Thursday, July 5, 2012

Teams to Beat in 2012-2013

By: Brock Sanders

The idea that every player in the Lakers’ starting lineup has gone to the All-Star Game is pretty scary for the Western Conference.  The sign-and-trade deal between the Lakers and the Suns left Steve Nash, 38, packing his bags and heading to Los Angeles.  The three year, $27 million deal will likely be Nash’s last contract.  This is also the last legitimate shot Nash has at winning his coveted NBA Title.

Along with the Lakers, there are also several serious Finals contenders in the West.  A young Thunder team and an aging Spurs squad have shots to make it to the Finals.  With the Spurs losing their window of opportunity, the Thunder are just beginning to blossom.

In the East, there are several teams that could make it to the Finals.  A new and improved Brooklyn Nets proved they are serious challengers to the Heat, Celtics, and Bulls by acquiring Joe Johnson from the Atlanta Hawks.  The Nets needed a pure scorer like Joe Johnson to rely on.  If they were to get Dwight Howard from the Magic, the Nets would have a “Big Three” of their own.

The Boston Celtics have had a great offseason.  Their draft couldn’t have worked out better.  Getting Fab Melo and Jared Sullinger in consecutive picks will add to their subpar group of big men.  The Celtics are also close to signing Jason Terry to a 3 year, $15 million deal.  This may turn Ray Allen away, but they get a cheaper option with Terry.

Of course there are still some variables left to sort out.  Depending on whoever lands some prized players such as Dwight Howard, Ray Allen, and Eric Gordon will determine a lot.  There are other signings and trades that will definitely impact the outcome of this season.  However things develop this offseason, you can be sure that it will be another great year in the NBA.

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