Pretty soon, we will all be dropping $180 to watch every NBA game of the season -- good, bad, indifferent, sloppy, gorgeous and classic. There are 30 teams and lots of options each nigth for those that want to do nothing but watch basketball from 7 p.m. until 1:30 in the morning each day.
That is a lot of basketball to watch. And add social media and that increases the need to be able to quickly find the right game to watch and join in the conversation.
Zach Lowe and Bill Simmons of Grantland got together and created their ranking of the most watchable teams in the NBA. They both settled on the Warriors with Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson, Andre Iguodala and the raucous Oracle Arena crowd as the most watchable team in the NBA. Adi Joseph of USA TODAY took the Miami Heat as his number one pick.
Which team is truly the best watch in the NBA? Let us provide our thoughts with this top 10:
1. Miami Heat
Sorry, I have to agree with Adi, Sean Highkin and USA TODAY and name the Heat as the most watchable team in the NBA. There are two simple reasons for this: First, they are the champions. And you have to beat the champs to be the champs. And this team is likely going to be competing fro another championship this year and be just as good and exciting as they were last year.
Second, they have LeBron James. Love him or hate him, James is the best player in the league and you never seem to know what he is going to do next because he can do it all. James makes so many difficult things look so easy. And it is an absolute joy to watch every time.
It really is not just those two things either. The Heat play such an entertaining style of basketball. They use a scrambling, blitzing defense thati s unlike the zone-heavy schemes a lot of the better defensive teams use. Their offense is built off a constant fast break attack. And when you get James or Dwyane Wade in the open court, beautiful things happen.
2. Oklahoma City Thunder
Star power matters in the NBA. Kevin Durant is (arguably) the second best player in the NBA and certainly its best scorer. He is likely to go off for some obscene amount of points any game. Durant could be starting the year in a total, Tracy McGrady I've got to do this on my own mode too. That could mean lots and lots of points.
As frustrating as the Thunder can be in the half court, they are so good when they can speed the game up because of the threat (a healthy) Russell Westbrook provides. This team is just downright excitting. And we all know they should remain hungry after missing out on the Finals last year and seemingly interrupting their dominance over the Western Conference.
3. Houston Rockets
This was one of the surprise League Pass favorites of last year as James Harden transformed the Rockets into a fast breaking team. Kevin McHale set up a team with Harden controlling the ball and scoring at will off of pick and rolls and then surrounding him with 3-point shooters. They did not play much defense, but defense is not entertaining (for most) anyway.
Now they have added Dwight Howard and have largely become a thought to win the NBA championship.
Some people are sick of Dwight Howard's off-court antics. Read: everyone is sick of Dwight Howard's off-court antics. But there is no more entertaining and beautiful defensive player to watch than Howard when he is healthy. And if you watch him enough, you realize his post game is not as one dimensional as everyone makes it seem. Maybe that is just because I am a Magic fan and I got to see it every single night for eight years.
The belief is that if Howard is healthy, this team could be very reminiscent of the 2009 Magic team Howard helped lead to the Finals. Except they have a truly transcendent perimeter scorer in Harden. That was something those Magic teams always missed.
4. Los Angeles Clippers
L.A.'s other team is no longer the "other team" in Los Angeles. With the Lakers struggling with injuries and age, the Clippers have stepped in and proven to be the best team in L.A. And it probably is not even close at this point.
Chris Paul is the best point guard in the league and they have a human highlight reel in Blake Griffin. Nobody wants to miss the next YouTube-breaking dunk from Griffin or DeAndre Jordan. Add in now that they have an extremely deep bench and a premier coach in Doc Rivers and the Clippers could be ready to take the next step.
5. Golden State Warriors
If NBA2K14 is any indication, this Warriors team will be extremely fun to watch, because they are extremely fun to play with.
Stephen Curry had his breakout as an NBA star during last year's Playoffs and the sky remains to be the limit for this young player. Andre Iguodala will give the team some much needed perimeter defense and another guy who can fly to the rim. Klay Thompson is a sharpshooter. Harrison Barnes is a nice young talent off the bench. Add in David Lee and Andrew Bogut and this has the makings of a pretty good team.
Curry's shooting display is what makes this team so entertaining though. And everyone wants to see what he will do for an encore after last season.
6. Chicago Bulls -- The Bulls are interesting to see what Derrick Rose does as he returns from his torn ACL. The Bulls should be a pretty good team again this year if Rose can regain his form. And he makes up a lot for the team's offensive shortcomings.
7. San Antonio Spurs -- For the basketball purists, the Spurs remain one of the more entertaining teams in the league. They work so well together and have some fun, technically precise players to watch. They have struggled to shake their "boring" image, but showed in last year's Finals they have some good young players and a fast-breaking style that still picks up a lot of win.
8. Brooklyn Nets -- The Nets might be fun to watch just to see what kind of train wreck they will be. The Nets have a lot of good players and only one basketball to share between them. It should be a fair amount of wins and a much improved effort from the Nets this year. It all hinges on whether Deron Williams will be as good as he was in Utah.
9. Cleveland Cavaliers -- Two words: Kyrie Irving. Irving does enough to hold our attention on most nights and he was the sneaky League Pass All Star from last year. Irving has a lot to do to have an encore. The Cavaliers should also be competing for a Playoff spot with Anderson Varejao returning from injury and Andrew Bynum trotting himself out there. Deduct points potentially for Mike Brown's offense returning to Cleveland.
10. New York Knicks -- Carmelo Anthony can be infuriating to watch and then brilliant. No one in the league is probably as good as putting the ball in the basket as Anthony (except for maybe Durant). Anthony will do that again this year. This team has a train wreck potential too. Or random J.R. Smith alerts.
What do you think? Who are your most watchable teams in the NBA?
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