Are the new-look Lakers the best team to watch?

The NBA is beginning to look an awful lot like the MLB; there is a clear delineation between the “haves” and the “have-nots”. When it comes down to it, the NBA is all about its superstars; players like LeBron James and Kevin Durant dominate the basketball landscape. The formula here is simple…the most entertaining NBA teams are ones with superstars who win games. With this knowledge we used a simple combination of number of superstars and winning potential to give you the Top 10 NBA Teams to Watch in 2013. Who will drive the NBA market this year? Who should you be watching when you have an hour before you need to get back to work? “The Commish” and Quick Fix Sports is at your service:

Only 66 game schedule in 2011-12
NBA Superstar***

#10 Golden State Warriors

2011-12 Record: 23-43
Current ESPN Power Ranking
Key Additions: SF-Harrison Barnes, C-Andrew Bogut

2012-13 Lineup:

PG-Steph Curry***
SG-Klay Thompson
SF-Harrison Barnes (Brandon Rush injured)
PF-David Lee
C-Andrew Bogut
6th Man-Jarret Jack

If you wanna see a young, talented, high-scoring NBA squad…you’ve got to tune in to a GS Warriors game. Steph Curry (24), Klay Thomspon (22), and Harrison Barnes (20) are one of the youngest starting trios in the league. Curry only played in 26 games due to his now surgically repaired ankle, but has a career 44% 3-point percentage, 17.5 pts, 5.8 assist, and 4.1 reb…while shooting 89.5% from the FT line. Klay Thompson, the #11 pick in the 2011 draft out of Washington State University, will get his first opportunity to start and could be a scoring machine. These young dynamic players let it fly on the floor and should be very enjoyable to watch. They will likely win a few more games than the casual fan expects.

#9 New York Knicks

2011-12 Record: 36-30
Current ESPN Power Ranking
Key Additions: PG-Raymond Felton, PG-Jason Kidd

2012-13 Lineup:

PG-Raymond Felton
SG-J.R. Smith
SF-Carmelo Anthony***
PF-Chris Copeland
C-Tyson Chandler
6th Man-Jason Kidd

The Knicks sent Jeremy Lin off to the Houston Rockets and replaced him with Raymond Felton and Jason Kidd. Not bad. Kidd is a Hall of Famer with a ton of knowledge, and Felton is probably one of the fastest players in the league; a very intriguing combination. By now we all know what we’ll get with Carmelo Anthony; he’s a premiere scorer who doesn’t do much else. He reminds me a lot of Dominique Wilkins in the 80’s…minus the insanely acrobatic dunks. If the Knicks can stay health they will likely improve on their #7 seed from a year ago.

#8 Brooklyn Nets

2011-12 Record: 22-44
Current ESPN Power Ranking
Key Additions: SG-Joe Johnson

2012-13 Lineup:

PG-Deron Williams***
SG-Joe Johnson***
SF-Gerald Wallace
PF-Kris Humphries
C-Brook Lopez
6th Man-MarShon Brooks

After a 35 year hiatus the NBA is back in Brooklyn. The Brooklyn Nets are bringing in a fresh new look in a brand spanking new arena (Barclay’s Center), with some very talented players. Deron Williams has been in the discussion for best PG in the league the past several seasons. In 2012 Williams was 5th in the NBA in assist and was the only PG in the top 10 in assist to also average 20+pts. (21.0 pts/g, 9th in the NBA). Joe Johnson and Gerald Wallace will be the biggest beneficiaries of an elite PG’s play, both have big game potential and should have much improved production.

#7 Houston Rockets

2011-12 Record: 34-32
Current ESPN Power Ranking
Key Additions: PG-Jeremy Lin, SG-James Harden

2012-13 Lineup:

PG-Jeremy Lin***
SG-James Harden***
SF-Chandler Parsons
PF-Patrick Patterson
C-Omer Asik
6th Man-Carlos Delphino

James Harden came off the bench for OKC in their playoff run last year, this year he will star in Houston. Harden is amazingly talented and his unique style of game play is a joy to watch. Some feel Jeremy Lin is getting undeserved attention for his minimal accomplishments, but the fact remains, Lin is an NBA star. His fame extends far beyond the US and he’ll likely be one of the most followed players in history. Lin’s numbers from 2012 aren’t bad considering he averaged only 26 minutes a game; 14.6 pts, 6.2 assist, 3.1 reb. Lin and Harden will both drastically increase their minutes so we will all get to see just how good they can become.

