Wild, Wild West: 2010 NBA Preview Part One
The NBA season is approaching quickly, so I did my NBA preview for this season covering all 30 teams. In part one of this preview I will do the Western Conference. Then, later this week I will do the Eastern Conference. So, let's get started with my 2010 NBA Preview.
#1 Oklahoma City Thunder: Oklahoma City is lead by Kevin Durant who averaged 30 points per game last season and is the favorite to win the MVP. The Thunder also have great young players around Durant. Jeff Green and Russell Westbrook are the main sidekicks of Durant and I expect the three of them to lead the Oklahoma City Thunder to the the number one seed in the Western Conference.
#2 Los Angeles Lakers: Whenever you have Kobe Bryant you have a shot at winning the NBA Championship. Once again the Lakers will finish near the top of the NBA. Their reaching the end of Kobe Bryant's career, but Pau Gasol and Ron Artest can carry this team with Bryant. Los Angeles will continue their reign of dominance until Kobe Bryant retires. So, expect more of the same from the Lakers in 2010.
#3 Utah Jazz: Even without Carlos Boozer, this Jazz team will thrive this season. They have the best point guard in the NBA, Deron Williams along side rookie Gordon Hayward, and replacement of Carlos Boozer, Paul Millsap. Then, you add in the addition of Al Jefferson from Minnesota. He's finally in a winning system after multiple years in the NBA cellar called Minnesota. When you add in all of these new players with Deron Williams, it looks like they will finish even better in 2010 without Carlos Boozer.
#4 San Antonio Spurs: Even the oldest team won't stay away from the playoffs. They have future hall of famer Tim Duncan, Manu Ginobli, and Tony Parker turning back the clock of father time and making one more run at the NBA Championship until this very old big three is broken up. San Antonio has a young nuclus of players to help out Duncan and crew to raise another banner. Led by George Hill, the Spurs young talent could trump the oldies in the Spurs run to the playoffs.
#5 Houston Rockets: Houston is finally back to it's winning and healthy ways as they have Yao Ming carry them to the playoffs. Finally, Yao Ming will play a full season in 2010 and have a great one indeed, an all star season at that. Write this down: Yao Ming will average 20 points and 10 rebounds and lead Houston tho the playoffs all by himself.
#6 Dallas Mavericks: Age finally catches up to one of the three Texas teams. Jason Kidd was a good invesment for a few seasons, but he's going to go down the hill this season. Dirk Nowitzki once again will have to carry Dallas to the playoffs. Dallas is too good of a team to miss the playoffs. Looks like Dirk should've tested the free agency waters over the Summer.
#7 Los Angeles Clippers: Looks like the Clippers finally aren't the laughing stock of the NBA. They have a young team led by Blake Griffin and Eric Gordon. Then, Chris Kaman is a reliable big man to lean on. If you haven't watched NBA Preseason Blake Griffin looks for real and will win the NBA Rookie of The Year in a landslide.
#8 Memphis Grizzlies: Memphis led by Rudy Gay and O.J. Mayo will barely squeeze into the last NBA Playoffs spot. Mayo and Gay will both be all stars that lead Memphis to their first playoff berth in years. The Grizzlies are finally developing into a playoff caliber team and finally have two stars to lean on.
#9 Phoenix Suns: Steve Nash almost takes the Suns to the playoffs, but comes up just short. Nash needed a guy to be his second in command and he really doesn't have that this season. I think Steve Nash needs a different team to have success in the future.
#10 Denver Nuggets: Carmelo Anthony will be traded in a few days, I honestly think that. That leaves Denver in a very bad situation. Chauncey Billups can't carry the Nuggets all by himself. Looks like Denver is in a bad spot for years to come.
#11 Golden State Warriors: I like the future of the Golden State Warriors. Adding David Lee to an already high powered offense led by Stephen Curry and Monta Ellis makes this team even more scary to face, but defense will cost this team in the long run.
#12 Sacramento Kings: This team is young, but is good enough to make it to the playoffs. Led by Tyreke Evans, this team will show they will be very good in the future. Just wait until DeMarcus Cousins and Tyreke Evans get some great chemistry going.
#13 Portland Trail Blazers: Again, injuries take away Portland's season. Greg Oden and Brandon Roy get hurt again in 2010 and make the all-injury team for the second season in the row. Greg Oden is turning into a bust, maybe even worse then Sam Bowie. Portland is turning into a bad team and has very bad luck. They are finally showing their true colors as an overrated team.
#14 Minnesota Timberwolves: Minnesota will barely get out of the Western Conference cellar as the worst team. They have great players in Kevin Love, Michael Beasley, Jonny Flynn, Corey Brewer, and later on Ricky Rubio. In a few years though, the Timberwolves might have a great pack of players to work with to an NBA Championship.
#15 New Orleans Hornets: The Hornets are just a very bad team. Chris Paul will get his wish during the season and he will be traded. Without Chris Paul, the Hornets have nobody to build around they may be worse then the 9-73 Philadelphia 76ers way back then.
Western Conference Playoff Predictions: First Round
#1 Oklahoma City Thunder vs #8 Memphis Grizzlies, Thunder in 4 games
#4 San Antonio Spurs vs #5 Houston Rockets, Spurs in 6 games
#3 Utah Jazz vs #6 Dallas Mavericks, Jazz in 7 games
#2 Los Angeles Lakers vs #7 Los Angeles Clippers, Lakers in 4 games
Western Conference Playoff Predictions: Conference Semifinals
#1 Oklahoma City Thunder vs #4 San Antonio Spurs, Thunder in 6 games
#2 Los Angeles Lakers vs # 3 Utah Jazz, Lakers in 7 games
Western Conference Playoff Predictions: Conference Finals
#1 Oklahoma City Thunder vs #2 Los Angeles Lakers, Thunder in 7 games