The 2009-2010 NBA season is vastly approaching, and as I did with the NFL, I will unveil to you my NBA season previews, and I will do so by conferences and divisions! Someone remind me to re-visit my NFL predictions after week 8, I want to see how I fared.
Anyway, as usual, all teams start with a clean slate, and so there’s always a good amount of optimism felt by the players, coaches and fans. My job is to either confirm the good news, or be the bearer of bad news. Trust me, for most of you, it’s the latter.
With that being said … ON TO MY PREDICTIONS starting with the East! Bystradamus is in the building!
Let’s get it out-of-the-way first, yes … Boston will win the Atlantic, and most likely be atop the Eastern Conference by seasons end, but … this won’t be a nice stroll through the park for them, and staying healthy is the key to their overall success. I guess what I’m saying is, it would almost be better for Boston to just “get by” during the course of the regular season, and have their main focus to be making sure their parts are in tact come playoff time. This team has a lot of talented veterans who bring championship experience to the table, so home court advantage throughout the playoffs is a tad bit over-rated when it comes to the C’s. Well, maybe not “over-rated”, but definitely not quite as important as health. Boston had home court advantage against the Magic last season, but didn’t have KG. Honestly, which is more important?
The C’s will either be the #1 seed, or #3 seed in the East.
New Jersey Nets
They’ll be lucky to win 25 games this season. Not much to say here, just look at their roster and you will know what I’m talking about. Devin Harris is an outstanding young talent, and his upside has grown substantially since being dealt to NJ, but unless your name is LeBron James, or perhaps Chris Paul, no one player is good enough to turn a bunch of no names into a playoff caliber team. On a side note, for any fantasy owners, keep your eye out for Yi Jianlian. He was putting up good numbers midway through last season until he broke his wrist/hand. Barring another injury set back, I see him doing the same this season on a consistent basis.
New York Knicks
What did they do last year? Expect the same. No improvement. I give it a 60/40 percent chance that they’ll finish with a slightly worse record then in 2008-2009. It’s a shame that such a big market in basketball is so wack. David Lee, now that guy brings it night in and night out. He’s the most consistent player on the Knicks roster. There, that’s my positive note on the Knicks. Can I move on now!?!?
PS – My sleeper is Darko Milicic
PSS – SYYYYYKKKKKE
Now this team has some pieces in place! And I’m excited about what they have to offer, or what they potentially can bring to the table this upcoming season! I believe Elton Brand will find his niche with this team, and I’m expecting him to have a fantastic year! AI2 (the best AI now) is a borderline star. He brings great energy to the floor every night, and flourishes in a free-flowing offense, but, I don’t think he’s incapable of success in a set offense as well. This is the year he’ll show everyone what a well rounded player he truly is. Louis Williams had flashes of brilliance last season, and he has some big shoes to fill being that Andre Miller is no longer running the team, but his upside is tremendous. And last, Thaddeus Young, what can I say? I’m drooling over the potential that he and Anthony Randolph in Golden State possess. With more involvement with their respective teams this season, look for great numbers from these two.
The Sixers return to the playoffs as the 5th or 6th seed.
I was ready to write this team off, dead in the water, until the signing of the Michael Jordan of Turkey! Hedo Turkoglu is going to be a huge lift for this team, and I believe that lift will be enough to push Miami out of the playoffs so the Raptors can take their spot. Add to that, the emergence, and finally … the emergence of Andrea Bargnani, and the realization of it hits. The Raptors have a lot of weapons here. Including Jose Calderon, a superb point guard who is lights out from the line, and oh, some guy named Chris Bosh. Heard of him? The Raptors are no longer extinct, look for them to return to the playoffs because of their talent in the starting lineup. Or should I say … talons? LOL.
The Raptors should make the playoffs as the 7th or 8th seed.
MORE TO COME!