Tuesday, October 30, 2007
Wow the NBA is starting up already, is it just me or does this seem incredibly early.
1. Detroit Pistons, Central Champs - The safe Eastern Conference pick, the record is always good they maintain relatively the same roster and they have the talent to win games.
2. Miami Heat, Southeast Champs - Adding Ricky Davis adds a little crazy, but it also adds energy and talent which should help the Heat once again capture the Southeast crown.
3. Boston Celtics, Atlantic Champs - Three superstars and a lot of unproven players surrounding the Cs, they should be good enough to win the division but they might lag a little behind the Heat and Pistons to start the year.
4. Chicago Bulls - The Bulls are team rumor #1 for picking up Kobe, either way the Bulls have the talent to put up a good record this season.
5. New Jersey Nets -The Nets are a borderline team for me, if they all are healthy they should end up pushing the Celtics for the division crown, if Jefferson Carter or Kidd get injured they could miss the playoffs.
6. Cleveland Cavs - The Lebrons made the finals last year but in a vastly improving Eastern Conference did nothing in the offseason to help out their roster and should slide back in the pack a little bit.
7. Orlando Magic - The Magic just narrowly missed out on the playoffs last season but with the overpayment of Rashard Lewis and the continual growth of Dwight Howard they should sneak in.
8. Atlanta Hawks - I had to throw atleast one curveball in this conference and this is it. The Hawks have a lot of talent on their roster and with the addition of Al Horford have some post play to match the 7 consecutive small forwards they drafted.
9. Washington Wizards - Agent Zero is going to be very very pissed off if this team struggles and does not make the playoffs.
10. New York Knicks - The Knickerbockers should float around the playoff line after the addition of Zach Randolph, but they have too many selfish players and it will be just when the miss out and Ike gets the boot.
11. Toronto Raptors - Last years surprise team in the East will struggle this season simply because the teams surrounding them in the division are vastly improved from the offseason.
12. Milwaukee Bucks - A bad team last year who picked up one large question mark in the draft. If Yi is as good as some people think, they could make the playoffs, if he struggles to adjust the Bucks should continue to struggle this season.
13. Charlotte Bobcats - The Bobcats added Jason Richardson, but really they shouldn't be much more than a competitive team this season.
14. Philadelphia 76ers - They just lack a top tier player, if you look around the league most teams have atleast one player with superstar talent, the 76ers best player is Andre Iguodala, who is not a superstar.
15. Indiana Pacers - This team has plummeted from one of the best teams in the East to a complete mess who should have jettisoned Jermaine O'Neal in the offseason.
1. Dallas Mavericks, Southwest Champs - The Mavs win a lot of games. I don't care to elaborate on that much.
2. Phoenix Suns, Pacific Champs - This year the Suns have to get it done. Amare should be healthier, this could be the last go round with Marion, if they don't get it done this year they never will. They might as well consider themselves the 2000s version of the 90s Kings.
3. San Antonio Spurs - Boring. The Spurs don't care about the regular season. They give Duncan and Ginobli plenty of rest. Win a ton of games and then just settle behind the Mavs for the best record.
4. Denver Nuggets, Northwest Champs - The Northwest is still piss poor and with a full offseason together the Nuggets should win the division behind Carmelo and AI.
5. Houston Rockets - So much potential every single year for the Rockets and every year they fizzle in the first round after Yao and/or T-Mac get hurt for a significant time during the season. There's no reason to expect otherwise this year.
6. Utah Jazz - Deron Williams is one of my absolute favorite players in the NBA to watch and should continue his growth towards being an elite PG in the league.
7. Memphis Grizzlies - The worst team in the league who tanked games down the stretch is going to make the playoffs? Sure why not, Pao is healthy and they have a point guard this year.
8. Golden St. Warriors - Perhaps the Warriors will drop off a tad with the trade of Jason Richardson, but they should be good enough to sneak into the postseason again.
9. LA Lakers - If the Lakers just played Kobe they probably would make the playoffs, however they seem intent on pissing him off or trading him, both are bad ideas.
10. NO/OKC Hornets - Are they still playing games in OKC this year? Either way this team should again be in the limbo of not miserable but not that good.
11. LA Clippers - The Clippers season is already essentially over after all of the injuries they had in the offseason.
12. Sacramento Kings - This team was bad last year, and now with Bibby out for up to 2 months they aren't going to be any better.
13. Seattle Supersonics - I think this team could have been good if they had kept Ray Ray and Rashard, but they let both go and went complete youth movement and really shouldn't sniff the playoffs the last two months of the season.
14. Minnesota Timberwolves -I understand the criticism of Kevin McHale for the Garnett trade, but I love Big Al and think he will mature into a perennial 24 point per game player. I don't understand the Ricky Davis trade, but I guess they really want to push for last place.
15. Portland Trailblazers - The loss of Oden is certainly bad for fans this season, however in the long run it could be a good thing. If Oden can recoop and come back healthy, the Blazers should stink this season and come back in 2008 with another excellent player from the draft.
Eastern Conference Champs: Boston Celtics
Despite the improvement of the Eastern Conference it still does not have the super teams like the Western Conference does. The Celtics come into the season with the largest three weapons of any Eastern Conference team. It could take awhile to mold the talent but by the postseason they should be ready to go and should have a better squad than both Detroit and Miami.
Western Conference Champs: San Antonio Spurs
Last year I went with the Mavericks... They got bounced in the first round, whoops. This year I'm going with the no brainer safe pick Spurs. Tim Duncan doesn't go anywhere every year, they still are well coached and they play winning basketball. There's really no sense in not picking a team you pretty much know, if healthy, will at minimum be in the Western Conference finals
World Champs: Boston Celtics
When the Garnett trade went down I expressed my frustration and thought that it was a bad deal and didn't think that they would win a title with the constructed team. Now? Well I still don't really think they will beat the Spurs and I don't know if I really think they will make the finals (so you can disregard that Eastern Conference paragraph if you like) but whatever Boston is winning everything else this year, why not the NBA as well.
NBA Season Awards
Coach of the Year: Scott Skiles, Back to back years I'm going with Scott Skiles, not quite sure why but hell why not.
Rookie of the Year: Kevin Durant, Too much talent, too much opportunity, too much hype. If Durant does not win this award I will be shocked.
Sixth Man of the Year: Ricky Davis, I really don't know if Ricky Davis is going to start or come off the bench for the Heat, but let's assume he comes of the bench. Kind of like I'm assuming he will be very good.
Defensive Player of the Year: Gerald Wallace, I went with this last year as well, probably a dumb decision but whatever.
Most Improved Player of the Year: Rajon Rondo, this award is the most impossible for anyone to predict. I'll go with Rondo cause he wasn't that good last year and maybe the 3 stars will make him look like a competent PG this year.
Most Valuable Player: Dwayne Wade, With the flux in LA, Cleveland being worse, the Spurs resting Duncan this award is up for grabs. I'll go with a healthy Dwayne Wade, who will have the hype is on a good team and should have a big year.