The NBA season starts tonight, and it's a good day to lead today's SN column with my NBA preview. It starts with a theory that should be familiar: "The Two NBAs," which I first fleshed out here a few months ago. Still, I've refined it to fit an even shorter space.
Then there are my picks:
*Lakers over Magic to win the NBA title (which means, by inference, that I pick the Magic to out-do the Cavs this season -- the Cavs being the prohibitive favorite in the East).
*Dwight Howard as MVP -- I think that LeBron will run into the "Jordan Wall"; obviously, LeBron is the NBA's best player -- as he will be for the next 10 years. MVP voters will want novelty.
*Jonny Flynn as Rookie of the Year -- I had this tabbed on draft night. It looks even better now that Blake Griffin's knee has sidelined him for the next six weeks (or longer -- it's the Clippers... who knows?)
*I'm obviously partial to my Wiz -- who will be a Top 4 team in the East if they can stay healthy. If the preseason injury to Antawn Jamison -- who might be the most underrated, undervalued stud in the league -- is any indication, staying healthy will be its usual stretch for them.
(I also lament the silence from Gilbert Arenas -- absolutely, one of the reasons he became my favorite player in the NBA was because he was different. Quiet Gilbert is just a former superstar trying to come back from a pretty nasty injury history. But I still love him.)
There's a ton more in the column, including how Albert Haynesworth upstaged DeSean Jackson last night in the MNF game. Check it all out here. More later.