ESPN ranks and predicts current and future super teams
The landscape of the NBA has shifted in recent years. This is in most part due to the emergence of “superteams,” which is characterized by two or more superstars teaming up in the same squad.
Many consider the 2008 Boston Celtics to be the very first superteam in the modern era of the league. The trio of Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce, and Ray Allen led the C’s to the organization’s first title in over two decades. By doing so, they practically paved the way for the inception of the superteam concept.
Andre Snellings of ESPN has written a very interesting piece in which he attempts to categorize the superteams in the NBA today. He uses a well-researched scoring system that focuses on “on-court impact, particularly real plus-minus (RPM) — a stat that adjusts for teammate and opponent quality.”
In his multi-tiered ranking, the Golden State Warriors justifiably sit atop the table. They are joined by only the Houston Rockets as the only two “true” superteams.
Snellings’ second tier is classified by squads with a duo or trio of superstars. The Toronto Raptors are ranked first in this category, followed by the Denver Nuggets, the Oklahoma City Thunder, the San Antonio Spurs, and the Washington Wizards.
The Philadelphia 76ers and the Minnesota Timberwolves are the only two sides that qualify in tier three, which Snellings defines as teams that are on the rise.
Finally, Snellings’ fourth tier is what he calls the “near misses” or those that came close, but ultimately still have a ways to go. The Los Angeles Lakers, New Orleans Pelicans, Portland Trail Blazers, Milwaukee Bucks, and the Utah Jazz all fall under this category, at least according to the basketball analyst.
All in all, Snellings identified 14 teams on his list, which accounts for nearly half of the entire league. This just proves the transformation of the dynamics of the NBA, and unfortunately, the disparity between the upper and lower halves of the competition.