It’s March! The NBA All Star Game and trade deadline have passed and that can only mean one thing, the play-offs are on the horizon. This year there are many teams in the hunt for the coveted NBA title and this will preview the teams to look out for.
The Eastern Conference is a close and exciting contest at the top with 4 teams definite contenders, they are the Miami Heat, the Boston Celtics, the Orlando Magic and the New York Knicks.
The Miami Heat team have been everyone’s favourites to win the title since the start of the season and there is no reason why they can’t with three of the best players in the world on their squad in Lebron James, Dwayne Wade and Chris Bosh. They are yet to prove themselves against elite teams though so it could not be so easy.
The Boston Celtics are looking to avenge their finals loss from last season and there is nothing stopping them from doing this they have the experience and talent to do so but the question is will age catch up with them.
The Orlando Magic are looking to return to the finals for the first time in four years and this could happen and there is always a chance when you have the reigning defensive player of the year on your team in Dwight Howard but one thing that will stop them is if their offences stall in the middle of games like it has done in regular season.
The New York Knicks have become a contender in the past month after making trades for Carmelo Anthony and Chauncy Billups, and they could easily go on to win, but the lack of playing time between the players may eventually be their downfall.
The team to look out for who may surprise a few people are the Chicago Bulls who have “Most Valuable Player” candidate Derrick Rose and also one of the best defences in the league, if the defence is good for a whole game there is no reason why they can’t go a long way
The East may have many contenders but the Western Conference, some people may say have the better teams. There are 3 teams that are going to be contenders in the west. The Los Angeles Lakers, San Antonio Spurs and Dallas Mavericks.
The LA Lakers will always be a contender for a title with Kobe Bryant on their roster and Phil Jackson as a coach. They are looking to win their third consecutive title and that is a definite possibility but will they turn up and play like they know they can which has seemed to be the problem in the regular season? Only time will tell.
The San Antonio Spurs have the experience and players to go all the way and will be looking to add their 5th title in franchise history and what helps them is they still have the three players who were key in helping them win 2003, 2005 and 2007. Their play in the regular season has also made it very difficult to see how a team can beat them over a 7 game series and so could definitely go all the way.
The Dallas Mavericks are a good team with the potential to win the whole thing but they do have a history of coming up short in the play offs. This could also be the case this year but they do also have the experience that could stop this from happening again.
The team to look out for in the west and who could upset a few teams are the Oklahoma City Thunder, they have a young exciting team and the experience of their first play off appearance last year will definitely help them. They can beat any team on their night and could go a long way.
So this years play offs should be exciting as always and there is probably going to be a few upsets on the way I’m sure but we’ll have to wait and find out when it all kicks off on April 16th.
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