The NBA scrimmages have begun, so I will begin my takes for who can and cannot win the title in Orlando. Teams that I have put inside of the bubble are capable of winning the Title this season. Teams that are outside of the bubble are just a step away.
The first of the teams that I deem just unable to win the title are the Sixers. They are probably the closest of the teams that are outside, but they are still a bit away. I like their roster a lot, but they don’t have many playmakers and their starters have been fairly inconsistent. They haven’t been able to stay healthy, and there are just too many question marks on this team. Can Shake Milton be a consistent starting point guard? Can Ben Simmons shoot? Can Al Horford stop shooting? The list goes on.
I really don’t like the Nuggets in the playoffs. They can be good against worse or similar teams, but I don’t think they can keep up with the best. They are very young overall which isn’t great for the playoffs. I don’t know if I can trust many players to get a bucket when it matters besides Jamal Murray and Nikola Jokic. Speaking of Jokic, it appears he’s lost weight. I don’t know if he is as good of a player without his heavy frame.
The Rockets are one of my least favorite teams in the playoffs that many consider contenders. I don’t think they can be consistent with their offense, and their defense is bad. Just really really bad for a team with such a good overall record. I don’t like how small they play. I just don’t think they can compete with teams that have great perimeter defense and excellent offense.
Los Angeles Lakers:
The first of my title-contending teams are the Lakers. They have some problems like lack of depth, but they are a terrific team. In the end, you can’t bet against Lebron. He is the greatest player of all time and he is still in his prime. He took a bunch of nobodies to the titles just years ago. Yes, he was in the East, but it is still impressive none the less. This year he has Anthony Davis and some above average shot-makers in Danny Green and Alex Caruso. Their only real competitor in the West is the Clippers.
The Bucks are the easiest pick in this whole list. They are just terrific against everybody, and they have no major weaknesses that will hold them back. I can’t see the Bucks not making the conference finals. They have the MVP functioning at such a high level with a team built so perfectly around him. This time around they have more experience and will be playing with vengeance.
The Celtics are severely underrated. I think they are built to compete very well with the Bucks. They have so many guys who can make plays. I could trust Jason Tatum, Kamba Walker, Gordon Hayward and Jaylen Brown to put up over 20 points on any given night. This team is so balanced and they really can do it all. Without a doubt, they are in the bubble.
Los Angeles Clippers:
The final team is the Clippers. They are my favorite to win the West right now. They are very good against the Lakers and are probably the best team to stop Lebron. Kawhi Leonard is the 3rd best player in the NBA right now and possibly the 2nd best in the playoffs. When the Clippers were completely healthy, they were unstoppable. If a key contributor goes down, I would be more worried then I would for any of the other teams inside the bubble, but they are still very good all around now that they are well rested.