The Spurs and the Lakers have combined to win 8 of the last 11 NBA championships. Even a casual observer can easily see that these two NBA franchises have dominated the Larry O’Brien Trophy for the past decade; even more impressive is that these two teams do not show any signs of fading. This year the Spurs have their deepest team to date, even more so than in their championship years. With the main additions of Jefferson, McDyess and Blair “The Beast”, the Spurs are sporting their toughest team to date. This is a group of new additions, to go with a healthy and rested big 3 of Duncan, Parker and Ginobli looks to be a team that even the defending Lakers could have difficulty overcoming in a 7 game series.
The Lakers were not dormant in the off season either. As if the “Black Mamba” Kobe Bryant needed anymore help on the court, the Lakers added Ron Artest a player straight out of the mold of the Detroit Pistons “Bad Boys” era. This Bad boy addition along with the further maturation of their big man Andrew Bynum the Lakers look equally as improved as the Spurs and both look primed to dominate this year yet again.
The Lakers have historically had championship teams as the lure of L.A., movie stars cheering in the stands, along with the rest of the glitz of Hollywood has attracted top NBA players for many years. A trend that will likely continue as the legacy of the Lakers continues to grow. The Spurs on the other hand have had recent success under the coaching of Greg Popovich and the Keen eye for talent of R.C. Bufford, which have combined to catapult the Spurs to the Lakers level as one of the upper echelon franchises in the NBA. Their success does not halt in the NBA; ESPN currently rated the San Antonio Spurs as the best Sports Franchise of all the major sports teams, a franchise known for adding not only talented players, but more importantly character players, much like the “character formula” followed by the New England Patriots in the NFL. The Spurs have used this “character formula” successfully to the tune of 4 world championships to date.
Can anybody from the east compete with these two western forces? The Shaq experiment in Cleveland looks like it will fail and the Magic are a very good team, but not quite championship caliber. The Celtics might be the only team capable of keeping these two western forces from continuing their championship dominance. The main question for the Celtics lies around Kevin Garnet’s knee and if it can hold up through 82 regular season games and through the post season. The rest of the Celtics team seems intact, but they cannot win without a healthy Garnett. So will the Celtics roar back into the championship? Will the Lakers win back to back championships like the Magic Johnson team of the late 1980’s and the three-peat of the Shaq-Kobe era or will the Spurs win their 5th Championship in 10 years? Or will the sports world be completely shocked by this years champ? Tune in……