It's taken 10 years but the NBA's new era has achieved its peak. Before 2001, teams were obsessed with crowding the paint defensively and isolating the best offensive players, which resulted in little movement of the ball. The rules changed in 2001 to open up the game offensively, and a decade later the transformation is complete: Offensive skills have been blended into the game so thoroughly that there is no longer a single championship contender that can be branded as an all-out defensive team.
Think about it: When was the last time you couldn't find at least one stifling defensive team in contention for the title?
Look around the league and name a title contender that possesses the mindset as well as the stoppers that strangle opponents defensively. For the first time since the emergence of the championship "Bad Boy" Pistons in the late 1980s, I can't name one.