Monday, April 21, 2008

And now for a re-do on my picks for NBA individual awards

During the early part of the NBA season, I wrote my predictions for who would win the MVP and other individual awards in the NBA this season. Now, that the regular season has come and gone, I will re-visit my picks and share who I now think will win the awards.


Earlier prediction: Dwight Howard
Who should win: Chris Paul ... or Kobe Bryant
Who will win: Kobe Bryant
But if not, who else might win?: Paul

Rookie of the Year

Earlier prediction: Kevin Durant
Who should win: Durant
Who will win:
But if not, who else might win?:
Al Horford

Defensive Player of the Year

Earlier prediction: Josh Smith
Who should win: Kevin Garnett
Who will win: Garnett
But if not, who else might win?: KG is pretty much a shoe-in

Sixth Man

Earlier prediction: Manu Ginobili
Who should win: Ginobili
Who will win: Ginobili
But if not, who else might win?: [::crickets chirping::]

Most Improved Player

Earlier prediction: Ronnie Brewer
Who should win: Rudy Gay
Who will win: Hedo Turkoglu
But if not, who else might win?:
This award has too many potential candidates to list.

Coach of the Year

Earlier prediction: Stan Van Gundy
Who should win: Byron Scott
Who will win: Byron Scott
But if not, who else might win?: Phil Jackson, Doc Rivers, Rick Adelman

Click here for a list of the actual award winners, which will be updated as they are announced.

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Well, I may have been wrong before, but not this time

At the beginning of the season (no, not winter, spring, summer or fall), I made predictions for how teams would fare in both the regular season and the playoffs. I had a mixed bag of accurate picks and terrible picks. Now that the playoffs are about to start (about one hour after I write this), I will take a mulligan and make my playoff prognostications. We'll see if I continue the roll I was on during the NCAA Tournament, when I got seven of the Elite Eight right. Woo Woo!

First, let's took a look the goods, the bads, and the terribles of my early season predictions.

"My bads"

  • I had the Bulls earning the No. 1 seed in the East and advancing to the Conference Finals. Instead they went 33-49 and missed the playoffs.
  • The Heat were supposed to win their division (yikes!) and earn a spot in the playoffs, but they won 15 games--the worst total in the league this year.
  • "Philadelphia 76ers - Won't make the playoffs." My bad.
  • Ditto for the Atlanta Hawks.
  • I said choosing a division winner in the Pacific would be easier than in any other division. If it were so easy, than why did I pick the wrong team? The Lakers won it - not the Suns. In fact, I had the Lakers just on the outside of the playoff picture, wondering if Kobe would be traded (or become a malcontent if he stayed in La-La Land), commenting that "Either way this team is first-round playoff fodder at best." I guess I did not foresee the improvement of the supporting cast, or the Pau Gasol steal trade.
  • While I thought the Southwest Division would be a three-way race for first place, my fourth-place team, the Hornets, won the prize.

"The Goods"

  • 7 of my 8 playoff picks out West qualified. The one who didn't make it: the Warriors, who went 48-34, and still got left out of the postseason party. In the East, on the other hand, the Hawks got in with just 37 wins.
  • The Jazz and Celtics won their divisions.
  • The Texas Triangle was extemely tough, with all 3 teams winning more than 50 games.
  • Other than the Timberwolves finishing 2 games ahead of the Sonics, I had the order of the Northwest Division picked perfectly.

My updated playoff predictions...

First Round

Eastern Conference

(1) Celtics vs. (8) Hawks; Celtics in 4

(2) Pistons vs. (7) 76ers; Pistons in 6

(3) Magic vs. (6) Raptors; Magic in 5

(4) Cavaliers vs. (5) Wizards; Wizards in 6
Western Conference

(1) Lakers vs. (8) Nuggets; Lakers in 5
(2) Hornets vs. (7) Mavericks; Hornets in 7
(3) Spurs vs. (6) Suns; Spurs in 7

(4) Jazz vs. (5) Rockets; Jazz in 6

Conference Semis

East: (1) Celtics over (5) Wizards, 5 games; (2) Pistons over (3) Magic, 7 games
West: (1) Lakers over (4) Jazz, 7 games; (3) Spurs over (2) Hornets, 7 games

Conference Finals
East: (1) Celtics over (2) Pistons, 6 games
West: [pulling teeth] (1) Lakers over (3) Spurs, 7 games

NBA Finals

Celtics defeat Lakers in 6

Ladies and gentleman...your (potential) NBA champion Boston Celtics!