Who’s next?

Posted by By at 21 December, at 13 : 09 PM Print

After 2 blockbuster trades this past weekend, The Orlando Magic feel they moved themselves up a couple notches on the team to beat list in the NBA. Adding additional firepower in the form of Gilbert Arenas, Jason Richardson and Hedu Turkoglu looks like they just may have done just that. Unfortunately, the argument isn’t an open and shut case. As seen by some very lengthy winning streaks this season, there are many serious contenders to the title. Let’s take a look at what teams are likely to remain standing when all is said and done:

Miami Heat- With the additions of Lebron James and Chris Bosh, the Heat have the talent to compete with any team in the NBA. The question at the beginning of the season about chemistry clearly is behind them as a 12 game winning streak quickly ended this notion. In recent games, the “Big 3” all scored over 20 points per game, showing the league why they are a force to be reckoned with. Mike Miller has just returned from injury and Udonis Haslem will be returning in a few weeks, giving further evidence to why the Heat look like they will only get stronger.

Boston Celtics – The original Big 3, turned Big 4 (Rajon Rondo) is now as deep as any team in the league. The addition of Shaquille O’Neal has proven to work quite well as the C’s are currently on a 13 game winning streak and show no signs of slowing down. Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce and Ray Allen all in their 30’s are playing like teenagers as all 3 are healthy and performing at a high level. The Celtics look like they may have more than just 1 season left in them based on their play of late.

Dallas Mavericks – Having just had their 12 game winning streak snapped, they started a new one by ending the Miami Heat’s 12 game winning streak. By doing this, they have proved that Dirk and company still have what it takes to compete. The off-season move to bring in Tyson Chandler is paying immediate dividends as he has anchored their defense all season and has provided the toughness and athleticism they have been missing the past few seasons. Dirk, Jason Terry, Jason Kidd and Caron Butler are all playing at a high level once again and the Mavs look like they too are going no where.

San Antonio Spurs – Similar to Tim Duncan’s career, the Spurs have quietly gone about their business and have quite an impressive record of 24-3 including a current 9 game winning streak. Slowly but surely, they go about their business as both Manu Ginobli and Tony Parker are having career years. Tim Duncan, reduced minutes and all is having yet another productive season and is putting up big numbers once again. The Spurs depth looks like it will enable them to rest their starters heading towards the playoffs and give them the chance to unleash them come April, 2011.

Los Angeles Lakers – Although they may not be playing as dominantly as a defending champion team is expected to play, the Lakers are still the team to beat as long as Kobe Bryant and Pau Gasol are on the floor. Offseason moves to bring in Steven Blake and Matt Barnes are working quite well as they have provided the Zen Master, Phil Jackson the added depth to rest his starters. The Lakers are on cruise control right now, but rest assured once the playoffs start its Kobe time!

With these teams all playing out of this world, it’s going to be an exciting playoff run this season. This being said, other teams are also playing great and should not be forgotten. The Bulls, Thunder, Jazz, Nuggets and Hawks will no doubt argue why they should be added to the above list.

It looks like a great run to the playoffs is in store. What 2 teams will be standing come June of next year is a great question and one we will have to wait to find out the answer to!

The Bowse's Word

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