Thursday, October 30, 2008

Money thoughts on the NBA

While Money and B Anthony are college hoops junkies, it is hard not to have an opinion on what we think will take place in the NBA. It is tougher to gauge and boring to watch for 80% of the year, but still fun to pontificate.

Let’s start off with the Lakers and Celtics. Two great teams, loaded with talent and favorites to get back to the championship game, so everyone says. If you know Money, you know this is not his belief. There is no question, the Lakers are loaded with talent and have the best team. Their second unit of five reserves would likely make the playoffs at a 7 or 8 slot. They have great talent, but that does not always translate to being number 1. Look at the Georgia bulldogs in football this year. Everyone loved them, loaded with talent, but a loss this weekend to Florida and they are out of the national championship picture in October. I don’t like Lakers for the following reasons;
1) Lamar: There is no way he will accept being a sixth man. His ego will not tolerate it and winning won’t cure it. This situation will self destruct.
2) Bynum: He is a very gifted young athlete, but like all big guys, staying healthy will be the key. We have no indication at this point that he can play a full season.
3) Kobe: He has played over a 1000 games (including playoffs) and this is a magic number where a players skills start to decline. Sort of like turning 30 for a running back or 28 if you are a female.

The Lakers are talented and they will end up with the best record in the NBA because of their talent and depth. But they won’t win it all. Neither will the Celtics. Again, this is a very talented and loaded team. However they lost their glue guy; James Posey. This will hurt them more than they think. He is a winner. The elder Celtics proved their worth last year. I don’t expect it to continue this year.

So who wins it all? How about my glue guy’s new team. THE NEW ORLEANS HORNETS win it all this year. Chris Paul is the best point guard in the league and that is what you need to win it. They shocked everyone last year with a 2 seed, but fell short. They have a good nucleus of Chandler, West, Mo Pete, Peja, and now Posey. Provided Paul stays healthy, these guys win it all. Who do the Hornets meet in the finals? The MIAMI HEAT will represent the Eastern conference. This is not that farfetched. They have one of the best players in the league, who led them a few years back (with the help of Shaq of course) in D Wade. They also have Udonis Haslem, new wingman Shawn Marrion and my two favorite rookies, Michael Beasley and Money Chalmers. The finishing touch; they just picked up Shawn Livingston, who may never be healthy again, but if he is, this will be a fabulous pick up.

So there you have it. The HORNETS over the HEAT in the NBA Finals.
A few other predictions;
Atlantic Division winner: Celtics
Southwest Division winner: Heat
Central Division winner: Pistons
Southeast Division winner: Hornets
Northwest Division winner: Utah
Pacific Division winner: Lakers

Western Playoff teams (in order): Lakers, Hornets, Jazz, Rockets, Spurs, Mavericks, Suns and Nuggets. The old guys (spurs, mavs, suns and nuggets) still get it done for one more year. Portland, I love ya, but you are not able to crack the top 8 yet. We may never see the real Greg Oden. He is too big and injury prone to make it out on the floor. 40 games for him would be a miracle.

Eastern Playoff teams (in order): Celtics, Pistons, Heat, Cavs, Magic, 76ers, Raptors and Knicks. Yes, the Knicks and Mike D make it to the playoffs this year.

MVP: Chris Paul
ROY: Beasley (second place – Chalmers)
Most Improved: Devin Harris
Coach of the Year: Erik Spoelstra (he is coincidentally the coach of the heat. I had no idea who their coach was 10 minutes ago).

Warriors Prediction:
I will say this, they will be entertaining and fun to watch but not because they are good, but more of a grease-fire. The Warriors are about to implode. Rowell the GM is doing all the wrong things and he, Nellie and Mullin and not on the same page. That is trouble. Nellie got an extension, so he is wanted. Mullin did not and he will be gone. Crash Ellis made a mistake crashing his “moped” (do you really expect us to believe you were riding a moped? Just say motorcycle) and should be punished, but he is fighting it. This will not end well. Hopefully, he can come back healthy. Harrington wants to be traded and likely will. This is a guy that Mullin likes but nelson does not. Maggette will play well, but struggle when Crash Ellis comes back. They both do the same thing and they can’t exist together. Obviously there is no point guard on this team. Mullin brought in Marcus Williams, but nelson does not like him, otherwise he would be playing. Put in the young guys. Let us see Wright, Randolph or Bellinelli. Probably won’t happen. SJax is such an incredible player. One night he guards the speedy quick point guard, the next night he is guarding the all star power forward. Stud, but a ticking time bomb. When he explodes, there goes the Warriors. I will watch and be hopeful, but I do not expect this season to end gracefully. I am calling for a 37-45 record and 10th place in the west.



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