by user Wttt02005

Top 10 Predictions

10. Lakers will miss the playoffs 9. Artest will be a MVP candidate 8. Rockets will get past the first round 7. Cavaliers will see the first round 6. Carlisle vs Karl for Coach of the Year. (Or Phil if the Lakers do well) 5. Kings will be mediocre unless Skinner gives it his all or they bring back Founderburke (joke) 4. Knicks will have life and a winning record 3. Someone is going to get injured and Ben Gordon will become a permanent starter 2. Golden State will make the playoffs 1. Spurs over Miami for the Championship

10. Lakers will miss the playoffs Unlike a few of my predictions, this one is still up in the air. The Lakers are currently the eighth seed in the West with a 29-28 record. I expect the rest of the season to be a grind for them. It is, once again, up to Kobe if the Lakers are going to string a few wins and be five games about .500 by the end of the season. Kobe is more than up to the challenge, but I would really like to see Odom become completely comfortable with the offense and the advent of a third scorer, whether Mihm or Parker. However, to stay afloat, the Lakers must keep the Kings (26-30) at bay. I believe the blowout last Thursday in which the Lakers cruised by twenty points was a clear statement. I do expect the Lakers to keep the eighth seed, but it is still up in the air.

9. Artest will be a MVP candidate After last season’s Pacers-Pistons brawl, the Pacers knew they were going to not only lose a loose cannon but one of the top twenty players in the league. There is no denying how good Ron Artest is; though not a true fan, I cannot say anything truly negative about a player whose game focuses on both defense and offense. Artest prides himself on being the second Dennis Rodman, and I must say he acts exactly like him, minus the piercings, hair dye, and wedding dress. I could not be completely wrong about this situation. Artest returns and plays very well, but before the season gets underway, he requests to be traded. Though I do not like the way he handled the situation, I do feel that he needed to leave the Pacers to put his past behind him. Now with the Kings, Artest has started anew and the team has found itself winners of seven of their last ten games. Though Ron definitely will not get the nod for MVP, one cannot deny how good this team looks on paper: Brad Miller, Mike Bibby, Ron Artest, and Shareef Abdur-Rahim.

8. Rockets will get past the first round Somewhere, someone is laughing at me for this prediction. I am completely off base now but before the season, you could not blame me for this one. Last year, the Rockets were one of only four teams to grace fifty wins and centered around two all-stars who did not even play any preseason games together. That is truly an accomplishment, and I could only expect better. Off-season acquisitions Stromile Swift and Rafer Alston only added to my expectations. I honestly felt they could contend for the title. The Rudy Tomjanovich days were over right? Unfortunately, no. Injuries to both Yao and McGrady have resulted in inconsistent play. I honestly think that if both stars were healthy, they would definitely be in playoff contention and be seeded alongside the Grizzlies. Unfortunately, McGrady now has personal issues to deal with, and Yao is not the one who takes over games. I do not expect them to reach the first round. Too bad, they are my favorite team.

7. Cavaliers will see the first round

Yes, I am right about something. O never mind, there are still about twenty games left, and the Cavaliers (32-25) are just staying afloat. They are on a current four game losing streak which tends to worry everyone in Cleveland since the team missed the playoffs the last two years by two games or so. Whether or not the Cavaliers make the playoffs, expect the team to see a first or second round exit. They are definitely not going to beat Miami or Detroit.

6. Carlisle vs Karl for Coach of the Year. (Or Phil if the Lakers do well) When the Nuggets acquired George Karl, they went on a phenomenal 32-8 run. Unfortunately, the excitement was short-lived as the team lost to the Spurs 1-4 in the first round. They were beaten horribly; they stole Game 1 but were blown out the next four games. However, I expected, like every other Nuggets fan, a glorious future, so I predicted that Karl would become Coach of the Year next season. In keeping with my prediction that Artest would return as a MVP candidate, I expected the league to consider Carlisle for Coach of the Year. During the year of the brawl, analysts like Kenny Smith and Charles Barkley felt that Carlisle should be given consideration because the Pacers were going to make the playoffs despite all the problems they succumbed to that year. As a result, I felt that Carlisle would battle Karl for Coach of the Year. After the playoffs, Phil once again became the Coach of the Lakers, so I had hopes for the team. Being a Houston fan, I never expected Tomjanovich to bring the Lakers to contention, so I was ecstatic for Phil’s return. As a result, I felt that Phil would be the final name to throw in for Coach of the Year honors. Unfortunately, all these predictions were wrong. There are three coaches well- deserving of the award, but they are Mike D’Antoni, Avery Johnson, and Flip Saunders. Without Stoudemire, D’Antoni has retained the relentless run-and-gun style that has placed the Suns on top of the Pacific Division. Avery Johnson’s defensive mentality has reinforced what was a soft Mavericks team and turned them into championship contenders. Finally, Flip Saunders, whether he inherited a good team or not, opened up the team’s offensive potential and made them better than before. Just look at the record for proof.

5. Kings will be mediocre unless Skinner gives it his all or they bring back Founderburke (joke) Chris Webber’s departure to the 76ers resulted in many believing the Kings would never be contenders again. As a resulted, I expected the Kings to be mediocre at best with jokes along the side involving Skinner and Founderburke. Skinner played well following the trade while Founderburke was traded. Currently, my predictions are true regarding the mediocrity; it is up to Artest to prove me wrong.

4. Knicks will have life and a winning record Someone shoot me now. I am so wrong on this, but the reason I felt the prediction was valid was that this team was very good on paper. Jamal Crawford, Stephon Marbury, Quentin Richardson, Eddy Curry, and finally Larry Brown coaching them. How could this go wrong? Brown was the reason the Pacers, the Pistons, and the 76ers were successful. Why wouldn’t the Knicks continue the trend? O yeah, the players are selfish and all play the same position. Sorry, never listen to me regarding the Knicks again. However, there is still a possibility of success in the future.

3. Someone is going to get injured, and Ben Gordon will become a permanent starter I guess the only thing that was injured this year was the Bulls record. Last year’s surprise team, the Bulls have been unable to repeat their success. This is due to a variety of factors. First, they lack an inside threat without Curry. Rather than monitor Curry’s condition, the Bulls decided to deal him to the Knicks. Without the easy points, the Bulls struggled this year on the perimeter. Because they started sinking down the rankings, Skiles decided to mix the lineups and establish a set rotation. This has resulted in Gordon becoming a starter and Duhon a benchwarmer. Skiles has still not found a perfect fit, so the Baby Bulls have now become baby cubs, the new Memphis Grizzlies.

2. Golden State will make the playoffs I was sure about this one because the Warriors played extremely well at the end of the year once Baron Davis arrived. However, they have quickly exited the playoff picture due to a lack of defense and Davis’ condition. They are the new Dallas Mavericks in that they can get by through blowing out the competition offensively, but in the long run, other teams tighten up, leaving the Warriors to falter

1. Spurs over Miami for the Championship

This is still up in the air because these two might not meet in the finals. No one expected the Pistons, Suns, and Mavericks to be as good as they are. Because these five teams are very close, it is a hard call to say who will be the final two. I guess we will just have to let the Truth be Told as TNT would say.

I apologize for the majority of the predictions involving the playoffs but that is all that matters, right?


Tue 03/14/06, 6:27 pm EST


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