Join me as I count down my predictions of the regular season finishes for the 2012-13 NBA season, at a rate of three teams per day. Tell me why I’m wrong in the comments.
6. San Antonio Spurs
San Antonio: Where the past (Tim Duncan and Manu Ginobili), the present (Tony Parker and Tiago Splitter) and the future (Kawhi Leonard) combine to keep the Spurs relevant in the championship discussion for the 15th straight season. I learned long ago to never count this team out as long as Gregg Popovich is still their coach.
In case you forgot, the Spurs were ridiculously dominant during the 2011-12 regular season — they outscored their opponents by 7.7 points per 100 possessions. Tim Duncan used to anchor the stingiest team defense in the NBA for about a decade, but now they’re all about the run-and-gun. Last season, they had the league’s best offense and three-point percentage, and they were seventh in pace. They have a seemingly unlimited number of deadly long bombers — Danny Green, Matt Bonner, Gary Neal and Ginobili each shot at least 125 trey attempts and made at least 41.3 percent of them. This team likes to make it rain on them pros.
5. Los Angeles Lakers
I despise this team. They’re eminently more unlikable than the 2010-11 Miami Heat were. Kobe Bryant’s a sociopath, Dwight Howard is a two-faced, narcissistic liar, Metta World Peace is a borderline psychopath, and Steve Nash turned down more money and broke the hearts of millions of Canadians by spurning my Raptors. I have no beef with Pau Gasol, though. He’s cool.
Before the preseason, I was prepared to put this team at the very top of this list, but there appears to be some issues. Kobe and Nash will probably both have to sit out some games this season, and the Lakers’ bench frankly looks like hot garbage. That doesn’t change the fact that they should be considered the favorite to represent the Western Conference in the 2013 NBA finals. Also, Nash looks ridiculous in a Lakers uniform and his haircut looks stupid and he’s stupid and he should feel bad.
4. Boston Celtics
Hey, how about all this Rajon Rondo MVP buzz! Wanna know what I think about it? I think it’s ridiculous. The only way Rondo wins MVP this season is if the Celtics finish with the best record in the NBA. Can you say that has a realistic chance of happening with a straight face?
The Celtics are still very, very strong. They’re a virtual lock to be the best defensive squad in the league, they’re highly motivated (as usual) and they’ve got some nice depth with the return of Jeff Green and the additions of Jason Terry, Jared Sullinger and Leandro Barbosa. Plus, you know that no team hates the Heat and Lakers as much as these guys do. Every Celtics-Lakers and Celtics-Heat game is going to be absolutely epic.