NBA Roundtable

Tiers Of Contention

In General NBA on December 13, 2010 at 6:54 pm

Tier One — Legitimate Contenders

  • Boston Celtics
  • Miami Heat
  • Los Angeles Lakers

Tier Two — Outside Contenders

  • Dallas Mavericks
  • Orlando Magic
  • San Antonio Spurs

Tier Three — Capable of making a playoff run

  • Chicago Bulls
  • Oklahoma City Thunder

Tier Four — Solid playoff teams

  • Atlanta Hawks
  • Utah Jazz
  • Milwaukee Bucks

Tier Five — Borderline playoff teams

  • Eastern Conference — Charlotte, Indiana and New York
  • Western Conference — Denver (Melo trade?), New Orleans, Phoenix, Portland (Brandon Roy?), Memphis and Houston (Yao?) in the West.

Tier Six — Lottery squads

  • Cleveland Cavaliers
  • Detroit Pistons
  • Golden State Warriors
  • LA Clippers
  • New Jersey Nets
  • Philadelphia 76ers
  • Sacramento Kings
  • Toronto Raptors
  • Washington Wizards
  1. Dave,

    If the Nuggets can get to the playoffs with a fully healthy roster, including each of the following names:

    PG – Billups/C, Lawson/T & Carter/A
    OG – Afflalo/A & Smith/JR
    SF – Anthony/C & Forbes/G
    PF – Martin/K, Harrington/A, Williams/S & Balkman/R
    C – Nene, Andersen/C & Ely/M

    HC – George Karl

    then, IMO, they should also be considered a “legitmate threat” to represent the WC in the NBA Finals.

    That specific group of 14 players + head coach, playing in the playoffs, this season, will be a VERY, VERY tough out.

  2. Dave,

    Look Philadelphia and Detroit to both be substantially improved teams for the balance of the season … if they can stay healthy and continue to use the “new” rotations they have each featured recently:

    Philadelphia 76ers

    STARTERS: Holiday/PG, Meeks/OG, Iguodala/SF, Brand/PF & Hawes/C
    KEY SUBS: Williams/PG, Turner/G-F, Young/PF & either Speights/C or Battie
    RESERVES: Nocioni/SF, Songaila/PF, either Battie/C or Speights/C
    EXTRAS/OUTS: Kapono/SF & Brackins/PF

    Detroit Pistons

    STARTERS: Stuckey/PG, Hamilton/OG, Prince/SF, Monroe/PF & Wallace/C
    KEY SUBS: Gordon/PG-OG, either McGrady/SF or Daye/SF, either Villanueva/PG or Maxiell/PF & Wilcox/PF-C
    RESERVES: Bynum/PG, either Daye/Sf or McGrady/SF & either Maxiell/PF or Villanueva/PF
    EXTRAS/OUTS: White/OG, Jerebko/SF-PF & Summers/PF

  3. Khandor,

    Denver Nuggets

    I have Denver in that third tier alongside teams like the Chicago Bulls and Oklahoma City if they manage to hold onto Carmelo Anthony and if Kenyon Martin returns to action.

    I do expect Kenyon to play at a lower than optimal level though. He usually recovers slowly from long layoffs and takes quite a bit of time to get back to top form.

    Phily and Detroit

    I have no interest in this Philadelphia team. I don’t see them making any kind of impression over the remainder of the season. None of their big men play any type of defense whatsoever and that will doom them. I don’t see them as a threat to make the postseason.

    These games they’ve won recently are doing more harm than good.

    I thought the Pistons had a chance at the postseason at the start of the season but they’ve had a woeful start and have been poorly managed so I wrote them off.

    However, after looking at the standings, I might have been premature on that … nobody has really created any distance in the standings … so, yeah, the Pistons could still get back in the race if they keep that rotation in place for the remainder of the season.

    If they keep that rotation in place, with Monroe starting like he should have been since day one, they could be an interesting team over the next few months.

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