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Lost Art
10-27-2008, 02:10 PM
1. Who will win the conference finals?

Thomsen: East -- Celtics over Cavaliers. West -- Spurs over Lakers.

Burns: East -- Celtics over Cavs. West -- Spurs over Rockets.

McCallum: East -- Celtics over Cavs. West -- Hornets over Lakers.

Mannix: East -- Celtics over Cavs. West -- Lakers over Hornets.

Aschburner: East -- Cavs over Celtics. West -- Lakers over Hornets.

Forrester: East -- Cavs over Celtics. West -- Lakers over Hornets.

2. Who will win the NBA Finals?

Thomsen: Spurs over Celtics. These are the league's two best teams with potentially six Hall of Famers between them. It's a coin flip who wins Game 7. Pick the Spurs because it's their turn.

Burns: Celtics over Spurs. The Celtics still have the Big Three, but it will be their team defense and the continued development of Rajon Rondo and Kendrick Perkins that keep them atop the East. Boston won't win 66 games again, but it will still rack up the NBA's best record against the weaker East competition. With home-court advantage to help them along, the Celtics will hold off the Spurs for the franchise's first back-to-back titles since 1968 and '69.

McCallum: Hornets over Celtics. The Celtics can tell you all about making a quantum leap in one year. But remember that the Hornets' leap would not be so quantum -- they won 56 games last season and took the defending champion Spurs to seven games in the Western semifinals. In the Finals, Chris Paul will play like the MVP candidate he'll be, Tyson Chandler's defense will (almost) neutralize Kevin Garnett, David West will (almost) neutralize Paul Pierce and two-time champion James Posey will supply the winning edge. And remember that coach Byron Scott has been to the Finals as both player and coach.

Mannix: Lakers over Celtics. The Lakers lacked toughness when they lost to Boston last season, but returning center Andrew Bynum has it in spades. The deepest Lakers team in years ends the Celtics' brief reign at the top.

Aschburner: Lakers over Cavs. The Lakers will get back to the Finals thanks to their combination of depth and experience and will only briefly wonder why their old foes, the Celtics, aren't there again (think injury to one of the three key guys). The Cavs, as much on LeBron's sheer force of will as any offseason or trade-deadline maneuvering, will represent the East just fine, thank you, with James -- while facing more wrinkles, defensively, than a Beverly Hills plastic surgeon -- going head-to-head, endorsement deals-to-Nielsen ratings with Kobe. The Lakers' front line, in the end, will account for the difference.

Forrester: Lakers over Cavs. LeBron bests Kobe in their head-to-head matchup, and Cleveland doesn't get swept like it did two years ago by San Antonio, but the Lakers' frontcourt proves to be too much for the Cavs' aging big men.

3. Who will be the regular-season MVP?

Thomsen: Kobe. The world's top player holds off a challenge from LeBron. His Lakers will be the No. 1 seed entering the playoffs (though in the postseason his supporting cast will be exposed by the star power of San Antonio's Big Three).

Burns: LeBron. At age 23, in his sixth season, James is entering his prime. He will put up his usual monster numbers across the board while leading the Cavs near the top of the East. With Kobe having won it last year and Chris Paul still just in his fourth season, LeBron will be the media's choice this time around.

McCallum: LeBron. It took a long time for voters to finally fall in love with Kobe, so I can't see a repeat happening. James' inspired and mature play with the U.S. Olympic team showed he is ready to make the step, and the Cavs' addition of playmaking guard Mo Williams will help him.

Mannix: LeBron. Perhaps a couple of years overdue, James earns the award with an Oscar Robertson-esque stat line and by keeping the Cavs fighting for the top spot in the East all season.

Aschburner: LeBron. It's possible that Bryant could repeat or Tim Duncan could reassert himself as the Spurs have a big season. But James has been awfully good at a see-the-goal, get-the-goal approach to life on and off the court, and the MVP is a pretty big one still absent from his portfolio.

Forrester: LeBron. The leadership he showed with Team USA will carry over as he helps keep the Cavs more focused than they were last season. That will convince all those writers who haven't figured it out yet that James is the game's best player.

