Posted by: Lee on July 26th, 2010The author's views are entirely his or her own and may not reflect the views of the Utah Jazz.
Hey, so, here are my opinions/predictions for the upcoming season in the East .
1. Miami Heat – “The Big Three” will lead the Heat to the Finals. With some strong veterans taking a pay-cut to be with a legitimate contender, the Heat will be the top team in the East right behind the Lakers for the top team in the NBA. James and Wade will make Top-Ten in Points-per-Game, but will not break the Top-Five.
2. Orlando Magic – Same story as last year. Daniel Orton will not replace Marcin Gortat. JJ Redick will explode and become one of the most improved players of the 2010-11 Season, maybe even put up All-Star numbers. Dwight Howard will once again bring home the Defensive Player of the Year award.
3. Boston Celtics – Jermaine O’Neal and Shaquille O’Neal will take some of the load off of Kevin Garnett, Kendrick Perkins, and Glen “Big Baby” Davis. Look for them to sign a defensive veteran wing during the season. Rajon Rondo will get his second All-Star appearance, but this time as the team’s main Point Guard.
4. Chicago Bulls – After adding Carlos Boozer, the new look Bulls will fight for the 2nd seed in the playoffs with their deep bench of experienced players. Kyle Korver will have a far worse shooting season than last year.
5. Atlanta Hawks – After resigning Joe Johnson to a Max Contract, the Hawks didn’t really do anything else to change their team. Jordan Crawford will have few chances to shine, but will shine brightly during those few games. Look for the Hawks to be one of the first teams to make a trade during the season. Maybe trading Mike Bibby and/or Marvin Williams?
6. Milwaukee Bucks – The surprise team in the East last year have pretty much the same look, but with Corey Maggette and Drew Gooden and a healthy Michael Redd and Andrew Bogut. Larry Sanders will battle Gooden for the starting spot. The Bucks will fight the Hawks for the 5th seed, maybe even go as high as the 3rd seed.
7. Indiana Pacers – Tyler Hansbrough now healthy, add draft pick Paul George and Lance Stephenson, and then Gold-Medalist Danny Granger(I hope); the Pacers will sneak into the playoffs. A.J. Price will have shows of brilliance and might even steal the starting job from T.J. Ford. Now with the acquisition of Darren Collison, the Pacers now have a floor leader that they can trust, A.J. will be the primary backup while Ford will be traded, bought out, or will be sitting at the end of the bench.
8. New York Knickerbockers – Amare Stoudemire and Raymond Felton will be the defined leaders of the Knicks and the Knicks will make the playoffs for the first time since 2003. Eddy Curry will once again play as the lazy bum at the bottom of the bench ending his career in the Pros.
9. Charlotte Bobcats – After they waive Erick Dampier, Michael Jordan will try his best to make a big splash to get them into the playoffs, but will fall short. Gerald Wallace will put up amazing numbers, but they will still not be enough.
10. Washington Wizards – The back-court of John Wall and Gilbert Arenas with Kirk Hinrich backing both up will work out well for them, but a team with little chemistry will be the cause of another lottery. Yi Jianlian will have his best career season since being drafted. John Wall will finish behind Blake Griffin for ROY.
11. Detroit Pistons – The Pistons will miss another playoff berth with a clog at the guard spots and no true center. Greg Monroe will not be able to thrive in the Piston’s style of play and will turn out to be a better version of Darko Milicic. The signing of Tracy McGrady will show that he can still start in the NBA and this will lead to the trading of either Richard “Rip” Hamilton or Tayshaun Prince.
12. Cleveland Cavaliers – The Cavs will take a huge punch in the gut after losing King James. Look for Dan Gilbert to make a couple of trades to make the Cavs “better”. The acquisition of Ramon Sessions give them three talented Point Guards that can start whenever needed.
13. Philidelphia 76ers – Evan Turner will have a bad start, but will get a boost sometime around the Trade Deadline. He will have the best finish of the Rookies, but his bad start will cost him the ROY award. Andre Igoudala’s numbers will rise from his previous season.
14. New Jersey Nets – Derrick Favors will have a very strong season and will finish behind Griffin and Wall for ROY. The Nets will double their wins from the previous season. Troy Murphy will get the recognition he deserves from his double-double numbers. If they acquire Carmelo Anthony, he will either rocket them into the playoffs, but will lose in the first round or fall short and get the 9th-11th seed.
15. Toronto Raptors – The Raptors will try to replace Chris Bosh with Ed Davis and improved stats from Andrea Bargnani, but the failed efforts will put them into the last spot in the East and also last in the NBA.
Now for Playoff Predictions.
1. Heat Vs. 8. Knicks (Heat in 4)
2. Magic Vs. 7. Pacers (Magic in 4)
3. Celtics Vs. 6. Bucks (Bucks in 7)
4. Bulls Vs. 5. Hawks (Hawks in 7)
1. Heat Vs. 5. Hawks (Heat in 4)
2. Magic Vs. 6. Hawks (Magic in 6)
1. Heat Vs. 2. Magic (Heat in 7)
Tell Me What You Think!
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