Tuesday, October 2, 2007
I can't wait for the season to start. I really can't. So much drama, so many good storylines. What's Kobe gonna do? Do AK47 and Matrix get shipped? Does the KG experiment work in Boston?
Let's start with the Leastern Conference, Atlantis Division.
I dig the KG/Pierce/Ray trio. Pierce and Ray are both versatile players who can get their own shots at any time. It'll be interesting to see who the alpha dog is in fourth quarter situations. I'm picking the Cs to win 52 games, have some injury problems and then end up losing to the Pistons in the Conference Finals. It also wouldn't surprise me if the team started slowly and Danny Ainge brought in Larry Brown to take over for Doc at the All Star break.
Who gives a shit, really? 45 wins. Another good year statistically for Kidd and Carter. Whatever. The only intrigue here is if Kidd gets dealt (please, come to the Lakers, pleasepleaseplease...).
I think they could slide this year, honestly. My crystal ball tells me that Bosh is gonna miss a lot of games and Bargnani won't be a star just yet. And doesn't Sam Mitchell seem like a dick?
Too much was made of their good run at the end of last season. Iggy and Andre Miller can play but this team still sucks. And don't forget Dalembert's already injured. At some point this year, you'll hear the words 'they really seem to miss Joe Smith.' I swear. Watch. 'They're just not the same without Joe Smith out there.' Hilarious.
What? The? Fuck? After last season, I thought it couldn't get any worse for Isiah and the boys. Boy, was I wrong! Losing a 10 million dollar suit AND signing Zach Randolph? Wow. Just wow. I'm picking them to win 20 games. Seriously, 20-62. Marbury's a nutjob. Curry could drop dead at any minute. QRich has the worst Knick back since Larry Johnson. This is the year it all bottoms out. And Isiah probably gets shitcanned. At least Knick fans will have Lebron rumors to keep them warm at night.
OK, on to the Central.
They'll win the division and go to the Finals. Big years for Sheed and Billups. Youngsters Maxiell and Stuckey show promise. They're so consistent, these Pistons, kind of like The Spurs of the East.
This Deng kid is pretty good. Reminds me of a young Pippen. And if Ty Thomas blows up the way I think he will, this team could knock off Detroit. But I don't see Skiles and Big Ben getting along for very long, do you? That's a Sprewell/Carlesimo Part 2 waiting to happen, right there.
Cleveland will disappoint. Their inability to improve this off-season will hurt not only their chances to win the title this year but also to keep Lebron James in '09. I wouldn't be surprised to see Mike Brown fired after a disappointing early playoff exit.
They'll be better than most expect. Jermaine O'Neal is still one of the best two way players in the league and Granger is poised to break out. Jim O'Brien's open offense will make everyone happy, even if they don't make the playoffs.
Huge deals for Bobby Simmons, Mo Williams, Charlie Bell? Those aren't guys you want break the bank for, Senator Kohl. And drafting Yi is not gonna work out well. He's got bust written all over him. Poor Mike Redd. He goes from the Dream Team to this?
With DWade back in MVP form, the Heat win 50+ games again. The Shaq/Zo combo platoon continues to be effective and lengthen their respective careers. I'm intrigued by Dorrell Wright. I'll bet he gets big minutes this year.
Dwight Howard will continue to dominate and draw 'young Shaq' comparisons. Rashard's shooting will open up a lot of space down low. Stan Van should be able to squeeze 45 wins out of these guys.
I don't think Gilbert's full strength yet. In fact, I'm going on record right now saying that he misses half the season. He'll come back in time to make sure he doesn't jeopardize his impending free agency, bet on that. Antawn Jamison will be traded soon, too. Who Grunfeld gets back will determine the future of the franchise, and obviously whether or not Arenas stays.
Why is Michael Jordan a GM, again? Gerald Wallace isn't worth all that money. And the Morrison pick is looking more foolish by the minute. The big story here is whether or not Meka's healthy. Doesn't really matter, though. They'll suck. JRich wasn't the answer, either. Another puzzling move by MJ.
No defense, no bball IQ. Horford's gonna be solid, though. Maybe not this year but soon. Joe Johnson gets to spend another year wondering why he left Phoenix. This team seems cursed. Maybe not as bad as The Clippers but close.
Over to The West we go. In the Pacific...
Nash wins the MVP again as the Suns get to 60 wins. Marion will be dealt before the season ends. Amare's knees will continue to be an issue. Title talks are premature, however. They still won't get past The Spurs.
My guys will win a handful more games than they did last year, maybe jump up to 48 wins or so. The addition of Fisher (and subtraction of Smush) assures that. And I'm one of those who actually believe in Andrew Bynum. I wouldn't NOT DEAL HIM FOR KIDD or anything but I do think he's gonna put up 13/8/2 this year. Kwame Brown's on the way out the door, probably for draft picks. Sadly, I don't anticipate Phil coming back, either. Kobe? Who knows? But if I had to bet, I'd put my money on him retiring a Laker.
Warriors, come out to play-ee-ay! This season will be rockier than the Warriors trying to get back home to Coney Island. Baron will get hurt like he always does. And that means Stephen Jackson is your team leader. Other ominous sign: a possible Nellie/Mullin rift.
I bet both Mike Bibby and Ron Artest get traded. And Brad Miller looks ready to hang 'em up. Reggie Theus will be coaching in front of small crowds.
Just like old times. Ah, that old familiar sting of being in last place. Sam Cassell can't leave fast enough. Sure, he'll end up in the front office but he's too smart to have it be THIS front office. You know what would be really funny? A fight between Kaman and Tim Thomas.
With 60+ wins, they'll have the best regular season record again. But their pansy- ass jump shooting brand of basketball will lead to another embarrassing playoff choke. Dirk and Cuban beef openly. Avery wins Coach Of The Year, ironically.
As always, they use the regular season to tune up and then win another title with strong D and continued improvement from Tony Parker, who gets MVP buzz. Duncan's got a few good seasons left in him.
Yao's not really an uptempo player so it'll be interesting to see how Adelman structures the offense. TMac will be phenomenal, possibly 1st Team All NBA, if he stays healthy.
Conley will be Durant's only competition for ROY. This team will play no defense whatsoever but Pau, Miller, Conley will all be amazing fantasy league players.
Not sure why, but I bet they implode. We get to see Chris Paul's ugly side. Byron Scott erupts! Tyson Chandler goes nuts and starts biting people. I'm feeling a dark energy from the Hornets...
Best team in a weak division. 50 wins sounds about right. Melo dominates, AI matures into a heady player. Karl's still one of the game's best coaches. KMart should just retire. He's not gonna come back. No way.
Distractions caused by DWill and Boozer free agency rumors will cause things to unravel a bit. AK will get traded to someplace unexpected like Philly.
The Oklahoma City-bound Sonics will feature Delonte and Durant in a supersized backcourt. Kurt Thomas has his best season in 5 years. They'll still be unwatchable.
With Oden, they were worth talking about. As is, they'll be boring, predictable and extremely unsuccessful in the winning of basketball games. Aldridge and Roy will continue to grow and wait for Golden Olden to return and anchor the middle.
Sucky. Foye and Jefferson will score a lot. Marco Jaric will get arrested for assaulting a woman. McHale really put together an awful team, eh?
Def Player- Garnett
Most Improved- Ty Thomas
ROY- Durant (Conley 2nd)
Champs- Spurs (over Pistons)