NBA UPDATE: LeBron, Celtics, A.I…

 |  November 10, 2009
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aigrizzI’ve been gone for two weeks, and in that time something huge happened: The NBA season started!  Here’s a re-cap of some of the big stories from the first two weeks, and some predictions going forward.

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1) LeBron James and the Cavs have reverted to their 2007-2008 season form, even with the addition of “The Great Aristotle” Shaquille O’Neal.  This doesn’t mean they’re bad, it just means they appear to no longer be the juggernaut that stormed the league last season.  Last year they lost only one regular season game at home, while this season’s seven games for Cleveland has garnered two already.  With this in mind, it seems even more likely that LeBron will be opting out of his contract with the Cavs to explore free agency (hello Knicks, Nets, and Heat!).

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2) The Celtics are the best team in the NBA.  While the Suns, Lakers and Heat have all looked dominant so far, the Celtics have come out of the gate running; with a 7-1 record, they have been averaging their wins by 20 points (games against the Bobcats, Bulls, and 76ers were all huge, 30+ point blow out wins for the Celtics.  While no one player has been a standout for the Celtics, the team is running on all cylinders, involving everyone and showing that they have a dangerous 10-man rotation at their disposal.  The addition of Rasheed Wallace as 6th man this off-season probably makes them the most dangerous team in the whole league.  Hopefully, KG and Paul Pierce can stay healthy enough for another championship run.

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3) Kobe Bryant is the best player in the league.  This should come as no surprise, even with “upstarts” LeBron, Carmello, and D-Wade making runs at this title.  After winning his 4th NBA Championship last year, Kobe is gunning to get his 5th to fill up a full hand with rings.  So far he is averaging 33.6 ppg, 5.7 rpg, and 2.57 steals per game.  One can only assume his low assists number (2.6 per game) will only go up as Ron Artest fits more comfortably into the Lakers offense as the season goes along.  With all of the hype over all of the upcoming free agents like Chris Bosh and Amare Stoudemire, the player to watch this year is undoubtedly, as the Chinese call him, Koubier!

4) Allen Iverson has been a ghost in Memphis.  He’s only played in 3 games so far, coming off the bench to average 12.3 ppg, a ridiculously low number for the former MVP.  A.I. has taken a leave of absence from the team to deal with a “family matter”, but most assume that he is mulling retirement after being unable to adjust to the life of a bench warming role player.

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SOME PREDICTIONS GOING FORWARD

Eastern Conference Champions: Celtics

Western Conference Champions: Suns

NBA Champions: Suns

Finals MVP: Steve Nash

MVP: Dwane Wade

6th Man: Rasheed Wallace

The Knicks will finish dead last in the league with the worst record.  Ever.

The Celtics will make a run at the Bulls 1995-1996 mark of 72-10 for the most wins by a team in NBA history