Tuesday, October 24, 2006

NBA Preview, Part 1:
No, You tell ME

Let's ramp up the 2006-07 NBA Preview!

In a way both to pay homage to my readers and to tap the collective wisdom, I'm flip-flopping my NBA preview. Instead of saying what I think, then letting you all say what you think, I'm going the other way: Use the Comments area to provide insights in any/all of the following categories, then I'll weigh in throughout the rest of the week:

(1) MVP
(2) Coach of the Year
(3) Team on the Rise
(4) Team on the Decline
(5) Breakout Player (The "Diaw Award")
(6) Rookie to Watch (not necessarily "best")
(7) Storyline We'll Be Talking About in January
(8) Western Playoff Seeding/Conf. Champs (Who over who?)
(9) Eastern Playoff Seeding/Conf. Champs (Who over who?)
(10) NBA Champs

Please use the number/category to help everyone else understand your comments. And a little reasoning/"why" never hurts. Looking forward to hearing what you have to say.

-- D.S.


Brian in Oxford said...

I'm curious to see how deep Telfair is in the Fabolous situation, and will that open up an opportunity for Rajon Rondo as a rookie PG for the Celtics. Especially once Ainge fires Glennie. (A precursor to Ainge getting fired himself, but that'll be another year or two away.)

Christian Thoma said...

(3) Team on the Rise:

Charlotte Bobcats. Yeah, I'm a homer. But through the first two years of salary cap restrictions, the team played tough. Lost a lot of close games rather than rolling over. They've added a pure scorer (one thing they've missed) with Morrison. While I'm not predicting a division title, I expect them to compete for the 8th spot this year.

jhawkjjm said...

How about:
(11) Do you even care about the NBA?


Lee S. Kowarski said...

(1) MVP
D-Wade (not counting on Kobe's health this season). Dark Horse: Shawn Marion

(2) Coach of the Year
Isiah (wishful thinking as a Knicks fan). Really, Don Nelson

(3) Team on the Rise
Knicks (I really believe this - although they'll still suck). Celtics also (despite the Telfair mess)

(4) Team on the Decline
Heat (D Wade can only carry them so far)

(5) Breakout Player (The "Diaw Award")

(6) Rookie to Watch (not necessarily "best")
Randy Foye

(7) Storyline We'll Be Talking About in January
Ron Artest, The Knicks, Steroids (is there every anything new?)

(8) Western Playoff Seeding/Conf. Champs (Who over who?)
DAL over SA (boring)

(9) Eastern Playoff Seeding/Conf. Champs (Who over who?)
CLE over WAS

(10) NBA Champs

ToddTheJackass said...

1) LeBron - Be warned, not because he's only getting better, but because that means over the top ESPN coverage all the time.

2) Mike Dunleavy - not because he's good but because the Clippers could be better than expected again.

3) Celtics - They have the talent, and with an actual PG (Rondo), they could be one of the better teams in the weak East. Bill Simmons' NBA articles could become relevant again, oh no!

4) Miami - Sure, it's Dwyane Wade's team, but another bad Shaq injury won't help the team that's getting older.

5) Gerald Wallace - known to people who watch this "niche" sport, but will become a household name by the end of the year.

6) Redick - You said to watch, and it will be fun to watch him fail in the NBA.

7) Zeke - firing himself?

10) Spurs - I don't even like them much, just tough to bet against them any given year.

Jeffrey Siegel said...

1) MVP = Tim Duncan - big year ahead before he bows out

(2) Coach of the Year = Doc Rivers - when Rajon gets the ball, h'll drive and make Pierce and wallyworld a pair.

(3) Team on the Rise = Celtics - see above plus kendrick Perkins coming into his own

(4) Team on the Decline = lakers - Kobe and the Kob-e-teers lead by the Zen Master. When Phil Jackson could suit up and be the best big man on the floor, you know you're in trouble.

(5) Breakout Player (The "Diaw Award") Al Harrington.

(6) Rookie to Watch (not necessarily "best") = Rajon Rondo (and I was pissed at the draft selection)

(7) Storyline We'll Be Talking About in January = Lakers reeling from last place position at Christmas Day game.

