By now, people are already placing their bets on who they think will take the trophy in the climactic match on April 14.For now, the team that seems to be worth watching the most is the Los Angeles Lakers. With 33 wins under their belt and leading the pack in the Western Conference, they are in formidable form indeed. Despite Kobe Bryant’s injuries – which are slowing him down although he refuses to stay off the court – they look all set for a repeat title in 2009-2010. The second team to watch right now is the Cleveland Cavaliers, currently sitting pretty with a 35-11 win-loss record, which is in fact even better than that of the Lakers. LeBron is also in formidable form, currently the top-ranked NBA player this season. Coupling this with Kobe’s injury, we have a very strong case for Cleveland , who may well want revenge for their 2006-07 defeat at the hands of the San Antonio Spurs. Third, we have the Denver Nuggets, with 30 wins and 14 losses till date. With Carmelo Anthony also in excellent form – currently ranking 5th among all players, they are a force to be reckoned with. Chauncey Billups’ 6.7 assists record is also definitely helping matters. Fourth, lie the Boston Celtics. By winning the title in the 2007-08 season, they have ended a drought that began way back in 1985-86. Given their present form, they are definitely in the reckoning for the title this year too. With a win-loss record of 29-15, the Dallas Mavericks have a win percentage of .659. This puts them above our #6 team, Utah Jazz, who themselves are no pushover at home with an 18-6 win-loss record. At nos. 7 and 8, the Atlanta Hawks and Orlando Magic. With win percentages of .674 and 0.644, they are likely to be key opponents for the players higher up the order of standings. Finally, Miami and Portland also need to be taken into consideration. Miami have been the champions of the NBA as recently as 2005-06, and right now they are placed nicely in 5th place in the Eastern Conference, with a certain trump card “Wade”ing around in their midst. Dwayne Wade has been in scarily good form this season, and it remains to be seen how much of an effect this will have on the season’s results. Portland’s .587 win percentage is also a reminder that they should not be thrown away from our considerations about the NBA title. 2010 is shaping up to be an exciting season in the NBA, with the Lakers pulled down to size by Kobe Bryant’s injury, and other teams rising strongly to the challenge. Keep watching!
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