Wednesday, November 01, 2006

My NBA Selections for the Eastern Division

My NBA Pix for 2006/2007

The NBA season always starts out just like your average NBA game – things get going slowly and the most important part of the contest is always invariably the fourth quarter. That’s why they call the playoffs the second season. Injuries, arrests, benchings and quarrels all play a part in the way an NBA season evolves, so to accurately predict who will be there in the end is like trying to guess what Nicole Ritchie will weigh next month – it’s a crap shoot at best. But, because I am a glutton for punishment and hope springs eternal, I will give you who I feel will are the best four teams in each division. Today I will do the Eastern Division and tomorrow I will do the West.


MIAMI HEAT: Pat Riley is the best basketball coach still alive since the recent death of Red Auerbach and this team is loaded from top to bottom. Dwayne Wade and Shaquille O’Neal remind me of all the great tandems in the history of the game, like West-Chamberlain, Magic Johnson-Abdul-Jabbar and even Stockton-Malone. If Shaq stays healthy, the Heat will be a tough team to beat. If he gets hurt or loses momentum at any point, they’ll have to rely on Walker and Wade, which will make it a little tougher. No matter what, they’re still the class of the East.
(Odds to go all the way: 9-2)

DETROIT PISTONS: Center Nazr Mohammed has replaced Ben Wallace, which is like Vince Vaughn replacing Brad Pitt. They both do the same job, but one is a serious threat (Pitt) and the other (Vaughn) is about as dangerous as the lint you find in your naval on occasion. The Palace will still be rocking, however, because Detroit fans are the salt of the earth, and the team will contend. But, unless they get some major contributions from people like “Flips” Murray and, the Pistons might be running like hybrid vehicles with no gas in the tank by the time it’s all over.
(Odds to go all the way: 10-1)

NEW JERSEY NETS: The emergence of center Nenad Kristic and the comeback of Vince Carter could spell success for the Nets. Both can play in the post and possess the ability to make a big difference every single night. If Josh Boone can block some shots and provide support for Jason Collins, and if Jason Kidd can quickly teach Marcus Williams how they do things in the NBA, watch for the Nets to snag a few wins down the stretch and pull in some victories in the playoffs.
(Odds to go all the way: 12-1)

CLEVELAND CAVALIERS: Why didn’t this team use the off season to surround King James with more talent? Four point guards to feed LeBron is not the approach I would have taken. Larry Hughes is flashy but inconsistent and center Zydrunas Ilgauskas is a very beat-up 31 years old. If Mike Brown will commit to the big Lithuanian, LeBron should get open enough to make us forget about his silly TV commercials. If things go as planned, the fans in Quicken Loans Arena will be get their payback for decades of frustration and false promises that the championship check is in the mail.
(Odds to go all the way: 12-1)

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