After losing the first two months of the season, the NBA is finally back. On the eve of the 2011-2012 season, it is time to break out the crystal ball and look into the future. Here are four random bold predictions that you will not find anywhere else, but will come true. If you are in Vegas, run to the books with these.
The Warriors have youth and depth. Monte Ellis, Steph Curry and Dorell Wright are all ready to enter their prime. Those three with the newly acquired Brandon Rush and rookie Thompson will be the deepest backcourt in the conference—yes, better then the Clippers.
Down low, they will get some offensive production from David Lee, who averaged 16 points and 10 rebounds last year. Free-agent signee Kwame Brown is not starting now, but he will be soon after he proves his value on defense. The Warriors will not need him to do much on offense, which has been his biggest weakness, because all of the players around him can provide most of the scoring.
With a packed 66-game schedule this year, youth and depth will be more important then ever. The Los Angeles Lakers, winners of five of the previous 12 NBA Finals, don’t have either of those. They failed to make any major additions and have health concerns with Kobe Bryant aging and Andrew Bynum always in the training room.
The Clippers provide a threat. However, they so far seem to be a very one-dimensional team. They have a good thing going with Chris Paul, Blake Griffin and DeAndre Jordan, but it will be interesting to see how long it takes their other guards (Chauncey Billups, Eric Bledsoe, Mo Williams) to get use to being an off guard.
We saw a glimpse of what could be a season-long issue this year in last year’s playoffs. Westbrook shot the ball, a lot. The best player in the NBA is Kevin Durant, and if Westbrook doesn’t figure out that he’s not the alpha dog on the team, he’ll be shipped elsewhere.
Plenty of teams could use his services. Besides, the Oklahoma City Thunder can live without him because they have Eric Maynor to run the point and James Harden, who is ready to become Durant’s Robin.
He left Cleveland and made a huge spectacle. He has since apologized and has gone back to trying to be the nice guy and not the villain.
What’s also helping take some of the heat off LeBron James (pun intended) is the ridiculousness that was the Chris Paul trade. Fans now hate Cleveland Cavaliers owner Dan Gilbert more after reading his e-mail to the commissioner regarding the trade, and will lose their sympathy towards Cleveland. Also, due to the poor nature of which the deal was handled, the villain in the NBA is now David Stern.
One of the most important attributes in sports is a sense of fairness. Imagine how much more popular the NCAA football postseason would be if the champion was decided in a more fair way. Because of Stern’s vetoing of the trade he has created a feeling of unfairness.
Fans now feel as though the story of the NBA season is written by NBA league executives in offices, and not the players on the court. So what’s the natural reaction?
Hate Stern. sympathize with the players.
LeBron will have highlight reel dunks, people will forgive, LeBron, you’re off the hook.
30-1 odds in Vegas, so why the Memphis Grizzlies?
They have young talent in the starting lineup with Mike Conley, Rudy Gay and Marc Gasol combined with a proven commodity in Zach Randolph. They have the production on the bench with OJ Mayo, Sam Young and Darrell Arthur. They took Oklahoma City to seven games last year, who is by most accounts the favorite in the West.
Why NOT the Grizzlies?