When I saw the news crawl over the weekend about the trades that Orlando had just completed my brain started going over what this could mean as the season progresses. The mind being what the mind is, and mine in particular, it slips and slides past ideas, tangents, and memories until it comes to some sort of conclusion.
What I came away with was the idea that in both the Eastern and Western conference there are three teams that can be considered the crème-de-la-crème, or to stick with the idea posed by the title of this post, the uppermost level of the NBA bedrock. In the East, those teams are the Celtics, Magic, and Heat, and in the West they are the Lakers, Mavs, and Spurs. I fully expect four of those six teams to be in the respective conference finals.
On the layer below those six are a bunch of closely packed teams that are good in their own right, but not quite championship material at this point. In that group, you’ll find the likes of: Chicago, Utah, Denver, and New Orleans
Below them is where you’ll find the teams battling for the 7th and 8th seeds in the playoffs: New York, Atlanta, OKC, Phoenix, Portland, and Indiana. In fact, we could probably cancel the rest of the regular season and roll with the teams now, because I seriously doubt things change much between now and April.
Finally, we come to the dregs of the barrel: Minnesota, Milwaukee, Charlotte, ….et al.
I realize that this isn’t necessarily earth-shattering news, just another way of looking at things, and that’s what I’m all about, finding different ways of looking at stuff.