Every fan is more excited about this upcoming NBA season than any year in recent memory. The story-lines are monumental, and there seems to be a growing competitiveness in the league.
Being a bored and impatient fan, I decided to post some predictions...
Now I know what you're thinking, this is way too early to decide most of these awards and that the NBA is always unpredictable.
But as an avid NBA fan in August, I figured why the hell not. Waiting for this season is impossible... even if I am a pitiful Wolves fan.
So without further adieu, your 2010-2011 NBA Award predictions that are sure to go wrong.
In a year with the Heat and Laker super teams battling it out, I don't think a player from either team will pull off a superior statistical season which is sadly required from our NBA award voters.
The Favorite: Kevin Durant, Oklahoma City Thunder
If Durant can lead the Thunder to a top four spot in the West, he locks up this award. Since he is the reigning scoring leader in the league, we don't have to worry about a potential lack of superior stats. Voters love to see a 30 PPG average
My Prediction: Durant
Durant will be the best player on a future powerhouse in the West. He is a no doubt elite player, and is the unquestionable number one scoring option the Thunder have—all at the age of 21. This is easy.
Dark Horse: Chris Paul, New Orleans Hornets
The Hornets are in better shape than it looks. With the addition of Trevor Ariza, CP3 can roll with an athletic wing instead of Peja mindlessly bricking 3's every time he touches the ball. Don't forget how well West can play Robin to his Batman.
The Favorite: Dwight Howard, Orlando Magic
Howard has won this award two straight years and is one of the few premium shot-blockers and rebounders in this league. What else do you need to know?
My Prediction: Howard
The voters love him, he piles up ridiculous rebounding numbers and is the anchor to his team. The only problem is—he has a tendency to block so many shots out of bounds. If he were more polished on the offensive end, we would be looking at our MVP.
Dark Horse: Josh Smith, Atlanta Hawks
This guy is without a doubt, the most athletic player in the league. Like Howard, he can block shots with the best of them. He can guard 3's and 4's, and he would look better if Horford wasn't undersized to match up with elite 5's.
The Favorite: John Wall, Washington Wizards
Wall's game is near-flawless, and is the most polished underclassmen point guard in my generation. He will be given the responsibility of leading this new era in Washington.
My Prediction: Blake Griffin, Los Angeles Clippers
Griffin didn't see one minute on the floor last season due to his injury, but teams should still beware. He will rack up double-doubles this year, and can improve the Clips to a fringe playoff team. This Wall-Griffin battle for ROY has one X-factor, Gilbert Arenas. If Arenas can play the two-guard spot and let Wall develop the offense without any locker room issues, then Wall will be the clear-cut winner. However, Arenas could be poisonous to Wall's development with his ball-hogging and desire to run the offense, and could cut into Wall's numbers and team wins.
Dark Horse: DeMarcus Cousins, Sacramento Kings
Cousins was arguably the most talented player drafted this year, and could be a dominant offensive force in this league. However, it is no secret that he has maturity issues and that it will be the Tyreke Evans show in Sacramento. If he and Evans can gel, we could have a third candidate for ROY.
The Favorite: Jamal Crawford, Atlanta Hawks
Last year's winner Crawford will likely see even more playing time this season due to Mike Bibby's significant regression in his game. He will also be playing for a contract extension or a rich free-agent contract if the Hawks elect to let him walk.
My Prediction: Mike Miller, Miami Heat
Everything in Miami is set for Miller to have a fantastic year. The "SuperFriends" trio will command so many double-teams, that Miller will be left open on the perimeter. Did I mention he shot .480 from three point land last year for a team who had Andray Blatche as their star player for a stretch? If he pulls down a couple boards and gets 15+ PPG, I think he could win it.
Dark Horse: DeJuan Blair, San Antonio Spurs
-As Tim Duncan ages, Blair will reap the statistical benefits. He collected about six boards and nine points per game as a rookie reserve with only an average of 18 minutes of playing time. I still can't believe that the Spurs got this machine in the second round. If he can get 25+ MPG, he could average something close to a 14/10, which would vault him into some serious consideration for this award.
The Favorite: Scott Brooks, Oklahoma City Thunder
Last year, he guided the Thunder to 50 wins and a playoff berth just a year after going 23-59. If he can get the Thunder into a top 4 spot in the West, he is a lock to repeat.
My Prediction: Rick Adelman, Houston Rockets
The Rockets had a great offseason with the news from GM Daryl Morey that Yao Ming will be ready for the season opener. The pieces are finally in place for the Rockets to make some noise in the postseason. If they can get play with the likes of the Lakers, Thunder, and the rest of the West then Adelman has a shot.
Dark Horse: Mike D'Antoni, New York Knicks
Many ESPN analysts are predicting that the Knicks will make the playoffs in the JV err... Eastern conference this year as a 7th or 8th seed. If Stoudemire doesn't disappoint, his reunion with D'Antoni will mean success.
The Favorite: Pat Riley, Miami Heat
He assembled three of the ten best players in the league on the same team and convinced solid role players to join the team at a discount... What else do you need to know?
My Prediction: Riley
I think we can all agree Riley has this one in the bag.
Dark Horse: John Hammond, Milwaukee Bucks
The only way this award does not go to Riley is if the Miami Trinity cannot co-exist on the floor or massive injuries hit the team. In that case, Hammond ushered in the "Fear the Deer" movement in Milwaukee by resigning John Salmons while also adding quality players in Drew Gooden, Corey Maggette, and Chris Douglas-Roberts. Expect a top five seed for this team in the JV Conference.
Thank you all for reading, and I hope this season will be as promising as it looks.
Oh yeah... GO WOLVES!