It’s the most wonderful time of the year for the Chocolate Puma. Yes it’s the start of the NBA season and the Chocolate Puma per what the people want, no what the people need is here to give you a preview of the NBA season. You’re welcome in advance.
Western Conference Playoff teams:
8. Houston Rockets
Their recent acquisition of James Harden gives them a young guard to build around for the future and if someone says Jeremy Lin is already there I will stab them in the cornea. They have a good core of young players such as Terrence Jones, Marcus Morris and my sentimental favorite Royce White. Seriously you'll be a fan if you watch this.
7. Memphis Grizzles
This team really didn’t do anything to make themselves better. And to be honest outside the starting lineup I am hard pressed to find anything positive to say. Although I do not doubt that their bench is definitely kings of the open gym all-stars.
6. Dallas Mavericks
|Insert Rick Ross grunt here.|
This team is fading and it’s fading fast. OJ Mayo was a good pick up but they still have head case du jour Delonte West and your opening day starting center? Eddy Curry! Unless this is 2003 this is not a good thing.
5. Denver Nuggets
The Nuggets got the athletic defensive stopper they wanted in Andre Iguodala, teamed with the Manimal Kenneth Faried and Ty Lawson this should definitely be an entertaining team to follow.
4. San Antonio Spurs
Every year I predict the downfall of the Spurs and every year I am wrong. Not this year! I will bring up however that once Tim Duncan retires it could be the death of the traditional low post player. Kinda sad.
3. LA. Clippers
|Never gets old.|
The Clippers were a pleasant surprise last season and their growth will continue this season despite the inept coaching of Vinny Del Negro. Chris Paul is a monster; if Blake Griffin can develop a jumper he can take that next step to elite player. I’m a big fan of their off season signings of Grant Hill, Jamal Crawford, and Lamar Odom.
2. LA Lakers
They have a video game lineup, Nash, Kobe, Metta World Peace, Gasol, and Howard. Sweet mercy. A bench with Chris Duhon, Antwan Jamison and Earl Clark ain’t that bad either. It’s title or bust for Mike Brown and the boys.
1. Oklahoma City Thunder
I always believe the champ of the conference automatically starts the season as the team to beat. And with Kevin Durant, Russell Westbrook, Serge Ibaka, and newly acquired Kevin Martin and Jeremy Lamb joining this well coached squad I think there is no doubt the loss of Harden will not stop them from the #1 seed in the west.
Eastern Conference Playoff Teams:
8. Milwaukee Bucks
An exciting young squad with Monta Ellis, Brandon Jennings along with promising big men John Henson and Ersan Ilyasova should along with good coaching from Scott Skiles finally get them into the playoffs to be quickly dispatched.
7. Philadelphia 76ers
|How many times must young Swaggalicious ask for a cheesecake!?!|
In a year or two they will definitely be higher on this list due to a young core of Evan Turner, Jrue Holiday, and Thaddeus Young. Add in the acquisitions of Nick “Swaggy P” Young and a franchise center in Andrew Bynum this team once healthy and will be a threat come playoff time.
6. Chicago Bulls
It breaks my heart writing this, we’ll be fine in the future but damn it this season is going to suck. No Derrick Rose and we get to see plenty of Nate Robinson. I want the Bulls to tank this season, a la the Spurs during the 96-97 season and we get Derrick Rose a running mate.
5. Indiana Pacers
I feel like the Pacers just stayed the course this offseason only adding DJ Augustin and Gerald Green really but they did re-sign Roy Hibbert. Paul George is a fantastic young player and Danny Granger is a perennial all-star. Could be trouble, but then again they could run into Miami again and flop.
4. New York Knicks
They are one of the best teams talent wise, but this does not mean they are a title contender. The Carmelo/Amare marriage is not one that is long for this world. They did do a good job of getting Raymond Felton to play point, Jason Kidd coming off the bench, and Ronnie Brewer should be a welcome addition to the bench. This could be the year they get past the first round but their journey should end shortly after that.
3. Boston Celtics
Rajon Rondo is one of the best in the league period, Paul Pierce and his YMCA game along with KG should be good to go for one more round. Loved the pickup of Jason Terry bolstering the bench and drafting of Jared Sullinger could be low key moves that prove very beneficial to this team. Also the signing of Courtney Lee along with a healthy Avery Bradley could make them a threat.
2. Brooklyn Nets
The Nets who did all they could to get Dwight Howard didn’t do too bad this off season. Picking up Joe Johnson from the Hawks, Gerald Wallace and coming with a solid bench. CJ Watson when coming off the bench and not the main guy is a very good player, Marshon Brooks is a contender for 6th man of the year and Kris “Insert Kardashian Joke Here” Humphries for all the jokes averaged a double –double last year.
1. Miami Heat
Ugh, this sickens me. But I gotta give props where they are due. Lebron is the best player in the league, Dwayne Wade when healthy is dynamic, Chris “Catfish” Bosh is an amazing 3rd option. Add in Ray Allen to take the ball out of Mario Chalmers more and hot diggity damn we got ourselves a squad. Rashad Lewis and James Jones coming off the bench make their second unit stronger than last year although lack of a true center still hurts them.
Rookie of the year:
Anthony Davis, PF, New Orleans Hornets
|Yeah...well at least he can ball.|
Like everyone else I am picking this guy to be rookie of the year. Given the seasoning he got running with the Olympic squad and the minutes he’s get def means we’ll see plenty of him. Also defense and rebounding usually translate over to the NBA game as well.
Most Improved Player:
Jimmy Butler, SF, Chicago Bulls
Hometown bias? You betcha. But there is no denying the improvement he’s made in the offseason and with all hands on deck due to toe Rose being out he’ll get plenty of opportunities to shine.
Coach of the Year:
George Karl, Denver Nuggets
|I'm George Fucking Karl!!!|
Every year this guy constantly kicks the ass of both his coaching peers and cancer. This year he continues that trend and gets his props as the best coach going.
I could say Lebron and be totally warranted but here is my Non Lebron James top 3. Meaning these are the 3 guys who could possibly take the award away from James.
3. Chris Paul, PG, LA Clippers
|A Chris Paul MVP reign means more of this adorable kid and the Blake Face!|
He’ll get the attention, he’s 100% healthy and there is no player in the league I’d rather have leading my team in the final minutes of a game.
2. Tony Parker, PG, San Antonio Spurs
The torch has been passed, this team belongs to Tony Parker now and he has done an amazing job. No point guard gets in the paints and scores more often than this guy and he appears to be hitting his prime. If the Spurs were to emerge from the West he could steal the hardware.
1. Kevin Durant, SF, Oklahoma City Thunder
He was neck and neck with Lebron last year for the MVP and I expect this battle to continue. The man is the most natural scorer in the NBA and he’s not even in his prime yet. This is gonna be a good season for the fans of the Zombie Sonics.
Well gang that's it for now, in the next few days expect a rankings of the top players and happy opening day!