The photo above is one of many I took on February 2,2016. It was the first Lakers game I had ever attended at Staples Center. I was with my younger brother who had also never been to a Lakers game in his entire life. We were fortunate enough to get tickets to this game thanks to our oldest brother who purchased them for us. This was during Kobe Bryant’s last year playing in the NBA. It was one of the last sporting events I would attend in person while still living in Southern California at the time. Kobe scored 38 points with 5 rebounds and 5 assists and in typical Kobe fashion willed his team to victory down the stretch. The Lakers defeated the Minnesota Timberwolves 119-115.
1. Los Angeles Clippers
They are the talk of the league after getting both Kawhi Leonard and Paul George to come aboard.
2. Los Angeles Lakers
Anthony Davis is now on board. Let’s see if that brings out the best in LeBron since LA hasn’t seen it yet.
3. Golden State Warriors
Not having Klay Thompson hurts them this year, but they should still make the playoffs regardless.
4. Sacramento Kings
Once again with a new coach on the bench what will their identity be with a young talented roster?
5. Phoenix Suns
The most dysfunctional team in the NBA not named the New York Knicks has another year of growing pains to deal with.
1. Denver Nuggets
They boast the same team with a couple additions that should contribute immediately.
2. Portland Trail Blazers
They aren’t playing around and are going for it this season with the moves they made in the offseason.
3. Utah Jazz
Expectations fell short for them last year, but adding Mike Conley should raise those expectations again.
4. Oklahoma City Thunder
Realizing they were in a lose-lose situation, they maximized their assets in dealing Russell Westbrook and Paul George in separate deals.
5. Minnesota Timberwolves
They could be a sneaky good team, but there are too many questions surrounding the supporting cast around Karl-Anthony Towns.
1. Houston Rockets
What they will accomplish in the regular season will be impressive, but can they duplicate that in the playoffs?
2. San Antonio Spurs
This is going to be a transition year for them, but we’ve said that before and they’ve surprised us.
3. Dallas Mavericks
It’s an exciting time in Dallas. Their future looks really good with Doncic and now Porzingis in the fold.
4. New Orleans Pelicans
They lucked out with getting Zion and have a tremendous foundation to build from with the Anthony Davis trade.
5. Memphis Grizzlies
The rebuild is in full swing and the pieces they’ve accumulated could pan out quicker than previous thought.