Bystradamus here for more 2009-2010 NBA predictions, as we continue with the beast from the East.
I want this team to return to the post-season, I really do. The effort they gave during that classic series against Boston still lingers in my mind, and Derrick Rose is a young talent I’d pay to watch. He’s like a supernova to me, just incredible ball control and speed, not to mention quickness. He’s truly a remarkable talent. To me, the loss of Ben Gordon brings up a fork in the road for the Bulls. They can either fold up and crumble without the presence of their best, and most consistent scorer, or they can draw on the experience gained from last season’s epic, yet short playoff run, to catapult them to further rounds this season. I’d like to think the latter, but aside from maybe Brad Miller, who doesn’t seem like the “leadership” type, this Bulls team is really young. I’m going to say yes on the Bulls because their talent far outweighs any experience this team may lack. I hope the Bulls weren’t just a flash in the pan last year.
Chicago’s a wild card for me, they can either be the 4th seed, or the 8th seed.
LeBron James. Final year? Revenge. ‘Nuff said.
The Cavs have a chance to be the #1 seed again, but I think it’s safer bet to slide them into the #2 spot.
I’m not sure the Pistons sewed up any loose ends with the acquisition of Ben Gordon this past off-season. Don’t get me wrong, he’s got ice water running through his veins (clutch), and he can be extremely potent on the offensive side, but did they really need him? Scoring from that position really doesn’t seem like it should be an issue for the Pistons, but I guess their mentality is like that of Golden State. You can’t have too many guards, right?
How the whole Gordon, Stuckey & Rip dynamic plays out will be interesting this season, and with the departure of Sheed to the C’s, fantasy owners need to really consider picking up Jason Maxiell this season. He will be a strong presence inside. Tayshaun Prince is pretty solid, and can focus primarily on D again, as the team has several other scoring options. But the dark horse is Charlie Villanueva, and which Charlie decides to show up on a nightly basis. On paper, this squad looks very good, but it’s a far cry from the Pistons that went to five straight Eastern Conference Finals from 2004-2008, and I just don’t see them gelling. I predict they miss the playoffs.
As of now, I won’t disclose if the Pacers make the playoffs this season or not. It’s between them, and the Washington Wizards. Danny Granger is obviously the superstar on this team, well … I wouldn’t call him a superstar because he doesn’t quite get the national attention of perhaps a Dwayne Wade, but he does perform at a similar level of excellence. So in terms of fantasy, he’s a superstar, but in terms of media, he’s budding at best. Anyway, for those true basketball nuts, we know that Granger has what it takes to be the leader of a team, to be the go to guy, but as I’ve mentioned before, it takes a team to garner success. Thing is, Granger does have help in Indiana, Troy Murphy is a rock solid 4, and TJ Ford is a more than capable 1. I think the key to Indiana’s success lies in Mike Dunleavy and Roy Hibbert. If those guys can bring a consistent game, night in and night out, then I have Indiana slipping through the cracks and into the Eastern Conference Playoffs where they can be dangerous.
I hate to say it, but their main concern should be to sell tickets and put fans in those seats, and with their current roster, it’s going to be a little bit difficult. Michael Redd is a given, he’s an all-star, and he has my respect. But he is not the type of talent or personality that would fill the stadium outside of a few local die-hards. In my opinion, since the playoffs are a far-fetched idea for the Bucks, throw Brandon Jennings into the mix right away. Let him be the #2 guy behind Redd, and hopefully you can kill two birds with one stone by playing him, and playing him a boat load of minutes. One, we all know about his refusal to play college ball, and to skip to over seas and play in Europe for money, then, we know about how he hasn’t been shy about expressing his opinions about other players in the league, needless to say, he attracts negative attention, also known as drama. Drama sells. That includes tickets to a basketball game. And two, you force him to play, ready or not, and he gains experience quickly. I do believe Brandon Jennings has the talent to become an all-star, so get him on the path towards it now!
MORE TO COME!