Originally written on isportsweb.com  |  Last updated 11/19/14
Lebron-james-part-time
The Heat won it all last year as LeBron James finally won his first championship. Will they win it again this year? Here’s a look at my top ten teams going into the 2012 season.

Miami Heat- Last year’s champion hasn’t done anything to scare me away from putting them here. Adding Ray Allen gives them another veteran who fills a need as a lights out shooter. Chris Bosh will play down low this year, but I still expect him to float around and hit jumpers. If they stay hungry there’s no reason this team can’t repeat.
Los Angeles Lakers- What an offseason they had. With Kobe and newly acquired Steve Nash in the backcourt they possess a lot of experience, but age is Howard’s move to L.A. gives him the championship oppity he craves.an issue. Their frontcourt, with Pau Gasol and Dwight Howard, is the best in the league. Nash is hungry to win his first title and retire having done it all, and if it comes down to these two teams he might just do it with the advantage down low.
Oklahoma City Thunder- Their rivalry against the Heat is an exciting one, but may have to take a backseat this year as the Lakers have seemingly passed them. Durant is one of the best shooters I’ve ever seen, but he needs to become more of a vocal leader and get Russell Westbrook in check. If Perry Jones can reach his immense potential and Westbrook can control himself they could find themselves back in the championship.
Los Angeles Clippers- Chris Paul and Blake Griffin have a season under their belt together and can now be the dynamic duel we expected. It’s unfortunate for the Clippers to be playing in the Western Conference with all the talent there, but they do have the pieces to make a title run. Chris Paul will compete for the MVP this year as he leads his team deep in the postseason.
San Antonio Spurs- Like fine wine they just keep getting better with age. That being said the blend of young talent both in the frontcourt and backcourt will be the difference between a title contending season, and a first round playoff loss. Kawhi Leonard is a rising star and I fully expect him to take on a larger role this year. Tony Parker remains one of the most underrated players in basketball, but just gets it done year in and year out.
Denver Nuggets- I’m really high on them after acquiring Andre Iguodala this offseason. He’s always been the type of versatile player that can help his team win in multiple ways. They still have a lot of solid players with no recognizable superstar, but when it’s all said and done they may have the best influx of team chemistry, which can be just as important.
Philadelphia 76ers- Their two-headed point guard attack could be deadly for opponents this season. Lou Williams excels at all facets of the game, and could be a star if he was the only guard on a team. The addition of Andrew Bynum could take them over the top. The Heat are weak down low, so if they can make it to the semi-finals it could be a favorable match up for them.
Boston Celtics- Rajon Rondo has emerged as a star. His majestic passing and overall control of a game is ideal for his position. Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce are past their primes, but still have something to give. The addition of Courtney Lee, Jeff Green, and Terry gives the Celtics the bench they lacked last year.
Indiana Pacers- Their rough showing in the postseason and lack of an improvement during the offseason are concerning, but the nucleus of last year’s team remains. I assume Granger and company will be hungry to show they have the talent to compete against the best this year.
Brooklyn Nets- They missed out on Dwight Howard, but the addition of Joe Johnson is an under the radar steal. He brings veteran experience with unlimited range. Deron Williams must like him because he decided to stay in Brooklyn instead of going to Dallas. Brooklyn is no longer a pushover now that their backcourt is one of the best in the league. The only question now is will this be the year they turn the corner?
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Report: Athletics trade Derek Norris to Padres

Dodgers not happy with Padres GM over Matt Kemp trade

Mario Balotelli banned match for offensive Instagram post

Marc Trestman: Benching Jay Cutler could revive QB's career

Rob Gronkowski jokes about Tom Brady saying he's grown up

Rajon Rondo traded to Mavs for three players, picks

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Washington Post has perfect description for Titans-Jaguars

Wilbon angry at DC for not supporting Wizards

Urban Meyer says Tim Tebow still wants to play in the NFL

Keenan Lewis: Saints preparing 'funeral' for Falcons

Chris Christie defends being a Cowboys fan

Celtics co-owner: 2024 Olympics would be 'boon for Beantown'

Extremely rare set of Air Jordan 7s selling for $45,000

Five reasons why Alabama will win College Football Playoff

Hugh Freeze proud of Ole Miss’ record 2.57 team GPA

Youngstown St. addresses Bo Pelini's profanity-laced rant

It's been almost 40 years since NFL's last untelevised game

The NHL has finally fined a player for diving

Ben Roethlisberger: Le’Veon Bell is having an MVP season

Jim Harbaugh comments on the reported offer from Michigan

Michael Jordan's college Converse shoes sell for $33,387

Week 16 NFL game watchability rankings

Game of the week: Indianapolis Colts vs. Dallas Cowboys

The Chicago Bears are the Monstrosity of the Midway

NBA News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.

Gronk jokes about Brady compliment

In Matt Kemp, did the Dodgers find a pigeon in Padres?

Why the Saints are legit playoff threat

Impact of U.S.-Cuba relations on MLB

Andrew Hawkins, other athletes gain support for social statement attire

NBA's most underrated players

Michael Vick nearly debt-free

Dolphins CB rips Brady's career plans

Biggest winners of the MLB offseason

Brian Billick owns Browns fan

Pelini has profane words for Nebraska AD

When bowl results mean more for one school than another

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
Help
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.