Friday, October 23rd, 2009


Basketball picksOctober 23, 2009

PREDICTED ORDER OF FINISH:
1. SAN ANTONIO
2. NEW ORLEANS
3. DALLAS
4. HOUSTON
5. MEMPHIS

SAN ANTONIO
COACH: GREGG POPOVICH
LAST SEASON: 54-28
BEST ADDITION: F RICHARD JEFFERSON
BIGGEST LOSS: F DREW GOODEN

OUTLOOK:
The Spurs needed another scorer, and Richard Jefferson will be interesting. He may miss some games early with a thumb injury, but it will be interesting to see how he fits here. One day the Spurs will take the floor without Tim Duncan, and although he can’t take on 40 minutes a night anymore, he makes them dangerous come playoff time. The Spurs seem to always find a way to win 50+, and this year should be no different.

NEW ORLEANS
COACH: BYRON SCOTT
LAST SEASON: 49-33
BEST ADD: C OMEKA OKAFOR
BIGGEST LOSS: C TYSON CHANDLER
 

OUTLOOK:
I think the Hornets made a great trade bringing Okafor in. It gives the Hornets a big body and a proven rebounder to bang with the bigs in the west. They have a rising star in Chris Paul at the point and a lot of new faces, but if everything gels for the Hornets they could definetly step up and win 50+ and I expect that they will.

DALLAS
COACH: RICK CARLISLE
LAST YEAR: 50-32
BEST ADDITION: F SHAWN MARION
BIGGEST LOSS: G JERRY STACKHOUSE
 

OUTLOOK:
The Mavs, with the addition of Shawn Marion, have a pair of forwards that can each produce 20+ points per night and a PG in Jason Kidd that can get them the ball in the right places. I think that the Mavs know that if they are going to win, it will have to be now, with Nowitski and Kidd not getting any younger, so Marion is that key third player to help put them over the top. The competion is strong in their division, so will it be enough? I tend to think it will not.
 

HOUSTON
COACH: RICK ADELMAN
LAST YEAR: 53-29
BEST ADDITION: F TREVOR ARIZA
BIGGEST LOSS: F RON ARTEST
 

OUTLOOK:
The Rockets coldn’t win with Artest, so they went in a different direction and traded for Ariza. The Rockets, however, face bigger issues. T-Mac is coming off of surgery and has simply shown that he can’t stand up to the rigors of the NBA and is often unmotivated. Yao Ming has said that he will not return this year from his foot injury – and maybe not ever. That will put Houston in a serious rebuilding mode, and a falloff is likely from their 53 wins a year ago.
 

MEMPHIS
COACH: LIONEL HOLLINS
LAST YEAR: 24-58
BEST ADDITION: F ZACH RANDOLPH
BIGGEST LOSS: F HAKEEM WARRICK
 

OUTLOOK:
The Grizzlies took a gamble and signed Allan Iverson, but I’m not sure how much that will help. They have Thabeet coming in an offering defense inside, but he is going to take time to develop. Randolph has a lot of ability, but is a mal-content, and with him and Iverson competing for bad news, the chemistry on this team becomes a bigger issue. Long way to go, and no playoffs once again.
 

 

Basketball picksOctober 23, 2009

PREDICTED ORDER OF FINISH

1. Orlando
2. Atlanta
3. Miami
4. Washington
5. Charlotte
 

ORLANDO
COACH: STAN VAN GUNDY
LAST YEAR: 59-23
BEST ADDITION: G/F VINCE CARTER
BIGGEST LOSS: F HEDO TURKOGLU
 

OUTLOOK:
The Magic is knocking on the door but a lot of changes, which sometimes effect team chemistry. Turkoglu will be sorely missed, but Carter gives them a player capeable of going off for 40 on any given night. They will have 4 new faces on the roster battling for minutes, and it may take this team awhile to get the chemistry down. I think they may be about the same as a year ago, and may take a slight step backward, but can’t argue the talent is still rich enough to make a run if all the pieces fit.

ATLANTA:
COACH: MIKE WOODSON
LAST YEAR: 47-35
BEST ADD: G JAMAL CRAWFORD
BIGGEST LOSS: G SPEEDY CLAXTON
 

OUTLOOK:
The Hawks young team is begiining to gel, and they improved dramatically a year ago, and gained valuable playoff experience in the process. Jamal Crawford is a dynamic add for a team that often struggles on the offensive end, and he could become a potent 6th man providing instant offense off the bench. The Hawks should continue to mature and could top 50 wins this season, and the playoffs are quite likely, even a series win.
 

MIAMI
COACH: ERIC SPOELSTRA
LAST YEAR: 43-39
BEST ADD: G PATRICK BEVERLY
BIGGEST LOSS: F JAMARIO MOON
 

OUTLOOK:
The key for the Heat will be the obvious, keeping Dwayne Wade on the court, and somehow getting Jermaine O’Neal back to his 20ppg 10rpg status. They have good complimentary players, but if those 2 can have big year’s the Heat will be better than the 43 wins of a year ago, and could be at or over 50. Anytime you have a player like Wade that can take over a close game, your gonna win your share. Playoffs likely, but still distance between them and the Eastern heavyweights. 

WASHINGTON
COACH: FLIP SAUNDERS
LAST YEAR:  19-63
BEST ADDITION: G/F MIKE MILLER
BIGGEST LOSS: C/F ETAN THOMAS
 

OUTLOOK:
The Wizards have had all sorts of injury problems to key players, and many feel Gilbert Arenas’ knee will never be the same, and that will remain to be seen this season. Mike Miller will add to this team, and Randy Foye could be a key off the bench. Butler and Jamison are very good players, and the trio needs to stay healthy for this team to get better. I think this team if healthy could win 30 games this year, but the playoffs are a dream right now.

CHARLOTTE
COACH: LARRY BROWN
LAST YEAR: 35-47
BEST ADD: C TYSON CHANDLER
BIGGEST LOSS: C OMEKA OKAFOR
 

OUTLOOK:
Okafor was a good steady player, but seemed to reach his ceiling, and Chandler has a much higher ceiling if coach Brown can get him motivated he will be a definate upgrade. The Bobcats are good defensively, but lack the true firepower to advance to the playoffs at this stage, and another sub-.500 season is in store for Bobcat fans.