Seems appropriate having the two teams who reached last June's NBA Finals at the bottom of this list. For the two-time defending champion Miami Heat, the same principle applies from last year's offseason: if it ain't broke...
Miami was closer to the top of my list prior to last season because they added to their outside shooting with Ray Allen and Rashard Lewis. As I wrote after the Heat acquired former no. 1 overall pick Greg Oden in August, signing the big man to a two-year veteran minimum contract is low-risk and a potentially high reward. Miami has been successful offensively and defensively sticking to their smaller line ups, in large part due to the versatility of LeBron James, which has often made them vulnerable against bigger teams, but not fully destructible. The Heat might need an Oden-like presence to grind out a third straight title, but they might not. Still, if Oden continues his reported progress and can give Miami productive minutes, their defense becomes more anchored in the paint and they get much needed assistance on the glass.
I also can't dismiss the Heat bringing back Michael Beasley, who if determined, could give Erik Spoelstra an individual scoring option coming off the bench. If these additions evolve into thorough contributors, in addition to a healthy Dwayne Wade, chalk it up to a Miami Heat dynasty.
- Martin S. @marley_mcfly