10 NBA Teams on the Rise
The NBA is one of the most beloved sports in America. In the world even. It’s exciting on and off the court. The players are fun to watch and the fans are die hard. The NBA is unpredictable when it comes to team match-ups. Upsets happen all the time. There are a few teams like the Lakers, the Celtics and the Spurs that have histories of being dominant teams in the league. Streaks of Playoff runs and Finals appearances make them favorites amongst fans. As the saying goes, all good things must come to an end. Every couple of years new teams rise up and become dominant in the league as other teams fade to the background. Here is a list of teams that are making their presence felt in the NBA.
When LeBron James left the Cleveland Cavaliers in 2010 the team struggled to remain a contender. They struggled for 10 years before Lebron and a few years after. They went from the leagues best to their conferences worst in one year with a 26 game losing streak. Now that LeBron James has returned the Cavs are heading back to the mountain top. Along with James, Kyrie Irving and Kevin Love are helping pull the Cavs out of their slump. Last year the Cavs ended the season ranked as the 10th team in the league. With their current position as second in the Central Division, their overall ranking probably will jump.
Right behind the number two Cavs in the Central Division is the Milwaukee Bucks coming in at third place. Under the leadership of head coach Jason Kidd, the Bucks are trying to build a strong team that can hold their own. The latest news in their attempt to build a strong team is bringing Kenyon Martin back to the NBA. He recently signed a 10 day contract with the Bucks. If things go well with Martin the Bucks will have a big man to fill the void of their absent center Larry Sanders.
There is probably no chance for the Indiana Pacers to make the playoffs this season, but they have a lot of room to grow. Placing fourth in the Central Division, the Pacers have been plagued by injury, which can kill any teams hopes and aspirations. Two of their top players are currently out. Paul George is recovering from a broken leg and Roy Hibbert recently sprained his ankle. The Pacers don’t go down without a fight. This is evident by the recent hard fought game against the Golden State Warriors. Once the team is back to full health, watch out.
When you look at the Detroit Pistons all you can see is potential. With players like Brandon Jennings, Greg Monroe and Jodie Meeks there is a winning team lurking there. The Pistons are currently on a seven game winning streak with their latest victory coming after beating the Mavs 108-95. They’re currently fifth in the Central Division but they will climb the ranks if this streak keeps going. Expect the Detroit Pistons to make a statement in the next year or two with playoff runs.
Golden State Warriors
For the past two years the Warriors have been making the playoffs but could never make it past the second round. They Lost to the Spurs second round in 2013 and lost to the Clippers first round last year. Those two years they finished 2nd in the league. Now they’re currently number one in the Pacific Division. With Stephen Curry at point the Golden State Warrior’s have come to be a team that is talked about by many. Expect them to see another playoff run this year. You may even see them in the Finals in the next year or so.
Number one in the Southeast Division. The Atlanta Hawks have stepped up big time this year. The Hawks have been stuck in some type of playoff purgatory, making the playoff’s for the past seven years and losing in the first round for the past three years. Since 2011 the teams ranking has dropped from 5th to 8th. Currently the Hawks are holding on to the number one spot in the Southeast Division with a record of 27-8. With Al Horford and Jeff Teague leading the way, the Hawks could at least bring a Conference title back to Atlanta.
The Toronto Raptors are the only team that is not based in the country. They’re sometimes over looked because of that fact, but the truth is they have become one of the best teams in the league over the years. They have a 24-11 record clutching the number one spot in the Atlantic Division. In 2010 they lost Chris Bosh to the Miami Heat and entered their rebuilding phase. During the 2012 off-season the Raptors acquired point guard Kyle Lowry. In 2013 the Raptors were starting to show life with a winning home record. Things are still in progress for the Raptors.
Coming in at number two in the Southwest Division, the Dallas Mavericks are getting back to the team that was once a dominant force in the Western Conference. With a line up like Dirk Nowitzski, Monte Ellis, Tyson Chandler and the newly acquired Rajon Rondo the Mavs could spring a playoff run. These aren’t the youngest of guys, but they have experience. If the franchise can get some fresh bodies on the team to go with the knowledge it has, they could be unstoppable.
Despite the little incident between head coach Jeff Hornacek and forward Marcus Morris, the Suns have a promising future. Third in the Pacific Division. The Phoenix Suns are climbing back on to their pedestal after falling off in 2011. Since they haven’t maked the playoff’s since then, I predict the Suns will be back in their Prime in a year or two.
New Orleans Pelicans
The latest team to join the NBA is the New Orleans Pelicans. Currently fifth in their division, the Pelicans have had a decent start in the NBA. With more development and key players to help out Anthony Davis, the New Orleans Pelicans will shock a lot of people by becoming one of the youngest and strongest teams in the league. Rome wasn’t built in a day and the same goes for building a championship team. Give the Pelicans a few years before really including them in the finals conversation.