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NBA Preview… well not so much anymore

So the NBA season is underway and it looks like we are in for another great year of professional basketball. Little by little, America is letting go of Michael Jordan and we are starting to finally see the talent of the current NBA stars celebrated for the skill and ability that they have. I feel bad for the Allen Iversons and the Vince Carters, who missed out on a lot of the white, corporate, and casual fan support that Michael Jordan enjoyed and to this tay still benefits from. LeBron, Dwyane Wade and Dwight Howard have benefited from the Jordan’s stranglehold on the minds of NBA “fans” being relinquished, but there still is a ways to get mainstream support for guys like Kobe, Carmelo, TMac, etc.

Not all NBA players play for the national team, or sit at home chillin’ during the summer. Devin Harris was across the pond and had a run in with one of GB’s playground legends in the following video. I guess we ain’t the only people that hustle.

Stuart Tanner is a G.

The Olympics were nice for the USA Men’s Senior National Team and we looked really nice winning the Gold. However, the rest of the world has caught up. As evidenced by one of my new favorite players, Rudy Fernandez. Nevermind the fact that he plays for my new favorite team, the Portland Trailblazers alongside Seattle native Brandon Dawayne Roy. Let’s not take into account the fact that he was born the day after I was, or that he is immensely talented. Let this dunk speak for itself:

Yes Dwight, you just got dunked on!

The NBA benefits the most from the greatness of the Nike brand. I will one day wax poetic in precise prose about the how wonderful Nike is, but until then watch “The Chosen One” in this commercial with my boo Nicole Scherzinger:

She could wear my shoes, and so much more… too bad they don’t make ’em like that in Kentucky :(. Wait. Nikki is from Kentucky. Dang.

I guess I need to actually pick basketball now…but before that, here’s what you missed:

Greg Popovich has a great sense of humor.

Unfortunately, Pop is not very camera friendly, and that kind of takes away from the hilarity of the move.

Its slightly cheating because, well, the season has started. But that won’t stop me, because after two to three games, my prognostication has not changed.

In the West

I have the Utah Jazz, Houston Rockets and Los Angeles Lakers winning their respective divisions. New Orleans Hornets, San Antonio Spurs, Portland Trail Blazers, Dallas Mavericks, and Phoenix Suns will make the playoffs. Seeding will be as follows:

  1. Lakers
  2. Rockets
  3. Jazz
  4. Hornets
  5. Blazers
  6. Spurs
  7. Mavericks
  8. Suns

I see the Rockets making huge steps this year with adding Ron Artest and the veteran leadership of Brent Barry. Tracy Lamar McGrady and Yao Ming will have to do a lot less work and should remain healthy all year. The Lakers are the best team on paper, with a starting front-line of guys standing over 6’10 and of course Beans Bryant in the back court. Deron Williams is probably the most complete point guard in the league, notice I didn’t use young as a qualifier. Chris Paul is “better” but Deron Williams does more for his team in the sense of being a leader and a mover beyond the stats. They have the best non-Laker/Rocket chance to win the West, depending on how the bench plays.

The rest of the West is pretty much irrelevant in my opinion. I think the Hornets will take a step back with teams knowing what to expect from them. They won’t be sneaking up on anybody, and combined with a healthy Rockets team, they probably won’t get the #2 seed like last year. The Spurs aren’t done yet, but they won’t win as many regular season games, which takes away home court advantage. They lack athleticism and perimeter guys that can score, with the exception of Parker and the oft injured Ginobili. Dallas was done last year after trading Devin Harris for JKidd, just like the Suns were for overreacting and going after Shaq. My Blazers ar loaded (I can’t wait to get a red Roy jersey), but they aren’t ready yet. They are too young and Roy has a couple of years before he becomes that great player poised to lead his team to a title.  They also will need a healthy Greg Oden… I don’t really see anybody in the West rising up and challenging for the playoffs save the Denver Nuggets. They play ZERO D, and lost all of their toughness, so for them it will be a matter of outscoring teams EVERY night. Oh and give the Grizzlies a little time and they will be real too… they are building the makings of a strong young nucleus like the Blazers did.

In the East, I’m totally clueless. There are so many variables, which probably don’t even matter, because it’s the West’s world and the East is just living in it.  Actually, I’m joking because of some of the off season moves/assumed increase in younger teams, the balance of power has shifted in the East. I’ve got the Boston Celtics, Cleveland Cavaliers and Atlanta Hawks winning their divisions. Also making the playoffs are the Detroit Pistons, Toronto Raptors, New Jersey Nets, Philadelphia 76ers and Orlando Magic. The East is so hard to pick because after the three division winners, the rest of the conference is full of unknowns.

The Celtics are the reigning champs and will probably be right back where they were, but the loss of James Posey is a big one. The LeBron’s will be better, just because of another year working together, an increase in LeBron’s talent and “The Chosen One” getting a few more talented witnesses on his team. The Hawks are on the rise and with a full season of Mike Bibby to guide the likes of Josh Smith, Joe Johnson, Marvin Williams, etc., Atlanta looks to be a much improved team. Detroit is on the decline but will probably be in the playoffs, I don’t like them at all so I’ll be glad when they really fall off.

Seeding for the East is as follows:

  1. Celtics
  2. Cavs
  3. Hawks
  4. Raptors
  5. Magic
  6. 76ers
  7. Pistons
  8. Nets

I’ve got the Pistons at the 7 seed, because they continuously do this thing where they don’t play hard all the time. It will really hurt them this year. The SIxers will improve with adding Elton Brand to Igoudala and Co., but I think it will take time for them to adjust and they won’t see true returns till next year. The good news is if they end up at the #6 seed, they play the Hawks. The Nets are better than they got credit for preseason, and I really like the way they look with Vincent Lamar Carter not having that bum Richard Jefferson and that lame Jason Kidd in his way (Jefferson sucks and I hate Jason Kidd ’cause he is madly overrated). Jermaine O’Neal and Chris Bosh are the main reason the East will be so wacky. They could gel really well and take pressure off of each other making that whole team, which wasn’t that far off last year, a good deal better.

Like I said, this is a lot harder to pick because of too many variables. For example, take the Wizards. If healthy, they will be a formidable foe for3/4 of the playoff teams. The Knicks may be a lot better with D’Antoni, and they have plenty of talent. Likewise, the Bulls may remember that outside of not having a post presence, they are pretty good. And then you hve the Heat. A healthy Wade, Shawn Marion and the addition of DeMarcus Beasley give them one of the quicker more athletic lineups, but what will they get from the bench? Will these three teams jumble up the postseason contention? I hope so. I would much rather have a good season than perfect picks LOL.

It’ll be a fun year, and I’m gonna love watching it. You should too. “Preseason” I am calling Rockets/Lakers in the west and Celtics/Cavs in the East. I didn’t want to pick the #1 & #2 seeds, but the way matchups worked, I’m pretty confident that’s how things will work. Coming out of each conference are the Rockets and the Celtics, with McGrady getting his first playoff series win and NBA title! Man I cant wait!

VIVA NBA!!!! Don’t you love my guesswork? I cant wait to see how wrong I am LOL.

Salute

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  1. gabrieloneverything
    11/02/2008 at 6:04 pm

    I feel you on Detroit…friggin pistons…

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