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.
3. Denver Nuggets
Hey, it’s everybody’s second-favorite team, the Denver Nuggets! Like many of you, I really, really like this team. They’re extremely fun to watch, they’ve got a bunch of diverse scoring, rebounding and defensive talent, and they’re incredibly deep. In fact, they’re so deep that I was inspired to write a song about them…
Sung to the tune of “How Deep is Your Love” by the Bee Gees:
I see Iggy playing lockdown D
I feel Danilo shooting many threes
And the moment that Kosta Koufos posts up
I know the Nugz are gonna win again
Dre Miller is fat but his oops are sweet
As long as Timofey doesn’t make me heave
Yet you’re asking me to show
How deep are the Nugz?
(How deep are the Nugz? How deep are the Nugz?)
Y’all really need to learn
Cause we’re living in a world of fools
Breaking them down
In spite of Kenneth Faried
We should love JaVale McGee
I believe in Ty
He knows the door to my very soul
He leads a fast break right into my heart
‘Til Wilson Chandler’s shot falls
And you may not think Corey Brewer rules
But he’s great for steals in your fantasy pool
And this year the Nugz will show
How deep are the Nugz?
2. Oklahoma City Thunder
We all know this team is good, and if they finish any lower than second-best in the West, that would be a major shock. The question is: How much better will they be compared to last season? Their four best players (Durant, Westbrook, Harden, Ibaka) are all under 25 so you would think they haven’t hit their peak yet. But it’s incredibly rare for a player to get to the level Durant and Westbrook have reached and then raise his game another notch beyond that. It seems to me that the odds are that they’re probably pretty close to their peak already, but I won’t mind in the least if they prove me wrong.
In terms of personnel upgrades, the Thunder will welcome back Eric Maynor as their backup point guard after he missed all but nine games with an ACL tear last season. He’s a good playmaker, defender and outside shooter — but most importantly, he’s not Derek Fisher. I lost a little bit of respect for Thunder GM Sam Presti when he thought adding Fisher as a “veteran presence” was a good idea. Maybe as a coach, but the guy couldn’t play, and Maynor’s a huge improvement in that bench role.
1. Miami Heat
They’re the defending champions, and with the additional shooting prowess provided by Ray Allen and Rashard Lewis, they definitely have a stronger roster compared to last season. They also no longer have to prove anything to the haters, so they can just ball like they own this sport.
Anything can happen, but you’re trippin’ if you don’t consider the Miami Heat the prohibitive favorite to finish with the best regular season record. Some of you might try to create a imaginary narrative where LeBron goes “soft” or whatever, but that’s like looking for flaws in Kate Upton’s appearance. You need to stop trying so hard and simply accept greatness when it’s presented to you.