A few days ago ESPN made a pick of who they think will win it all this upcoming season. Not surprisingly, the Los Angeles Lakers were chosen as the slight favorites; after all, they still are the defending champs.Needless to say I'm a Spurs fan but with my bias aside, let me try to give you guys a closer look at what I think (or most people think?) are the top teams (or the 'Super contenders' as Tim Varner of 48MoH puts it) that will compete for the NBA crown this coming season.<!--more-->Let's start with the Los Angeles Lakers:Projected starting lineupPG: Derek FisherSG: Kobe BryantSF: Ron Artest, will NOT agree coming off the bench. Lamar Odom will.PF: Pau GasolC: Andrew BynumBench rotationLamar Odom, Luke Walton , Jordan Farmar, Josh Powell , Shannon Brown, Sasha Vujacic, D.J. Mbenga and Adam Morrison.Off season moves: They bring back all their pieces from their championship squad (except for Ariza) but they get Ron Artest in return. Most people think that he is an upgrade over Ariza but I'm not on that bandwagon just yet. How will he fit in to the Lakers is going to be key, because right now I don't see him accepting his role effectively as the team's 3rd or 4th option (I could be wrong...). Also, the return of a healthy Andrew Bynum is a welcome news.Frontcourt: Boasts 3 long limbed big men that can man the paint in Gasol, Odom and Bynum. Pau Gasol proves that he can play tough in last year's Finals and on the posts he is highly effective as he averages close to 57% on his FG's. Lamar Odom seems to accept his role off the bench fairly well his energy and hustle on the boards clearly helps the Lakers cause, but with Artest getting a fair share of his minutes, I suspect his effectiveness and numbers will take a dip. Although he might get more time playing at Power Foward if the Lakers decides to play Gasol at Center. As for Bynum, he needs to stay healthy. He certainly has the talent and skills, but bottom line is he needs his time on the floor and produce consistently to prove his worth.Backcourt: They have one of the game's best in Kobe Bryant and he finally won his first title without Shaq last year, and his hunger to win another title one is on an all time high. One thing that the Lakers has to improve though is at the point guard position. Derek Fisher is getting old and although he has still some big shots left in him, I think this season they need more productive minutes from Jordan Farmar and maybe Shannon Brown.They still are the team to beat. They are the defending champs so you have to give them that respect but it's a lot closer than most people think.San Antonio Spurs:Projected starting lineupPG: Tony ParkerSG: Roger Mason Jr. (Manu is one of the best coming off the bench)SF: Richard JeffersonPF: Tim Duncan (He's a forward right?)C: Antonio McDyessBench rotationManu Ginobili, George Hill , Michael Finley, DeJuan Blair, Marcus Haislip, Malik Hairston, Ian Mahinmi, Matt Bonner, Theo Ratliff and Marcus Williams.Off season moves: Traded Bruce Bowen, Kurt Thomas and Fabricio Oberto for Richard Jefferson to improved their depth at the SF position. Picked rookie DeJuan Blair in the draft, then added veterans Antonio McDyess and Theo Ratliff through free agency.Frontcourt: They have one the game's best big man in Tim Duncan(hope he returns healthy). Gets additional post presence and veteran smarts in Antonio McDyess, I also think he's a perfect fit for the Spurs (San Antonio McDyess? anyone?) and luckily picked rebounding machine and 'Space Eater' DeJuan Blair. That's not to mention they have additional depth in players like Ian Mahinmi and Marcus Haislip.Backcourt: The tandem of Tony Parker and Manu Ginobili looks scary; Parker is still on the rise, although we have to see how Manu recovers. Their depth at the backcourt looks good too with an ever improving George Hill, sharp shooting Roger Mason and veteran presence in Michael Finley. The addition of Richard Jefferson provides athletiscm and depth they badly needed at the wing position.A very talented team on paper, that has upgraded their frountcourt and tremendously improved their athletiscm. How will the new pieces fit in remains to be seen, but looking at how well run this organization is, we have all the reasons to be optimistic. But then of course, the Spurs need a healthy 'Big 3' to be able to get it done. Having said that, when healthy; I like the Spurs chances, but I'm open to the possibility that they might impove their lineup just around the February trade deadline to add another piece if they felt the need.Boston Celtics:Projected starting lineupPG: Rajon RondoSG: Ray AllenSF: Paul PiercePF: Kevin GarnettC: Kendrick PerkinsBench rotationRasheed Wallace, Glen Davis, Marquis Daniels, Eddie House, Brian Scalabrine, Tony Allen, Shelden Williams, J.R. Giddens and Bill Walker Off season moves: Signed Rasheed Wallace and Shelden Williams through free agency, re-signed Glen Davis and added backcourt depth after getting Marquis