NBA Season Preview

As we set to embark on another season of NBA ball, there are no shortage of questions and problems that still surround a few NBA clubs. Many of them have to do with trade demands and others …well let’s just say there is no easy way out for others. This off-season was a busy one as we saw many teams load up in the hope of contending for the playoffs, with one team in particular (Boston) accumulating all-star talent in hopes of winning the big prize. These are the three biggest questions or stories surrounding various NBA teams as they open up training camp:

1. Will they stay or will they go?
Never have so many high-profile players made trade demands in one off-season. Kobe Bryant wants out of Los Angeles, Jermaine O’Neal wants out of Indiana, Andrei Kirilenko wants out of Utah and Shawn Marion wants out of Phoenix. It’s easy to see why Bryant and O’Neal would want to leave their respective clubs. The Pacers are not going to make the playoffs this season and the Lakers are not a good team, no matter what anyone says. The Lakers are Kobe Bryant, it’s that simple. He hardly has a surrounding cast and he is going to break down one of these years because of it.

The Kirilenko and Marion situations are a bit more interesting. Kirilenko is not happy playing under Jerry Sloan as the system is more suited for a defensive player. He was also not happy with the minutes he received during stretches last season. The problem is, like many all-star calibre players, his contract is so huge that it is hard to find a team with cap space to take his contract on while getting good quality players in return. Marion likes Phoenix apparently, he likes the team, he just doesn’t like the way his name was rumoured about in the Kevin Garnett discussions prior to him being traded to Boston.

2. Boston: Contender or Pretender?
There is no doubt in everyone’s mind that the Celtics are a much improved team over the one that took to the court last season. The additions of bona fide superstars Ray Allen and Kevin Garnett make them a force to be reckoned with. There is no doubt they are a contender, it’s just of what magnitude. Are they a playoff team? Of course. Are they capable of winning the Atlantic Division? Yes, along with the New Jersey Nets and Toronto Raptors. Are they a championship contender? Not quite. These three players are all-world, don’t get me wrong, but let’s not put them in the class of Michael Jordan, Scottie Pippen and Denis Rodman just yet. The three from Boston haven’t won much of anything yet.

It’s a long season and the Celtics can finish anywhere from first to eighth in the Eastern conference. We all know that Garnett, Allen and Pierce will all bring it night in and night out, so it’s going to depend on two things for the most part. The first being injuries and the second being the play of point guard Rajon Rondo. Rondo has been thrown into the fire here in only his second season of NBA ball, it would’ve been nice if they could’ve acquired some more help for Rondo and the team as a whole but they have really been tied up by the salary cap. All in all, I am expecting some monster games by the GPA, it is the rest of the team that will determine where exactly they are come playoff time.

3. East no match for West
The Eastern conference boasts some good looking teams that should be contenders for years to come. But there is no doubt in anyone’s mind that the best teams at the moment are from out west.

Phoenix is always everyone’s favourite pick yet their time is running out with Steve Nash getting older and Shawn Marion set to become a free agent at year’s end. Dallas has a good amount of depth as well as the reigning regular season MVP, Dirk Nowitzki, in their back pocket. San Antonio is the reigning NBA champion and they look as good as ever, there are few teams who can match their depth, especially with Manu Ginobili coming off the bench. Utah has loads of talent up front as well as a point guard in Deron Williams who broke out last season, the big question with them as stated before is whether or not Kirilenko stays.

After that there is also Houston and Denver; however they are not in the class of the above four yet. So before you can even name a team from the East in a discussion for “who is the best team in the NBA?” you name four teams from the Western conference. That in my opinion seals the fate of the East, but it just means that the road for the Western conference champion is going to be all the tougher.

Predictions (East on left, West on right)
1 Chicago – Dallas
2 Toronto – Phoenix
3 Detroit – San Antonio
4 Washington – Utah
5 Boston – Denver
6 New Jersey – Houston
7 Cleveland – Golden State
8 Orlando – New Orleans
9 Miami – LA Clippers
10 Milwaukee – Memphis
11 Atlanta – LA Lakers
12 New York – Sacramento
13 Indiana – Portland
14 Philadelphia – Seattle
15 Charlotte – Minnesota

Awards (Winner on left, Second place finisher on right)
MVP – Steve Nash, Tim Duncan
NBA Championship – San Antonio, Phoenix
Rookie of the Year – Kevin Durant, Luis Scola
Coach of the Year – Greg Popovich, Jerry Sloan
Sixth Man – Manu Ginobili, Andres Nocioni
Executive of the Year – Danny Ainge, No 2nd place

Any comments or questions can be forwarded to g_gandhi1319@hotmail.com

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6 thoughts on “NBA Season Preview

  1. I can understand homerism to some point but picking the Raptors to finish second in the conference is a little crazy. Since when did Atlanta become better than New York?

    I hope you’re right but I think your Eastern playoff picture might be off.

  2. Great call with your picks! I agree that Toronto may a little bit higher than they should but it’s a gusty call that could come through.

    I agree with the Hawks because they look poised for a huge season. They have great depth at the PG position, Horford could be a double-double machine and they have Josh Smith, Joe Johnson and Marvin Williams ready to explode for huge seasons. Curry and Z-Bo are having problems “jelling” and that could pose problems for the Knicks (that and Marbury’s love of shooting which isn’t a good quality for a PG to possess).

    One team I’d rank higher would be Philly. I know that everyone is saying they are going to have rough season but they finished strong last season, Iggy could be an All-Star, ‘Dre is one of the top PG’s in the league, Dalembert is a block party waiting to happen, Reggie Evans will be in the top 10 in rebounding this season and they have a couple great young players who can score 20 points on any given night in Green, Williams and Korver.

  3. That would be crazy if Steve Nash won the MVP award again. I think he could average 20 assists a game and they wouldn’t give it too him simply because people would go nuts.

  4. Raptors at the two spot is a little crazy. That would mean they would be in the high 50’s for wins this year. I don’t see them going over 50.

  5. 106-69. I know it’s one game, but it just showed how many weapons the Raptors have. Sure, Boston might be able to out-match Toronto’s starting five a bit, but I believe Toronto would dominate Boston’s second unit.

    All 12 Raptors players had at least two points and six players had 10+ points. However, I also have Chicago as first in the East and they are 0-2 and Phoenix is down 30+ right now to the …Lakers.

    Call it homerism if you wish, but it’s a chance I am willing to take.

    Also, I believe the Raptors will take the 2nd seed with 50 wins or just slightly more. The East has improved in a lot of different areas this off-season and there should be more parody in terms of the number of wins each team has. I am banking of Chicago getting 52-55 wins only and Detroit close to 50.

    I don’t really like Washington’s team as a whole but Arenas is a game breaker and I consider their division to be the weakest in the East.

    Thanks 😀

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