That photo may perfectly show what is going to happen in the Eastern Conference. Kevin Love and LeBron James could be fighting off Pau Gasol and the Bulls. Love has joined LeBron and Kyrie Irving in Cleveland, which gives the Cavaliers the best trio in the NBA. It might only be August, but now the pieces are in place to start examining the favorites to win the NBA Championship.
1. Cleveland Cavaliers
The Cavaliers lineup is scary on paper. You can only imagine how good they will be when they get on the court. They have the talented, young point guard in Kyrie Irving. He becomes one of the most important players in the league now. They have the best player in the world in King James. In a couple of weeks, they will officially have Kevin Love as well. The Cavs have the stars, shooters, rebounders, and defenders to win an NBA title this year and for years to come. They are going to be awfully fun to watch, and opponents will have trouble stopping them. It’s hard to put any team ahead of them at this point.
2. San Antonio Spurs
The Spurs always take care of business, no matter how old they get. This core still has another year left in them, and don’t expect them to fall off this season. Tim Duncan is back alongside Manu Ginobili and Tony Parker, who just got his payday. Gregg Popovich’s team brings back the same roster once again, as well as the first woman assistant coach in Becky Hammon. Don’t count the Spurs out in 2014-2015, because for the millionth time, they will make you pay.
3. Oklahoma City Thunder
The Thunder bring back most of the same team, but have a few key additions that could propel them over the top. They added a solid shooter off the bench in Anthony Morrow. They desperately needed some offense to help out Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook. Rookie Mitch McGary could also have an impact off the bench, which could help them with some low-post scoring. They need it with the lackluster offensive production from Kendrick Perkins. There’s no question the Thunder have the talent. The only question is if they can leapfrog the Spurs.
4. Los Angeles Clippers
The Donald Sterling saga is done, and the Clippers have the talent to win it all and the championship head coach to get them there. The addition of Spencer Hawes is going to play a huge role, giving them some offensive production off the bench. Hawes really made a name for himself last season, and has become a dangerous shooter for a big man. The same question must be asked for the Clippers as the Thunder… can they get by the Spurs? The Western Conference race is going to be very intriguing this season.
5. Chicago Bulls
The only other team in the East that can have a legitimate chance to win the conference is the Chicago Bulls. This all depends on the health of Derrick Rose of course. If Rose stays healthy, this is a dangerous basketball team. Bringing in Pau Gasol was monumental to the front court. Having him and Joakim Noah in the paint will be a force on the glass. Doug McDermott could also be pivotal for a team that desperately needed another shooter. The Bulls were dangerous without Rose, which means putting the former MVP back in the fold could make the top of the East pretty fun to watch.