(8) Western Playoff Seeding/Conf. Champs (Who over who?)

1. San Antonio
2. Dallas
3. Phoenix
4. LA Clippers
5. Minnesota
6. Denver
7. Memphis
8. Golden State
Champs = Spurs over Suns

(9) Eastern Playoff Seeding/Conf. Champs (Who over who?)
1. Cleveland
2. Detriot
3. Boston
4. Miami
5. New Jersey
6. Charlotte
7. Orlando
8. Indiana
Champ = Cavs over Pistons

(10) NBA Champs = Spurs over Cavs

This opens up the LeBron era - as Cavs take next two titles.

Jingoist said...

(1) MVP - Dirk. Takes the leap while LeBron and Kobe fall back.
(2) Coach of the Year- Scott Skiles- most improved team (both natural growth and via FA a la Wallace)
(3) Team on the Rise- Bulls (same reasons)
(4) Team on the Decline- Spurs- getting older and not better.
(5) Breakout Player (The "Diaw Award")- I'll go with Dan's new fad- Nazr Mohammed
(6) Rookie to Watch (not necessarily "best")- Rondo- call me a homer, but the kid is sneaky fast and a gifted passer which the Celts need.
(7) Storyline We'll Be Talking About in January- Telfair was the shooter.
(8) Western Playoff Seeding/Conf. Champs (Who over who?) #1 Mavs over #4 Suns Dirk/Johnson player/coach tandem best in league.
(9) Eastern Playoff Seeding/Conf. Champs (Who over who?) #2 Bulls over #1 Pistons. You just gotta have this happen!
(10) NBA Champs Mavs over Bulls- playoff experience from last year is the difference.

rukrusher said...

(1) MVP Lebron James, 50 wins and dominant stats gets him the nod.

(2) Coach of the Year Eddie Jordan, Wizards, I think this team is ready to buy into Eddies system and they will win the Southeast.

(3) Team on the Rise Utah Jazz, AK-47 stays helathy and the Jazz finish in the 4-5 series.

(4) Team on the Decline Memphis, the Gasol injury puts them in a hole they never climb out of and miss the playoffs.

(5) Breakout Player (The "Diaw Award") I owuld like to go with Darko but I think Marvin Williams has a huge year in Atlanta.

(6) Rookie to Watch (not necessarily "best")

I like Randy Foye, but I think the future of the Nets is Marcus Williams and if he gets healthy he may have been a steal. For sheer entertainment, Balkman is a must watch.

(7) Storyline We'll Be Talking About in January

A) LeBron, Lebron and LeBron

B) Mark Cuban's latest outburst

C) Shaq's Retirement announcement

D) Zeke's new job with NBA TV

(8) Western Playoff Seeding/Conf. Champs (Who over who?)

Western Finals is Phoenix over San Antonio

(9) Eastern Playoff Seeding/Conf. Champs (Who over who?)

Cleveland over Detroit

(10) NBA Champs


Tino said...

(1) MVP - Lebron
(2) Coach of the Year - Phil Jackson
(3) Team on the Rise - The Bucks - some nice talent there. They'll be tough, unless people keep getting hurt.
(4) Team on the Decline - The Bulls - not sure about Big Ben anymore.
(5) Breakout Player (The "Diaw Award") - Gerald Wallace or Mike Dunleavy Jr. I think both of these guys will have good years.
(6) Rookie to Watch (not necessarily "best") - Rudy Gay. He's gonna be a stud. A lot of haters for this guy (for some reason), but he's gonna score in bunches.
(7) Storyline We'll Be Talking About in January - How terrible the Knicks are and probably something crazy Kobe did (good or bad)
(8) Western Playoff Seeding
1. Spurs
2. Suns
3. Mavs
4. Clippers
5. Lakers
6. Rockets
7. Kings
8. Griz
(9) Eastern Playoff Seeding:
1. Pistons
2. Cavs
3. Heat
4. Wiz
5. Nets
6. Bucks
7. Bulls
8. Pacers
(10) NBA Champs:
Suns over Cavs

slaskaris said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Brave Sir Robin said...

