Originally Posted by improbus
And actually, the Portland and Indiana situations highlight the one fatal weakness of the NBA. Portland and Indiana are stuck in the dreaded middle ground. They havent bottomed out to get a LeBron, Durant, or Wade in the draft, but they arent good enough to lure the top free agents. If you don't have at least one A+ player, you have almost no chance to win it all. Right now, there are only a few players that I can see leading their teams to a finals victory:
Kobe (maybe, his window might have closed)
Dwight (if he gets his head straight)
Rose (he needs more help)
Dirk (only if he sobers up from last years championship)
This is a very, very good point, though I would probably be comfortable insisting Rondo be added to that group after the playoffs he just had. Dude was Oscar-Robertson-good.
Over the next five years, I might add:
Davis in NOLA (that Davis/ Rivers/ Gordon nucleus is really young and really talented, with inside, outside, and driving abilities)
Cousins in Sacramento (assuming they can find a guard that can actually, y'know, pass the ball-- love TRobinson's game as a fourth option double-double machine)
Blake Griffin and Chris Paul in LA might be rightthere
if Odom can find his old school game lost somewhere between LA and Dallas (though they might be one dead-eye shooter short)
Beyond that, yeah, there's little hope for anyone else.