Tuesday, October 30, 2012

NBA Season Preview and Staff Picks

Even though this article isn't on Seattle Sports, it is on the one sport that Seattle misses the most, that being basketball. We can only hope we get a team back in the next five years and even though I won't have a favorite team in the NBA, besides the Knicks, I will still be watching all the action that this upcoming year has to bring. Happy NBA Tipoff Day!

Most people in Seattle would commonly agree that a NBA team is desperately wanted back in the city. While everyone in Seattle is left on the outside looking in without an NBA team, the rest of the NBA starts the 2012-2013 season today with the Boston Celtics tipping off against the Miami Heat. Here is an NBA season preview to get you ready for all the big rivalries and games.

LeBron James and the Heat tip-off against Paul Peirce and the Celtics tonight at 5 pm PT.

Eastern Conference

Arguably the most competitive division in the Eastern Conference this year is the Atlantic Division. With a huge influx of talent into the division, opposing conferences will fear playing any team in the Atlantic, besides the Toronto Raptors of course. Andrew Bynum will lead the 76ers to a solid season, but they will still be working out the kinks and won’t contend for the division title. The three powerhouses as of now in the Atlantic are the Knicks, Celtics and the new look Brooklyn Nets. With a solid showing in the league last year, the Central Division looks to improve on this mark. With the much hyped return of Derek Rose, look for the Bulls to dominate all year, with the Pacers hot on their tails. The Cavaliers are still young, and Milwaukee and Detroit just don’t have the talent to matchup against other teams in the NBA, although Monta Ellis could surprise some people this year for Milwaukee. The Bulls will make a deep run in the Playoffs, as long as they stay healthy. The Southeast Division compares almost exactly to the Central Division. There are two strong teams, the defending NBA Champions Miami Heat and the Atlanta Hawks, but after that, the talent level drops off with Washington falling behind, and Orlando and Charlotte bringing up the rear. The Miami Heat have a very strong chance to repeat as NBA Champions this year, but look for the Bulls, Knicks, Nets and Pacers to give them a run for their money.

Andrew Bynum looks to lead the 76ers on a deep playoff run this year.
David Dow/Getty Images

Western Conference

There is one clear powerhouse in the Northwest Division. That consensus around the West is that there is a proven powerhouse in the Oklahoma City Thunder. They are young, fast, and skilled. They very well likely could be the NBA Champions this year if they get a little extra push from players other than Kevin Durant. The team looming in the shadows and waiting to pounce are the Minnesota Timberwolves. With Kevin Love leading the attack and Ricky Rubio and Derek Williams looming in the wings, look for the Wolves to surprise some fans this year. Speaking about surprises, the Nuggets could sneak up on some teams. With the offseason acquisition of Andre Iguodala, the Nuggets will definitely make the playoffs. Look for the Northwest to be a very exciting and strong division. The Pacific Division has had a total renewal of talent within the last two years. With the Clippers resurgence last year and the Lakers new additions of Dwight Howard and Steve Nash, look for the division to have a plethora of talent. Imagine an NBA Final with LeBron, Wade, Bosh, Kobe, Nash and Howard. Wouldn’t that be something? The Lakers will smash all opposition away in the regular season on their way to the playoffs as the Clippers will try to keep up with the amazing talent of the Lakers. What about the seasons for the Warriors, Kings and Suns? Well, maybe next year they’ll have a shot at contention, but they probably won’t even have a shot then either. In the most talented and interesting division in the Western Conference, the Southwest Division includes Linsanity, a uni-brow, very old men running down a court and the one and only seven-footer they call Dirk. This division will be competitive all year, but the edge still goes to the San Antonio Spurs as they look to make the last seasons for their core stars a memorable one. However, the insanity of Jeremy Lin could stop the Spurs and stun the rest of the Western Conference. The Lakers are the clear cut favorites this year, but the Thunder could very well likely take the wind out of the Lakers sails. If the Thunder doesn’t do it, look for the Nuggets, Spurs, Timberwolves and Clippers to shock the world and take down the mighty Lakers.

Anthony Davis looks to impress this year.

Staff Picks


Atlantic: New York Knicks
Central: Chicago Bulls
Southeast: Miami Heat
Next Five Playoff Teams: Brooklyn Nets, Boston Celtics, Indiana Pacers, Atlanta Hawks, Philadelphia 76ers
Eastern Conference Champions: Miami Heat
Northwest: Oklahoma City Thunder
Pacific: Los Angeles Lakers
Southwest: Houston Rockets
Next Five Playoff Teams: Minnesota Timberwolves, Los Angeles Clippers, Dallas Mavericks, Memphis Grizzlies, San Antonio Spurs
Western Conference Champions: Los Angeles Lakers
NBA Finals Champions: Los Angeles Lakers
MVP: James Harden
Coach of the Year: Kevin McHale (Rockets)
Rookie of the Year: Anthony Davis


Atlantic: Boston Celtics
Central: Chicago Bulls
Southeast: Miami Heat
Next Five Playoff Teams: Indiana Pacers, New York Knicks, Brooklyn Nets, Philadelphia 76ers, Detroit Pistons
Eastern Conference Champions: Boston Celtics
Northwest: Oklahoma City Thunder
Pacific: Los Angeles Lakers
Southwest: San Antonio Spurs
Next Five Playoff Teams: Memphis Grizzlies, Los Angeles Clippers, Denver Nuggets, Minnesota Timberwolves, Houston Rockets
Western Conference Champions: Oklahoma City Thunder
NBA Finals Champions: Oklahoma City Thunder
MVP: Kevin Durant
Coach of the Year: Rick Adelman (Timberwolves)
Rookie of the Year: Anthony Davis

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