Top 5 Most Exciting NBA Teams to Watch in 2014
The Miami Heat and Oklahoma City Thunder will be contenders in 2014, but which team has the best player and coach personnel to be a new and exciting NBA team?
HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: Everybody likes an underdog and here are five teams best poised to fill that very role in the 2013-14 NBA season.
Although they didn’t make my top-five, I can honestly say that the Charlotte Bobcats should be interesting to follow. Michael Jordan finally shelled out some money to a big name player (Al Jefferson) to beef up a team led by Kemba Walker, an often underrated point guard.
5. Brooklyn Nets
With an incredible haul in the 2013 off-season, the Brooklyn Nets should be fun to watch if they can work out team chemistry with a team of has-been (super)stars. Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce, Joe Johnson, Brook Lopez, and Deron Williams lead the way for a New York (not Knicks) team that is absolutely stacked. I’m going to wait to hold out judgment on this team that looks great on paper because last time I predicted a team with new stars to go deep in the playoffs, I was burned. Show me something Brooklyn, and then I’ll be convinced. But for now, you’ll round out the top-five most exciting teams to watch this season.
4. Portland Trailblazers
Damian Lillard is coming off an impressive Rookie of the Year campaign and LMA is still one of the best players in the league. With some additions to their bench, they won’t be as completely reliant on their starters for production which should relieve some pressure on guys like Lillard and Aldridge. Maybe it’s because I watched Lillard have a brilliant homecoming game where he lit up my Golden State Warriors last season, but the Oakland native has some serious promise.
3. New Orleans Pelicans
Not since the days of Chris Paul do the New Orleans
Hornets Pelicans have so much hope. Realistically they probably won’t be moving into playoff territory just yet but if the Lakers really tank, Dallas underperforms, and Minnesota can’t get everybody on the court at the same time, the Pelicans may sneak up on the backend of the West. (If they were in the East, they’d almost certainly compete for a playoff spot in 2014, but that just shows the imbalance of the two NBA conferences.) Between Jrue Holiday, Anthony Davis, Tyreke Evans, and Eric Gordon, the Pelicans might look like a previous rendition of the team that is now No. 1 on this list.
2. Houston Rockets
Half of the NBA hates Dwight Howard…but that’s because half of the NBA fans love the Lakers. (Fun fact: the Lakers Facebook page has nearly as many likes as the NBA Facebook page.) I’m mostly curious to see if this new Hakeem-regimen really works and can improve Dwight’s horrendous post game—and free throws. But throwing in Dwight to a mix with James Harden, Chandler Parson, Jeremy Lin, and Omer Asik will be fun to watch. If Dwight can anchor the defense (which I think he will) then a potent offense could become a championship contender.
1. Golden State Warriors
I had originally expected it to be an off-season of regression for the Golden State Warriors. With Andris Biedrins and Richard Jefferson still on the books, the Warriors were forced to let go of two of their key contributors to their success in 2013: Carl Landry and Jarrett Jack. What GM Bob Myers pulled off subsequently has to make this one of the best off-seasons in sports history for a general manager. He managed to steal Andre Iguodala from the team that the Warriors beat in the 2013 playoffs and then add veteran pieces to the bench. With Andrew Bogut reportedly 100 percent healthy, the sky is the limit for this year’s Golden State Warriors.
And that’s why they are the most exciting team to watch in the 2013-14 NBA season.
Image credit: Wenn Photo Database