Let's review: We talked about Dallas Mavericks. Los Angeles Lakers. Oklahoma City Thunder. Miami Heat. Chicago Bulls. These teams are the most likely to reach the Finals. We're looking at the top 3 teams from both conferences. We're down to the last team on the East.

It was a tough one. It was between the Magic and the Boston Celtics. There were two main reasons why I picked the Magic. 1) The Magic are younger and 2) The Magic have talent that has not been used to it's best. Mainly, Gilbert Arenas and Hedo Turkoglu. They need to play better than last season. If they do that, and the role players play...

Before we finish that statement, let's look at who these role players are. Ryan Anderson, Brandon Bass, and J.J. Redick. These guys came off the bench and supplied great play. Bass could have been better but that trio did what they could. Turkoglu came back to the team in a trade after getting a big head about his abilities and signing with the Raptors (he sucked) then got traded to the Suns (he sucked). But, now he's back on the team on which he became a star (kinda). So we should expect him to eventually get back into his groove. Arenas? He's a better player than Jameer Nelson; but is he better for the Magic offense? Nelson knows the offense but if Arenas fully embraces it, he should be the starter for the team at the PG.

So, back to my sentence. If Arenas and Turkoglu play better than last season and if the other players play at at least the same level as last season, the Magic should be able to compete for the championship. While the Celtics are over the hill, the Magic are right on the hill. Arenas, Nelson, Turkoglu, Jason Richardson, and Quentin Richardson are going to be at least 30 years old by the end of this season (still optimistic that there will be one) so the time to win is now. This window will be open for what should be about 3 more years.

This team is set up nicely. They have the solid inside presence in Howard and one of the only ways to slow him down is to double him. But, if you do that, he can kick it out to a 3-point shooter who knocks down the open shot. You have to have good rotation defense to stop the Magic, or the Magic have to not convert these shots. And that is what was happening a lot. They got the shot, just didn't knock them down. Still, most of the perimeter players can hit that shot at a decent clip.

There is sort of a jam in the back-court though. Redick, J. Richardson, Arenas, Nelson, and Chris Duhon are in the back-court. All of them are good players. But I wouldn't be surprised to see one of them getting traded.

So that's it. You've seen the top 3 teams from each conference. But, it's not the end. Next, I'll look who will most likely met in the Finals; out of these 6 teams discussed. Heat VS Thunder? Lakers and Magic rematch? We'll see.


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