It’s the day I have been waiting for. The start of the NBA season. A lot of good storylines to watch in what should prove to be a very interesting NBA season. Here are my predictions for how things are going to shake out on the year.
Eastern Conference Regular Season
- Orlando Magic (Southeast Division Champs)
- Chicago Bulls (Central Division Champs)
- Boston Celtics (Atlantic Division Champs)
- Miami Heat
- Atlanta Hawks
- Charlotte Bobcats
- New York Knicks
- Indiana Pacers
- Milwaukee Bucks
- Washington Wizards
- New Jersey Nets
- Detroit Pistons
- Cleveland Cavaliers
- Philadelphia 76ers
- Toronto Raptors
Western Conference Regular Season
- Los Angeles Lakers (Pacific Division Champs)
- Utah Jazz (Northwest Division Champs)
- Dallas Mavericks (Southwest Division Champs)
- Oklahoma City Thunder
- Houston Rockets
- Portland Trail Blazers
- San Antonio Spurs
- New Orleans Hornets
- Denver Nuggets
- Phoenix Suns
- Memphis Grizzlies
- Los Angeles Clippers
- Minnesota Timberwolves
- Sacramento Kings
- Golden State Warriors
East Conference Finals: Miami Heat over Boston Celtics – I don’t have the Heat winning their division because I think it’ll take some time for everything to mesh, especially if they are fighting injuries early. But they’ll put it all together and when they do it’s going to be tough to knock them out.
West Conference Finals: Los Angeles Lakers over Utah Jazz – I didn’t want to be like everyone else and pick the Heat and Lakers. I really wanted to pick the Jazz here, cause I think this team is actually better with Al Jefferson than they were with Carlos Boozer. But I just can’t do it. The Lakers are too good on paper for me to see a team beating them.
NBA Championship: Miami Heat over Los Angeles Lakers – If you could tell me that Andrew Bynum would be healthy all year, including the playoffs, this might be different. I think a healthy Bynum puts LA over the top, but he hasn’t proven he can stay healthy. A lot of people think the Heat need a year before they can win it all, but I think they have what it takes right off the bat. The first half will be a learning process, but once they figure it out I think this is the best team in the NBA.
NBA MVP: Lebron James – I must sound like a Heat bandwagoner, but I promise you I am not. It actually pains me a little to make these predictions. But I think Lebron has the potential to be close to a triple-double per game. His scoring might take a hit, but he is still the best player in the NBA, in my opinion, and I think that’ll show on the court.
NBA Rookie of the Year: John Wall – I think Blake Griffin is good, but I think John Wall is special. I don’t think he can match Tyreke Evans rookie season, but I think he could easily end up with 17 points and 6 assists per game. I do expect Demarcus Cousins and Wesley Johnson to make this more than a 2 man race though.
NBA 6th Man of the Year: Antwan Jamison – He’s the best scorer on the team and even if he is coming off the bench he’ll average high teens in points and grab 6 – 7 boards per game. It’s a bad team, but Jamison is still a good player.
NBA Most Improved Player: Eric Gordon – I love Eric Gordon this year and I think he’s ready to take the next step and be the top scorer for Los Angeles. They have a solid post game with Griffin and Kaman and if Baron Davis can keep his head on straight they have a good guard, now it’s time for Eric Gordon to step up and be the scorer they need him to be.
NBA Scoring Title Winner: Kevin Durant – Lebron might be the best player, but Kevin Durant is officially the most dominant scorer in the league in my estimation. He can score from anywhere and do it in a multitude of ways. And he’s also the number one option on his team by a WIDE margin.
What are your picks for this season? Where am I off on my picks and where do you agree?
Keep checking back to see Daniel Shirley’s picks later this afternoon.