Let's try it first, reverse the traditional order, and before registering the five competitors for my valuable 'ring', let's explain who and why are excluded from the NBA succession race a few days before the start of the normal period.
- The champion Raptor they now lose the leader figure that will carry them to the end. They knew last summer, when they agreed with the San Antonio Spurs, that Kauai Leonard would be very unlikely to continue exile in Toronto as a super free agent. They have run out of whatever they have done, basically the most, and don't need to bother him about anything that is entering the transition season.
- Finalists Worried bet at the speed of the last 5 years. Not only did Clay Thompson miss most of the season, Kevin Durant left, and Iguodala would be sacrificed for everyone. Homogeneity next to Steph Curry is not secured by many young executives and is playing in a stadium city that they don't know, the 'fighters' will face obstacles in the West that have strengthened others. All of this can be reversed if Drummond and Thompson return sooner than expected.
- Enhanced and ambitious Net will lose the most complete player in the league (Kevin Durant) and other stars (Kairi Irving) have been proven (cannot be said) under the circumstances when he had to guide the Boston Celtics to the top. This saves the Brooklyn people (we adopt it as a term) that they have built depth on the list with players who have grown older and mature through the status quo.
- That can be counted Nugget bet a lot on their first five-star chemistry and on the almost perfect presence of Nikola Jokic, whether the Serbian center moves on the open field or in a set of games. Only Denver's special weight was lost, a fact that counted last year when they were called to exclude Portland Trail Blazers as favorites. Between us, they failed to prove they had the guts to do it.
- Fresh one Pelikan Eventually the extraordinary coach (Gentry) ordered them, but it was still too early to reach their peak performance. The material is rich, full of youth, freshness, fast legs, and if properly installed can have an effect that will leave its mark in the years to come. But not yet considering the loss of Anthony Davies, as much as Zion Williamson will soon find his own market.
Surprises are certainly not excluded during the season with 82 races for start, management, injury, travel and exchanges. One of them might be Utah Jazz, because Blazer Lillard has touched their ceilings. Or the Celtics in the East, provided Keba Walker is defined as a 'franchise player' in a totally different environment, far more demanding, urgent, and invincible who 'swallowed' all of Irving.
But at first glance, our strength ranks don't fit more than five teams. Who do you think has the biggest opportunity?