Tuesday, October 20th, 2009


Basketball picks & Sports picksOctober 20, 2009

PREDICTED ORDER OF FINISH

1. Cleveland
2. Chicago
3. Indiana
4. Detroit
5. Milwaukee

CLEVELAND CAVALIERS
COACH: MIKE BROWN
LAST YEAR: 66-16
BEST ADDITION: C SHAQUILLE ONEAL
BIGGEST LOSS: C BEN WALLACE

OUTLOOK:
The Cleveland Cavs made a bold move and acquired Shaq to team with LeBron and hopefully push them over the top to an NBA Championship. The Cavs may be down to their last chance as LeBron is free to walk after this season, and if he doesn’t sniff a championship now, or on the horizon he could walk. The Cavs certainly have the ability to make a run, but they have a lot of competition at the top, and it won’t be easy, odds are they come up short again.
CHICAGO BULLS
COACH: VINNY DEL NEGRO
LAST YEAR: 41-41
BEST ADDITION: F JAMES JOHNSON
BIGGEST LOSS: G BEN GORDON
OUTLOOK
The Bulls will really miss Ben Gordon, more than they realize, as he helped them take the Celtics to the wire in the playoffs. The Bulls still have enough talent to make the playoffs, but not much more to put them over the top and battle the heavyweights. I think they will look a lot like last year’s team, playing poorly in stretches, and looking like world beaters at other times, but in the end a .500 team.
INDIANA PACERS
COACH: JIM O’BRIEN
LAST YEAR: 36-46
BEST ADDITION: F TYLER HANSBROUGH
BIGGEST LOSS: G MARQUIS DANIELS

OUTLOOK:
The Pacers did some good things at home, and knocked off a lot of big teams, but the youth on this team simply doesn’t translate to the road, and the high flying offense doesn’t either. Hansbrough will add toughness and help change the culture, as he never take a minute off. He will likely not rise to stardom, but a very fundamentally sound player with a strong work ethic, that should help. Pacers still a couple players away from being a factor.

DETROIT PISTONS
COACH: JOHN KUESTER
LAST YEAR: 39-43
BEST ADD: G BEN GORDON
BIGGEST LOSS: C/F RASHEED WALLACE

OUTLOOK:
The Pistons really slipped last year, and trading Chauncey Billups for a now departed Allan Iverson was not a good move. They are taking on the look of Uconn turned pro with Hamilton,Villanueva, and Gordon now in the fold, not a bad trio. They will miss Rasheed, but it was time to retool this team, and I expect them to improve, but not nearly enough to be more than a borderline playoff team.

MILWAUKEE BUCKS
COACH: SCOTT SKILES
LAST YEAR: 34-48
BEST ADDITION: G BRANDON JENNINGS
BIGGEST LOSS: F RICHARD JEFFERSON

OUTLOOK:
Bucks fans have to be patient, salary dumps on Jefferson, and Villanueva were necessary. They have a couple very good players in Redd and Bogut, the problem is trying to keep them on the court. If both stay healthy the Bucks could challenge the .500 mark, but I don’t see them going beyond that. If either goes down for an extended period, they will be last again in the Central.

 

Basketball picksOctober 20, 2009

PREDICTED ORDER OF FINISH

1. Boston
2. Philadelphia
3. Toronto
4. NY Knicks
5. New Jersey

BOSTON CELTICS
COACH: DOC RIVERS
LAST SEASON: 62-20
BEST ADDITION: F/C RASHEED WALLACE
WORST LOSS: F LEON POWE

OUTLOOK:
The biggest issue surrounding the Celtics will be KG’s knee. There seems to be a lot of silence, but the truth will be known soon. Will we get the same-old KG, or a lesser version? The Celts have a nice insurance policy in Rasheed Wallace, who can no longer go 40 minutes a night, but can certainly offer a solid 25-30. Rajon Rondo is an emerging star at PG, and all the pieces are in place to make another run at a Championship – even if KG takes 40 games to become entirely healthy.

PHILADELPHIA 76ers
COACH: EDDIE JORDAN
LAST YEAR: 41-41
BEST ADDITION: G JASON KAPONO
BIGGEST LOSS: G ANDRE MILLER
OUTLOOK:
The Sixers made it to .500 last year, a step in the right direction. The good news is that Elton Brand, who was limited to 29 games a year ago with a shoulder injury, should be healthy and he is a very productive player.  They will miss Andre Miller unless Jrue Holiday or Lou Williams can keep the PG spot stabilized. It looks like another breakeven season for the Sixers, which in the end, could be enough to make the playoffs, but not much more.

TORONTO RAPTORS
COACH: JAY TRIANO
LAST YEAR: 33-49
BEST ADDITION: F/G HEDO TURKOGLU
BIGGEST LOSS: F SHAWN MARION
OUTLOOK:
The Raptors have been a huge disappointment the last couple seasons as their young talent just never emerged. The roster will have seven new faces this season and it will be an important year because it is Chris Bosh’s walk year. If he doesn’t see progress in Toronto, he will probably be elsewhere next year. I don’t see this team making a whole lot of progress, but if the new talent finds some chemistry there is enough to make the playoffs.

NEW YORK KNICKS
COACH: MIKE D’ANTONI
LAST YEAR: 32-50
BEST ADDITION: C DARKO MILLICIC
BIGGEST LOSS: G/F QUENTIN RICHARDSON
 

OUTLOOK:
Mike D’Antoni added some excitement to the Knicks with his fast-paced, wide-open offense, but he didn’t do much for the win column. The Knicks didn’t lose much from a year ago in terms of personnel, but they didn’t add much either, meaning this team should once again be mired in another losing season, falling short of the playoffs.

NEW JERSEY NETS
COACH: LAWRENCE FRANK
LAST YEAR: 34-48
BIGGEST ADDITION: F TERRNECE WILLIAMS
BIGGEST LOSS: G/F VINCE CARTER
 

OUTLOOK:
The Nets were never gonna win with Carter and have started the retooling process. Terrence Williams should get a shot right away at the No. 3 position. Courtney Lee is an emerging two-guard and should pay immediate dividends. The Nets have a lot of questions elsewhere, and the chances of this team improving on their 34 wins a year ago are 50-50 as they probably fall short of the playoffs again.