Happy New Year! Today marks the first day of the 2010-2011 season which looks to be a great one at that. The story lines that will fill the first 20 minutes of Wednesday-Saturday SportsCenters this year will consist of the talents of “The Big 3” in South Beach, the perennial favorite Lakers, and the wicked ahhsome Celtics. The OKC Thunder, Orlando Magic, and Chicago Bulls will open for the headliners this season.
The LeBrontourage in Miami will get more ratings in their highlights than the entire 2010 season of “Entourage” combined. It is safe to say they have the most star power of any in team in the league, the most athletic ability in the league, and more drive to win a ring then anyone in the league. But that does not mean they are the best team in the league. It is quite obvious the Bron has a newfound gameface that he has worn throughout preseason and there is no question that he will be the leader of the Heat while Wade County willingly takes a backseat and C-Bosh shoots bank jumpers from 15 feet out.
With such attention drawn to themselves in the offseason, it is almost necessary for them to win a ring or they didn’t do something right. I’m not saying they deserve it because I think they have a lot of meshing to do over the course of the 82 game season, in which I think they will win 65 games and take the #1 seed in the playoffs. However, I foresee them losing in 7 games to the boys from Beantown in the Eastern Conference Finals who have more playoff expererience and players who have been in that position throughout their careers.
Which transitions me into the Shaqrocks. With Rajon Rondo as the new found court corporal, leadership in Ray Allen and Paul Pierce, and depth in the lane with KG, Kendrick Perkins, and the Big Aristotle. They have what other Eastern Conference teams don’t have, big men who can score. That coupled with the synergy they’ll gain as everyone tries to take the Eastern Conference Champs down, I project them taking on the Minnesota 10,000 Lakers in June and winning in 6 games.
It is well-known that I am President of The Laker Hater Club, but with that I would like to think that I can take my bias against them out of the equation, and objectively rate them. That being said I think the Lakers have too many cards against them this season to repeat again. An aging Kobe + a tough Western Conference Finals against the Kevin Durants = Just what the Celtics ordered to beat them. Kobe’s knees could also be the epidemic that plagues the Lakers chances at another championship a lot earlier than expected.
The Thunder have the most young talent in the league with Team USA mates KD and Russel Westbrook and upcoming role players James Harden, his sweet beard, and Jeff Green. With another year under their belt and fresh legs they have what it takes to go deep into the playoffs and give the Lake Show a run for their money. I just hope they don’t act like Florida Marlins and instead keep their nucleus together as they could be a powerhouse in the Western Conference after Kobe retires in the next year or so.
Dwight Howard should stop teaching people how to Douggie and shooting 3s from the bench and start taking his game more seriously. He has the genes to be one of the best big men of all time if he takes is offensive game to the next level. He spent the offseason training with The Dream and Patrick Chewing working on his post moves. But untill they get a formidable back-court not headed by Jameer Nelson I don’t see them making it out of the 2nd round of the playoffs. Plus Vinsanity just isn’t tight anymore. I think they got real lucky the last 2 years and with the Heat only a few hundred miles away, there is a lot more pressure.
I want to like the Bulls this year but I am not convinced they are good enough to beat the Heat or the Celtics. They definitely improved with Boozer adding some offense to their front court as D-Rose drops dimes to him all day. Joakim Noah has that fiya and workhorse attitude that they need but I just don’t know that they have that special “something.” They’ll run a slow half-court game that has will have announcers saying “Stockton to Malone” and correcting themselves because of the similarity in pick-n-roll.