NBA

The 6 teams with a chance to win the NBA title

Share This Story

   
 

MIAMI (AP)

It's a widely believed theory that most fans typically don't pay much attention to the NBA until the much-hyped broadcast games on Christmas Day arrive.

Hey, welcome to NBA season, everyone!

Christmas has come and gone, so the season is ''really'' here now. And that means no better time than the present to skip the remaining 55 or so games everyone has and take a look at the six teams that will figure to have the best chance of winning the 2014 NBA title, at least the way things are looking now:

MIAMI HEAT: Yes, the Heat are still looking up at Indiana in the East standings. But really, is anyone else in the East going to beat them four times in a seven-game series? Barring major injury issues, that's not going to happen. Playing for a third straight title will become a huge motivator, as will the chance to reach the NBA Finals for the fourth straight year. LeBron James is still at MVP pace, Dwyane Wade is healthy and the Heat simply know how to win it all.

PORTLAND TRAIL BLAZERS: The good surprise in the NBA so far this season, though when one studies what the Blazers are doing so far, it doesn't seem like a surprise at all. They have the legit big man in LaMarcus Aldridge, surrounded him with shooters like Damian Lillard and Wesley Matthews, and are getting outstanding numbers from Robin Lopez. The Blazers are 15-0 when making 38 percent or better from 3-point range.

INDIANA PACERS: They're big, they're tough, they have swagger and they really don't like the Miami Heat. Paul George is playing like that big offseason contract was an absolute bargain. The Pacers play defense as well as anyone out there and getting Danny Granger back is a total bonus. For the Pacers to take that next step, Roy Hibbert will likely be the make-or-break piece. If he dominates, well, good luck, NBA.

SAN ANTONIO SPURS: Yes, they looked dreadful at times against Houston on Christmas night, but games in December and games in the postseason are simply different. Tim Duncan is as hard to guard 1-on-1 as anyone, Tony Parker remains one of the elite players on the planet, and the Spurs get more from the bench than any NBA club does.

OKLAHOMA CITY THUNDER: What the Thunder has done so far this season seems quiet, almost. Maybe it's because it's just expected by now for Kevin Durant and his mates to be great. They're off to a 23-5 start and that's with Russell Westbrook shooting only 42 percent. And Durant remains the model of consistency. His scoring and rebounding averages, last four seasons including this one: 27.7-6.8, 28.0-8.0, 28.1-7.9, and 28.1-8.0.

LOS ANGELES CLIPPERS: Houston merited consideration for this spot, but Chris Paul is just playing too well right now. He's averaging 19 points and 11 assists, but what often goes unnoticed is what he does on the defensive end. Games slow down in the playoffs. Defense becomes more of a priority. And when the Clippers hold teams under 100, they're 12-2. That might go a long way come playoff time.

Tagged: Pacers, Clippers, Heat, Trail Blazers, Spurs, Thunder, Tim Duncan, Chris Paul

Related Stories

Member Comments

Please note by clicking on "Post comment" you acknowledge that you have read the Terms of Use and the comment you are posting is in compliance with such terms. Be Polite. Inappropriate posts may be removed by the moderator.

powered by


NBA Videos

NBA considering mid-season Vegas tournament? Posted: Jul 16, 2014
Adam Silver confirms the NBA has engaged in early conversations about the possib...

LeBron and Blatt 'will work together beautifully' Posted: Jul 14, 2014
Cavaliers head coach David Blatt on LeBron James' decision to return to Clevelan...

LeBron's back and so are the Cavs Posted: Jul 11, 2014
FOX Sports 1's Gary Payton weighs-in on LeBron's decision to return to Cleveland...

Fox Sports Store

    itemName itemURL imageSrc price itemDescription
    adidas Blake Griffin Los Angeles Clippers Revolution 30 Performance Jersey - Red http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Los_Angeles_Clippers/browse/featuredproduct/491845/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_491000/ff_491845_xl.jpg&w=100 59.95 adidas Blake Griffin Los Angeles Clippers Revolution 30 Performance Jersey - Red
    adidas LeBron James Miami Heat Revolution 30 Swingman Performance Jersey-Black http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Miami_Heat/browse/featuredproduct/498609/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_498000/ff_498609_xl.jpg&w=100 89.95 adidas LeBron James Miami Heat Revolution 30 Swingman Performance Jersey-Black
    adidas Carmelo Anthony New York Knicks Revolution 30 Swingman Performance Jersey - Royal Blue http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_New_York_Knicks/browse/featuredproduct/620470/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_620000/ff_620470_xl.jpg&w=100 49.99 adidas Carmelo Anthony New York Knicks Revolution 30 Swingman Performance Jersey..
    Mitchell & Ness San Antonio Spurs Black Solid Script Snapback Adjustable Hat http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_San_Antonio_Spurs/browse/featuredproduct/692239/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_692000/ff_692239_xl.jpg&w=100 25.95 Mitchell & Ness San Antonio Spurs Black Solid Script Snapback Adjustable Hat
    Majestic Kobe Bryant Los Angeles Lakers Logo Man T-Shirt - Black http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Los_Angeles_Lakers/browse/featuredproduct/851828/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_851000/ff_851828_xl.jpg&w=100 23.95 Majestic Kobe Bryant Los Angeles Lakers Logo Man T-Shirt - Black
    Majestic Kevin Durant Oklahoma City Thunder Logo Man T-Shirt - White http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Oklahoma_City_Thunder/browse/featuredproduct/851842/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_851000/ff_851842_xl.jpg&w=100 23.95 Majestic Kevin Durant Oklahoma City Thunder Logo Man T-Shirt - White
    adidas Miami Heat 2012 NBA Eastern Conference Champions Locker Room T-Shirt - White http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Miami_Heat/browse/featuredproduct/890174/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_890000/ff_890174_xl.jpg&w=100 21.95 adidas Miami Heat 2012 NBA Eastern Conference Champions Locker Room T-Shirt - Wh..
    adidas Oklahoma City Thunder 2012 NBA Western Conference Champions Locker Room Flex Hat - Black http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Oklahoma_City_Thunder/browse/featuredproduct/890384/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_890000/ff_890384_xl.jpg&w=100 19.99 adidas Oklahoma City Thunder 2012 NBA Western Conference Champions Locker Room F..