With the NBA season getting underway in matter of hours, what team will be the surprise team of the 2015-16 NBA season?
Ever since DeAndre Jordan spurned the Dallas Mavericks over the summer, the NBA universe has written off the Mavericks in every category entering the season. With questionable contracts and a plethora of health concerns, could the Mavs be sliding under the radar?
Last year, you could have given the title to the young Bucks team who grew into their shoes. Maybe an Atlanta Hawks team who won 60 games. What about a Houston Rockets team who finished second in the West without Dwight Howard for the majority of the year?
So with the season starting today, we polled the staff here at The Smoking Cuban for who their surprise team is for this year…
Boston was 16-30 entering February last season and finished 40-42. Though they were swept by the Cavaliers in the playoffs, they contended in all four games. Adding David Lee and Amir Johnson, along with having Isaiah Thomas and Jae Crowder for an entire season, makes this team relevant in the East. Boston wins the Atlantic division on their final game of the season.
When DeAndre Jordan changed course and stayed in Los Angeles in July a lot of people wrote the Mavericks off in 2015-16. It’s hard to blame them, really, with major players going under the knife this offseason and Dirk Nowitzki turning 37-years old. But this team is getting healthy sooner than some may have imagined, and as the season goes along will get better and better under the tutelage of Rick Carlisle. Those predicting 30 wins or fewer for Dallas are in for a rude awakening.
Last year the Wolves finished with the worst record in the league and I simply say this year will be a lot different. I believe Wiggins will take his game to another step. LaVine and Towns will bloom into their own. Veterans such as Garnett, Miller, and Prince will provide a good mixture. I believe they will be one of the 3-4 teams fighting for the 8th spot in the West.
This may be a little early to count on Orlando taking a playoff spot but I find this team very impressive. As young a squad as they have put together, talent is in no shortage throughout. If all these young players take a step forward and play to their potential, it is not hard to see them finding a spot in the mid-to-low playoff range of teams. I am expecting a big year from Victor Oladipo, Tobias Harris, and Nikola Vucevic.
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