Lets kick things off and see what pushed these teams up to the second tier, or what held them back from the top...
First up: Golden State
Vaulted to the top of this group by two second round draft picks, the Warriors showed a keen eye for selfish potential by picking Gilbert Arenas (30 overall) and Monta Ellis (40). All they needed was one more decent second round pick to push them into the top tier. Wait, what's this? Marc Jackson has a career PER of 0.0? That can't be right. You can't trust ANYONE these days, what every happened to taking pride in your work? Okay, lets set that career PER to 14.1, where it should be, and re-evaluate Golden State. What do you know, they just jumped up to fourth overall, and pushed Seattle back to sixth. My groupings are based on separation of data, not simple groupings (top 5 etc.), so this doesn't knock Seattle into the second tear.
Two notes of interest. GSW have played like they took a GSW to the chest this season. Mention Monta Ellis in your post, and suggested labels like "scooters, vacation, fall" pop up. Just in case you were wondering why he got hit with selfish player tag.
Next up: The Pacers
The new (by default) number one of the cooled off but still fresh cookies, Indiana has the fewest picks of any team in this tier with 14 overall. This is important, because they have a dearth of stand out picks in the second round. James Jones comes in as their best second round pick, 49 overall, and that's a far cry from picking up players like Arenas or Ellis late in the draft. How then do they find themselves in the second tier? The strength of great mid to late first round picks, that's how. Al Harrington anyone? What about he who can not be named? Yeah, that one hurt, didn't it, Magic fans?
Rounding out the second tier:
I'm grouping the next three teams together, because I hate writing about all three of these teams, for obvious reasons. Boston, Cleveland, and Detroit all made it into the second tier. I refuse to say anything else about these three teams, and guess what? This is my article, and I don't get paid, so I can do whatever I want in this spot! If you came here for some good word on one of these three teams, take a hike!
Join us next week as we talk about the bulk of the league, and every one's favorite team, "Your, Orlandooooooooo Magic"!