NBA Preview

Posted: December 25, 2011 in Collaborative Posts


Rookie of the Year: Derrick Williams
I know everyone is high on Kyrie Irving but I don’t think he will be good immediately since he has not really played many games in the last couple of years.  Williams will be a force, especially on the defensive glass.

Coach of the Year: Vinny Del Negro (aka See Me In The Playoffs)
All he does is take teams to the playoffs and when they get there they play hard.  Last year he struggled but now has CP3 and a retooled squad in control of the LA.  Also, has any coach given us a more exciting highlight in the trapezoid

Sixth Man of Year: Lamar Odom
Seriously no homerism here…

MVP: Lebron (I will continue to get robbed out of MVP trophies because I play with two top premier players) James
Honerable mention to the guy I actually think will win it: Dwight Howard

Atlantic Winner: New York Knicks
Short season built for this run and gun team.  Celtics older and more strategic.

Central Winner: Chicago Bulls
This is by far the worst division in all of sports.  What on earth is going on with Cleveland, Detroit, Milwaukee, and the second best team and oddly the Bulls’ pain in the tush the Pacers!?  Horrendous.

Southeast: Miami Heat

Northwest: Oklahoma City Thunder

Pacific: LA Clippers
Note: Lakers fans will not be happy with me in a few lines


Finals Match Up: Miami Heat vs. Dallas Mavericks
It should be noted that I did not want to pick the Thunder.

NBA Champion: Miami Heat

Biggest Disappointment: LA Lakers
On their way to being a 39 win team and struggling to make anything work.  If Miami was a three man team that could succeed because of talent, the Lakers are a three man team that will fail miserably.  Kobe will meltdown and snap at Mike Brown at least four times.

The 2011-2012 NBA season is shaping up to be an exciting, drama-filled season. Off the court, the Chris Paul trade fiasco and the impact on the franchises involved in the trade will be a constant topic of discussion. How about Dwight Howard? Will he stay or will he go and if he chooses to leave, which team will acquire the best center in the game?

On the court, how will the shortened, condensed season affect teams and the quality of play? The consensus is that young, deep, and most importantly, talented teams will have an edge over old, decrepit teams like the Lakers, Spurs, and the Celtics.

Only time will tell.

Here are my predictions for the 2011-2012 season.

Division Winners

Eastern Conference
New York Knicks: The Knicks will score a lot of points despite the fact that they are thin at point guard. Signing Baron Davis will help but no one is truly certain how productive Davis will be because of his unenthusiastic, disinterested play over the past couple of years. However, Davis has shown a tendency to be engaged when he is on a team that has legitimate playoff hopes.

Chicago Bulls: The Bulls won the Central Division by 15 games last year and are seemingly a better team this year after they addressed the weakness at the 2-guard position with the signing of Richard Hamilton. Need I say more?

Miami Heat: The only legitimate contenders in this division are the Heat and the Orlando Magic and more than likely, Dwight Howard will not be a Magic for the entire season. So, the Hawks will be the only threat to the Heat. Once again, need I say more?

Western Conference
Oklahoma City Thunder: The Thunder are young, deep, and talented. So is Denver and Portland but what will put the Thunder over the top is that they have two superstars (i.e. Durant and Westbrook) to Portland’s one superstar (i.e. LaMarcus Aldridge) to Denver’s none.

Los Angeles Clippers: With the addition of Chris Paul, Chauncey Billups, and Caron Butler, the Clippers have built a starting five that is as talented as most teams in the league. Their problem is that they lack depth in the frontcourt and a viable defender at 2-guard. However, the Lakers also lack viable depth at every position and Kobe is no longer the best player in this division. Blake Griffin and possibly, Chris Paul, are now better than Kobe. (Yes, you read that correctly).

San Antonio Spurs: Many, including me, forgot that the Spurs finished the ’11-’12 regular season 2nd in the NBA in wins. The fact that all of the key players from that team are returning and that Tim Duncan came into camp in great shape doesn’t bode well for the rest of the division.

Disappointment of the Year
The Lakers will finish no higher than 6th mostly because there is a dearth of talent after Kobe, Gasol, and Bynum. Also, Kobe finished last season with the 2nd highest usage rate in his career (35.1), which was the highest value by any player in the NBA last season (usage rate is an estimate of the percentage of team plays used by a player while he was on the floor). That is absolutely absurd considering that he was 32 years old and is a declining player. For the Lakers to reach their potential this season, they must play inside-out. Gasol and Bynum should be the primary offensive options for most of the game until crunch time. Unfortunately, Kobe is stubborn and still thinks that he is as good as he was 4 or 5 years ago. As a result, he will continue to use up a substantial amount of the Lakers’ possessions, which will cost them a couple of games. I do not have any faith in Mike Brown to tell Kobe to cool it.

Surprise of the Year
The Minnesota Timberwolves will contend for a playoff spot. For the first time since firing Flip Saunders, the Head Coach has experienced playoff success and the team can field a competitive starting five.

Rookie of the Year
Usually, to win the RoY award requires three things: (1) substantial hype coming into the season, (2) an opportunity to play a lot, and (3) ability to contribute right away. Several players fit those criteria but the ones that stand out to me are Kyrie Irving and Kemba Walker. Irving was highly touted thorough out his freshman year at Duke even though he only played 11 games and Walker is a household name because of his excellent play in the regular season and in the tournament. Both players were drafted into situations in which they will be given free reign; success or failure will not determine their playing time. And finally, they are skilled enough to compete from the beginning of the season. Ultimately, my pick for this award is Kyrie Irving because he is the better player.

