Posted by: Lee on July 25th, 2010The author's views are entirely his or her own and may not reflect the views of the Utah Jazz.
Hey, just wanted to express my opinions for the upcoming season in the West in my very first blog post.
1. L.A. Lakers - After upgrading from Jordan Farmar, Josh Powell, and DJ Mbenga to Steve Blake, Matt Barnes, Theo Ratliff, Devin Ebanks, and Derrick Caracter, the defending champs will improve from last year’s record even more from the off-season moves. They will be the top team in the NBA. To quote Jazzbots writer James Seaman, “they are firing from all cylinders”. After resigning Shannon Brown, the Lakers will win over 60 games this next season. http://www.nba.com/lakers/roster/10players.html
2. Oklahoma City Thunder – The rising young-stars will be even better than last year and can get even better from their 8 Million in Cap Space. The Thunder’s strong set of 2nd string players with Eric Maynor, James Harden, and Nenad Krstic/Cole Aldrich leading will put up very high bench numbers. Kevin “The Durantula” Durant will once again be the Scoring Champion and also the 2010-11 Season MVP.
3. Dallas Mavericks – With the addition of Tyson Chandler, they finally have a big presence down low with Chandler and Haywood sharing minutes. Jason Kidd will be older, but J.J. Barea and Rodrigue Beaubois will successfully take the reins when needed.
4. Utah Jazz – As much as I would love to put them higher, I don’t think it’s going to happen. After losing Boozer, Korver, and Matthews; the Jazz added Al Jefferson, Raja Bell, and Gordon Hayward. Now, with someone that can actually play Center so Okur can rest (a 6′9 center in boozer does not work), Jefferson makes it so that the Jazz are able to bang down low with the other bigs in the league. They will fight OKC and Dallas for the #2 spot, if everything goes there way, they may even grab that spot. Andrei Kirilenko will not be traded and will play out his contract in Utah. Earl Watson will be a great addition for the Jazz and the Jazz will have one of the strongest benches in the league.
5. Phoenix Suns – Some think that they will drop dramatically from the loss of Amare Stoudemire, but I think that the addition of Josh Childress, Hedo Turkoglu, and Hakim Warrick with the help of Steve Nash will easily clinch the 5th seed for them.
6. San Antonio Spurs – After adding Euro-Giant Tiago Splitter, the Spurs resigned Richard Jefferson. Even though the team is getting older, the new addition of Splitter will let them fight for the 6th spot. DeJuan Blair will once again prove that teams made a huge mistake by passing him up.
7. Denver Nuggets – Having to start the season without Kenyon Martin, Chris “Birdman” Anderson, and their head coach, George Carl; the Nuggets will have to have a bad start to the season, but will bounce back once the whole team is back. Al Harrington will help fill the void slightly before Martin and Birdman fully heal. Ty Lawson will find himself playing better than Chauncey Billups in a few games. With all this Carmelo Trade Hype, it looks as though the Nuggets will be a rebuilding team and will most likely drop to below 10th seed.
8. Portland Trailblazers – Greg Oden will be back, Marcus Camby will play a full season with them, and Wesley Matthews will let Brandon Roy rest without having to worry. Look for them to trade Rudy Fernandez and for Luke Babbitt to have a better season than some of the other Rookies picked ahead of him.
9. Houston Rockets – With Yao Ming healthy, and a legitimate backup in Brad Miller, the Rockets will fight with the Spurs, Nuggets, and Blazers for the 6th seed, but will fall short in a few close games during the season. Having Kevin Martin for a full season will also make the team better. Aaron Brooks will again have a stellar season. Yao Ming and another (Brooks or Martin) will make the All-Star team thanks to all the votes from China.
10. Memphis Grizzlies – After keeping the team almost exactly the same as last year other than switching Ronnie Brewer for Tony Allen, the Grizzlies will have another lottery-bound season. Hasheem Thabeet will show that he deserves to play in the NBA and will get close to 20 minutes a game.
11. Los Angeles Clippers – Now with Blake Griffin healthy and a good showing in Summer League, the Clippers will significantly improve from last year. Al Farouq-Aminu will emerge as the starting SF they have always been looking for. They will once again be lottery bound, but look for them to make some huge upsets against top teams during the season. Eric Bledsoe will learn a lot from playing behind Baron Davis and Blake Griffin will take home the ROY award.
12. Golden State Warriors – With a veteran-leader in David Lee, the Warriors will improve from last season on the backs of their own “Big Three” in Lee, Stephen Curry, and Monta Ellis. Stephen Curry will be the Rookie-Sophomore Game MVP.
13. New Orleans Hornets – Now that the team and CP3 are on “better” terms, I can see them get up to the 10th spot or even make a strong push for the 7th seed. David West will put up All-Star stats with the help from an actual All-Star, Chris Paul. Trevor Ariza will have a high scoring season.
14. Minnesota Timberwolves – The Timberwolves will slightly improve from last year by one or two wins after drafting Wesley Johnson, and adding Michael Beasley and Luke Ridnour. After trading Ramon Sessions and Ryan Hollins to clear Cap Space, they will once again have a slow-improvement season until Ricky Rubio comes over.
15. Sacramento Kings – Tyreke Evans will again put up very good numbers, but the Kings will fall to last place in the West because of the trade for the overpaid Samuel Dalembert. Look for Dalembert’s minutes to dramatically fall with Jason Thompson, Carl Landry, DeMarcus Cousins, and even Hassan Whiteside taking the bulk of the minutes. Maybe even look for a trade involving one of their bigs. If there is a successful trade, the Kings may even end up with a spot as high as #12.
Now for the Playoffs.
1. Lakers Vs. 8. Blazers (Lakers in 4)
2. Thunder Vs. 7. Nuggets (Thunder in 6)
3. Mavs Vs. Spurs (Mavs in 7)
4. Jazz Vs. 5. Suns (Jazz in 5)
1. Lakers Vs. 4. Jazz (Lakers in 7)
2. Thunder Vs. 3. Mavs (Thunder in 7)
1. Lakers Vs. 2. Thunder (Lakers in 5)
Tell me what you think!
East Coming Soon!
Leave a Reply
You must be logged in to post a comment.