Christopher Hanewinckel-US PRESSWIRE
The Atlantic Division looks every bit as scary as we thought, the Heat look great, but who are we kidding: The Lakers went 0-8! Basketball is the best.
The NBA preseason is officially over, and the Philadelphia 76ers, playing without Andrew Bynum (who is injured) and Andre Iguodala (who they traded for Bynum) finished with the best record in the league a 6-1. The Toronto Raptors, sporting new toys Kyle Lowry, Terrance Ross and Jonas Valanciunas, finished close behind at 5-1, further establishing that the Atlantic Division—also the home of the Brooklyn Nets, New York Knicks and Boston Celtics—will be the toughest division in the league this year.
In the Western Conference, the Houston Rockets - who are predicated by many to be terrible this year - tied atop the standings with the Golden State Warriors and the Sacramento Kings at 5-2, further establishing that the preseason is meaningless.
The defending champion Miami Heat looked at times dominant, but finished with a 4-4 record. Most importantly for them, LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh all looked fresh and healthy. James spent the summer winning another Olympic gold medal, and Wade and Bosh spent it recuperating from injuries suffered during last year's grueling postseason run.
The big story of the preseason was the new expected superteam in the NBA, the Los Angeles Lakers. After trading for Dwight Howard and signing-and-trading for Steve Nash, and keeping Kobe Bryant and Pau Gasol in the process, there was plenty of talk about Showtime overtaking the Thunder for best team in the west. That will have to wait for the regular season, because the Lakers went 0-8. That's right—in eight tries, the Lakers couldn't win one game.
It should be pointed out that Dwight Howard didn't play in the first part of the preseason as he recovered from back surgery and Kobe Bryant missed the second part with a bum foot, but still: 0-8. This from a team Metta World Peace predicted would win 73 games this year. This from a team that pissed off literally the entire league by trading for Dwight Howard and getting to keep Pau Gasol. Going 0-82 still seems like a remote possibility, so enjoy this while you can, rest of the world. The Lakers are winless.