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What Was I Smoking? NBA Predictions Gone Wrong

JoeSportsFanSenior Analyst IApril 15, 2009

NEW YORK - FEBRUARY 17: Tim Duncan #21 of the San Antonio Spurs shoots over David Lee #42 of the New York Knicks at Madison Square Garden February 17, 2009 in New York City. The Knicks won the game in overtime 112-107. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this Photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Chris McGrath/Getty Images)

Wizards Bullets 19 - 62

We interrupt this subpar JSF blog posting to wish you happy tax day and a shout out to my partner-in-mustache D-Cal who also celebrates his 73rd birthday today. Now back to my less than compelling thoughts.

If I ever offer you any advice in terms of game predictions, fantasy leagues, or even stock picks, I suggest you run as fast as you can the other way, drink a fifth of Jack Daniels, and ask a homeless guy. He’ll give you better counsel than I ‘m capable of.  I said Mondale would be a sure thing in ‘84, and had Utah State taking the NCAA tourney this year.

Yes, I’m not so smart, but at least we can all agree that I’m really, really, really, really good looking.

So while there is lots of NBA news to discuss—the playoffs are here, the Wizards Bullets signing of Flip Saunders to coach a team coming off one of its worst seasons ever, and even the sexual predator that is Isiah Thomas is now heading to Miami to coach Florida International—I’m going to revisit my early pro hoops predictions on the season and see where I was good, bad, ugly, and what remains to be seen.

BEFORE THE BINGE (.002)

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Clippers: Despite the HUGE Baron Davis signing, I wrote, “This will be a lost season….” And yes, it’s been as bad as we thought. The Paper Clips are at 19 - 62 with one game left, Baron’s signing being a league-wide joke and they tried to unload him mid-season, and Marcus Camby is trying to find a way to collect permanent disability.

Rockets: I got a bit lucky here writing, “Tracy McGrady seems to go down about every five games, and then the team often plays better…these guys could be really, really good - even with McGrady’s periodic injury schedule.”

And indeed, Ron Artest is yet to be arrested for felonious assault, they are tied for first at 53 - 28 with a game left, and they’ve been a very good team with T-Mac missing most of the season.

I loved last week when Jack McCallum said of McGrady, “he’s a ball-hog who’s too unpredictable to play with and has done less with more natural ability than any player in recent memory.” Classic.

Hawks: I started off hot on the Hawks and wrote that Mike Bibby would lead them to the playoffs. I did caution, “this is not a 55-win team” (47 - 34 with one to play). A solid season nonetheless, strong bench contributions (48 points off the pine last night), and we’ll see if they can make noise in the playoffs.

Pistons–Nuggets Trade: The first thing I asked was whether “Pistons GM Joe Dumars lost his mind or sold his soul” and added “I’m guessing Denver got the best of this and makes a late run…

As for Detroit—playoffs are certain but a champion they are not.” No question I pegged this one. Iverson has been a mess, he said he can’t come off the bench and his back mysteriously then began to act up again, and it’s not an understatement to say this has been the Nuggets best season…ever.

SIX PACK DEEP (.047)

Hornets: Byron Scott has a feathery light mustache and I suggested they would be one of the best teams in the league. In fact, they have been a relative disappointment. New Orleans is currently 49 - 32, in fourth place in the Southwest, and they might end up lower than Dallas which has struggled all season.

Sure, Byron’s mustache remains, Chris Paul has been great, but the team has been, how do you say, not so good.

JSF Staff: I suggested Pat Imig was tall when in fact he is 4′3". He was actually standing on a can of Sebek’s hairspray. Tricky little booger.

Knicks: I said they’d stink but that was not any sage prediction. Most people were on that train. But in actuality, coach Mike D’Antoni’s mustache did solid work in willing his new team to a 31 – 50 record with pretty lame talent (let’s try to get excited about David Lee!).

Seriously, who was Wilson Chandler before the season? I thought he was a bit player on Benson…highly underrated show by the way.

Bucks: I said I “like the Bucks starting five” but that the “bench will be this team’s question mark.”  Well, at 34 – 47 and without leading scorer Michael Redd for most of the season, the entire unit has been terrible. David Hasselhoff “Hooked On A Feeling” awful.

A 12-PACK OF COLT 45 IN THE HOLE (.148)

76ers: I said firing Mo Cheeks would accomplish nothing. And that, my friends, is why the Sixers are now in the playoffs and why my stock portfolio was disemboweled by E-Trade.

Timberwolves: As my friend Terf reminded me a mid-season, I wrote early on that Minny “will be an interesting team to watch this season.” Trainwreck of a prediction. You have my apologies.

Bacon: I wrote that beef was the meat family leader when every Christian, Buddhist, Jew and Muslim alike knows it’s bacon.

Raptors: I wrote Toronto “is worth paying attention to….They could be very good come playoffs time…” I also said, “Toronto should be on the Celts heels all season.” So, at 32 – 49, what the hell was I smoking? Oh, yeah, I remember…kind of.

Suns: I assumed they’d be a playoff team despite writing that I’d been “hearing the Suns question themselves a bit too much considering the talent that’s there.” I also wrote that “new coach Terry Porter” would be solid. Yeah, well, Porter is gone, the Suns missed the playoffs, and  Shaq-FU can’t stop talking about playing in Dallas next year.

Manute Bol: I told a guy in a men’s room bathroom in a Minnesota airport that Bol was the finest Bullets draft pick ever, when in fact we all know that the 1987 selection of 5′3" Mugsy Bogues with the 12th overall pick was the best ever.

Spurs: I wrote that “Despite (Tony) Parker, the Spurs look really old.” In a later column I said, “It’s an ugly mess for the Spurs…” I did save myself a bit when I added that, “if anyone can turn the ship, it’s Pop, (coach Greg Popovich). 

UN- or IRregardless, with 53 wins, I think I wrote them off a bit early. Kind of like Webster. Don’t ever count the little tiger out.

WHO THE HELL KNOWS (passed out)

Magic: I wrote that Orlando has a solid team but that they do not have the depth to make a deep championship run.  Who the hell knows? Only L. Ron Hubbard, that’s who.

Cavs: “Cleveland has finally put a championship caliber team around LeBron James.” It looks like these Cavs could face the LakeShow in the finals. We’ll see but they tied up the best regular season record and now have home court advantage throughout.

Crab Lice: Are they a cruel joke, a warning from the Easter Bunny, or just God’s way of saying you need a bath?

Lakers: Kobe & Co. over the LeBrons in seven games. Bet on it.

*On a completely unrelated note, if you actually read this entire piece and got down to this point, and you’d like to see the power of social media and mustaches in action, read this blog post from the American Mustache Institute.

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