NBA teams to watch to complement my acute case of Linsanity?
February 12, 2012 1:00 PM   Subscribe

In addition to the Knicks, which four teams should I add to my NBA League Pass subscription?

Due to the Time Warner Cable/MSG dispute, I signed up for NBA League Pass to watch Knicks games. I also get to pick four other teams whose games I can watch, and I’m looking for suggestions.

I followed the Knicks in the 90s but stopped during Isiah Thomas’s reign of terror and only started watching again last season after Melo joined the team, so I’m pretty ignorant of the current state of NBA basketball in general. I’m looking for teams that would be exciting to watch, maybe with young rising stars, who I wouldn’t get to otherwise frequently watch on nationally televised games. I can be, um, either “in DC” or “in LA” while watching, so blackout restrictions aren’t a concern.

(Boston Celtics need not apply.)
posted by cosmic osmo to Sports, Hobbies, & Recreation (11 answers total)
Clippers, OKC Thunder, Minnesota Timberwolves, Miami Heat.

I don't necessarily like all of those teams, but they seem to have good combinations of talent, improvisational skill, & buzz.
posted by AMSBoethius at 1:15 PM on February 12, 2012 [1 favorite]

I’m looking for teams that would be exciting to watch, maybe with young rising stars

I'd definitely want the Clips and the Thunder, although they both get their fair share of national games I think.

Denver is a good young team playing well despite not having any superstars. Minnesota is fun to watch right now too with some great young talent.

If you want Eastern teams I'd say Philly and Indiana are two teams on the verge of entering the top tier who are playing well and might not be getting as much national exposure as they deserve.
posted by no regrets, coyote at 1:17 PM on February 12, 2012

I'd def pick: Clips, Wolves (Rubio & Love), Thunder (Durant). Then maybe Philly, Chicago or Miami as the fourth.
posted by gnutron at 1:20 PM on February 12, 2012

Clippers, OKC Thunder, Minnesota Timberwolves, Miami Heat.

Good call, but maybe drop the Heat, they're gonna be on TNT and ESPN a ton and I think Philly might be the better story if they can stay healthy.

And while I hail from Minneapolis and love the Wolves, this isn't our year. I'm feeling more and more like we might make a push next year if we can drop some of the dead weight on our roster and fill in the deep holes.

That being said, they're fun as hell to watch. They really have a OKC vibe to them, a young team going places. I've been down to two games already and plan on a few more.

Also, picking an Eastern team will open you up to more games.

Just don't pick the Knicks.
posted by Sphinx at 1:27 PM on February 12, 2012

Chicago and Miami are really good, but are on national TV a fair amount. OKC is also really good, and fun to watch.

I'd agree on Minnesota and the Clippers as good choices - more under-the-radar teams would include Denver, Portland, and Indiana.
posted by chbrooks at 1:28 PM on February 12, 2012

Chiming in to agree with everyone else that the LA Clippers and OKC Thunder are must-haves because they are good, young, and play an exciting brand of basketball.

Denver and Minnesota play a fun style of basketball. Denver has a lot of good players and Minnesota has a couple of young stars or future stars. You could make a case for Portland or Houston. Or go with a classic like San Antonio: they play good basketball and won't be able to keep this up forever.
posted by J. Wilson at 1:51 PM on February 12, 2012

Just chiming in to say Clippers Clippers Clippers omg the Clippers.
posted by Snarl Furillo at 2:15 PM on February 12, 2012

Thunder, Clippers, Heat (that team is ridiculously exciting, and has a best of the year highlight every other game), and the Warriors (Monta Ellis, Steph Curry).
posted by cashman at 7:42 PM on February 12, 2012

I'm pretty well behind on games (they aren't broadcast here, and when games are being played, I'm usually teaching 3rd period English), but I have managed to watch almost every Bulls game this year, and honestly, there hasn't been a better time to watch Chicago basketball since Jordan. The thing is, the roster is a mess, their 2-guard (Rip Hamilton) has played maybe five games total, they've had injuries to almost everyone on the roster (Luol Deng is playing with the same torn ligament as Kobe, but luckily it's on his non-shooting hand, Derrick Rose is fighting through back spasms).

They haven't missed a beat. Even with all of the injuries, they're still playing fantastic team basketball. They're getting a decent defensive effort from Carlos Boozer and Kyle Korver, even. They shut down opposing teams, and they have not only Rose, but a pretty damn good backup in C.J. Watson as well. Their passing is fantastic, leading to ridiculous numbers of open 3s or dump-off passes for easy layups/dunks. They get steals which turn into tons of fast break points, they score in the paint, yet have a ridiculous team percentage from 3point. They are, in all, a delight to be watching. I can't recommend them enough.

Other than the Bulls, OKC and Lob City, then probably a younger team with an up and comer, like Minnesota (Rubio and Love), and maybe Denver for the team ball/lack of superstar, effective team play thing they've got going.

Avoid NOLA, Washington, Detroit (sad to say), the Raptors, the Nets, the Cavs. All are either rebuilding, dealing with nasty injury issues, or just outright drain joy from your life.
posted by Ghidorah at 8:02 PM on February 12, 2012

DEFINITELY Minnesota. They're not going anywhere, but Rubio is a sensation and super fun to watch.

Then I'd say: OKC, Clippers, and either Cleveland (Kyrie Irving is legit and fun to watch) or Denver (so deep and so volatile...)
posted by Joseph Gurl at 9:19 PM on February 12, 2012 [1 favorite]

Bulls, OKC, Lob City, Wolves, in that order.
posted by Potomac Avenue at 8:13 PM on February 16, 2012

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