it's that time of the year again...the nba season! i can't wait for this season to start with all the player movements and a few revamped teams.
the atlantic division is a lock for the celtics. the nets made some moves and they will definitely have more wins this season than last, but they won't make too much noise. amar'e stoudemire will get his points, but until he gets help, the knicks won't be much of a threat. the knicks need to make some moves (maybe a trade with the spurs for tony parker?) and get rid of tracy mcgrady. he's done! the celtics might be the only team to win 50+ wins in the atlantic division.
in the central division, the bulls are definitely an improved team this year (on paper) with boozer coming over from utah to help out luol deng and derrick rose. korver left utah as well to play for the bulls, and should offset the loss of hinrich. detroit and milwaukee will give the bulls a run for the division. cleveland will probably end up last in this division.
in the southeast, we all know what miami did bringing lebron and bosh over, but i wouldn't be too quick to jump on their bandwagon. it all depends on how the rest of the team plays their roles and if wade can stay healthy. and i've always thought that bosh was overrated...we'll see. dwight howard got some advice and was tutored by one of the best low post players ever, hakeem olajuwon, so we may see more offensive moves from him. atlanta will still be exciting to watch with crawford, johnson, horford and smith. charlotte might piss off a few teams here and there, but they're not much of a threat.
8. new york (they might go higher if they can land carmelo anthony and/or tony parker)
denver is in a world of hurt with carmelo and kenyon martin wanting out. i think they're both gone though by the trade-deadline. it's a shame 'cause with them, they're a really good team. also, look for them to deal j.r. smith...he's a free agent at the end of the season, right? portland will win some games, with or without greg oden, but brandon roy and nicolas batum need help. rudy fernandez is probably out. utah made up for losing boozer with the signing of al jefferson. deron williams is still one, if not THE best point guards in the nba. he needs to stay healthy for utah to go anywhere. as does mehmet okur. he can really stretch the defense. signing raja bell is good. he'll help out on the defensive end and can spot up for the 3. sorry minnesota...the wolves are going nowhere. oklahoma city thunder will probably win the northwest division. kevin durant is a beast and russell westbrook is the real deal. also, they've got a lot of help from a bunch of players that are young and athletic.
in the southwest, dallas got a bit stronger defensively with the signing of tyson chandler (not to say no one gets past him). the bad thing is that jason kidd, although still effective at times, is getting old. there's not much of a difference between 27yrs old and 28yrs old, but there's a big difference between 37yrs old and 38yrs old. speaking of old, san antonio spurs aren't getting any younger. and they hurt themselves resigning richard jefferson. if tim duncan, manu ginobili and tony parker can stay healthy, greg popovich can coach the rest of the team to play their roles and get the team to the playoffs. houston isn't going to do much with or without yao ming. aaron brooks is bad ass but he can't carry the team himself. new orleans is decent, but chris paul might be gone by the trade deadline. trevor ariza was a good addition though. memphis has two of the most exciting players to watch in o.j. mayo and rudy gay. marc gasol doesn't look so clumsy anymore and zach randolph is playing well. memphis could be last year's okc.
the pacific is a given; the lakers will win it. they got stronger in the off-season, signing matt barnes, james blake and theo ratliff. rookie devin ebanks looks like the 2nd coming of trevor ariza. once andrew bynum and kobe bryant are back 100%, and the lakers avoid further injuries, i expect them to win 62+ games. the l.a. clippers will be right behind the lakers. blake griffin will be the rookie of the year and vinnie del negro will be coach of the year. phoenix suns, sacramento kings and golden state warriors won't be factors come playoff time.
1. l.a. lakers
3. oklahoma city
4. denver (if they keep carmelo, kenyon and smith)
5. san antonio
6. l.a. clippers
lakers vs thunder
miami vs boston
lakers vs boston
1. don't quote me on anything. aside from the final 4, the rest is pretty open.
2. help me out if i missed something from other teams.