Yes, yes, we are still alive. I suppose apologies are in order for disappearing for a couple of months but if the Raptors can do it (1-15 start, 1-12 finish) then so can we. It also didn't help that The Blue Baller has moved to Amsterdam to finally complete his Ph.D dissertation on the impact of Rik Smits on impact of basketball in the Netherlands. Trust me, there is more than just Dan Gadzuric to talk about.
But what better way to get back into the swing of things by recycling some old stuff and showing just how awesome we were at predicting this past season. For the most part we were right. For example, we picked all 6 division winners correctly, nailed the fact that all of the teams in the Central division would make the playoffs, and successfully predicted just bad Portland would be as well as how good Dallas was.
What does it all mean? First off, that anyone can be an NBA prognosticator. Seriously. Bill Simmons watches far more NBA games than we do and his predictions weren't any better. The NBA writers at ESPN and SI get paid to follow this league and nobody blew anybody away with their predictions. There are no people out there with an innate sense of how sports work, only people with common sense. If only those people who are put in charge of hiring NBA GMs could realize this.
Of course, we might have been wrong some too.
|Denver Nuggets||Denver Nuggets|
|Utah Jazz||Utah Jazz|
|Minnesota Timberwolves||Seattle Supersonics|
|Seattle Supersonics||Minnesota Timberwolves|
|Portland Trailblazers||Portland Trailblazers|
In a division full of question marks we managed to nail down the final standings fairly closely and regarding the gawd-awfulness of the Portland Trailblaser please refer to our quote: "I fear for any team where Ruben Patterson is one of the enlightened players."
"Boozer is in far better shape than last year"
"The Timberwolves do seem set at point guard with Marko Jaric..." Ouch.
|Miami Heat||Miami Heat|
|Washington Wizards||Washington Wizards|
|Orlando Magic||Orlando Magic|
|Atlanta Hawks||Atlanta Hawks|
|Charlotte Bobcats||Charlotte Bobcats|
The whole preview actually. We nailed it the division down perfectly including the return of Pat Riley, the Wizards win total, and the fact that Steve Francis is the reason why Orlando isn't any good.
Our crack about Jason Collier was out of line but we're assholes who are going to hell already. I mean, The Blue Baller now lives in Amsterdam and you know he's not spending his time at the Van Gogh Museum.
|San Antonio Spurs||San Antonio Spurs|
|Dallas Mavericks||Dallas Mavericks|
|Houston Rockets||Memphis Grizzlies|
|Memphis Grizzlies||NO/OK Hornets|
|NO/OK Hornets||Houston Rockets|
"This team could be a real sleeper (well relatively speaking). For the first time in years the coaching staff doesn't have to integrate a whole slew of new players, and for the first time in years the head coach seems to know what he's doing in the defensive end. I'll go on record saying that Don Nelson may have been the most over-rated coach of all-time."
The Even Better
"At least this team has one thing going for them: certain Rookie-of-the-Year Chris Paul. Paul is the real deal. Anybody who watched him in college should be baffled at how this guy dropped down to 4th in the draft."
Despite the fact that we called out the Rockets for their frail players and their terrible signing of Stromile Swift (guess what folks, his minutes, points and rebounds went down in Houston) we still had the Rockets down as a powerhouse that would finish fifth overall in the West.
Hey, name one other person who thought the New Orleans/Oklahoma City Hornets were going to challenge for a playoff spot.
|New Jersey Nets||New Jersey Nets|
|Philadelphis 76ers||Philadelphia 76ers|
|New York Knicks||Boston Celtics|
|Boston Celtics||Your Toronto Raptors|
|Your Toronto Raptors||New York Knicks|
"Every team in the Central will finish ahead of the 76ers in the conference standings."
"Jamal Crawford is a player that will never be a serious winner in this league." We will now take the time to apologize to Jamal Crawford. Despite the fact that the Knicks were easily the biggest joke in the NBA this past year Crawford was surprisingly responsive to Larry Brown's coaching style and looked far more interested in playing the right way than many of his other me-first teammates. Perhaps Crawford can be a winner in this league. We still doubt it but at least he's showing us more than Starbury and Franchise.
When questioning all the pre-season pundits pick of the Raptors as the worst team in the NBA we questioned whether the Hornets would win as many games as Toronto. Whoops! Although we were right about Portland and Charlotte.
|Detroit Pistons||Detroit Pistons|
|Indiana Pacers||Cleveland Cavaliers|
|Cleveland Cavaliers||Indiana Pacers|
|Chicago Bulls||Chicago Bulls|
|Milwaukee Bucks||Milwaukee Bucks|
On the Pacers: "They have the absolute worst chemistry in the league. Just watch the body language of during time-outs -- Pacer teammates avoid eye-contact like an elevator full of strangers, and someone has just farted."
On the Pistons: "Expect a slow start"
So Close to Good
"Look for the Bulls to take a small step backward this season and just miss the playoffs."
"I predict the Pacers will get off to a hot start this season, and possibly lead the league in wins at some point."
|Phoenix Suns||Phoenix Suns|
|Sacramento Kings||LA Clippers|
|LA Lakers||LA Lakers|
|Golden State Warriors||Sacramento Kings|
|LA Clippers||Golden State Warriors|
We picked the Phoenix Suns to win the Pacific Division. Exact quote: "Boris Diaw is now a triple-double threat."
The Clippers were picked to finish last in the Pacific despite writing the preview two weeks after the season started.
"With the late last season addition of Baron Davis, the Warriors have remade themselves into a more confident and explosive offensive team that should easily make the playoffs."