Wednesday, October 28, 2009

NBA 2009-10

I wanted to have this up yesterday, but again life is just too busy. Even today I really don't have the time, but I will do my best to belt this out in the short time that I have.

The NBA tipped its 2009-10 season last night with a quartet of games, including the LA Lakers being awarded their championship rings and also awarded the chance to start their season against the LA Clippers (minus top pick Blake Griffin).

So much happened in the offseason with the draft and a great many players switching teams. Did the Cavaliers get better with the addition of Shaq? Did the Celtics improve with Rasheed Wallace coming off their bench? Is Ron Artest an upgrade over Trevor Ariza for the Lakers?

With the great many moves that happened this offseason it was still sort of a surprise because, well, the rich got richer. There weren't too many great moves happening with the lower echelon of teams, but the top teams getting even better players. Now, of course this can all back fire with lack of chemistry, but it might also be a safe bet that the great teams from a year ago will again be great this year.

A few teams to watch out for and moves I have loved:

San Antonio Spurs: I have never been a fan of the Spurs and I mock them whenever I get the chance because their brand of basketball is just so boring. I cringe whenever I think of that horrible Spurs-Pistons finals from a few years ago. But, the Spurs not only got a bit younger, but they got better. They bring in a quality small forward in Richard Jefferson and a decent veteran in Antonio McDyess. Not only that, but they may have gotten a steal on draft night with DaJuan Blair falling to them in the second round - he has looked like a beast so far in the preseason.

Washington Wizards: I had the luxury of seeing this team play already last night as the knocked off the Dallas Mavericks, and one thing is for sure - Gilbert Arenas is back. The Wizards defeated a pretty darn good Mavs team with Caron Butler giving a subpar performance and Antawn Jamison missing the game due to injury. That bodes well for this team. If Gilbert stays healthy this is a team to watch.

Orlando Magic: Talk about a team not wanting to settle. Coming off an NBA Finals appearance the Magic blew up their team, but kept three of their main players (Dwight Howard, Jameer Nelson and Rashard Lewis). Gone is premier rookie Courtney Lee, backup point guard Rafer Alston and do-it-all Hedo Turkoglu. But, they bring in Vince Carter to replace Turkoglu, Ryan Anderson to replace Lee, and a move that isn't getting talked enough about is the return of Jason Williams to backup Nelson. And all three (including newcomer Brandon Bass) have looked great in preseason.


East Playoffs (in order)
Boston Celtics
Orlando Magic
Cleveland Cavaliers
Washington Wizards
Chicago Bulls
Atlanta Hawks
Miami Heat
Toronto Raptors

West Playoffs (in order)
LA Lakers
San Antonio Spurs
Denver Nuggets
Portland Trailblazers
Utah Jazz
New Orleans Hornets
Dallas Mavericks
Oklahoma City Thunder

MVP: LeBron James
ROY: Blake Griffin (if healthy)
COY: Flip Saunders
DEF: Dwight Howard
6th: Rasheed Wallace

UPDATE: I realized after I sent this that I didn't finish it. So here are my final predictions.

First Team
Kobe Bryant, LeBron James, Dwight Howard, Chris Paul, Kevin Durant
Second Team
Dwyane Wade, Deron Williams, Chris Bosh, Tim Duncan, Paul Pierce
Third Team
Brandon Roy, Tony Parker, Dirk Nowitzki, Carmelo Anthony, Pau Gasol

NBA Finals
Orlando Magic over San Antonio Spurs

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