April 1, 2009

How The Plat Did On NBA Predictions, '08-'09

Yes, the NBA season is almost over, so I went back to my October 28th '08 NBA Predictions post so see how things were shaping up. Let's compare what I said to what has actually precipitated. From here a cut and past of the post commences and then my comments in italics:

Western Conference Finalists: LA Lakers. Runner up: New Orleans Hornets.

Yes, the LA Lakers will reign supreme, make it to The West Finals, and take them. Out of the question is the Hornets, who are inexplicably an inferior team to last year's. If I had to bet, I'll say the Spurs end up in the West Finals, and the Lakers topple them in five or six.

Eastern Conference Finalists: Boston Celtics. Runner up: Cleveland Cavaliers.

Flip this last prediction around, and you may have it; I'll be floored if the Cavs don't make it to the Finals. Add in KG's injured status and you may have to replace the ailing Celtics with the Orlando Magic. The fact of the matter is that no matter who makes the East Finals against the Cavs, they're not going to win. The Cavs are too hungry and too deep.

MVP: Lebron James. Runners up: Chris Paul, Dwight Howard.

Got this one pretty much correct; while Kobe parlays with the help of '08 All Star Pau Gasol, Lebron parlays the help of the amazing but replacement status All Star Mo Williams...There is endless debate about how to settle the MVP race, whether it's the best player on the best team, whether it's the player that carries their team the most, and so forth; don't matter, it's Lebron. My Runners up were wrong, I'm going with, of course, Kobe, always sick, and then the resurgent Dwayne Wade, who I should have picked simply having seen him play in the Olympics.

Sixth Man of the Year: Lamar Odom. Runner up: an injured Manu Ginobli.

This bet was placed solely on Odom's bench status, and all in all he's been in the starting mix too much (probably) to make this one happen. Then again there are his numbers too...Jason Terry probably has this one, and while I can't seem to like him, he sounds like a great human being; dude bought a church for his mother for cripe's sake. I stand by my choice of an injured Ginobli as second place.

Rookie of the Year: Rudy Fernandez. Runners up: Derrick Rose, Michael Beasley, Greg Oden.

Oops. I gave this one up to some favoritism, liking Rudy's game more than actually looking at the facts at hand. Yes, he's been an impact player, and yes he might play a couple of rounds in the Playoffs, but no, he is no ROY. Derrick Rose will be ROY no doubt; his team is in the Playoffs, and as mentioned in the comments to the original predictions post, Greg Oden could be a humongous #1 Pick bust.

Most Improved Player: Andrew Bynum. Runners up: Randy Foye, Devin Harris.

Andrew Bynum done busted up his knee, again, and thus is out. That leaves Devin Harris, who will take it. Randy Foye, who, due to major inconsistency and playing for a crappy team, is another some-what embarrassing pick.

Coach of the Year: Nate McMillan. Dark Horse: Doc Rivers.

I haven't heard much chatter about Coach of the Year this time around, so I'll stick with Nate McMillan of the Blazers to maybe take this thing away; don't know why I picked Doc. While I'd love to throw Mike D'Antoni into the mix, he still didn't quite pull it off.

How are the Wolves going to do? Feast and famine, feast and famine. I wouldn't be surprised to see a seven or eight game winning streak though. We'll top out 33-49. See you at the home opener.

Well shit, I was sort of right on this, that's what I'm claiming. Feast and famine was correct, while it maybe should have been famine, famine, large dinner type talk. Repeat. Al Jefferson played 50 games for the Wolves and I feel like it would have been possible to hit 30 wins with him still in; nowadays at 21-54, it still seems possible to beat they're abysmal 22-60 record of yesteryear, but I don't see much more than 24-58 at this point. Here's to the Lottery!

At The Finals... The Lakers and Celtics end up there again, and David Stern pinches himself. The Lakers have a better record from the regular season by two to four games, and have split the season series with Boston 1-1. Barring a bizarre trade or a free agent pickup late in the season that gives Boston more depth, I'm saying, as much as it pains me, that the Lakers take the series in six, in a very tight game six.

I got this one wrong in that it's going to be Lakers vs. Cavs, but David Stern can still pinch himself, because the two biggest superstars in the league will be going at it, and let me tell you, I'm furiously awaiting this one (and hoping my prediction is correct). Because I'm not sure who actually has home court advantage on this one, I'll just say the Cavs will. I predict a ratings bonanza of hard nosed defensive minded basketball that mingles with insane fast breaking action; couple that with a Kobe on Lebron/Lebron on Kobe series and here's one for the ages. From there, David Stern breaks into tears of joy as the series goes to game seven in Cleveland, where Lebron James, in fourth quarter heroics (along with two timely threes by Mo Williams) keeps a close game closer to a blow out. From there though, Kobe responds with a couple of and one's to keep things interesting, the Lakers come up on some stops, and things are again up in the air in Cleveland. After that though, Lebron makes a tough shot, dimes one to an open Delonte West for three, and then, in true hoops dreams type steez, dunks over the entire Los Angeles Lakers team for a buzzer beating two. And he hits the free throw (Adam Morrison managed to foul him). That's more or less what's going to happen.

In short, the NBA Finals will come down to the Cavs and the Lakers, the Cavs take it in seven.

That's all for the compare/contrast, and now for other NBA observances: Boo Hoo the fuckin' Phoenix Suns. You guys blew it. Way to waste Grant Hill's first 82 game season. Same goes to the Hornets, but you guys just blew it. My T-Wolves blew again, but not as bad as could have been (sugary coating!), and I'm glad Wittman is gone. Kevin Love proved to be OJ Mayo's foil and OJ Mayo was Kevin Love's foil...we might be even, but I truly do think my homerism will keep KLove on top. Brandon Roy for Randy Foye proves to be an epic FAIL, while I see the New York Knicks being scary in the 2010-11, scary in a good way. There's more. Back to skateboarding at another time.

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