The Baltimore Sun


G Dwyane Wade: Might be the best player in the league when healthy.

G Kobe Bryant: No amount of off-court drama will keep him from averaging 30 points.

C Yao Ming: He has quietly become unstoppable on offense.

F Dirk Nowitzki: Despite the playoffs, he was MVP for a reason.

F LeBron James: His ceiling is still the highest in the league.

Teams to Beat in the East

1. Bulls Depth, defense and versatility make them an underappreciated threat.

2. Pistons On the downside, but the starting five remains superb.

3. Cavaliers Sure, they stunk in the Finals, but they can play defense and they have LeBron James.

Teams to Beat in the West

1. Spurs They lost nothing and can beat opponents in a wider variety of ways than any rival.

2. Rockets They added more talent in the offseason than most realize.

3. Suns They can still outscore anyone and pushed the Spurs the hardest last season.

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