2010-11 NBA Predictions: Who Are the Surprise Teams of the East and West?

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2010-11 NBA Predictions: Who Are the Surprise Teams of the East and West?

The NBA’s biggest surprise team this season for both the Western and Eastern conference, brought to you byNBAPrimetime’s Brandon Ribak.

Western Conference

Utah Jazz

Although Jerry Sloan has yet to intake a big whiff of an NBA trophy in over a decade, his team has consistently made the postseason for the last four years in a row (winning at least 48 games during the regular season in that span).

This off-season the Utah Jazz obtained center Al Jefferson via trade, providing the team with a much more dominate inside threat on the defensive end as opposed to Carlos Boozer (career average of 1.2 BPG compared to Carlos Boozers’ 0.5 BPG).

Center Mehmet Okur is currently sidelined with an injury and has no timetable for a return. With Okur out, 25-year-old Paul Millsap will once again step into the starting power-forward role.

During the 08′-09′ regular season, Millsap averaged an impressive 18 points and 11 rebounds per game in 19 starts (with Boozer sidelined), achieving a double-double in each game.

The duo of Jefferson and Millsap should uplift the Jazz’s regular season win total up a few notches, but for a deep playoff run the team will look for the league’s top point-guard, Deron Williams, to quarterback the offense (Williams has posted at least 18.8PPG and 10.5 APG in each of his last three seasons).

Eastern Conference

Chicago Bulls

Even though the Chicago Bulls were never able to obtain Dwyane Wade, LeBron James or Chris Bosh this off-season, they were able to sign key players that should help make the team one of the top in the Eastern Conference this season.

Carlos Boozer (out until December) was a huge signing and will assume the power-forward duties for Chicago once he returns to the court.

Boozer gives the Bulls a stretch four forward who can knock down perimeter jumpers and rebound with the best of them.

Chicago also signed shooting-guards Ronnie Brewer and Kyle Korver this off-season.

Brewer is known for his perimeter defense and will match up against the top stars in the league for the Bulls.

Korver is one of the best sharp-shooters in the NBA and has the ability to absolutely light it up from downtown at virtually any moment during a game. Last season Korver shot an absurd 53.6 percent from three-point territory and the guard will look to shoot the same for Chicago this season.

Add Chicago’s off-season additions (along with their new head coach Tom Thibodeau) to a team composed of point-guard Derrick Rose, center Joakim Noah, and small-forward Luol Deng, and you’ve got yourself a roster destined to make a splash this season.

For more of Brandon's content be sure to check out NBAPrimetime.com and follow him on twitter @_nbaprimetime 

 

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