1.) Lebron-Seriously, the Cavs suck. If he goes down, we're missing the playoffs.
3.) Magic-I'm a firm believer that Reddick will make a big difference.
4.) Pistons
6.) Shannon Brown- The Cavs need him to step up because our guards suck
7.) Probably the Lakers because we always do
8.) Mavs win the confrence in regular season, Spurs go to Finals
9.) Heat take regular season. Cavs beat heat for the Finals (HOMER!)
10.) Mavs (just like they should have been last year if the refs hadn't given Wade every call).

slaskaris said...

(1) MVP - Lebron
(2) Coach of the Year - Avery Johnson
(3) Team on the Rise - Chicago
(4) Team on the Decline - Miami
(5) Breakout Player (The "Diaw Award") - Marvin Williams
(6) Rookie to Watch (not necessarily "best")
TIE - RODNEY CARNEY - will set the record for most dunks to appear in SC's Top Ten
TIE- ROLANDO BLACKMAN - got to see what Isiah's boy can do
(7) Storyline We'll Be Talking About in January - Lebron carring the Cavs to best record in the East
(8) Western Playoff Conf. Champs
Dallas over Phoenix
(9) Eastern Playoff Conf. Champs
Chicago over Cleveland
(10) NBA Champs - DALLAS

Josh said...

Answer to anything and everything good dealing with the NBA :


He's the freaking man.

Anonymous said...

1) GILBERT ARENAS.....will get the shaft and LeBron will get the trophy.

2) Byron Scott...not because he's a stellar coach, I just think the Hornets have crazy potential (of course, they could also go down in flames)

3) Toronto....they HAVE to rise, right?

4) Philly....they have yet to hit bottom, and need to stop holding onto hope for today in order to get better down the road.

5) Jarvis Hayes. I probably just jinxed him.

6) How about Allan Ray? You never know.

7) How Larry Hughes has agreed to take all of the Whining-Crybaby related technicals and fines for LeBron, since we can't have King James getting bad press.

8) Mavs over Clips

9) Wiz over Bulls

10) Wizards

No, I don't actually believe the Wizards can win. Well, maybe if they wear those sharp new gold unis all year.

WuzUpG said...

January storyline will be the Warriors will be playoff-bound! The 12-year playoff drought ends!

Gary said...

I figure if I can maybe get 2 out of these ten I'll be doing great

1) LeBron
2) Brian Hill
3) Orlando Magic
4) Phoenix Suns
5) Robert Swift
6) Rudy Gay
7) Stephen Jackson vs. Ron Artest fight
8) 1. Spurs
2. LA Clippers
3. Dallas
4. Memphis
5. LA Lakers
6. Suns
7. Kings
8. T-Wolves
Spurs over Lakers

9) 1. Cleveland
2. Miami
3. Detroit
4. Orlando
5. Toronto
6. Washington
7. Bucks
8. New Jersey
Washington over Cleveland

10) Spurs in 6

pv845 said...

(1) Tim Duncan - he will make this team as good as he can.
(2) Scott Skiles - This team should win the East. They are the youngest and most athletic team here.
(3) Bulls - Made this their make or break year.
(4) Cavs - had an above average year last year and made NO improvements. No LeBron will not make this team that much better this year.
(5) Breakout Player - Livingston
(6) Rookie to Watch - Reddick
(7) Storyline We'll Be Talking About in January - Cavs mediocre play so far and the jump in athletism in the East.
(8) Western Playoff Seeding/Conf. Champs - Spurs over Mavs
(9) Eastern Playoff Seeding/Conf. Champs - Bulls over Heat
(10) NBA Champs Spurs over Bulls

mark said...

I'll only answer one of these.

Teams on the decline: The Spurs, Pistons and Heat should all be worse this year. Seriously. The trend in the NBA is streakiness--the same half-dozen franchises seem to dominate for long stretches. But I think we're due this year for one of those rare shake-ups, when the order of things changes.

