(“Crank Dat Soulja Boy”, if you’re curious)
Annoying Friend: You realize that it’s like 2 days into the season, and you’ve had nothing to say about the NBA yet?
DP: What do you care, you said all my opinions are shit?
AF: They are, its just that how can I mock you down the line, if you don’t make your predictions that will undoubtedly be wrong?
Idiot that I am, I realized that he’s right; not only that everything I say will be wrong, but that I needed to bite the bullet and do this. Real life has gotten hectic, and each of the last two nights, I have thought that I would go to bed early, winding down by watching some of my first love, the Association, in action.
I had forgotten how worked up I tend to get.
Sure enough, I stayed up for the late game, both nights, and realized something already about this very young season. For everything that has remained the same (the Spurs are the best, Melo is a beast, Agent Zero hits buzzer beaters, Mavs look good…for now, the rest of the Cavs are still spectators), just as many things have changed. Some for the better (AI: 25 pts, 14 dimes, Rashad Lewis in the East, Jerry Sloan using AK-47), some for the worse (LBJ: 10 pts, 0 in the 1st half, Kobe booed at home, injury riddled Kings line-up) and some just befuddling (No more ‘The LeBrons’ commercials? C’mon Nike!).
Before getting to 2007-2008 season predictions, here are some logical, well thought out predictions that explain my rankings:
- If the Nuggets stay healthy, look for them to make some real noise at the top of the West. The added rebounding and defense of K-Mart along with the returning Defensive POY (Camby) gives the most dynamic scoring tandem in the Association a solid front line.
- Mark Cuban was right all along. Not so much a prediction as a fact, still fun to see in print.
- Kobe is going no where. Between what teams would have to sacrifice to get him, and his no-trade clause, where ever he would end up, would be turned into the Lakers East (there’s no way Buss would let him stay in the West).
- Penny Hardaway made the team in Miami. They will back into the playoffs, if at all.
- The LEast/West gap will shrink, since the East got better all over, and the West just got more top-heavy, with more bad teams cropping up.
- The Cavs will be nowhere near the Finals, since they upgraded nothing around Mr. James.
- Boston won’t make the Finals; through no fault of the Big Three, but because Doc Rivers still has to pilot this ship.
- The decline of the Mavs starts…NOW.
- Jim O’Brien will trick the Pacers into drinking the Kool-Aid, O’Neal will stay, and they will contend in the Central.
- The Hawks will be good. (Hey, they can’t all be right... )
Confernce by Conference Breakdown
Rankings based on total wins, not eventual playoff seeding.
LEastern Conference (until they prove otherwise)
12. New York
2. New Jersey
9. Golden State
1. San Antonio
Chicago over Boston
San Antonio over Denver
San Antonio over Chicago…or whoever else gets in their way.