The start of the NBA season is finally here, so there is no better time than the NBA tip-off day for The Baller Guru’s ball-wise predictions on how the season will unfold…
Atlantic Division: Boston Celtics – Yes they are a team that should probably be playing in Jurassic Park rather than the TD Garden, and their overall record at the end of the season may be nothing flashy, but face it, they have no real competition to win the division.
Central Division: Chicago Bulls – And so ends the reign of the Cleveland Cavaliers. Without their King, the peasants will be more competitive than people give them credit for, but not nearly close enough to overtake the re-vamped Chicago Bulls. Carlos Boozer may be out for a few months, but this team has more than enough talent to make up for it until his return. Milwaukee will be scratching at the Bulls’ heels, and although the Bucks will be a playoff team, they won’t be able to win the division.
Southeast Division: Miami Heat – And so begins The Battle of Florida between the Heat and the Orlando Magic, the start of an excellent rivalry that will harken back to the great Knicks/Heat rivalry of the late 90s. This is going to be a blast to watch for years to come with plenty of highlight reel moments. But the race to win the division doesn’t just come down to a few head-to-head match-ups and Miami will win more overall games this year and take the division.
Northwest Division: Oklahoma City Thunder – The NW might be the toughest division in the league when you consider the Denver Nuggets, Portland Trail Blazers, and Utah Jazz (sorry T-Wolves, you are like the freshmen invited to the party of seniors just so they can pick on you). The Baller Guru still believes that Carmelo Anthony will fly like a G6 from the Nuggets at some point before the trade deadline, probably sooner, so Denver will lose some serious scoring power. OKC and their golden boy have nowhere to go but up and will improve on their 50-win season to top the Blazers and Jazz in the division.
Pacific Division: Los Angeles Lakers – Much like the Celtics, the Lakers have no real competition here for the division title. The Phoenix Suns will be much better than everyone thinks post-Amaré, but it still won’t be enough to win the division, even over a banged-up Lakers.
Southwest Division: Dallas Mavericks – Not quite as tight as the Northwest, but this will be a fun division to watch as well. The Baller Guru sincerely hopes Yao Ming can stay healthy to keep the Houston Rockets in the playoff picture. Chris Paul will play lights out for the New Orleans Hornets coming back from injury to maximize his free agent contract value for next summer when he bolts to NY. The San Antonio Spurs will be playoff ready come April, but will lumber through the season with one injury or another to keep them from winning the division. Dallas is just too stacked with talent and a good mix of youth and experience and will easily win the SW.
Eastern Conference Champions: Boston Celtics – Go ahead, admit it, you expected this to say Miami Heat. After all, everybody and their dog has already started fitting them for rings. The Heat’s time will come soon, but as written in a previous post, the Celtics sheer size will overcome a head-to-head playoff match-up this season. Same goes for Orlando vs the Heat, but the Magic just doesn’t have enough weapons that will come through in the clutch in a tough fought playoff series vs the Celtics. Doc Rivers will sacrifice regular season glory (if there is such a thing) to make sure all the leaves of the shamrock are in place for the playoffs.
Western Conference Champions: Los Angeles Lakers – Enjoy it Lakers fans, because within the next few years this pick will say OKC Thunder. But right now, the Western Conference consists of the Lakers…and then the 2nd tier of playoff teams that are all very competitive (Spurs, Mavs, Thunder, Suns, Blazers, Jazz), but not enough to, as the sign says, Beat LA.
2010-2011 NBA Finals Champions: Boston Celtics – Now you are pissed, aren’t you Lakers fans? You read it correctly, The Baller Guru is picking the Boston Celtics to win in another dream rematch of the NBA’s version of Clash of the Titans. The Celtics were 5 points away from a championship last season. Five. If Kendick Perkins did not get injured, this series may have had a very different outcome. Perkins may not be an All-Star or the second coming of Bill Russell, but his size and defensive presence was absolutely pivotal against the oversized Lakers, and in such a close game 7, that does make a difference. The Celtics are prepared this season with enough big bodies to field a D-line in football, and a much healthier Kevin Garnett will remind everyone that the Celtics may be geezers, but they supremely talented at all positions, well coached, and loaded with new ammo.
Tags: Boston Celtics, Carmelo Anthony, Chicago Bulls, Chris Paul, Cleveland Cavaliers, Dallas Mavericks, Kendrick Perkins, Kevin Garnett, Los Angeles Lakers, Miami Heat, Milwaukee Bucks, New Orleans Hornets, Oklahoma City Thunder, Orlando Magic, Portland Trailblazers, San Antonio Spurs, Utah Jazz
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