Rather than breaking down stats and turning Hollinger-esque on everyone I decided to put together my “feel test” rankings for the NBA. The “feel test” method involves simply, how I feel about each team and what kind of feelings they are giving off down this home stretch to the playoffs.
Do they feel streaky? Do they feel rock solid? Do they feel over-hyped? Do they feel too soft to make a deep run? Do they feel like last year’s Mavericks? Lets find out…
Boston Celtics – Rank: 5
Do the Celtics feel like champions? Sorry Boston fans, but I’m going to say “no.” They may be running over the west this year but I just don’t get that strong sense of dominance that I get from the Lakers, Suns and Spurs. Maybe my feelings need a good jolt or a wake up call, but this just doesn’t seem to be their year. I’m afraid they’ll start to break down in the next couple of weeks and KG will be left trying to carry the load yet again. That is never a good thing, just go ask Minnesota.
Utah Jazz – Rank: 4
As much as this hurts me to say, the Utah Jazz feel reeeeeeeal good this year. They have been flying under the radar all season long which makes absolutely no sense after reaching the conference Finals just a year ago. The “Deron Williams Love Fest” ended sometime early on when CP3 showed up as the next great thing and joined Team Jordan. Deron, however, strikes me as the type of guy to take things like that personal and will look forward to dominating come playoff time. And don’t forget the Alaskan King Crab, Carlos Boozer!
Detroit Pistons – Rank: 3
If I was playing out west, I would be really frightened at the thought of having to play the Detroit Pistons for an NBA Championship. Chauncey Billups said the other day that the Pistons are finally playing like a “team” and they feel like everything is falling into place. Don’t you just feel it too? The thought of the Pistons claiming another championship seems quite possible this year.
L.A. Lakers – Rank: 2
Kobe Bryant winning an MVP? Yes. The Lakers winning an NBA Championship without Shaq? Maybe. I get the the feeling that the Lakers have what it takes to win it all, but there is just one problem, the return of western Diesel. Yes the Lakers made the right move in acquiring Gasol and yes they’ll be absolutely dominant if Bynum joins the show, but I just don’t feel like this is the year.
Phoenix Suns – Rank: 1
That’s right! Phoenix is giving me all kinds of loveable feelings! I made this prediction a while ago when the Shaq trade had just gone down and I’m starting to feel pretty good about it. Steve Nash has been letting his teammates grow and learn to play without him directing each play and Shaq has turned into a young version of himself. He can run again! We just need a few more Aristotle quotes to really get this lovetrain moving. Phoenix, this is your year! Feel it!