4. Who will be the top rookie?

Thomsen: Michael Beasley, Heat. He should fully exploit Miami's drastic needs for scoring and boards. Greg Oden will make a strong run at him.

Burns: Derrick Rose, Bulls: I'm tempted to go with Beasley since he will put up big scoring and rebounding numbers. But Rose showed late in the preseason why he was the No. 1 pick. The 6-foot-3 point guard is incredibly fast, with an ability to explode to the basket and finish at the rim, while also setting up teammates. His leadership of the Bulls will set him apart from Beasley, Oden and others.

McCallum: Rose. Yes, we hear that Vinny Del Negro intends to take it slow with the Memphis product, who just turned 20. But a Rose by any other name is still the class of his class, and he will get the chance to show it. Minnesota's Kevin Love will give him a run for his money.

Mannix: Beasley. Kevin Durant was the most NBA-ready rookie last season. Beasley has that distinction this year. He will face stiff competition from Oden.

Aschburner: O.J. Mayo, Grizzlies. The smart pick is Oden, who is eligible and way capable. Beasley would be my choice except for the touches he'll yield to Dwyane Wade and Shawn Marion. Rose is going to have his hands full overseeing the other Bulls. Mayo, meanwhile, is explosive and freed from much in the way of team expectations, so he's my guess as long as voters focus on his stats and not on the Grizzlies' record.

Forrester: Oden. Last year's No. 1 pick won't wow offensively, but he will be a sight on defense, blocking shots, rebounding and making drives into the paint a pain.

5. What team will be the biggest surprise?

Thomsen: Trail Blazers. One of the league's youngest rotations will outplay more experienced teams down the stretch thanks to the discipline of coach Nate McMilllan and sage leadership of Brandon Roy. Also, contrary to speculation, Dallas and Detroit won't be washed up and will stay stubbornly in contention.

Burns: Clippers. Despite the loss of Elton Brand, the Clippers still have a lot of the pieces to succeed in the NBA: an elite point guard (Baron Davis), a true 7-foot center (Chris Kaman), a defensive anchor (Marcus Camby), a rising young star (Al Thornton), a bevy of veteran scorers (Cuttino Mobley, Ricky Davis, Tim Thomas) and a proven coach with authority over personnel decisions (Mike Dunleavy). If Baron Davis stays healthy and Dunleavy can manage the egos, the Clippers will win a lot of games.

McCallum: 76ers. They're deep, they're athletic and now they have Brand. OK, maybe it's not a surprise that they'll be pretty good. But after making the playoffs last year as the seventh seed, I see them battling Orlando and Detroit for those first-round home-court-advantage spots behind Boston and Cleveland.

Mannix: Bucks. New general manager John Hammond has done a masterful job reshaping a mediocre roster in just one offseason. With Richard Jefferson on board to ease Michael Redd's scoring load, and pass-first point guard Luke Ridnour stepping in for Mo Williams, the Bucks will contend for a playoff spot.

Aschburner: Clippers. The sportswriting boneyard is full of people who have, at one time or another, predicted breakthroughs for this franchise. Projecting team success on any roster that includes Ricky Davis always is risky. But with Baron Davis pushed to prove his move south was about hoops more than Hollywood, and with Camby and Kaman up front, these guys will have a spot in the playoffs.

Forrester: Clippers. Not just because of Baron Davis' arrival or the fact that they parted with a talented, but generally disgruntled, Corey Maggette. This has a lot to do with the trade for one of the NBA's most versatile big men in Camby, whose presence alone should revitalize what was one of the league's worst defenses last season.

Source: http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2008/basketball/nba/10/27/writers.predictions/index.html?eref=T1

Looks like just about everyone has Lebron pegged for MVP, think he'll get it? Also what do you think about their champions and top rookies? I was a bit surprised that there was so much love for the Spurs???? Guess they were adhering to the philosophy that the Spurs win every other season?

JordansBulls
10-27-2008, 02:15 PM
There is too much love for the Cavs here. I'm not sure how they would do against Philly or Toronto or even Orlando just yet.

Lost Art
10-27-2008, 02:22 PM
There is too much love for the Cavs here. I'm not sure how they would do against Philly or Toronto or even Orlando just yet.

