January 16, 2013 by Brandon Keller
This supporting cast is about as complete a unit as it gets. In the backcourt, Crawford scores more than Ryan Gosling at a sorority party and Bledsoe is a maniac with the ball and plays straight nasty defense. Odom can handle the ball and nail threes, Barnes does a little of everything, and Turiaf is a hustle big who will fight for rebounds. Crazy to think they have Chauncey and Grant Hill waiting in the wings.
2. Denver Nuggets (Miller, Brewer, McGee, Chandler, Hamilton)
The Nuggets second unit finds it’s strength in believing in the teams identity. They will run any chance they get. Andre Miller may not be the fastest point guard, but he is one of the smartest and does a great job controlling the pace of the game. He has Corey Brewer and a recovering Wilson Chandler to run the wings with him, and JaVale McGee as the trailer. Combine that with McGee’s ability to contest shots, and you have a team that can score and stop the opponent.
3. New York Knicks (Novak, Stoudemire, Brewer, Prigioni, Wallace)
A diverse bench that can play any style you want. Novak WILL hit any open three he gets, and Sheed can hit a three or two himself. Brewer and Prigioni are tough defenders who will not back down from the moment, but the real wild card here is Amare. If Amare can work his way into shape and in any way resemble the player he once was, the Knicks bench gets a whole lot more scary.
4. San Antonio Spurs (Neal, Diaw, Jackson, Splitter, Blair)
I think the world saw just how deep the Spurs are when they nearly beat the Heat without their five best players playing. All of these players have high basketball IQ and understand their role in Popovich’s system. May not have the most individual talent off the bench, but the pieces fit in place and sometimes for a supporting cast that can be more important.
5. Boston Celtics (Terry, Green, Lee, Sullinger, Wilcox)
A very interesting collection of players. Terry should be playing the Jamal Crawford role here but is struggling to find the same space to shoot as he did in Dallas, when Dirk would draw so much of the defenses attention on the perimeter. Green and Lee are players that have the body and skill set to be good defenders, but continue to struggle. Sully should grow into his role as an energy rebounder/scorer.
Final Talent Rankings
1. Clippers (23 points)
2. Heat (20 points)
3. Thunder (16 points)
3. Knicks (16 points)
5. Spurs (15 points)
5. Lakers (15 points)
7. Grizzlies (11 points)
8. Celtics (10 points)
9. Rockets (7 points)
10. Cavaliers (5 points)
11. Nuggets (4 points)
12. Bulls (3 point)
13. Mavericks (1 points)
14. Pacers (1 point)
15. Nets (1 point)
16. Hawks (1 point)