Friday, October 26, 2012

2012-13 NBA Preview: Random Predictions

Instead of doing a small preview for each time, I'll be doing detailed previews for a few select specific teams over the next few days until the start of the season. There are enough NBA previews online with brief descriptions.

Minnesota Timberwolves

-Kirilenko will have a fine season up to the standards of his previous ones before his exile to Russia, and with Kevin Love out for the first few games he excels as a small-ball power forward. Kevin Love, however, flirts with 50-40-90 for a month, leading to people throwing his rebounding number into the score for a combination that is truly singular: 50 from the field, 40 from three, 90 from the line, and 15 rebounds. He won't maintain the free-throw shooting, of course.

Utah Jazz

-Fans chant for Kanter to replace Jefferson, but it's the Millsap-Favors lineup that kills.

Oklahoma City Thunder

-Thabeet will once again fail but not after showing a couple promising games. He will just simply fail to guard NBA players at that high speed. Ibaka will put up heavy DPOTY consideration again, even though the subtraction of Howard decimates the Magic's defense while Ibaka can't even raise his team's defense near an  elite level.

Denver Nuggets

-It's hard predicting anything about JaVale McGee, and I think he feels the same way, but this is the year he finally capitalizes on his potential. It won't be the breakout people are expecting; it will be the slow growth and maturity that he needs.

Portland Blazers

-Lillard will be a weak starter at best. He's a junior from a very weak conference. The number of guys who have succeeded from those initial conditions is a short list, and many of those guys played at Memphis (doesn't really count) and weren't upperclassmen.

Golden State Warriors

-Curry will have another injury-plauged year, but a new player will emerge from out of nowhere and impress in typical Warriors fashion.

Sacramento Kings

-Thomas Robinson will end up as runner-up rookie of the year with the still mercurial Cousins as one of the most intriguing young frontcourts.

LA Clippers

-Chris Paul will shoot 90% from the line, but the team will still finish in the bottom three in free-throw shooting.

Phoenix Suns

-Despite Nash's departure, Gortat has a career year averaging 17 and 10 on healthy percentages. And everyone forgets about the team.

LA Lakers

-The Nash-Howard duo is an unguardable combination, but the year will be marred by discussion of how often Kobe shoots. (Hint: too much.)

Houston Rockets

-The Rockets surprise people again through their gluttony of forwards, Asik's defense, and the Dragon Gortat and rumble toward a record that keeps them out of the playoffs but far from the top of the lottery.

San Antonio Spurs

-After people catch on the Spurs won't go away, they actually don't finish with the best record in the west; they go second after Oklahoma City. Also, Parker misses too many games.

Dallas

-Eddy Curry plays 12 games.

New Orleans

-Anthony Davis will narrowly miss the all-star game, and many will discuss why he should have been on it.

Memphis

-Tony Allen and Tony Wroten combine to form arguably the most formidable backcourt defending duo in short time.

Toronto Raptors

-Lowry and Jonas push the Raptors toward the direction of the playoffs, narrowing missing the extra season as everyone forgets Calderon.

Philadelphia 76ers

-Bynum will miss at least 20 games and the 76ers will nearly miss the playoffs.

New York Knicks

-The Knicks perform well with Amare injured, but when he comes back and Carmelo plays small forward more their record dives and they refuse to adjust.

Brooklyn Nets

-Brook Lopez ups his rebounding to ... 6.2 a game. Their wings of Deron Williams, Joe Johnson, and Gerald Wallace often outrebound the frontline, hearkening back to the Kidd-Carter days.

Boston Celtics

-Fab Melo proves to be useless, Milicic proves to be himself, and Jared Sullinger puts up some pretty numbers with some pretty bad defense.

Chicago Bulls

-Bulls struggle when Deng gets injured and Boozer keeps getting more minutes than Gibson. They finish sixth in the conference.

Indiana Pacers

-Paul George has a breakout year with 18 points a game.

Detroit Pistons

-Together, Monroe-Drummond average 25 points, 18 rebounds, 3 blocks, 2 steals, and 3 assists.

Cleveland Cavaliers

-Irving makes the all-star team averaging over 20 points a game.

Milwaukee Bucks

-At times, the Bucks' plan of Ellis and Jennings ball-hogging alongside long-armed defenders from Moute to John Henson to Udoh works, but at most other times it doesn't -- a bottom six offense and a bottom 13 defense.

Miami Heat

-James' MVP-campaign nearly comes to an end, but when Wade gets injured and the Heat maintain a big lead in the standings he wins it over Chris Paul.

Atlanta Hawks

-Even though their "star" left for greener pastures, the Hawks improve their win percentage with the further development of Teague, their outside shooting, and a healthy Horford.

Washington Wizards

-John Wall has a break-out year averaging near 9 assists and shooting a respectable percentage from the field for the first time.

Orlando Magic

-Orlando will give up 130 points on game while losing by over 40. This is what happens when you replace your starting center, Dwight Howard, with Glen Davis.

Charlotte Bobcats

-They increase their wins to an impressive ... 15. Veterans Sessions and Haywood have no point to participation in competition. By the way, they're paying Diop this much. Try to guess. It's fun!

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