As it usually happens, most insiders and fans believe that two teams are going to dominate the rest of the league.
This time, the Brooklyn Nets and Los Angeles Lakers are getting most of the attention and for very good reasons, as they're the two most overpowered teams in the NBA.
But, if you were to choose one or the other, most analysts would agree that the Nets have an edge over the Lakers, including ESPN's Stephen A. Smith:
"The Los Angeles Lakers are not the front runners, that would happen to be the Brooklyn Nets,” Smith said on First Take. "That being said, I fully expect the Lakers to meet them in the NBA finals. And how will they come together? It’s very, very simple. LeBron James is one of the top two players on the planet. AD is one of the top five players on the planet. Russell Westbrook is a superstar and that three-headed monster, along with some of the pickups, Carmelo Anthony, Malik Monk. People like that, they are built for the postseason.”
Smith's take makes plenty of sense. These two teams should come out of their respective conferences given the depth they're added to their rosters.
The Lakers went through a major overhaul in the offseason, trading away Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, Kyle Kuzma, and Montrezl Harrell; and letting Alex Caruso walk away.
In return, they added Trevor Ariza, Wayne Ellington, Malik Monk, Dwight Howard, DeAndre Jordan, Kendrick Nunn, Carmelo Anthony, and --of course-- Russell Westbrook.
Then again, the Nets have one of the greatest offensive juggernauts in the history of the league in Kevin Durant, Kyrie Irving, and James Harden. They also got Blake Griffin and LaMarcus Aldridge back, plus Paul Millsap as a free agent.
So, right now, we wouldn't bet against any of these teams to make it to the NBA Finals.