Editor’s Note: This is a guest post by Ron, the lead editor of FantasyBasketballMoneyLeagues.Com – great source of NBA news and rumors. You can follow @NBAFantasyInfo via Twitter or via Facebook page for more updates.
The NBA is a tale of two conferences. Last season, the 48-win Phoenix Suns didn’t make the Western Conference Playoffs after a very successful season. In the Eastern Conference, the 38-44 Atlanta Hawks snatched the final playoff spot. Heading into the 2014-2015 season, there will be a team that sneaks up on the league and makes the playoffs. Here are five potential squads that could do that:
Phoenix Suns – Phoenix won’t be sneaking up on anyone this season as they won 48 games a year ago. Unfortunately, that wasn’t enough to make the playoffs. With the dynamic backcourt of Goran Dragic and Eric Bledsoe back, this team isn’t going anywhere and added a great scorer off the bench in Isaiah Thomas. Expect the Suns to compete for a spot in the playoffs this season and in the years to come.
New Orleans Pelicans – The Pelicans could be a team that takes a similar leap to Phoenix last season. Leading the way is one of the best big men in the league in Anthony Davis. He’s only 21 years old and is already an All-Star. Add in a young backcourt of Eric Gordon and Jrue Holiday and this team has plenty of potential.
Los Angeles Lakers – Not too often you see a storied franchise like the Lakers on this list, but they did only win 27 games last season. Heading into this season, people aren’t expecting much. This year Kobe Bryant is back though, but who knows for how long. Heading into the last couple years of his career, Bryant isn’t the player he once was but he’s still a capable player that can lead his team with a little help. Bryant competes as hard as anyone in the game and if he can stay healthy he will have Los Angeles fighting for a playoff berth.
New York Knicks – The Knicks had a disastrous season in 2013-2014 after a great campaign the year before. Gone is coach Mike Woodson and in is Derek Fisher. Also in is the architect of the team, Phil Jackson. With Carmelo Anthony back, the Knicks have one of the best players in the league. They will be much better than last year and should be able to snag a playoff berth in the East.
Detroit Pistons – The Pistons have been the laughingstock of the league the past few seasons and how the mighty have fallen since their great run in the early-to-mid 2000s. This storied franchise could surprise some this winter though, especially in the lowly Eastern Conference. With a frontline consisting of Andre Drummond and Greg Monroe, the Pistons will have a decent shot at making some noise. Drummond is one of the best rebounders in the league heading into his third season and looks like a superstar. Monroe is a good passer and solid scorer from the high post and the two combined can give Eastern Conference foes some headaches.