NBA 2009-10 Preview: Top Five Things Most Likely to Happen
It's October 27th, opening night for the NBA and it feels like Xmas day for all us NBA nuts/enthusiasts. The season kicks off 7:30PM ET on TNT with Boston at Cleveland, just f-ing incredible!
And it couldn't have come any sooner if you ask me. MLB aka Bud Selig aka FOX Network are dumbasses for scheduling 15+ offs days in October for their postseason games. How sweet it is that the NBA season starts on Tuesday, on yet another MLB off-day. I seriously can't take another empty day of watching the balloon boy story on CNN for 3 hours.
The following is my list of the top five things that are most likely to happen in the NBA 2009-10. (I hope Bill Simmons doesn't get too pissed off at me, but I'm going to totally bite his style and just write it in reverse countdown style. Thanks Bill Simmons for the inspiration!)
5. Shaq will not be on the Cavs' playoff roster
Did anybody get a chance to watch ABC's Shaq vs. TV show this summer? I think only 384 people watched it (including me) so very few people in world know about the big secret. Shaq is out of shape!
Sure, he looked decent in Phoenix last season, but Shaq himself said that it had a lot to do with their legendary training staff. So now that Shaq is in Cleveland, don't you think that he's going to get another injury, like he did every year when he was on the Heat, and practically every year when he was on the Lakers? Check out Shaq's game totals from 2004-08, five seasons before joining Phoenix: 67, 73, 59, 40, and 61. What do you think his totals for this season is going to be, 55?
I have serious doubts that Shaq will even be on the Cavs' playoff roster. Shaq is just not a very useful player anymore, and he's not going to help the Cavs win a championship by being a cheerleader on the bench. I say he gets waived in February, and the Lakers claim him to be a back-up to Gasol and Bynum. Shaq knows the triangle and a Shaq/Kobe/Phil reunion will make NBA bloggers go bonkers. Oh please make it come true.
4. Kevin Durant will win the scoring title
Year Three is usually the year that great NBA players take off and enter into their primes. They've been through the circuit twice, completed on both sides of the rookie challenge, and they are totally ready to take the next step.
I've been a big Durant guy since I saw him score 27 points against the Suns in only his second career NBA game. Sure, he made mistakes, a ton of them, but he had that Kobe-esque focus in his eyes. But even better than Kobe, Durant actually showed joy in his eyes too. This is an under-reported quality about Durant, his pure joy for playing the game. I saw that joy in Magic, Bird, and MJ. There was a special gleam in their eyes when they totally dominated and punished an opponent. Durant has that special gleam in his eyes too.
3. David Stern will advise the owners to opt out of the CBA in summer 2010, and will threaten to lockout the players for 2010-11
David Stern can be an asshole sometimes. But he's the exact type of asshole that you want on your side if you're negotiating a CBA. He has crushed the players association every single time that he has negotiated a new CBA and he's going to crush them again next year.
If you were the NBA owners, do you think you'll have more leverage in summer 2010, or summer 2011? Well, duh, it has to be next summer. The economy is not getting any better and they can use the crappy economy excuse to make extraordinary demands. I expect Stern to get all his wishes for the next CBA. Raising the minimum age to 20, cutting percentage of player revenue from 57% to 50%, and cutting the maximum length of contracts down to four years.
2. Some crazy sextape or sex scandal involving the new Nets owner Mikhail Prokhorov, dubbed the Russian Mark Cuban
This one is not as impossible as it might sound, although I may be going out on a limb here. I just think to myself, here's a mysterious Russian billionaire, a weird nickname like Russian Mark Cuban, and I just see some kind of crazy sex controversy/story brewing up.
He must already have paparazzi following him everywhere in the world, and when he becomes a high profile NBA owner, it's going to be paparazzi to the max times 10 times 24/7. And as soon as the paparazzi get involved, it almost always results in nude beach shots with some random chick/model, pictures of snorting coke w/ some random chick/model/celebrity, or in the worst case scenario, a sextape. I vote for the worst case scenario.
1. The Cavs will win it all.
They are the most hungriest team in the NBA. They'll have that don't F with us or we'll F your sister attitude all season when they take the court. Last year in the ECF, they just got caught blindsided by the Magic. Everybody did, including those smart ass sports columnists who all picked the Cavs over the Magic. Let's face it, the Magic won two extremely close games in that series, before blowing the Cavs out in game 6 ECF.
The Cavs remind me of the Lakers from the previous season. LAL lost a really tough series to the Celtics in the '08 NBA Finals, and then vowed to get tougher for the following year, and they did. After suffering such a painful exit from the '09 ECF, Lebron is going come back this season with a vengence, taking his game to astronomical levels this season.
Getting that ring is going to cement his status as the greatest player post Shaq. The baton went from Bird/Magic to Jordan to Shaq/Duncan and now it's being passed to Lebron. Kobe had his chance, but he is getting a bit too old unfortunately. It's Lebron time and he'll win the next 3 NBA Finals MVP.