Don't count out the Thunder
Lakers' increased age, decreased health can't match OKC's youth and upside
Instead, I went with the Los Angeles Clippers. Go ahead, laugh. Of course, I also have an excuse for why the Clippers didn't live up to my hype -- Chauncey Billups' Achilles injury. Do I believe a healthy Billups would have helped the Clippers reach the Finals? No comment. But it's a built-in, ready-made excuse, so I'll take it.
But I digress.
Back to the Thunder. Despite logic telling us this young, talented team will only improve, they have seemingly been knocked down a notch. ESPN.com's own Summer Forecast and its panel of experts think doesn't think they'll win the West. With the Los Angeles Lakers snagging Dwight Howard away from the Orlando Magic, most onlookers appear to be penciling in that much-awaited, long-predicted, forever longed-for Finals matchup between LeBron James' Miami Heat and Kobe Bryant's Lakers.
But not so fast. Don't count out the Thunder just yet. There are several reasons to hold off on anointing the Lakers kings of the West this early. Chief among them being the Lakers themselves.
To read more of Chris Broussard piece on the issues facing the Oklahoma City Thunder, become an Insider today.