Wednesday, October 29, 2008


The NBA season is upon us, and not a moment too soon. The rain delay has taken the bite out of baseball, and who really cares about this series! Great baseball is being played, but again, it is not basketball.

The NBA season is a strange series of bursts! I can't really think of anyone who can watch the entire season closely. Unless of course you have a terrible gambling problem and want to track the over/under trends with an attempt to make money. If you have to gamble on the NBA, the over under's are the only way to go. Early in the year the numbers will be low and you will see more under's because of sloppy offense and energetic legs. As the season wears on there will be a surge in scoring. But this is too much work. The NBA is about highlights and there will be many this year. But back to the bursts. We are in the early surge right now. Season opening means expectations and excitement for about 2 weeks while everyone watches the rookies and watches to see if Kobe or Lebron can score 70 points in a game. Then we won't pay attention again until Christmas. The marketing ploy will last a few more weeks, before we all just wait for the play-off chase in April-May. Finally the play-0ffs will arrive and it will be 40 nights of chaos and ridiculous days off to stretch out the finale! So enjoy the first few weeks of the season and check back mid-year to see how the predictions below pan out!

MVP- Lebron James: This is a strange award that seems to just get shared among the league's elite. Kobe is the best player,(and I don't really like him, but that is changing). However, Lebron will continue to amaze, making nightly highlights with blocks, dunks, and full court left handed bounce passes. The Lakers are going to be so good and deep during the regular season, that Kobe won't have to or want to put up big numbers. Their 2nd unit could win 45 games this year! So the nod goes to Lebron, it is his turn.

ROY- In a bogus voting scandal, Derrick Rose and Michael Beasley will be co-winners. Similar to Jason Kidd and Grant Hill 14 years ago. Rose will be blinding and make some great steals and will finish strong around the hoop all year, he is tireless. I am seeing 14 points 9 assists, and 6 rebounds a game. Gaudy numbers for a 20 year old Rookie. Beasley will put up even better numbers but the lack of flash will keep the vote a dead-lock. He could average 20-10, but I will be safe and say it will be 19 and 9. Miami will be much better this year and may even get to the Eastern Conference final.

Comeback Player of the Year- Dwayne Wade. He will continue his Olympic Push and be fantastic this year. He will be top 3 vote getter in the MVP race.

6th Man- Lamar Odom. He was made for this role, and after so serious consternation, he will accept it. His number will go up, because he will be the man on this 2nd unit, because he gets to play with Jordan Farmar. Who, by the way, will be the one of the top point guards in the league, as a back-up. By the way, how many people in the last 25 years have named their kids Jordan? Do you know anyone who is named Jordan born before 1980?

Coach of the Year- Vinny Del Negro. I just love saying this name. You know the NBA players love him for it! Rose will make him look smart and the Bulls will surprise with a great regular season! They have a lot of young legs who can make a team look good for the regular season. Lack of post play will doom them in the playoffs!

All NBA-

1st Team-Chris Paul, Kobe Bryant, Lebron James, Carlos Boozer, Dwight Howard

2nd Team-Deron Williams, Dwayne Wade, Carmelo Anthony, Chris Bosh, Elton Brand

(Notice that Duncan and Nash are gone, they are slowing significantly) Nash's drop off will hurt Amare Stoudemire as well!

All Rookie Team-

Derrick Rose, Eric Gordon, Michael Beasley, Kevin Love, Greg Oden (notice that OJ is missing)Too much bad Karma with that name. He will be injured and over shadowed by the break-out year of one of his teammates. Look for Rudy Fernandez to make a push as well!

All Break-Out Year

Jordan Farmar, Rudy Gay, Andre Iguadola (growth continues), Luis Scola, David West( he becomes perennial all-star!)

Play-Off Picture

Western Conference: The Lakers are built for a 65 win season. They are just too deep and too talented, and too hungry after last years disappointment. As a life-time Laker Hater, I will pick them to run away with the Western Conference in the regular season.

West Final four: Lakers vs Utah- Lakers in 6

Hornets vs Rockets ( Surprise upset in first Round) Hornets in 7.

Sorry, Lakers advance to finals again!

Team to Watch!

Rockets will be very tough this year, and not only because Artest. Luis Scola in his 2nd year will be even better. He knows the league and will continue to pile up garbage points. Look for him to get 16 ppg and 9 rpg. Which are huge numbers considering he is the 4th option on this team.

Eastern Conference:

Celtics and Pistons will battle for the best record again. Rodney Stucky will be the difference for the Pistons as they secure home court advantage. The Celtics will have some injuries and will eventually start to believe they can turn it on for the play-offs. They can't!

Sixers will show some great improvement, and I think Brand will put up huge numbers. The post play in the East will be a welcome releif for Brand and he will scoop up 25 and 12 every night!

East Final Four:

Pistons v Heat: Heat in a huge upset ( wins game 7 on the road when Rasheed gets suspended in game 6) Beasley and Wade lead the way.

Celtics vs Cavs in a 7 game series. Lebron will get some help at the trade deadline and the Cavs will pull off this miracle. Pierce will injure himself in game 2 while throwing his body to the floor a la Euro soccer player trying to draw the foul! Too bad for Celtics!

Cavs advance. It is amazing how far a superstar can take a team, and conspiracy theory will be all over this one with NBA wanting the Lebron and Kobe showdown!

My WestCoast bias will shine through. As much as I hate to say it, Lakers Sweep!

Side note on the Warriors:
Long ago, I predicted Harrington would be traded. This morning he called for a trade. I think it will happen, just don't know who we will get. Chris Mullin will be done after this year, he has too much pride to live with Warriors Brass upstaging him. I know Nelson just signed a 2 year deal, but I don't think he will make it that long. He wants to give Keith Smart a chance to coach, and he will figure out a way to make it happen. This is going to be a long year for them. I hope they will find a way to get Brandon Wright and Anthony Randolf 15 minutes a game. They will be back in the play-offs in 2011.


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