Top League Pass Teams: 6-10
It's time everyone! Here are my top ten League Pass teams next season and why I am so excited to watch them. Let's dive in!
10. L.A. Lakers
I had to add LeBron James in la la land. LeBron joining the Lakers young nucleus is incredibly exciting; despite the rest of their questionable offseason. Some people think the Lakers will miss the playoffs in the loaded West, but you can pick against LeBron at your peril, I think they make it. Still, there will be bumps as they figure out how to play together.
LeBron is reportedly playing more five with Kyle Kuzma, Lonzo Ball, Brandon Ingram and Kentavious Caldwell Pope. I love this lineup and can't wait to see it. Of the Lakers pups, I am most excited about Ingram; I think he is about to explode. Also, don't forget about Josh Hart, he looked great at Summer League.
Rajon Rondo, Lance Stephenson, Michael Beasley and Javale Mcgee promise to deliver Shaqtin’ a fool moments, and all face questions on how they will fit with LeBron. Still, the young guys development alongside LeBron is enough to get excited. All of the pups should be better.
They will be in the spotlight nonstop, but I think once they hit their stride, you won't want to play them in the playoffs.
9. Houston Rockets
Lots of isolations, elite scoring, and playmaking, a million threes, lots of foul shots and lobs to Clint Capela; if you like all of that as I do, then you should like watching the Rockets. Some people are concerned about the losses of Trevor Ariza and Luc Richard Mbah a Moute, but this is an elite team, and I think the second best team in the West.
If Melo agrees to come off the bench, I am confident the Rockets can make it work on offense. He can survive most nights on defense, but as they get deeper in the playoffs expect his minutes to get cut. James Ennis is a solid pickup, tough defender and a decent shooter. They are a lock to get another wing too.
Then there is James Harden, last year's MVP; an elite offensive maestro, who can score from anywhere on the floor. Last year he was unreal, it will be interesting to see if he can match it or even top it. Then there is Paul, who when healthy took the Rockets to another level. Houston barely lost with him on the floor. He is getting older, but Houston will be careful with him.
The Rockets may have two top five passers with Paul and Harden. Capela is still improving as well and is a perfect fit for Houston. P.J Tucker gives them great toughness, Eric Gordon is a crafty bench scorer, and Mike D'Antoni is one of the best coaches in the game. Don't write off the Rockets people they should be elite once again. As usual, they should smash their three-point record.
8. Boston Celtics
Boston is loaded. This team was one game away from the NBA Finals, and now they are adding Gordon Hayward and Kyrie Irving. Boston is insanely deep and versatile, and they may have the best coach in the game in Brad Stevens. If you like sexy out of timeout sets, this is your team.
Al Horford, Irving, Hayward with Jaylen Brown and Jayson Tatum, should be the best starting lineup in the league outside of Golden State. They will be impossible to stop and of course will be elite defensively. Tatum was insanely good as a rookie; I can't wait to see how good he will be this season. Brown should take a jump too.
Off the bench the C's have Marcus Smart, the plus/minus god despite his horrendous shooting, Terry Rozier who can start for most teams and play on or off the ball, Marcus Morris who is just solid, and don't forget they are getting back Daniel Theis who was sneaky good for them last season.
Boston should be the favorite in the East, and they have a chance to be a special 60-65 win team. Some may be concerned with how they will fit Hayward and Irving into the flow; I am not one of them. Both of them are so skilled and talented it shouldn't take long.
Also, I need to note how much I love Al Horford. He is incredible. Horford is good at just about everything and is an elite center in the game.
7. Brooklyn Nets
My favorite bad team! Brooklyn should be better this year and may win 35-40 games, and it wouldn't blow my mind if they made the playoffs. I think they miss it, but boy will they be fun. Brooklyn is loaded with intriguing young players, who should be better next season. D'Angelo Russell, Spencer Dinwiddie, Caris LeVert, Jarrett Allen, Joe Harris and Rondae Hollis-Jefferson.
Then they improved their depth with Shabazz Napier, Treveon Graham, and Ed Davis. Brooklyn is a deep team and now has a lot of versatility in their lineups. I love head coach Kenny Atkinson; he is not afraid to try wacky lineups and demands 100% effort at all times. The Nets play their asses off every game.
Of all the young talent, I think Russell is most likely to make the jump to stardom. He is in the best shape of his life, and as long as he stays healthy, the skills are there. Him making a jump would go a long way in the Nets attracting star free agents.
I can't wait for Russell pull up jumpers, smooth Dinwiddie floaters, sneaky bounce passes form LeVert, monster blocks from Allen (love the fro), crafty drives from Harris and Hollis-Jefferson just running over people. All of them are fun, and I can't wait to watch them next season.
6. OKC Thunder
The Thunder last year weren't that fun honestly. It felt like a slog all year; I think this year will be different. OKC will be a nasty, physical defensive team. They get back Andre Roberson and him alongside Paul George may be the best perimeter defense tandem in the league. Losing Carmelo Anthony was addition by subtraction.
Keeping George was such an enormous win that it should breathe some new life into the team. George should be better too, now that he is recovered from his troublesome elbow. Then the Thunder added two intriguing pieces in Nerlens Noel and Dennis Schroder. I like the flyer on Noel, he should be a good back up to Steven Adams, but I doubt they can play together much.
Schroeder is good as a backup and OKC has needed a creator off the bench for forever. I question how he fits next to Russell Westbrook since neither can shoot (the theme for OKC), but I am excited to see them try. Westbrook hate him or love him, is always entertaining going 1000 miles an hour and dunking over everyone. Reportedly he has been working on his three ball, if he can be more consistent from deep that would be enormous for the Thunder.
OKC probably needs an X-factor to pop, either Alex Abrines or Terrance Ferguson; I would put my money on Ferguson. Also, can Patrick Patterson remember how to play basketball? I hope so because he will probably start at the four.