Daniel’s 2010-2011 NBA Predictions

 It’s finally here: the start of the NBA season. As a Celtics fan, I’m more excited than usual about this year’s tipoff. Will already posted his preseason picks, and here are mine. I’ll go ahead and say it was very difficult to pick the outcomes of the Western Conference. If I’m way off on something, feel free to let me know in a comment. And I’ll prove you wrong.

2010-2011 NBA Projections

Standings:

East:

  1. Boston Celtics
  2. Orlando Magic
  3. Chicago Bulls
  4. Miami Heat
  5. Atlanta Hawks
  6. Charlotte Bobcats
  7. New York Knicks
  8. Indiana Pacers
  9. Milwaukee Bucks
  10. Philadelphia 76ers
  11. New Jersey Nets
  12. Washington Wizards
  13. Cleveland Cavaliers
  14. Toronto Raptors
  15. Detroit Pistons

West:

  1. Los Angeles Lakers
  2. Oklahoma City Thunder
  3. Dallas Mavericks
  4. San Antonio Spurs
  5. Utah Jazz
  6. Portland Trailblazers
  7. Memphis Grizzlies
  8. Golden State Warriors
  9. Phoenix Suns
  10. Los Angeles Clippers
  11. New Orleans Hornets
  12. Minnesota Timberwolves
  13. Houston Rockets
  14. Denver Nuggets
  15. Sacramento Kings

MVP:Kevin Durant- I think Kobe finishes as a close #2 in the voting. I’m not betraying a bias against Lebron here. I just think the presence of Dwyane Wade will hurt James’ status in the minds of voters. Durant has good players around him, but he’s the league’s most prolific scorer and the engine that moves the Thunder. Although, if Kobe wins the MVP, I won’t be surprised at all.
Rookie of the Year: John Wall- It seems like everybody is either picking Blake Griffin or Wall. I like the backcourt around Wall, and I think it helps him make the adjustment to the league more quickly than he might on another team. Griffin will be good, but Wall will win the “eye test” with the voters.
6th Man Award: Kirk Hinrich- As I said earlier, I really like how the Washington backcourt is constructed. The three guards (Wall, Arenas and Hinrich) seem to all fit together nicely. Hinrich should benefit from being on the floor with either of these guys. I’ve always liked Hinrich’s game, and I think this is the year he gets more recognition.
Scoring Champion: Kevin Durant- Does this need an explanation?
Most Improved: Michael Beasley- I’ve already written numerous times about how much better I think Michael Beasley will be this year. I like that he’s not playing second fiddle to Wade any more. I love the situation he’s going into in Minnesota. He could easily become the T-Wolves’ leading scorer.

Conference Champions:
West:
Lakers over Thunder- I love watching the Thunder just like everyone else. I think they take another step forward this year, but I still don’t see them as a conference champion. The team around Durant just needs another year to refine their games. This will be a good series, but I think the Lakers take the victory in six games.
East: Celtics over Heat- This pick is all about depth. The Celtics have the deepest frontcourt in the league. Of course, they also have an aging team. The depth of their team should help them stay fresh come playoff time. There’s no good answer for Rajon Rondo on the Heat. James and Wade will each have a good series, but the overall might of the Celtics roster will prevail. Celtics in seven.

Finals Champions:
Celtics over Lakers, 7 games- I didn’t want to pick this matchup again. I really didn’t. These are the two best playoff teams in the league as they’re currently constructed, though. The top teams in the NBA are so stacked that it’s difficult to see a series go less than six games. The Celtic depth makes the difference again here. The size of the Lakers will not give the C’s as many problems in the past thanks to the new additions. Celtics in seven.

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