Thursday, October 23, 2008

Hoops! I did it again: 2008-09 NBA Preview

It seems like yesterday I was happily watching Kevin Garnett win his first NBA Championship. Along with Ray Allen and Paul Pierce the Boston three-party reasserted the Celtics’ right to the throne of basketball. However, this season is going to be all about the team the Celtics defeated last summer - the Los Angeles Lakers.

Embarrassing Kobe Bryant on the biggest stage in basketball should put fear in everyone wearing an opposing jersey. Not only is he arguably the best player, he now wants to restore his bruised ego, one of the highest motivations an athlete can have. This will be the year Bryant wins his solo championship and establishes his name as the heir to Michael Jordan.

Looking at the roster of the Lakers, it’s easy to see how they are the pre-season favorites to win it all. A now healthy Andrew Bynum will give the team the toughness they lacked against the Celtics, and Paul Gasol and Lamar Odom will give the Lakers an imposing lineup. Derek Fisher, Jordan Farmar and Sasha Vujacic are role players that will contribute heavily when needed.

The East will have three great teams: Boston, Cleveland and Detroit. Any of these teams would be a great finals opponent for the Lakers. Boston lost key role player James Posey and could suffer a hangover from such an exhilarating previous season.

Cleveland will once again be ruled from the throne of King James. Lebron will show us all why he’s the second best player in the game but his lack of support will hold him back once again.

Detroit will be Boston’s biggest contender. With a great coach and experience that’s almost unparalleled, they should dominate the regular season, but lose to either Cleveland or Boston in the playoffs.

Needless to say, the 2008-2009 NBA campaign is shaping up for what would be an oh-so-sweet re-match between Boston and Los Angeles. This time expect Kobe and the Lakers to do what the Celtics did last year. Simply want it more.

~ David Cowart


Photo by Amanda Lucidon / The Press-Enterprise

2008-09 Regular Season Predictions

Eastern Conference

1) Boston Celtics: 60-22

2) Detroit Pistons: 54-28

3) Cleveland Cavaliers: 51-31

4) Orlando Magic: 50-32

5) Philadelphia 76ers: 48-34

6) Toronto Raptors: 47-35

7) Miami Heat: 42-40

8) Chicago Bulls: 39-43

9) Atlanta Hawks: 36-46

10) Milwaukee Bucks: 35-47

11) Indiana Pacers: 33-49

12) Washington Wizards: 33-49

13) New Jersey Nets: 30-52

14) Charlotte Bobcats: 27-55

15) New York Knicks: 25-57

Western Conference

1) Los Angeles Lakers: 58-24

2) New Orlean Hornets: 56-26

3) Houston Rockets: 53-29

4) Utah Jazz: 52-30

5) San Antonio Spurs: 51-31

6) Phoenix Suns: 47-35

7) Portland Trailblazers: 45-37

8) Dallas Mavericks: 43-39

9) LA Clippers: 42-40

10) Golden State Warriors: 38-44

11) Denver Nuggets: 36-46

12) Sacramento Kings: 30-52

13) Minnesota Timberwolves: 26-56

14) Memphis Grizzlies: 24-58

15) Oklahoma City Thunder:19-63

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