Sleeper: Derrick Williams; sufficiently talented to contribute right away but Minnesota has several players that play his position. So, he might have the opportunity to play a lot and but will not rack up numbers that warrant the Rookie of the Year award.

Coach of the Year
Lionel Hollins: The Grizzlies made a deep run in the playoffs last year without Rudy Gay. Insert a healthy Rudy Gay and this team will win a lot of games.

6th Man
To come up with my prediction for this award, I went through all the teams that I think would make the playoffs or at the very least, compete for a postseason spot. I settled on five players: Jason Terry, Jamal Crawford, Lamar Odom, James Harden, and O.J. Mayo. I then eliminated Terry, Crawford, and Odom because of this fact: in the 28 year history of 6th Man of the Year award, only twice has a player won this award two times, with the last time being in 1992. So, needless to say, the chances that Terry, Crawford, and Odom to win this award for the second time are very slim. This left Harden and Mayo and I chose Mayo simply because I foresee that Harden will be permanently inserted into the starting lineup sometime during the season.

Kevin Durant: The Thunder might finish with the best record and Durant in the best player on the team. (Allen, you are crazy!)

Conference Winners

Eastern Conference
Miami Heat: Although the Heat have not solved their problems at center and point guard, the team will make it out of the East because there is not a complete team in the Eastern Conference. Other than Derrick Rose, the Bulls lack a player that can create off the dribble against elite defenses. The Knicks do not play a high level of defense. And the Celtics are just too old.

Western Conference
Oklahoma City Thunder: The Thunder lost in the Western Conference finals last year despite having leads in the final minutes of several of the games. Another year of experience and an improvement in Westbrook’s decision making and in Durant’s ability to get open will lead to the first ever appearance by the OKC franchise in the NBA Finals.

Oklahoma City Thunder: Since the end of 2011 NBA Finals, I have been proclaiming with confidence that the Heat will win the championship in 2012. But after taking a closer look at the roster of OKC, it is clear that the Thunder have the most complete team in the NBA. The Thunder can defend the paint, have good perimeter defenders, and have elite wing scorers. From Durant and Westbrook to Cole Aldrich, this team legitimately goes 10-deep and because of that they will be hoisting the Larry O’Brien Trophy at the end of the playoffs.

Bunker – EIC
Rookie of the Year: I refuse to make a  prediction, because I don’t think any rookie will have any significant impact. I can pretend to care about the rookies and do some further research explaining why Derrick Williams will be a better player than Kyrie Irving. Or why Kemba Walker doesn’t fit into the Bobcats system. Although I am excited to see Ricky Ruuuuuuuuuubio. Oh yeah. Jimmer Fredette ROY.
Coach of the Year – Mark Jackson. I think he’ll turn the team around and get them to the playoffs. They have a great offense and I think he’ll bring the defensive toughness necessary to make the team successful.
Sixth Man of the Year – Eddy Curry. 10pts. 5 rebs. and the key to the Miami Heat championship run. (Also another category I refused to do real research on)
MVP: I would give it to Dwight Howard, but he’s going to be moving around and there’s a chance he may lose motivation in Disney Land. Chris Paul. He deserved it the year Kobe won it, but this year I think he will really get it.
Playoff Standings
Eastern Conferece
1. Miami Heat
2. New York Knicks – I’m in the extreme minority here, but I think the Chicago Bulls’ success last year was a bit fluky. Derrick Rose played out of his mind and the defense was impeccable. I don’t think they can repeat that same success, especially because they will not sneak up on the better teams this year. I feel like the Knicks can pull off that sort of run this year due to how much offense they have. If Chandler and D. Coordinator Mike Woodson can bring defense to a city that prides itself on toughness (which I think they will), I think the Knicks have a shot at overtaking the Bulls
3. Chicago Bulls
4. Atlanta Hawks – Only because I think Boston will take a few steps back.
5. Boston Celtics – Too old.
6. Orlando/New Jersey Nets (depending on who has Dwight Howard)
7. Indiana Pacers – A very young and talented team that will give teams fits this year.
8. Charlotte Bobcats – I think they are the best team that didn’t make the playoffs last year.
I just realized how bad the Eastern Conference becomes after the top 4 teams.

Western Conference

1. Oklahoma City Thunder

2. Los Angeles Clippers – Lob City with the MVP Chris Paul

3. Dallas Mavericks – Gotta give it to the World Champs.

4. Los Angeles Lakers

5. Denver Nuggets

6. San Antonio Spurs – A scary sixth seed given the shortened season.

7. Portland Trailblazers
8. Golden State Warriors – Mama There go that man.
NBA CHAMPIONS: MIAMI HEAT. For the love of God, big 3 just get it done.
  1. Dennis says:

    ROY award is going to be tough his season, alot less games, less time for them to adapt to the NBA, back to back games, and mental toughness. Kemba has alot of the potential to be the candidate but Irving is also another player that can compete for it. Irving is in a better situation then Kemba, because he pretty much is going to control the whole team and the organization is going to put him right up there as a big face/name for the Cavs.
    Golden State Warriors are going to be a surprise team this year and i think have a great chance to get deep into the playoffs in the West behind Curry, Ellis, Lee, also got a few bench players that are pretty good fit for the team. Mark Jackson doing a great job of opening the season, my evidence is the game aganist the bulls the other day. They rebounded off a horrible shooting night and a tough loss to “The Lob City” Clippers.
    Thunder are not taking no for an answer this year. Wouldnt be surprised to see Lebum James vs. KD- durantchla aka “Give me the ball if you want buckets” in the finals. The youth of the thunder hurts them alot but this year but they got a little more chemistry and alot of losing experience to fuel the fire in OKC.

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