I am more excited for the upcoming NBA season than any in a long time. Yes, most of it is because my team is finally a legit title contender (the Cavs) because they now have, unquestionably, the best talent in the game. Honestly, I could write this whole thing about LBJ, but I’ll spare you. The other big reason is that the overall talent level in the league is, to me, the best its been since the original Dream Team was dominating. Add to that the deep rookie class filled with all sorts of storylines of its own, some interesting off-season trades, and the potential for a few more during the season…I’d say that yea….I’m all-in right now on the NBA.
So here are my predictions for this season in a “Bill Simmons-meets-XXL” preview. Bill Simmons is a good writer I am trying to rip off. XXL is a rap magazine, and NBA players like rap music…so in my head this makes sense…
The “Lil Wayne Award” for Best Player Alive:
LeBron James. He is not the same he is a martian.Come on you knew this was coming just like you know his first MVP is on the way. The best athlete in the league + almost in his prime + some consistency with the roster + a real pg = the perfect storm….we might be seeing something ridiculous like 35-7-7…that’s if he doesn’t coast. And I think even if he does he has this award wrapped up. That’s how big I think the gap is between him and the 2nd best player. Mothafuccckaaaaa he’s IIIILLLLLLLLL!!!
The “Detox” award for most anticipated event:
We’ve been waiting for Dre to drop Detox for like 10 years. Lots of candidates for this one as there are a million storylines headed into the season, but I got to go with the debut of Greg Oden. Oden’s wait hasn’t been as long as Dre’s, but I’m sure Portland fans feel like it has. How will he do? What’s his ceiling? How good is he going to make the Blazers? Are they Finals worthy? Nobody knows, but the soul of basketball in the Pacific Northwest now rests on the surgically repaired legs of the 7 footer. I watched this kid up close for a year at Ohio State, and I already know he will be a top 5 center in this league from Day 1. However, I think he needs this year under his belt before you consider the Blazers title contenders.
The “Notorious” award (upcoming movie about The Notorious BIG) for ….”it sounds good on paper, BUT”:
The other big man on the left coast….Andrew Bynum. If he is 100% then wow….a Bynum/Gasol front court will be disturbingly good. But I still don’t think Lamar Odom fits into the equation in L.A. And last year in the Finals Derek Fisher just seemed a step slow. Maybe its old age, I dunno. Kobe is another year older too. This teams looks great on paper, unbeatable almost, but who knows if it’ll actually pan out. I say something goes wrong because it just seems to easy to pick them in the finals. I see them bowing out before the Finals.
The Ice Cube “Raw Footage” Award for “Shit, he still has it”:
To Tim Duncan. Just like Cube, TD never seems to get mentioned amongst the GOAT’s. But all he does is win, and all Cube does is make hits. He’ll be relied on more than ever this year with Manu out for an extended period of time. And don’t the Spurs win every other year? Plus he didn’t play in the Olympics, so he had that time to recuperate.
The “Blueprint 3” award for …”heeeeee’s baaaaaaccccckkkkkkkkkkk”:
To Dwayne Wade. Is he eligible for the comeback player of the year? Or the most improved? DID YOU SEE THE OLYMPICS??? He was the best player on the court for most of those games. He looks healed and ready to go. Miami has an option B now, and if The Matrix can be happy this team is bound to get back into the playoffs. The only problem is that with the addition of the new bash brothers, Mario Chalmers and Michael Beasley, no team in the league is better suited for the club. Can you imagine Chalmers, Beasley, Wade, and Marion ripping up South Beach this season? It might be game over.
The M.I.A. “Paper Planes” award to:
Michael Beasley. I don’t know…when I hear this song I just think of him. First of all, the chorus with the gunshots. “All I wanna do is BOOM BOOM BOOM BOOM!!”…..and you know no one on the court has swagger like him. And I’m sure he’s high as planes right this damn second. Damn this song might’ve been written about him. I know I told you guys I think he’d beat out everyone else for ROY, and that the Bulls will regret taking Derrick Rose over him…but that was before I found out the boy Mario Chalmers was just as bad as him. Then you add in South Beach…damn. Oh well, I’ll stick to my guns. Beasley for ROY.
Scarface “Made” award for “Wow, that wasn’t that good…..” :
I always expect Scarface to put out classic shit. I wasn’t that impressed with “Made.” And I always expect the Detroit Pistons to win 50+ games. I think this is finally the year they return to the pack and their division championship run ends. Too much changing of the guard going on + a new coach + everyone another year older = a subpar year. Plus I don’t think they’ve had to deal with a major injury in their little run. Not that I’m hoping that will happen, but I think they finish 3rd or 4th in the division.
The Roots “Rising Down” award for “Wow, that was better than I thought it’d be”:
To Eric Gordon. He is probably the least talked about rookie out of the big 6 (Oden, Rose, Beasley, Mayo, Love, Gordon) but he might be the most talented. If Baron Davis can stay healthy, and yes I know that is bigger than a big “IF”…I think Gordon can be to the Clippers what a pre-moped Monta Ellis was to the Warriors. The only thing is that he is out in Clipperland so we might not hear that much about him.
The Jadakiss “Kiss My Ass” award for getting your cred back:
To Kevin Garnett. If he takes the Celtics back to the finals again, don’t we have to totally reconsider the Garnett vs. Duncan debate? For the record, I think the Celtics lose in the Eastern Finals to the Cavs, and the Hornets beat the Spurs in the West…with the Cavs taking it in the end. I just don’t know how the Celtics can play with that same intensity for an entire year. I don’t know how anybody can do that unless their name is Michael Jordan.
The T.I. Comeback award:
Will go to Adam Morrison. T.I. went from potentially having to spend years behind bars to somehow getting out of that and releasing one of the years best albums. I think this is finally Adam Morrison’s year to get right. I was one of his biggest nuthuggers coming out of Gonzaga. I thought he’d be a 15-20 point scorer at the least. The Larry Bird comparisons were a little much, but I thought he played the game with his heart and that would prevent him from failing. Also it looks like the Bobcats might trade Gerald Wallace so there might be that opportunity for him. Come on Adam. Don’t make me wrong. If you don’t make it I don’t know where my next favorite white basketball player will come from.
The DJ Unk “One and Done” Award:
Goes to the Atlanta Hawks. If you are asking yourself who DJ Unk is, then ya…exactly. The Hawks gave up a lot for an over the hill pg, lost their best glue guy to Europe, and now have to deal with the never ending Josh Smith saga. I don’t see them returning to the playoffs.
Overall, here is how I see the playoffs taking shape:
Cleveland over Boston
1. New Orleans
2. Los Angeles Lakers
3. San Antonio
New Orleans over San Antonio