The other thing I think:

To quote William Goldman out of context, "nobody knows anything." Picking winners this early is entertaining, but impossible without better data. The preseason simply means nothing. Some offseason acquisitions were of players that still have good years in them, and some weren't. Some rookies will matter, and some will be Darko. But on each of those, no one knows which is which.

Usually I ignore the NBA until there isn't enough football left to give me my sports fix. Part of the reason is that by then, you know how things are shaking out. So, um, see you in February, NBA.

nep1293 said...

(1) Lebron James
(2) Mike Dunleavy
(3) Orlando Magic
(4) Indiana Pacers
(5) Andre Iguodala
(6) Randy Foye
(7) Uhhh.... Shawn Kemp back in the league
(8) Clippers over Mavericks
(9) Cavaliers over Heat
(10) Cavaliers

Shums said...

First, I preface everything by saying I'm from Utah and the Jazz are my only pro team. So there's that.

1) Should be Wade. Will be Bron Bron.

2) Jerry Sloan, because he's finally going to realize that you can actually PLAY young players. More a "lifetime achievement" award than anything. Bah, who the hell am I kidding. I could see Brian Hill or Byron Scott here.

3) Toss-up between Magic, Hornets, and possibly Celtics. The Hornets have the most talent, but play in the West... let's say Magic for now.

4) Pistons. They just don't put the fear of God in me like they used to. They'll miss Big Ben more than they realize. (Although I always liked Nazr Mohammed -- the Jazz actually drafted him, then traded him away like idiots.)

5) Prepare for homerism: Deron Williams. He knows this is his team now and will assert himself the way he did at the end of last year. He had a great summer and is playing really well in preseason. He'll never be Chris Paul (why oh why oh God why did we not take Chris Paul?) but he's due for bigger things. Non-homerist choice: Darko.

6) More homerism: Paul Millsap. The steal of the second round. Sloan is already talking about heavy rotation time for him, and he is NOT impressed easily by rookies. Not Rookie of the Year by any means, but we're talking 10 and 5 every night, at least. Non-homerist choice: Rondo, Morrison.

7) The inevitable Artest breakdown, the new ball fiasco, LeBron, whatever team du jour happens to make a breakthrough this year.

8) If Amare is fully back, this is the Suns' year. If not, the Mavs will beat them in the conference finals. And barring injuries (please, basketball gods, no injuries), my Jazz win the Northwest. And get summarily thrashed by whoever they play in round 1.

9) Can the Heat coast through the regular season and turn it on in the playoffs again? I think so -- they're still my team to beat. Unless Bron learns to play better defense and the other Cavs not named Varejao actually make an effort.

10) Suns over Heat in a whose-team-name-is-higher-temperature battle.

Anonymous said...

1). Lebron
2). Who Cares
3). the Cavs (do they count as they've risen quite a bit in the past two years...?)
4). Detroit Pistons
5). don't know enough to give a realistic guess...though it will have to be a player from a team who is on the rise...perhaps from the Magic?
6). Rondo. His preseason has earned him as much, though I'm sure Kentucky fans are skeptical
7). All things Dwight Howard
8). Spurs over (aaah!) Suns (though I wanted to put the Lakers here...)
9). Heat over Cavs
10). Spurs (yawn)

I'm only a budding NBA fan, to be fair, but sports as a whole (not just my normal NFL craze) have been growing on me, so I may know a little more about what I'm talking about come April...

MoL said...

I have no shame in homerism...

1) LeBron got the shaft and will continue to be the dominant force he is.

2) Avery Johnson. Talk about a meteoric rise in the coaching ranks.

3) Knicks. Really, can they get any worse?

4) Heat. After winning the title and getting older, I see Shaq phoning it in.

5) Anderson Varejao. He's already a fan favorite in C-Town and looks to crack the starting lineup.

6) Shannon Brown. I loved him at MSU, love him more with LeBron & Co.

7) The disaster that is the Knicks. Or some blockbuster trade to get Z outta Cleveland.

8) I'm going with Mavs over Spurs.

9) I see the east as 5 strong teams and no dominant team. So I'll go with the Nets over Cavs.

