn out) playoffs.  This is the perfect time to look forward to the 2013-2014 NBA Season.  Training camps are scheduled to begin in the next week with preseason games starting as soon as October 5th!  The 2013 NBA finals were surprisingly exciting considering the old broken down Spurs took the Heat to the brink before Ray Allen brought them back from the dead.  I don't think we as a basketball community totally understand just how dead the Heat were in Game 6, before Allen hit the biggest 3 pointer in recent history.  The Heat were down multiple possessions TWICE in the final minute.  Tim Duncan NOT on the floor for the final 19 seconds allow the Heat to get an offensive board and set up the best 3 point shooter in NBA history?  Craziness!  LeBron had an average night in game 7 (37 and 12), but Shane Battier hit 6 threes and the Heat won mostly comfortable.  The Spurs had the NBA Finals won, in their historic "last hurrah", vs. the best player of this generation, and the best team since the early 00' Lakers.  Had it been the Heat this scenario happened to, ESPN would still have Stephen A. and Skip yelling at each other about it.  Well, now that I've recapped the spectacular end of last season, lets look at next season:

  1. Miami Heat - We'll hear all about LeBron's ability to opt out, but three-peat is only thing on his mind
  2. OKC Thunder - Durant might be the best overshadowed athlete of all time.
  3. San Antonio Spurs - They'll coast until the playoffs, but still have the talent
  4. Chicago Bulls - Derrick Rose rejoins an already good Bulls team.  Must resign Deng, though.
  5. Indiana Pacers - Paul George got his, but if the Pacers want to beat the Heat, he'll need another step.
  6. Memphis Grizzlies - They learned how to win last year, now they just need to stay hungry.
  7. L.A Clippers - Doc Rivers might be the best offseason acquisition in the NBA this season.
  8. Golden State Warriors - A Healthy Andrew Bogut will put this team into Home Court talk in west.
  9. Brooklyn Nets - Everyone is willing these guys to the top, but I just don't see it.
  10. Houston Rockets -  A lot of talent, but are they a team?  At least Dwight hasn't requested a trade yet.
  11. New York Knicks - Shuffled things around, but didn't improve.  Still trying to force Carmelo + Amare.
  12. Portland Trail Blazers - My sleeper pick this year.  They might be a year away, but have the talent.
  13. Atlanta Hawks - Teague and Horford will get them wins in a weak East, but no playoff success looms.
  14. Denver Nuggets - If 57 win seasons don't do it in Denver, they're going to be really disappointed this year.
  15. Minnesota T-Wolves - A lot of fun to watch stat guys, like a poor man's Clippers...ugh.
  16. Cleveland Cavs - If only the Cavs had a stud SF guy to put them over the top...hmmmm.
  17. Washington Wizards - There is a light at the end of the tunnel for these guys, 2 years away though.
  18. New Orleans Hornets - Whats up with all these previous top 5 pickers improving??? Thought tanking fails?
  19. Toronto Raptors - When your hopes ride on Rudy Gay, prepare to pick mid lottery.
  20. Milwaukee Bucks - They have 8 Sixth Man of the year candidates, so there is that...
  21. LA Lakers - Poor Kobe.
  22. Dallas Mavericks - Poor Dirk.
  23. Utah Jazz - Not a bad pool of talent, but really no direction and no room for error.
  24. Orlando Magic - The only team carrying a true hope banner.  Very long rebuild starting to come together.
  25. Sacramento Kings - They just gave a ton of money to the most emotionally childish player in the NBA...
  26. Boston Celtics - Trying to feel bad for them...Really, I am.
  27. Charlotte Bobcats - Only fan base I pity more than Milwaukee's.
  28. Phoenix Suns - Worst of west, by a wide margin.
  29. Detroit Pistons - If this team succeeds, I lose all faith in basketball. How many more times can BJ get punched?
  30. Philadelphia 76ers - Bynum deal set them back by at least 3 years.  Tragic.

Leave a Reply.


    - Diener34 is a guest columnist at CC’s Third Degree and can be followed on Twitter @Galaxy_Diener


    May 2013