Potential Playoff Teams
1. Utah Jazz – The Jazz added the one thing that they were lacking last year, a starting NBA caliber point guard, George Hill. Hill is a true floor general in that he can run a team, score and defend. Other additions they have made this offseason are Joe Johnson and Boris Diaw. Johnson can add another scorer off the bench and Diaw is a crafty, versatile veteran who knows what it takes to win a championship. From top to bottom, the Utah Jazz are deep, including the people we didn’t list. They have players who can all contribute, and can look to make a serious playoff run.
Starting Lineup: George Hill – Rodney Hood – Gordon Hayward – Derrick Favors – Rudy Gobert
Second Unit: Shelvin Mack – Alec Burks – Joe Johnson – Trey Lyles – Boris Diaw
2. Denver Nuggets – Last season, the Nuggets were ruined by injuries. Mudiay, Harris, Gallinari, Faried, Chandler, Nurkic and even Will Barton we’re all injured throughout the season. This season, they hope to change their luck. With everyone coming in healthy, and having drafted a pure scorer in Jamal Murray, the Nuggets look to get back into the playoffs with what has the potential to be a very scary team.
Starting Lineup: Emmanuel Mudiay – Gary Harris – Danilo Gallinari – Kenneth Faried – Nikola Jokic
Second Unit: Jamal Murray – Will Barton – Wilson Chandler – Joffrey Lauvergne – Jusuf Nurkic
3. Minnesota Timberwolves – With a new coach in Tom Thibodeau, the Timberwolves are going to take on a new look. The future of Ricky Rubio may be uncertain, but the Timberwolves are a very deep team right now. Karl Anthony-Towns looks like a future league MVP after only his rookie season. The “Bounce Brothers” Andrew Wiggins and Zach LaVine can catch a body at any moment, not to mention Wiggins is already a go-to scorer for the Wolves. Tyus Jones was the Summer League MVP, and Kris Dunn, although having only played in two games, averaged 24.0 points, 7.0 rebounds, 3.0 assists, 2.0 steals and 1.0 block. He can find himself in an Avery Bradley situation starting at the two, and look to lock down the opposing team’s best guard.
Starting Lineup: Ricky Rubio – Kris Dunn – Andrew Wiggins – Karl Anthony-Towns – Gorgei Dieng
Second Unit: Tyus Jones – Zach LaVine – Shabazz Muhammed – Kevin Garnett – Jordan Hill
Potential Teams Eliminated
1. Houston Rockets
2. Oklahoma City Thunder
3. Dallas Mavericks