(Predicted order of finish)
1. San Antonio Spurs
How much will the loss of Tim Duncan really affect the always resilient Spurs?
Last season he averaged career lows in points, rebounds, and minutes played.
But if nothing else, his retirement does drop the average age of the roster from 74 to 65.
Just wait until Tony Parker and Manu Ginobili hang it up.
They might get that average age down into the teens.
2. Dallas Mavericks
The Mavs didn’t just stand pat after their surprising 42 win season, that earned them the No. 6 seed in the Western Conference Playoffs.
They went out and signed former Golden State Warriors Harrison Barnes and Andrew Bogut to add into the mix.
So as Dirk Nowitzki finishes out his career, he can watch Bogut sitting on the bench injured, and Barnes clanking open shot after open shot.
Enjoy your twilight years, Dirk!
3. Houston Rockets
For a number of years, the Rockets have fought the contention that they are only concerned with their offensive game.
With the hiring of head coach Mike D’Antoni Houston can finally put that argument to rest.
Defense is officially for suckers!
4. Memphis Grizzlies
The core of the always physical Grizzlies remains the same with Marc Gasol, Zach Randolph, Tony Allen, and Mike Conley returning for their seventh season together.
But the Achilles heel for this group, has been their struggle to shoot from the perimeter.
So they went and signed knockdown shooter Chandler Parsons, who will either give them a bona-fide outside threat, or be given a wedgie and stuffed into his locker by his teammates.
5. New Orleans Pelicans
The Pelicans bottomed out last year, winning just 30 games, when do-everything forward Anthony Davis missed 21 games with various injuries.
But there is a reason that Davis is all-universe in the Big Easy.
It is primarily because Tyreke Evans, Jrue Holiday, and the rest of the entire team are always injured and Davis literally has to do everything.