Posts Tagged ‘Erik Spolestra’

True story: I actually have written about 17 posts this month. However, since I have an incredible ability to not finish things that I started, you’ve only seen about…two of them. Anyway, you may be surprised to know that I’m a fan of basketball. My “sports power rankings” would probably look like this:
1. Baseball
2. Football
3. Basketball
4. Tennis
5. Hockey

When it comes to sports leagues, my power rankings are something like this:
1. NFL
2. NBA
3. MLB
4. NCAA Football
5. NCAA Basketball

Why does any of this matter? Well, it really doesn’t. I suppose that I’m trying to qualify myself for writing about the upcoming NBA season. In case you haven’t heard: the Miami Heat got some new players this off-season, Phil Jackson returned to the Lakers, no major star got arrested this summer, and people suddenly realized that Kevin Durant is a good basketball player. Anyway, while I know that there are plenty of other, more reputable outlets available to get an NBA preview for this season, there should only be about five questions you should be asking this year. That is, if you actually care about the NBA as much as it cares about you. So, let’s get right to it!

1. How good will the Miami Heat be? Seriously!
On paper, Dwyane Wade the People Who Took their Talents to South Beach look to be a juggernaut. They’ll be featured on national television twice this week. ESPN has The Heat Index, which is probably the most blatant ass kissing attempt in the history of the Internet. There are plenty of new Heat fans popping up, and I’m sure

What's that? These guys play for the Heat now?!!?

not a single one of them could tell you the name of the arena “their team” plays in, or who Rony Seikaly is. Hell, there’s even a bar that will buy you drinks if the Heat lose a game this year! But will any of this matter? Quick, name the coach of the Miami Heat. Still thinking? Well, it’s Erik Spolestra. Does that name give you any confidence? Didn’t think so. Look, I’m not saying that he’s a bad coach. But if you were to take a glance at the last 15 NBA championship winners, you would see that all of the teams had a proven coach. Maybe Erik Spolestra joins those ranks this year. But if that doesn’t happen, you really should not be surprised.


2. Who will be the worst team in the league this year?
This question is only asked because saying “Cleveland!” would be too easy. Although, I think that they lost one of their key players, as well as the head coach. Not to be outdone for woefulness, you have teams like Memphis, (Rudy Gay is paid now, and are you really looking for consecutive good years from Zach Randolph) New Jersey, (they’re trying to trade the GUY THEY DRAFTED THIRD OVERALL THIS YEAR to get Carmelo Anthony)

Hey Kings fans: Chris Webber is not walking through that door. Le sigh.

Toronto, (it’s Canada, guys) and Sacramento (can you name three guys on their team without cheating?). Also, there is bound to be at least one team that won’t be as good as people think they will be. So maybe, just maybe, the race to the bottom will be as riveting as the race to the top.


3. What will I watch or do to pass the time when the NBA has a lockout next year?
Yes, there is a relatively good chance that there will be a lockout in the NBA and the NFL next year. So, I hope you guys like college sports and/or soccer! I wish I were joking. NBA commissioner David Stern wants to cut salaries by $800 million dollars. And honestly, can you blame him? USA Today has a database of the top 25 salaries in the league last season. Are these the top 25 players in the league? You answer should be, “Hell to the nah!” Now, none of those players came up with their own contract(s), so much of the blame can be given to team executives as well. But still, there are plenty of guys making way more money than they should be. And until the NBA is able to figure that out between the owners and the player union, (and they’re nowhere near close to doing that) the possibility of a full NBA season next year is pretty bleak. So, enjoy this “most anticipated NBA season ever” while you can. No, seriously.

4. Is there still a Western Conference in the NBA?
OK, so that’s a bit of a stretch. But let’s think about it: the Miami Heat, Orlando Magic, Boston Celtics, and even the Chicago Bulls are considered legitimate “contenders” this year. All of those teams are in the Eastern Conference. Also, Carlos Boozer and Amare’ Stoudemire moved to the Eastern Conference. Moving West, do you really trust the Thunder? Am I the only one who remembers that they were an eight seed last season?

Your Western Conference champions?

Dallas? Well, I guess that anything is possible…but still. Not very likely. Yes, there’s Utah and Portland as well, but do you see either one of those teams actually beating the Lakers in the playoffs? No, you don’t have to answer that question.


5. What are your predictions for this NBA season?
I thought you’d never ask!
-MVP: Kevin Durant
-ROY: Blake Griffin (I mean, that’s not much of a stretch)
-Defensive Player of the Year: LeBron James
-Coach: Flip Saunders
-Eastern playoff teams: Miami, Boston, Chicago, New York, Orlando, Washington, Milwaukee, Detroit
-Western playoff teams: L.A. Lakers, Utah, Oklahoma City, Portland, San Antonio, Dallas, L.A. Clippers, Denver
-NBA champion: L.A. Lakers. As Ric Flair will tell you, to be the man, you gotta beat the man. I’ll believe that another team will win the title when I see it.

If these predictions are wrong, let’s pretend that this post never existed…OK? Thanks.