NBA BYKE!!!

It’s not March Madness but hey it wouldn’t be right if I didn’t pay homage to the Opening Night of the 2015-2016 NBA Season. Not much in-depth stuff here. Only some quick thoughts and predictions that are sure to be wrong (WARNING: if I mention your favorite player or team be afraid). I’ll do all of the major individual league awards and give playoff teams and the Conference Champions. I’m excited to see the return of players like Kevin Durant, Paul George, and Kobe Bryant. I look forward to seeing the progression of young players like Andrew Wiggins and Rodney Hood.  I’ve been tracking Hood since he was a freshman in high school at Meridian High in Mississippi. I also want to see which rookies will stand out – both players and coaches – during this grueling 82-game season. Once again the Western Conference will be loaded but I have a feeling the East will put up more fight this season. Especially if the Miami Heat can stay healthy. Carmelo Anthony and the New York Knicks should put up a better showing this year…things can’t get any worse. Ty Lawson’s arrival in Houston could pay big dividends for James Harden. Harden will be able to play off of the basketball and move more freely. Paul Pierce went over to the Clippers along with Josh Smith and Lance Stephenson. There will be plenty of tense moments out there for Doc and Co. LeBron and the Cavaliers finally have their roster set but they’ll be without Kyrie Irving for the start of the season. I expect Golden State to shake off the rust quickly. They will definitely have a chip on their shoulders after spending the summer hearing about “who didn’t play and who wasn’t healthy” while they made their run to the championship. Keep an eye on how the Warriors play while Steve Kerr is recovering from back surgery. The Spurs got better by bringing in – LaMarcus Aldridge and David West – two solid power forwards. This season is going to be great, talent is up and the league hasn’t had this kind of excitement in a long time. I’ll leave you all with this reminder…I told y’all

I was put on the spot last night and these are the teams I went with. Most notable in the East was that I left out Washington and Boston. Both teams made the playoffs last year. Not sure how I feel about that. I also left out the Indiana Pacers. I expect them to play at a faster pace with Monta Ellis joining that team. The defensive makeup of that team will be something to watch. I left Portland out for obvious reasons. I kept Dallas in, that’s the only pick I was unsure of. The Sacramento Kings were a consideration but there are a lot of things that need to go right for them. The main thing being a focused and healthy Rajon Rondo.

*Both groups in no order:
Eastern Conference Playoff Teams; Cleveland Cavaliers, Toronto Raptors, Chicago Bulls, Miami Heat, New York Knicks, Atlanta Hawks, Milwaukee Bucks, Detroit Pistons
Eastern Champ – Cleveland Cavaliers
Western Conference Playoff Teams; Golden State Warriors, Houston Rockets, Los Angeles Clippers, San Antonio Spurs, New Orleans Pelicans, Memphis Grizzlies, Dallas Mavericks, Oklahoma City Thunder
Western Champ – Houston Rockets

Coach of the Year: Stan Van Gundy – Detroit Pistons

Defensive Player of the Year: DeAndre Jordan – Los Angeles Clippers
Most Improved Player: Julius Randle – Los Angeles Lakers
Rookie of the Year: Emmanuel Mudiay – Denver Nuggets

Sixth Man of the Year: Isaiah Thomas – Boston Celtics

Most Valuable Player: Kevin Durant – Oklahoma City Thunder

 
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