Monday, October 29, 2007

2007-08 Predictions

Normally I like to lavish about 10,000 words on my NBA previews, whether I'm doing them in column or blog form (and really, at this point, what's the difference?). But unfortunately, the old j-o-b continues to exact a rather steep toll, and fellow author Michael Kun and I are in a race to complete the manuscript of our upcoming book. So this is going to be a very abbreviated version.

Eastern Conference
1. Boston - I know that people have their doubts, but I think Rondo will get it done and that the New Big 3 will lead this team to the top seed in the East.
2. Detroit - The Pistons seemed headed for a downfall, but with guys like Amir Johnson, Jason Maxiell, and Rodney Stuckey coming of age, they might actually be better than they were the last two season.
3. Orlando - Howard is a beast and Lewis will provide scoring punch, but this team only improves if Jameer Nelson improves.
4. Cleveland - The Cavs are down, but with LeBron you are never out.
5. Washington - Most like Toronto in this spot, but the Wizards were cruising along until they were beset by injuries a year ago.
6. Chicago - The Bulls still need a lowpost scorer and won't make the Finals until they get one.
7. Atlanta - This is more fun than picking the Heat or the Nets.
8. Toronto - They played over their heads a year ago, Bosh is dinged up to start the year, and Jose Calderon should be starting ... all told, I think they barely make the playoffs.
9. Miami - It's time to blow this thing up. If a guy doesn't have the name "Wade" on the back of his jersey, he should be sent packing.
10. New Jersey - This is the year the wheels fall off.
11. New York - The wheels fell off a long time ago.
12. Milwaukee - Part of me sees them as a playoff sleeper, but a larger part of me sees the Yi Fiasco blowing up in their faces.
13. Indiana - Except lots of three point launches ... and lots of bricks.
14. Philadelphia - They played hard and pretty well after the AI trade last year, but they will find the going tougher this time around.
15. Charlotte - Everyone keeps waiting for them to get better, but I don't see it happening this year.

First round:
(1) Boston over (8) Toronto
(5) Washington over (4) Cleveland
(3) Orlando over (6) Chicago
(2) Detroit over (7) Atlanta
Second round:
(1) Boston over (5) Washington
(3) Orlando over (2) Detroit
Eastern Conference Championship
(1) Boston over (3) Orlando

Western Conference
1. Phoenix - Going with my gut and heart instead of my head.
2. San Antonio - The Spurs will slowplay the regular season and try to keep everyone healthy for the playoffs ... again.
3. Dallas - One postseason collapse doesn't change the fact that this team has the makings of a 65-game winner.
4. Denver - I know I'm completely crazy, but I think K-Mart is going to make it through the season and make a huge difference.
5. Utah - Deron Williams is the realness, but turmoil in the preseason is never a good thing.
6. Houston - I'm with everyone else who is excited about Houston, but after picking them to win it all last year, I can't bring myself to go too far.
7. New Orleans - Chris Paul is about to blow up in a major way.
8. Golden State - I'm not sure I buy sustained excellence for the Warriors, but I like them better than anyone else in the West for the 8th spot.
9. L.A. Lakers - They should make the playoffs with Phil, Kobe, Odom, and the improving Bynum ... but will they even have Kobe by the time the playoffs start?
10. Portland - The Blazers are going to play hard and be in every game, but without Oden, they are probably still a year away from reaching the postseason.
11. Memphis - They will be better, but it probably won't show up in the W/L column.
12. Sacramento - They should be more fun to watch, even when they are losing.
13. L.A. Clippers - Is any NBA team more cursed than the Clippers? Yikes.
14. Minnesota - It is cliche to pick the Wolves last, so I'm breaking the mold ... and taking them second-to-last.
15. Seattle - For my money, this is the worst team in the NBA.

First round:
(1) Phoenix over (8) Golden State
(4) Denver over (5) Utah
(3) Dallas over (6) Houston
(2) San Antonio over (7) New Orleans
Second round:
(4) Denver over (1) Phoenix
(3) Dallas over (2) San Antonio
Western Conference Championship
(3) Dallas over (4) Denver

NBA Finals
Boston over Dallas

MVP - Kevin Garnett
ROY - Al Horford (upset!)
COY - George Karl
DPOY - Shane Battier
6th Man - Manu Ginobili

1 comment:

Malachi said...

Whoa! Denver over Phoenix, come on. You picked us to come in first place in the confrence and then buckle under the Nuggets?!