#6 Los Angeles Clippers

2011-12 Record: 40-26
Current ESPN Power Ranking
Key Additions: SF-Lamar Odom, SG-Jamal Crawford

2012-13 Lineup:

PG-Chris Paul***
SG-Chauncey Billups
SF-Coron Butler
PF-Blake Griffen***
C-DeAndre Jordan
6th Man-Jamal Crawford

Last year there was plenty of buzz around the new look Clip-Joint. Then newly acquired Chauncy Billups was lost for the year with an Achilles injury. To make matters worse, Curon Butler, who also joined the team in 2012, broke his left hand in game-one of the first playoff series. With this team back at full strength, CP3 running circles around opposing PG’s, and Blake Griffen jumping over people…the Clippers could easily move their way up this list.

#5 Oklahoma City Thunder

2011-12 Record: 47-19
Current ESPN Power Ranking
Key Additions: C-Hasheem Thabeet, SF-Perry Jones III, SG-Kevin Martin

2012 Lineup:

PG-Russell Westbrook***
SG-Thabo Sefolosha
SF-Kevin Durant***
PF-Serge Ibaka
C-Kendrick Perkins
6th Man-Kevin Martin

Last year’s #2 NBA Team to Watch dropped a few spots this year in large part due to James Harden’s departure. Harden could easily have turned in to the Thunders 3rd Superstar, which would have landed this team in the top 3 again for sure. However, the Thunder still have two of the best players to watch in Westbrook and Durant, and they will undoubtedly put up a ton of points. Durant led the league in scoring (28.0pts/g) and the Thunder was the #3 scoring team in the NBA a year ago.

#4 San Antonio Spurs

2011-12 Record: 50-16
Current ESPN Power Ranking
Key Additions: None

2012-13 Lineup:

PG-Tony Parker***
SG-Danny Green
SF-Kawhi Leonard
PF-Tim Duncan***
C-Boris Diaw
6th Man-Manu Ginobili***

Before last year’s amazing run that saw the Spurs win 10 straight playoff games, this team was considered over the hill. Well, the Spurs can obviously still do it and have gotten a lot younger through the draft. Last year this team didn’t make our top 10, however the maturation of Danny Green and Kawhi Leonard have brought youth and athleticism the Spurs have sorely needed. The speed of Tony Parker, agility of Manu Ginobili, the fundamentals of Tim Duncan, along with two young guns make this team more than worth watching. Believe it or not, the Spurs were 2nd in the NBA in scoring at 103.7pts/g in 2012.

#3 Boston Celtics

2011-12 Record: 39-27
Current ESPN Power Ranking
Key Additions: SG-Jason Terry, PF-Jared Sullinger

2012 Lineup:

PG-Rajon Rando***
SG-Courtney Lee
SF-Paul Pierce***
PF-Brandon Bass
C-Kevin Garnett***
6th Man-Jason Terry

Rajon Rando has officially took over as the third member of the Big 3 in Boston; he is by far the most fun to watch. The pure point guard led the NBA in 2012 with 11.7 assist/g and does it in a smooth and athletic fashion. Weather he is throwing full court bounce passes or pulling an old school disappearing ball fake, Rando is amazing at his craft. Combine Rondo with two of the most passionate and driven players in the league (KG & Paul Pierce), mix in brand new 6th-Man Jason Terry…and you get supreme NBA theater.

#2 Los Angeles Lakers

2011-12 Record: 41-25
Current ESPN Power Ranking
Key Additions: PG-Steve Nash, C- Dwight Howard

2012-13 Lineup:

PG-Steve Nash
SG-Kobe Bryant ***
SF-Metta World Peace
PF-Pau Gasol***
C-Dwight Howard***
6th-Man-Antione Jamison

Weather you love the Lake-Show, or love to hate them, 2013 will be as exciting as it gets. The Lakers bring in super free agent Dwight Howard, and crafty veteran point guard Steve Nash to help Kobe Bryant make one last run at his 6th title. The Lakers are basically a Western Conference All-Star Team with a combined 35 All-Star appearances amongst the starting 5 (Bryant 14, Nash 8, Howard 8, Gasol 4, World Peace 1). Stars shine brightest in LA…and this team is irresistible.

#1 Miami Heat

2011-12 Record: 46-20
Current ESPN Power Ranking
Key Additions: SG-Ray Allen

2012-13 Lineup:

PG-Mario Chalmers
SG-Dwayne Wade***
SF-Shane Battier
PF-LeBron James***
C-Chris Bosh ***
6th-Man: Ray Allen

If Superstars and Wins equal “fun to watch”, then there’s no team that can contend with the Miami Heat. Fresh off a Championship run in 2012 where they defeated the Knicks, Pacers, Celtics, and Thunder in route to LeBron’s first title, the Heat look even better in 2013. The nucleus of James, Bosh, and Wade stays intact, while they add sharp-shooter’s Ray Allen and Rashard Lewis. The Heat were 7th in the league in scoring in 2012, and now have star power, an NBA title, and new talent to make them easily the best team to watch in 2013.

 

Teams that Just Missed the Cut:

  • Philadelphia 76ers
  • Denver Nuggets

 

Here is the 2013 NBA TV Schedule for your convenience

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