NBA Season Preview and Predictions: Who Are the Beasts in the East?

RICK BACKERContributor IOctober 21, 2008

The NBA 2009 season kicks off in seven days. Here is a preview of the Eastern Conference for the 2009 season including rosters and predictions


The Atlantic

1) Boston Celtics: The "Big Three" will dominate again. It's also the second year for Glen "Big Baby" Davis. He gets better every game and will be big this year for the Celts' bench. "Big Baby" should take home the sixth man of the year award and you can expect a much improved Tony Allen this year.

2) Toronto Raptors: Much improved with a dominant front of Jermaine O'Neal and Chris Bosh. These two will compliment each other well and expect O'Neal to have a comeback year and put up the same numbers he has in the past. Andrea Bargnani is also in his third year and should put up career numbers. Also Returning is Jose Calderon, Jamario Moon and Joey Graham.

3) Philadelphia 76ers: Andre Iguodala and Elton Brand are going to be a feared duo for opposing teams that will step on the court with the sixers this year. Running the court with them will be veteran point guard Andre Miller. This team also has depth on the bench and will be one of the stronger teams in the Atlantic.

4) New Jersey Nets: The Nets season rides on three things. Will Vince Carter finally step up and be the Superstar he has been projected as for so many years and prove to be a leader to a somewhat young team. Yi Jianilian needs to step up and show he is the athletic big man that he was scouted as and kick it up a notch. Sean Williams, I know it sounds crazy, but he is a great talent and will have a great sophomore year.

5) New York Knicks: The New York knicks have finally blown there nose and released all that mucus that was Isaiah Thomas. Now the Knicks have a respected coach that won’t sexually harass the cheerleaders and will bring a little pride to a Knicks Franchise that desperately needs some dignity after all the scandals that have bought them down. The Knicks need Marbury to grow up and until that happens this team will be a last place laughing stock. Major Changes are needed to this team.



1) Cleveland Cavaliers: One name—Lebron James, All the players on there squad are returning and look to win the central again this year.

2) Detroit Pistons: With their core of players Rip Hamilton, Chauncey Billups and Rasheed Wallace all coming back for another year and despite all the rumors of off season trade speculation the team remained intact and new coach Micheal Curry won't slow down the Pistons this year.

3) Milwaukee Bucks: Micheal Redd and Richard Jefferson are both veteran players who can put up a ton of points. Andrew Bogut will have a better year with the addition of Richard Jefferson it will take some pressure of him in the paint. Also expect a good year from Charlie Villanueva and Tyronn Lue

4) Chicago Bulls: Ben Gordon needs to stop being a selfish player and play for his team and not his stats. Luol Deng a great defensive talent who needs to be the leader for this team. He has been playing in this league long enough and this is the year he will step his game up. Rookie standout Derrick Rose will make an impact but not as big of a splash that everyone is predicting. Big man Tyrus Thomas will have the same year he had, stat wise, that he did last year.

5).Indiana Pacers: The only way to describe the Indiana Pacers this year is "Eh, nothing special." There isn’t a standout talent and they should finish last this year and all the front office and players should start tanking games and look ahead to the NBA lottery.



1) Orlando Magic: Dwight Howard is a raw Explosive talent. Rashard Lewis is a talented offensive player that will carry this team to first place this year in the southeast division.

2)Washington Wizards: Gilbert Arenas, Antawn Jamison, Deshawn Stevenson, Caron Butler, and Juan Dixon is a nasty five-man combo to have there. They are a tough, gritty team who will give a lot of teams problems when the step on the court with this array of talent.

3) Atlanta Hawks: Al Horford, Joe Johnson, and Mike Bibby will keep the hawks in the playoff hunt and they are very talented, young team and players will only get better and better every year. We got a glimpse of how good the hawks can play in the first round of the playoffs when they pushed the world champion Celtics to the brink of elimination. Expect a huge year from Josh Smith.

4) Charlotte Bobcats: Emeka Okafor is going to put up a career year and expect more play for Adam Morrison and Sean May. The Bobcats are a good, young, talented team, but not good enough to make it into the playoffs. Watch out for rookie DJ Augustin.

5)Miami Heat: They Could either be in first place or last place. It all depends if Dwayne Wade stays healthy and Shawn Marion plays at 100%. Also, will Micheal Beasley mature and become a dominant power forward? These questions are what could plague the Miami Heat this season.


My Power Rankings 


1)     Boston Celtics

2)     Orlando Magic

3)     ClevelandCavaliers

4)     Toronto Raptors

5)     Washington Wizards

6)     Detroit Pistons

7)     Milwaukee Bucks

8)     Philadelphia76ers

9)     Atlanta Hawks

10)  Miami Heat

11)  Chicago Bulls

12)  Charlotte Bobcats

13)  New Jersey Nets

14)  New York Knicks

15)  IndianaPacers


MVP: Lebron James

Rookie of the year: Derrick Rose

Champions of the east: Boston Celtics