I know I’m pretty darn late to the party. This one has been in the works for a while, and only now have I really just gotten around to finishing it. But no more procrastination! So, without any further ado………. my NBA Preview.
1. Miami Heat. I hate to say this, I really, really, really, really hate to. But unfortunately, they forced me. Unfortunately for the rest of the world, this team is (A) Pretty good, (B) Playing with a swagger that’s just hard to describe, and (C) finally finding talent that doesn’t involve LBJ, DW or CB.
2. Chicago Bulls. The only reason they should be number 2 instead of 1 is simple. No Rose. While they will still be good, the Bulls are Defined by D-Rose. Without him, they’re good. With him – they can be unstoppable.
3. Boston Celtics. Remember when I said 2011 is the last year for Garnett and Pierce? I was wrong. But now, this is Rondo’s team. So expect another few years out of this lineup before it’s back to square one.
4. New York Knicks. I really don’t feel confident in this prediction. But if everything goes decently well for the Knicks, then they’ll have the 4 seed taken just because of the talent they can produce. Not saying they will, but it’s very possible.
5. Brooklyn Nets. I feel a bit more confident on this one. With the new image, new players and a new chance, I feel good about the Nets. They have a decent bench and a great starting lineup.
6. Philadelphia 76ers. You know the name, Seventy Sixers? I feel like they’ve been hovering in this area for a bit – now they take a step up. Next year, maybe they’ll get rid of the name, change to the Fifty Fourers.
7. Cleveland Cavaliers. Kyrie Irving looks poised to make a sophomore stretch, and become one of the elite point guards in the game. Next year, this team will be ready for prime-time.
8. Atlanta Hawks. This team is getting older, but I still think they’re playoff caliber. They can play with the big boys, but it could be hard in the division owned by the Heat.
Heat Over Hawks, In 6
Bulls Over Cavs, In 7
76ers Over Celtics, in 5
Nets Over Knicks, in 7
76ers Over Heat, in 7
Bulls Over Nets, in 6
Bulls Over 76ers, in 5
1. Thunder. With the playoff experience checkmark off the list, the only thing standing between them and this spot is their ego. Keep it low, and Aloha, Number one seed.
2. Clippers. Also mark the playoff experience checkmark off. But this will be more than a checkmark season. This season will be the second breakout. Get ready, because LA has a new king.
3. San Antonio Spurs. Seriously. When will they go away?
4. Lakers. It’s not going to be the same. They’re on the way out, and don’t be surprised if they finish lower than this. Kobe, Meta, Gasol and Howard are getting older and more prone to injuries. Sorry LA – there’s a new King here.
5. Houston Rockets. With the addition of Harden and Lin, this team is going to be offense heavy. And while the lack of defense might be scary for Rockets fans, the offense will be enough to propel them to the number five spot.
6. Denver Nuggets. It’s a new look for them, and it’s looking good. Don’t expect a miracle season, but definitely a good one.
7. Memphis Grizzlies. One spot up from last year, they look ready – and they will be. Returning veterans are everything here, and they want to give Memphis a long journey through the playoffs, and look poised to take the first step.
8. Mavericks. One last time for them. Nowitzki is past his prime. Terry waved goodbye, and the Mavericks might be doing the same with the playoffs for a while starting next year.
Thunder Over Mavericks, in 5
Clippers Over Grizzlies, in 7
Nuggets Over Spurs, in 7
Rockets Over Lakers, in 6
Thunder Over Nuggets, in 6
Clippers Over Rockets, in 5
Thunder Over Clippers, in 7
Which brings us to the NBA Finals. And I predict the team that will hoist the Larry O’ Brien Trophy, in 7 games, with the MVP Kevin Durant, will be the Oklahoma City Thunder, bringing a championship to the franchise for the first time since the seventies.