10) Mavs over Nets

I like how a lot of you are up on the Cavs. But the title? This year? Seriously? I don't think the city is ready for it, and besides it's Cleveland! Next year, however...

Ted Hill said...

MVP - Lebron James
Coach of the year - Mike D'Antoni
Team on the rise - Orlando Magic
Team on the Decline - New Jersey Nets
Breakout Player - Marques Daniels
Rookie to watch - Brandon Roy
Storyline for January - Defending champs struggling
West order of finish - Mavs Suns Spurs Clippers
West Finals - Suns over Mavs
East order of finish - Pistons Heat Cavs Bulls
East Finals - Heat over Bulls
Finals - Heat over Suns

Brew City Legend said...

(1) MVP --- LeBron James
(2) Coach of the Year --- Terry Porter (Bucks)
(3) Team on the Rise --- Orlando Magic
(4) Team on the Decline --- Detroit Pistons
(5) Breakout Player (The "Diaw Award") --- Anderson Varejo
(6) Rookie to Watch (not necessarily "best") --- Tyrus Thomas (Bulls)
(7) Storyline We'll Be Talking About in January --- LeBron's 33 ppg, 8 rbg, 8 apg/Cavs dominating East
(8) Western Playoff Seeding/Conf. Champs (Who over who?) --- Mavs over Spurs
(9) Eastern Playoff Seeding/Conf. Champs (Who over who?) --- Cavs over Heat
(10) NBA Champs --- Cleveland Cavaliers

pjkatz said...

(3) Team on the Rise: Bobcats. Young talent, low expectations. They'll sneak up on people.
(4) Team on the Decline: Bulls. Ben Wallace is overrated and over the hill, and the rest of the Bulls have never come close to their potential. The parallels are striking to the 2006 Miami Dolphins.
(5) Breakout Player (The "Diaw Award"): Darko Milicic. He has the talent, and now he has the minutes. And Dwight Howard at his side.
(7) Storyline We'll Be Talking About in January: Disappointment in Chicago.
(7a): Storyline We WON'T Be Talking About in January: Who Rajon Rondo is and why everyone was so excited about him 3 months before.

TJ said...

(3) Team on the Rise - Orlando. If instead of the playoffs last year you had started a new 82 game season, right then, the Magic would have ended up at least the 3 seed. Not sure if it's possible to carry that kind of momentum over the entire off-season, but they should be at least a playoff team, probably 4-5 seed.

(7) Straight from January: "How the hell are the Heat winning their division?! All the old guys are self-destructing, yet Wade is single-handedly MJ-ing them to the playoffs.
Also, will Shaq be back from his injury in time to play himself back into shape for the playoffs? If so, will the Heat even want to start him at this point? Has a player ever gone from dominant to broken-down-on-the-side-of-the-highway so fast?"

(8) Western Conf Finals: Mavs over Lakers

(9) Eastern Conf Finals: Lebrons over D-Wades

(10) Finals: Mavs over Lebrons.

Unknown said...

1. LeBron James (averaging a triple double?)
2. Mike Dunleavy Sr.
3. Washington Wizards
4. Denver Nuggets
5. Caron Butler
6. Rajon Rondo
7. Will Amare ever be the same?
8. (1-8) Heat, Cavs, Wiz, Pistons, Bulls, Nets, Celtics, Pacers.......Heat over Wiz
9. (1-8) Mavs, Suns, Jazz, Spurs, Clips, Lakers, Rockets, Griz........Suns over Mavs
10. Heat (cause he's still shaq)

CMFost said...

(1) MVP - Kobe Bryant
(2) Coach of the Year - Doc Rivers
(3) Team on the Rise - Celtics all those young players and Paul Pierce make for an interesting season
(4) Team on the Decline - Miami - one and done for this ageing bunch
(5) Breakout Player (The "Diaw Award") - not sure
(6) Rookie to Watch (not necessarily "best") - Rajon Rondo - he been the surprise of the exhibition season
(7) Storyline We'll Be Talking About in January - What happen to the Heat
(8) Western Playoff Seeding/Conf. Champs (Who over who?) - Dallas over The Lakers
(9) Eastern Playoff Seeding/Conf. Champs (Who over who?) Detriot over Boston
(10) NBA Champs - Dallas finishes what they tried to do last year.

