Who Can Beat The Cavs/Warriors?

This NBA offseason has been one for the books. Not since ‘The Desicion’ has there been such a buzz over the free agency, and summer league games have been smashing previous attendance records. All of the hype, and chaos only adds to the anticipation for the 2016-2017 season, as the league is in the best place it’s ever been. Despite the fact that many are saying the league isn’t competitive anymore, there were some huge free agency transactions that will result in what I think, will be a very competitive Playoff. With last years finals teams as the heavy favorites for 2017, who are the most likely teams to knock them off?

The Western Conference 

The Favorite: Golden State Warriors

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Who’s their two biggest competitors?

The Obvious Choice: San Antonio Spurs


The Spurs will once again be a force in the NBA, looking at making their 20th straight playoff appearance. They lost a great leader in Tim Duncan, but replaced him with a slightly more youthful Pau Gasol, who still has a lot to give. Not to mention Defensive Player of the Year, and MVP candidate, Kawhi Leonard, and five-time All-Star LaMarcus Aldridge. Resigning Manu Ginobili will help, as he will remain a solid backup for sharp shooter Danny Green. Kyle Anderson, last years Summer League MVP, will have a bigger role for the Spurs this year, and should serve as a nice tool off the bench. Throw Tony Parker, and Patty Mills in, and you have a very dangerous San Antonio Spurs team. 

The Sleeper: Memphis Grizzlies 

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The Memphis Grizzlies have a very solid roster this upcoming season. With the duo down low, Mike Conley at point, Tony Allen defending, and Chandler Parsons at Small Forward, they just might be able to pull off a few upsets. They also have a very solid bench with a healthy mix of young guns, and veterans. Don’t sleep on the Memphis Grizzlies next year!

The Eastern Conference

The Favorite: Cleveland Cavaliers 

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Note: This is as of today, JR Smith and LeBron James will be signed soon. 

Who’s their two biggest competitors?

The Obvious Choice: Toronto Raptors

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The East will be the most competitive of the two conferences this year, which isn’t the best news for the Cavaliers. Despite many big free agency acquisitions for Boston, Atlanta, and New York, the Raptors still have a Championship caliber team. Kyle Lowry & Demar DeRozan are still very young, and yet to reach their peaks, which is scary. With a solid shooter in Demarre Carroll,  and proven Center Jonas Valanciunas, the Raptors will be a tough match-up for anyone. Also, Jared Sullinger was a huge signing for them, and i can only assume that he will eventually start, as the season progresses. Remember, this is the only team in the Eastern Conference that beat the Cavaliers in the playoffs last year, and they did so twice.

The Sleeper: Boston Celtics

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Now I know what you’re thinking: The Boston Celtics, a Sleeper!? Yes, I am aware that they are the favorites over Toronto for the ECF; however, I have my reasons for snubbing them. Last year the Celtics were the 5th youngest team in the NBA. Yes, Al Horford helps that a little bit, but this is still an inexperienced team. Yes, They’ve been to the playoffs 3 times in the last 4 years, but they went out in the first round in each of those appearances. This is a very young and talented team, that will surely make huge strides next year, but they are a sleeper at best.


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