Are The Lakers, Cavaliers, and Magic The NBA’s Only Title Contenders?

At some point during the NBA playoffs it's going to become clearly evident that your favorite team is not going to win the championship, unless that team happens to be the Los Angeles Lakers, Cleveland Cavaliers, or Orlando Magic.

The NBA postseason is based on the premise that anything can happen, and every team has an equal opportunity to succeed in the course of a seven game series, but recent history has proved this theory to be false.

Since the beginning of the decade each NBA champion has shared one distinct quality which has been a common thread in their march to glory and that trait is a dominant perimeter player and a dominant post player.

The Lakers began the decade with Shaquille O'Neal and Kobe Bryant, and they were succeeded by San Antonio's Tim Duncan and either Tony Parker or Manu Ginobili, in addition to Detroit's tandem of Chauncey Billups and Rasheed Wallace.

The Miami Heat continued the trend in 2006 with Dywane Wade and O'Neal, and each champion since then has followed a similar formula on their way to a NBA title.

Of course there are many other variables that factor in winning a championship, but broken down to it's barest molecule, the truth of the matter lies in that dominant, perimeter, post combination.

The Lakers, Cavaliers, and Magic are the only teams in the league who can boast of that type of championship combination, and their ability to dominate from the paint and the perimeter gives them an advantage heading into the postseason.

The defending champion Lakers' Pau Gasol and Bryant are the best two players at their respective positions going into the playoffs, and the proof of their success is in last season's championship.

Bryant is one of the greatest players of this past decade, but he needed a dominant figure like Gasol in the paint in order to continue his aspirations for legendary player status.

How dramatic was Gasol's imp...

About the Author