Jake C said...

Count me shocked that this many people actually still care about the NBA.

Myles! said...

(1) MVP - Tim Duncan probably will be the right choice, but LeBron will get it.
(2) Coach of the Year - D'Antoni
(3) Team on the Rise - Orlando, although Boston will put together enough of a run that it could have qualified most years
(4) Team on the Decline - Nets, Pacers, Kings, Pistons.
(5) Breakout Player (The "Diaw Award") - Gerald Wallace, although he's always been good, so I'm not sure that that counts. How about Devin Harris?
(6) Rookie to Watch (not necessarily "best") - Randy Foye and Brandon Roye.
(7) Storyline We'll Be Talking About in January - Shaq's slow start, idiots talking about steroids even though they'd make NBA players *worse* in anything but the immediate short term perhaps, Kobe's health, Jordan's invisibility.
(8) Western Playoff Seeding/Conf. Champs (Who over who?) San Antonio over Dallas.
(9) Eastern Playoff Seeding/Conf. Champs (Who over who?) Cleveland over Miami.
(10) NBA Champs: San Antonio

Shaggy said...

(1) MVP: Allen Iverson, Why? Because no one will see it coming. He will average 25 points 9 assists and 3 steals a game leading Philly into the 5 seed, which the will Detroit and then get swept in the next series by Miami because they have no one to muscle up with Shaq and Alzono.
(2) Coach of the Year: Scott Skiles, I think with the addition of Ben Wallace, more of an attitude adjustment and presence will mean more than anything he will do on the court.
(3) Team on the Rise: Orlando Magic; Jameer, Darko, Howard, Hill (maybe)..just seem like a young and energetic group of players.
(4) Team on the Decline: Minnesota Timberwolves; They have done nothing to help arguably one of the best NBA players win. I feel so bad for KG anymore. This season is going to be bad. I hope he makes it out alive and gets to a contender soon. Him and Allen Iverson need to team up.
(5) Breakout Player (The "Diaw Award"): Shavlik Randolph, F Philadelphia; I think he is really going to become a very solid player especially when the sixers wise up and get rid of that bum Dalembert (and hopefully Billy King)
(6) Rookie to Watch (not necessarily "best"): Thabo Sefolosha, G Chicago; Under everybody’s radar and with the addition of Ben Wallace no one is talking about him, he is going to surprise everyone.
(7) Storyline We'll Be Talking About in January: George Karl and How him and Carmelo are not getting along. This team will be self destructing about then, if not I choose the Kobe drama and how he cant win with out the Big Guy. Or how the Sonics will be in Oklahoma in 2008. or how Knicks still stink and Isaiah is out of Basketball and retires to be a Monk.
(8) Western Playoff Seeding/Conf. Champs (Who over who?): Chicago over Cleveland for East in 7 games
(9) Eastern Playoff Seeding/Conf. Champs (Who over who?): Phoenix over Houston for West in a sweep
(10) NBA Champs: Chicago over Phoenix for title in 6

teaboyNC said...

(1) MVP-Lebron James
(2) Coach of the Year-Bernie Bickerstaff
(3) Team on the Rise-Chicago Bulls
(4) Team on the Decline-Miami Heat (they won’t repeat, therefore a decline)
(5) Breakout Player (The "Diaw Award")-Gerald Wallace
(6) Rookie to Watch (not necessarily "best")-David Noel
(7) Storyline We'll Be Talking About in January-Bobcats making playoffs
(8) Western Playoff Seeding/Conf. Champs (Who over who?)-Dallas over Phoenix
(9) Eastern Playoff Seeding/Conf. Champs (Who over who?)Chicago over Detroit
(10) NBA Champs-Dallas

Cam said...

I think you're retarded. Stop trying to steal other people's ideas.

Brew City Legend said...

Wow.... I can't believe I said Porter and not Stotts for the Bucks.... I'm even from Milwaukee....

But yeah, I see them placing at least top 3, if not second place in the division.