JB, will you change the title of the thread for me? This is actually from Sports Illustrated........so call it "SI predictions". Thanks.

cubulls
10-27-2008, 02:25 PM
Kobe

JordansBulls
10-27-2008, 02:34 PM
No love for CP3 for MVP?


Anyway I agree that Portland is probably the most intriguing team. Depending on Oden if he can give that Tim Duncan rookie impact, the Blazers will be a top 3 seed out west.

Lost Art
10-27-2008, 02:34 PM
There is too much love for the Cavs here. I'm not sure how they would do against Philly or Toronto or even Orlando just yet.

Yeah, I think people are getting a little drunk on the Bron-Bron juice this offseason. He's going to be great (again) this season but that team isn't going to contend for the title. I see them being just about where they were last year, a 3-4 seed in the eastern conference and a 2nd round exit. Also, I see the eastern conference being MUCH more competitive this season so even reaching where they were last season isn't a given.

dgo24
10-27-2008, 03:05 PM
If Lebron wins the mvp award that means the Cavs had the best record in the Nba or in the east.Thats the way its being voted and I dont see the cavs having the best or second best record in the east.

MiamiHeat
10-27-2008, 03:07 PM
What team will be the biggest flop?
3 votes for the nuggets, 1 vote rockets and 1 vote 76ers

wow I didn't expect 76ers or rockets to be there

If Lebron wins MVP this season I will put a pic of him as my sig

OY!
10-27-2008, 03:38 PM
Wow what's with the love for the Spurs all of a sudden? Are you kidding me? I know this is just their opinion but i mean, come on give me a god damn explanation for this. I start with this...

1 guy said Spurs over Lakers. Now to me that makes no sense at all. Last year the Lakers beat the Spurs in the Western Conference 4-1 WITH Bynum and Ariza out and Pau being played at Center and so on. Now with Bynum at Center, Pau at PF, even Odom as the freakin 6th man with a young solid bench while the Spurs did what the worst they could do in the off-season, they did NOTHING. They all got older which is really bad for the Spurs when Duncan turns 33, Manu at 32, Bowen 39, Horry at 37, Thomas at 35, and so on. Is gonna beat a team that's not much tougher and much better Defense that they could not beat even with mediocre defense? I am a laker fan but this is my honest opinion on this kind of matchup.

The rest of the Spurs matchups is self explained.

2 ppl said Cavs over Celtics, but all of them said Cavs will be in the matchup. Now IMO i don't even think the Cavs will even get that far lettle alone beating the Celtics. The Cavs really have not done much except getting Mo-Williams. Which is not really a good move. I mean that helps i guess but his D is rubbish and he is a shoot first Point Guard. I liked the fact that they were trying to improve on the point guard position but they should of got a PG a really good ball handler and a really good passer instead of Lebron holding the f***ing ball all the time. So anyway with this said, I don't even think they will get passed the 2nd round. So that's my take.

These people have no f***ing clue what an MVP award is do they? I'm guessing they are still in the 90s because right now in order to win MVP, not only YOU have to be good but so does you're Team! IMO, the Cavs will be a little over 500% team. Like maybe say, 47 or 48 wins? While the other MVP candidates like Kobe, Paul, etc. Are on teams that are a potential 60 win team. Of course they need to do well but In this time right now they will not give you an MVP award when you're team sucks unless you avg 40 points, 10 asst, 10 boards. If the MVP were about the player with the better stats or something like that then yes i would think lebron would win this year, but with that said Kobe would have about 4 MVPs right now.

Rookie of the year is a tough choice, there is a lot of young studs so what they said is pretty much a toss up. So I am fine with any choices like Beasley, Oden, Rose. But my choice is O.J. Mayo :D.

I say with Bucks or Clippers for biggest surprise as well. But people that listed the 76ers and the Blazers. That is really not a surprise at all. 76ers got a 20-10 PF to their team with Iggy, Delebert and Miller and the under-rated Thadeus Young. The Blazers have a young stud lineup that will make them dangerous in the future and even now.