Daniels.Frontcourt: It's going to be nasty with the addition of 'Sheed as he provides more defense and lenght to the already stingy Celtic's frontcourt. The tandem of Garnett, Wallace and Kendrick Perkins is comparable to the Laker's Gasol-Odom-Bynum combo. They also have considerable depth after re-signing 'Big Baby' Glen Davis and adding Shelden Williams.Backcourt: They have one of the best young point guard in the league in Rajon Rondon, sweet shooting Ray Allen at the 2 spot, they still have Paul Pierce and have added new comer Marquis Daniels.Like the Spurs, this teams success depends so much on the health of their main guys most notably Kevin Garnett. I also think that Rasheed will fit in nicely with the C's on and off the court. The addition of Daniels and re-signing of Davis are all important moves as it gives them more depth on their rotation. It could also be argued that this current lineup is better than the 2008 championship team and if healthy, this team could represent the East.Cleveland Cavaliers:Projected starting lineupPG: Mo WilliamsSG: Delonte WestSF: LeBron JamesPF: Anderson VarejaoC: Shaquille O'NealBench rotationZydrunas Ilgauskas, Daniel Gibson, Leon Powe, Anthony Parker, Jamario Moon, Daniel Green, Darnell Jackson, J.J. Hickson and Jawad WilliamsOff season moves: Acquired center Shaquille O'Neal for forward/center Ben Wallace, a second-round selection in the 2010 NBA draft and cash considerations. Re-signed Anderson Varejao, added Anthony Parker, Jamario Moon, Leon Powe and Daniel Green through free agency.Frontcourt: The addition of Shaq gives them a legitimate post presence (although he is aging already). Zydrunas Ilguaskas can still produce as a backup and hardworking Leon Powe added depth at the Power Forward position.Backcourt:Mo Williams and Delonte West will continue to man the backcourt, but added depth by signing Anthony Parker. The acquisition of Jamario Moon is intriquing because he will add athleticism and lenght at the wing position (maybe a defender ala Ariza or Pietrus), also Gibson needs to be consistent. And oh! I amost forgot, they got a guy named LeBron James.For a team that won 66 games last year during the regular season, you would think they don't need to improve right? Wrong! the Cavs struggled in the playoffs mainly because they don't have an answer for Dwight Howard that's maybe the reason for the Shaq trade. IF Shaq can defend the post with consistency, they're in good shape. Otherwise they will encounter the same problems they had last year. Noteworthy additions to this team in my opinion are Anthony Parker and Jamario Moon because they will provide something that the Cavs lacked last season.Orlando Magic:Projected starting lineupPG: Jameer NelsonSG: Vince CarterSF: Rashard LewisPF: Brandon BassC: Dwight HowardBench rotationMickael Pietrus, Matt Barnes, Marcin Gortat, Ryan Anderson, Anthony Johnson, J.J. Redick, Jason Williams and Adonal FoyleOff season moves: Acquired guard Vince Carter and forward Ryan Anderson from the New Jersey Nets for guards Rafer Alston, Courtney Lee, and center Tony Battie. Re-signed Marcin Gortat, added Brandon Bass, Matt Barnes and Jason Williams through free agency.Frontcourt: They have arguably the best young center in the league in Dwight Howard, but still he needs to develop his low post moves to be more effective. Gasol looked so good on the defensive end in last season's finale mainly because Howard is predictable (ask Kareem). The addition of Bass is nice as it will allow Lewis to play his normal position. They also retained the services of Gortat, although he seems unhappy with how things played out... But if you're being paid millions just to play 10-15 minutes a game, you should be happy right?Backcourt:Jameer Nelson will be their point man, although their backcourt looks thinner with the departure of Alston and Lee. Anthony Johnson proved he can play well given the minutes and Jason William provides veteran presence, but I suspect they will miss Lee's thougness and defense. And no matter what most people might think; in my opinion, Vince Carter is an upgrade over Hedo on offense. Signing Barnes added depth at the wing and they still have defensive specialist Mickael Pietrus.This team beat Cleveland team last year mainly because of defense and mismatches. Reaching the NBA finals for 2 straight years could be tough. But their froncourt looks more formidable with Bass in the lineup and if Vince Carter 'tries' to play his game this team is so dangerous and can give Boston and Cleveland a run for their money.So who's gonna meet in this year's NBA Finals? that's to early too tell (I'll try to make follow up articles on this topic as the season goes on); chemistry could be an issue and injuries may happen along the way. But if all these teams managed to stay healthy, we could see familiar faces in the Finals. Although we still have to consider the "dark horses" in Portland, Dallas, Denver and Hornets,yes in THAT order...