As an obsessive NBA fan, I watch A LOT of basketball throughout the year. It distracts me from studying, but is also helps me cheer up, and get away from the real world. That being said, I recently purchased NBA League Pass, where I can watch every team's every game, including the playoffs.
So, I decided to give my fellow hoopheads a top 6 teams to watch list, it's six just because i felt like it. This is not a list of the league's six best teams, but the ones who I'll probably be watching the most...
6) Miami Heat: The defending champs will no doubt have some great games, as the champs always get games at marque times against marque teams, and they are an exciting, alley-oop friendly team. Their games tend to be on the low-scoring side, but watching LeBron and D-Wade operate is always a treat, and throw in Ray Allen and seeing how he fits into their system and you'll have a good time watching them.
5) Denver Nuggets: The Nuggets nearly upset the Lakers last year, and their balanced line-up always seems to do well and surprise some people. But, what puts them in this discussion is the insane amount of alley-oops that will be throw, and thrown down. JaVale McGee, Kenneth Faried, and the new addition of Andre Iguodala with be receiving the alley-oops, with the lob king Andre Miller throwing them. When combined with George Karl's high calibre offence, some exciting basketball in the Mile High City will follow.
4) LA Clippers: The Clippers improved vastly last year, even "upsetting" the Grizzlies in last year's playoffs. The Clip now have one year under their belt with Chris Paul at PG, and they should only improve this season. Chris Paul, Blake Griffin, DeAndre Jordan and Caron Butler should be part of quite a few thundering dunks, and with the return of Chauncey Billups, and with the additions of Lamar Odom and the ankle-breaking Jamal Crawford, the Clippers will be deep, they will be good, and they will be exciting to watch.
3) LA Lakers: The Lakers are always in the mix for titles, but the last two years have not been their best, as they bowed out in the second round both times. But, this season, they have shaken it up, with the additions of Steve Nash and Dwight Howard. Combine that with Kobe, Gasol, and the character that is Metta World Peace the Lakers SHOULD be a force to be reckoned with. The fun part of watching this team will be to see if the Lakers can make their super-team work right away, unlike the Heat, who couldn't live up to their enormous expectations in their first year together. Listen for the "Nash to Howard..." call, because they're will be many.
2) OKC Thunder: Last year's runner-up was one of the most exciting teams to watch throughout the shortened year. The young Thunder made the leap to the Finals by beating the veteran San Antonio Spurs. It'll be the same crew as last year, with the hyper-athletic PG in Russell Westbrook, the league's leading shot-blocker in Serge Ibaka, the exciting bearded one in James Harden, and the unbelievably talented, humble, winning-obsessed superstar in Kevin Durant. Eric Maynor will also return to the floor after missing out last year, and Kendrick Perkins will continue to scowl at opponents. Also Perry Jones, the rookie out of Baylor, and probably the best player as far as the Combine goes in last year's draft, is super-athletic, and should come out trying to prove teams wrong for passing him up.
1) Minnesota Timberwolves: This may come as a surprise, but Minnesota was exciting to watch last year, and were in a playoff position before Ricky Rubio got injured. I will be tuning in for many reasons. Kevin Love, the league's best PF, is incredible to watch, racking up 30-20 games while draining threes, all the while being undersized/not athletic. Ricky Rubio may be the most exciting PG in the League now, with his precise, spinning passes, and immaculate lobs. With Derrick Williams and any other athletic swingman only having to put their hands up and catch the ball to throw it down they should be making a killing. Nikola Pekovic emerged as a quality centre last year, and with the additions of one of the best players at the Olympics in Andre Kirilenko, not the mention his Russian teammate Alexei Shved, and Brandon Roy coming out of retirement, there should be no shortage of storylines, not the mention huge stat lines and exciting plays.