Raidaz4Life
10-27-2008, 03:54 PM
I saw a lot of Cavs/Spurs butt kissing I don't see how anyone can say the Spurs have much of a shot this year at beating Houston, LA, NO, and Utah

LAKERS 24/7
10-27-2008, 04:04 PM
Lebron James will win the MVP this year, the media is just dying to give it to him, as you can tell by SI's predictions. He will have have to play pretty bad not to get it.

cmstophe
10-27-2008, 10:06 PM
Lebron James will win the MVP this year, the media is just dying to give it to him, as you can tell by SI's predictions. He will have have to play pretty bad not to get it.

Couldn't you have made that argument the past two years? Yet your beloved Kobe got it last year.

Lakersfan2483
10-27-2008, 10:35 PM
Source: http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2008/basketball/nba/10/27/writers.predictions/index.html?eref=T1

Looks like just about everyone has Lebron pegged for MVP, think he'll get it? Also what do you think about their champions and top rookies? I was a bit surprised that there was so much love for the Spurs???? Guess they were adhering to the philosophy that the Spurs win every other season?

The sports writers can't wait to give the MVP award to Lebron James, why even play this year, just hand him the award. This is getting ridiculous, the Cavs have to finish with the best record in their conference and they won't. Boston and Detroit will have the best records out east. Also, Toronto and Orlando will have good regular season records.

I don't ever like to count out the Spurs, they are a great team, but I just don't think they have the depth anymore to compete with the Lakers, Rockets and Hornets. They should have added more athletic bench players to their team, they are an aging ball club. The health of Ginobli also is a concern, he has been unhealthy the past couple of seasons.

As far as Cleveland, I think they are a very dangerous team in terms of the playoffs (not the regular season. I think they will give Boston trouble this year, they have the personnel to matchup well with the Celtics. Lebron and co. are a tough matchup in a 7 game series.

As far as the MVP race, top candidates: Kobe, CP3, D. Howard, KG, Lebron

philab
10-27-2008, 10:47 PM
As far as the MVP race, top candidates: Kobe, CP3, D. Howard, KG, Lebron

I have my doubts about Howard's ability to win the MVP, but he's certainly a candidate.

KG's candidacy (even as the favorite for awhile) last year really got to me. The guy averaged BELOW his CAREER marks ACROSS THE BOARD -- not even below his best year marks, below his career marks that are brought down by his early years when he was still developing. I don't know about anyone else, but something just doesn't sit right about a guy winning his first MVP when his marks are as such across the board. It's not all about statistics, but the award has to (and does) have some sort of basis in numbers. If we let these writers (read: idiots) decide the MVP on purely subjective bases, then all hell will break loose. Yao Ming will win the MVP every year because he has the largest fanbase (not sure if that's true, just an example) or Sam Cassell will win because he ignited the younger players and made them a lot better. It's a bit of a hyperbole, but you get the point.

cmellofan15
10-27-2008, 10:48 PM
No Cp3? Cavs? LOL!

I can see the Spurs doing it but not the Cavs, maybe Detroit or Orlando if the Celtics don't get it.

cmstophe
10-27-2008, 11:56 PM
No Cp3? Cavs? LOL!

I can see the Spurs doing it but not the Cavs, maybe Detroit or Orlando if the Celtics don't get it.

Of course of course, everybody, ANYBODY, but the Cavs, right?

cahawk
10-28-2008, 01:02 AM
Lebron is the best player in the NBA but his Cavs are not very good.
Let him switch places with kobe or Pierce and it's an automatic Title.

cmstophe
10-28-2008, 09:38 AM
Good enough to be a lock for the playoffs every year, and at least get out of the first round, and make the Finals two years ago with a team that wasn't even nearly as good as the one he has now.

JordansBulls
10-28-2008, 10:46 AM
Let him switch places with kobe or Pierce and it's an automatic Title.

No it is not an automatic title. He would be closer to winning but it won't be automatic. Many guys who were better than Lebron and had better teams lost series to teams that were inferior to them. Guys like Magic, Kareem, Bird, come to mind.

_Supreme_
10-28-2008, 10:53 AM
The sports writers can't wait to give the MVP award to Lebron James, why even play this year, just hand him the award.

That would be the same as why Kobe Bryant got it last year.

Just watch CP3 being the one who deserves it most for the second straight year, and Lebron winning it for "political" reasons (although Lebron could very well also earn it too).