Young teams on the rise in the NBA
Hammering home this idea of the next wave of NBA stars taking over, we're already beginning to see it in the standings. In both conferences, we're already beginning to see the continued rise of young teams in the Association. In recent history, I'm not sure the last time we've seen this many young teams make the leap toward fringe contender status at the same time. Just looking at the landscape of the league, there's an argument to be made that 5-6 teams in both the East and West have taken a big step forward in their overall team progression this season.
There's a very real chance that the Western Conference Finals this season will feature two teams (Minnesota Timberwolves and Oklahoma City Thunder) that were Play-In Tournament teams just a year ago. And this is likely just the beginning for both of those teams. In addition to the Wolves and Thunder, the Sacramento Kings, New Orleans Pelicans, Indiana Pacers, and Orlando Magic are on the cusp of hitting their stride as young, developing teams.
The NBA is clearly shifting toward a young league; it's time to embrace that side of the Association.