Originally written on isportsweb.com  |  Last updated 10/4/12
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?
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Report: Mexico in talks with Marcelo Bielsa for coaching job

Brady: Never thought about air pressure until refs inflated to 16 PSI

Report suggests C.J. Wilson’s teammates not happy he’s seeking season ending surgery

Clowney’s father arrested for attempted murder outside club

Report: L.A.-area venues wary of temporarily hosting NFL teams

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Jimmy Graham to block for Marshawn 75 percent of time

Kobe Bryant not sure if 2015-16 is his final NBA season

Report: Arian Foster could be headed to injured reserve

Ari Fleischer: Belichick 'can get away with' shutting down media

RG3 on team's expectatons: Not asking me to be Superman

Bills' Kromer issues statement without apology

UT preview: Why the Volunteers can win the national title

WATCH: Michael Jordan embarrassed by camper over his shoes

Ray Rice: 'I can understand why some people will never forgive me'

Rod Marinelli: “Fortunate” to go through 0-16 season with Lions

WATCH: Jimmy Rollins gets big ovation in return to Philly

2015 Premier League preview: Avoiding relegation

NHL and MLB Advanced Media announce $1.2 billion deal

Knicks analyst Walt Frazier isn’t very enthused about team’s chances next season

Dave Dombrowski is out as Tigers GM

Bubba Watson’s caddie: Bubba has a ‘fear of crowds’

Melvin Gordon’s mom won’t wear his jersey this year

Waiver wire deals to keep an eye on following trade deadline

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.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

2015 Premier League preview: Avoiding relegation

Kris Bryant on changing to feet-first slide: ‘I only have one head’

MLB season in NY better than expected

Adrian Beltre gets mad when assaulted after HR

Lindsey Vonn shows support for Tiger

Notre Dame doesn't need a conference

Rex takes jabs at Jets' management

Sanchez: It's 'crazy' to call Chip racist

Ronda Rousey calls out Cyborg

Five most underrated players in the NFL

Five potential NFL salary cap casualties this preseason

Winners and losers of the 2015 MLB trade deadline

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker