Beginning of Season- My Top 5 NBA Teams

Now that the season has begun, I am in the mood to watch NBA nonstop to catch up with all of the nights without basketball. Now that it’s started, I will give out my top teams from 1-5:

1) Miami Heat

After a…. disappointing season, losing in the Finals, the Heat are now old news in the fact that the stars aren’t shining as bright on highlight reels, so they can focus on basketball only, and not the celebrity hookups and hype every night. LeBron, Wade, and Bosh know the goal, this year, the Heat control their own destiny.

2) Chicago Bulls

Last year’s team with the best record are at it again, this year with a healthy Carlos Boozer, a refreshing Rip Hamilton at guard, and arguably the best player in the NBA, MVP Derrick Rose. With a shorter season, the Bulls are that much closer to playing the series of the year, my Eastern Conference championship prediction, against the Heat.

3) Los Angeles Clippers

Oh, boy. A lot is to be said about the LA Clippers’ atmosphere U-Turn in hype. With Blake Griffin, DeAndre Jordan, and now Chris Paul, I decided to put the Clippers at the top of the West. I’m a believer in their new “Lob City,” rumors. That being a quote from Paul about the alley-oops planned for this season.

4) Oklahoma City Thunder

 I think the Thunder were at the top of their peak last season, and I do not see them performing as well, earning a 2 seed in the playoffs. For the mos part, OKC didn’t make any additions to their roster, besides getting the 3-point specialist, Daequan Cook. As long as Russell Westbrook is more mature on the floor, and K-Durant does what he does, the Thunder are set up for big things.

5) Dallas Mavericks

Many experts have the Mavs in the top three, but it was hard for me to put them in front of the Clippers and the Thunder. Still, I believe the Mavericks will end up winning their Southwest Division with Dirk, Kidd, and Terry getting a raise in PPG in their fantasy projections for the season.

NBA Western Conference Predictions

Everybody knows the NBA is having money trouble with this year’s lockout, put I’d like to have a little fun with it, and make playoff picks. So, here’s my crack at the Western Conference:

 

 

1. Oklahoma City Thunder; 63-19- If playing, I would be believers in the Thunder this year. Durant would be a top MVP candidate once again. Kendrick Perkins thoroughly learns this system under the four year head coach Scott Brooks. They play in the easiest division in the west in my mind, and they would’ve pulled it out early.

2. Dallas Mavericks; 59-23- The Mavs are poised for a projected impossible back-to-back championship run, and I think they’ll try harder than most in games that have no importance (teams like Toronto and Sacramento). After the peak of his career, I think Dirk declines a pretty good amount. For instance, about 5-7 points per game less than last year. All in all, I like the team, but they need a young guard.

3. San Antonio Spurs; 56-26- Though they are aging, the Spurs have up and coming talent including DeJuan Blair and Cory Joseph. They play in the toughest division in the west put can compete, with their, again, veterans’ leadership. Everybody knows they are capable, it’s just the “doing” part of a great season.

4. Los Angeles Lakers; 55- 27- Look, Kobe is, well, older, so I think he’ll continue drop off. But, hoping Andrew Bynum doesn’t get injured, the Lakers’ depth could pick up the slack. Guys like Metta World Peace (haha), Shannon Brown, and Lamar Odom must go in and do their job and more if the Lakers want another championship.

5. Portland Trial Blazers; 51-31- Last year, Brandon Roy made an improbable comeback, making clutch shots in the postseason versus Dallas. Also, a wingman LaMarcus Aldridge had a breakout season last year, averaging 21.8 PPG during the regular season, and 20.8 in the postseason. This year, I think Nate McMillan can be regarded as a consistent coach and move into the plkayoffs at #5 once again.

6. Memphis Grizzlies; 48-34- Last year, the Rudy Gay-led Grizzlies made a lot of headlines, making the playoffs for a change. Unlikely contributors such as Zach Randolph and Tony Allen led Memphis to a #8 spot, and I think they can greatly improve from last year. I believe this will be a true breakout season for OJ Mayo.

7. Houston Rockets; 47-35- Following the departure of the man who I think should be in the Hall of Fame, Yao Ming, the Rockets are in need of another big man. I believe they filled that void with the drafting of forward Marcus Morris. They had the 3rd best offense last season, and with more efforts from players like Kyle Lowry, the 6’6 center, Chuck Hayes, and Luis Scola, the Rockets are a lock this year in the west.

8. Utah Jazz; 45-37- The Melo-less Nuggets and the declining Hornets will open up spots for the team above, and the Utah Jazz. Though they do not have Jerry Sloan court side, they do have fresh new players in Salt Lake including Devin Harris and Derrick Favors; both from the Deron Williams trade. They also have what I think is the best home court advantage of any team.

NBA Draft 2011

Well in a labeled “weak” draft, there were a few surprises. Maybe not that first pick. 75% of NBA fans were sure Kyrie Irving was the #1 guy for the Cleveland Cavs. Trades including Raymond Felton heading to Portland and Johnny Flynn to Houston create questions. Not to mention the 3-team trade dealing Stephen Jackson, Corey Maggette, and John Salmons. But maybe the biggest post-draft surprise was that of Tanguy Ngombo. The “21-year-old” man child turned out to be an actual man, as his real age is 26-year-old. The Minnesota just might have to forfeit their pick because Ngombo is ruled an inelgible pick.

Mavs Extinguish the Fire

Congrats Mavs, you’ve achieved the impossible.

The Dallas Mavericks practically “gallopped” through the play-offs all the way to the Larry O’Brien Trophy. In an obvious David vs. Goliath battle, Dirk did what he does, Kidd brought back his game from a decade ago, Barea raised eyebrows… I could go on and on. With the whackiest owner in Mark Cuban, some of the whackiest fans, and a whacky dream, the 3 seed Mavs brought it all together… Surprisingly: First they squeak by the Blazers, sweep the two-time champion LA Lakers, outlasted the Thunder, and of course, beat the famed Miami Heat. Yup, the NBA really is where amazing happens. Don’t be surprised to see a disney movie based on this Cinderella story.