Everyone who follows the NBA heard ad nauseum this summer about the Golden State Warriors and the Cleveland Cavaliers, and how they were a lock for a third straight meeting in this years NBA Finals. Heck, even those who have never watched an NBA game in their life have probably heard something about these two teams. And while, come June, it may very well be the Warriors and Cavs facing off once again, here are 3 teams that, while not getting quite the same level of exposure, are well worth a watch this NBA season.
3. Los Angeles Lakers: New Lakers head coach Luke Walton received three votes for Coach of the Year last year while he was the interim coach for the Warriors for a month, and he has certainly carried that success over to the new look Lakers. They’re no “Showtime Lakers,” or even a shadow of the more recent Kobe and Shaq glory days, but Walton has them playing hard, and hey, that has to count for something, right? And if playing hard isn’t enough for you, they are also top five in both points scored and points allowed per game, so you can bet on a high scoring, entertaining game anytime you turn them on. Now, with Kobe gone, a new era has begun in LA, and, whether you love ‘em or hate ‘em, I think it’s safe to say The Association is just more fun when the Lakers are competitive.
2. Oklahoma City Thunder: When Kevin Durant jumped ship this summer and signed on with the two-time defending Western Conference Champion Golden State Warriors, he left Thunder and NBA fans with exactly one reason and one reason only to watch this team. But my goodness is it a dang-good reason. Russell Westbrook is averaging career highs in points (31.2), rebounds (9.9), and assists (11.2) per game—numbers that haven’t been seen in 50 years—and is hands down the most entertaining player in the league to watch on a nightly basis. Whether he can continue to carry his team and put up numbers like this for an entire season is highly unlikely, but for now, all you can do is sit back and enjoy this much watch television.
1. Minnesota Timberwolves: The T-Wolves haven’t sniffed the playoffs since the days of Sam Cassell and Kevin Garnett, but all signs point to that twelve season drought ending soon. With the last two Rookie of the Year winners in Karl-Anthony Towns and Andrew Wiggins and the winner of last years thrilling slam dunk contest in Zach Lavine (seriously, if you haven’t seen it, watch it) all averaging nineteen or more points per game, this young team is just a blast to watch. All three players are just twenty-one years old, and are already showing huge improvements just a few seasons into their young careers. The Wolves are still a few years from fully coming into their own and being considered a truly competitive team, but in the meantime, they make for a fun, highlight filled watch every time they take the court.