The current situation is very fluid in the NBA. The free agency period just commenced and we will soon find out how the balances in the NBA will look like next season. Whilst most of the times, it’s the powerhouses which make headlines, as we try to find out if they possess in enough to knock their opponents out of the competition, there are some underrated teams which can make the difference next season. Let’s examine which they are.
Portland Trail Blazers
Rip City recorded a breakaway season in 2013 – 2014 and it even climbed to the top of the Western Conference early during the season. Damian Lillard, LaMarcus Aldridge, Nicolas Batum and their company showcased their potential and as they grow and gain experience as a team, the Portland Trail Blazers are projected to become even better. Next season, they will be one of those teams which might make the big surprise. The Blazers have lots of talent onboard and they are expected to add more depth during the summer free agency.
In Year 1 under this formation, Dwight Howard, James Harden and the Houston Rockets made it as far as the first round of the playoffs. However, they will definitely come back stronger in 2014 – 2015. They are determined to do so. The Rockets had been searching for a way to get rid of Omer Asik and Jeremy Lin. With Asik now gone and one trade (Lin’s one) to go, the Rockets will have the flexibility they need during the summer to further improve their roster. They are one of the strongest predators of Carmelo Anthony and if they manage to add such a superstar, they will clearly emerge as a powerful title contender from the Eastern Conference.
Don’t expect to see the Philadelphia 76ers making a run for the NBA Championship. However, Philly should be able to record a much better season that the one it had in 2013 – 2014. Their top prospect center Nerlens Noel will be back after missing his entire rookie season due to an injury. Of course Michael Carter-Williams will be there, together with Thaddeus Young and the addition of Joel Embiid may end up being the key one for the 76ers. It shouldn’t come as a surprise to see the Philadelphia 76ers making it to the playoffs next season.
Derrick Rose will eventually be back and healthy next season. At least that’s what the superstar point guard currently states. What this means is that the Chicago Bulls will once again return to a championship course. They will be one of the strongest team in the East and if they manage to land Carmelo Anthony they will in fact, be a legitimate title contender. Of course, the race for the acquisition of Melo is a tight one, as several teams are making their bids. If Chicago manages to land Anthony, there is no doubt that the Bulls will make a difference next season.