Austin Krell Previews 2013-2014 NBA Season
About a month after the NFL starts and the MLB ends, the world’s most elite basketball players will return to the hardwoods for another NBA season. The Heat will contend for their third consecutive NBA title behind the efforts of two-time defending MVP, Lebron James. The Rockets will seriously contend for the first time since the Yao Ming Era with Dwight Howard (signed in free agency), James Harden, and a team filled with good role players.The Lakers will most likely have to play a significant number of games without Kobe Bryant, who tore his achilles in a game late last season.
The Nets will try out their new look of Jason Kidd as their head coach and part owner. During the current offseason, the Nets not only hired Kidd as their head coach, but also tore Paul Pierce, Kevin Garnett, and Jason Terry away from the Celtics in a blockbuster trade. The Thunder will have to play numerous games without Russell Westbrook, who tore his achilles in the playoffs last season. Will Kevin Durant alone be able to lead the Thunder to their second finals in three years? I think not. The Warriors, who signed athletic guard-forward Andre Iguodala, will look to run the Western Conference with their shooters, athletes, and bigs. Their run-and-gun offense will match the pace of that of the Eagles. In fact, they are my favorite to win the West. The Pistons and Cavaliers will have some new faces, who they acquired via free agency and trades, and are poised to make the playoffs for the first time in a number of years.
The Bulls will bring back Derrick Rose, who has not played a game since 2011, due to a torn ACL. Will the Bulls fly back to the top with Rose? Or will he never completely recover? Who knows. The Hornets will look to run Anthony Davis for a complete season. After, acquiring two top guards in Jrue Holiday and Tyreke Evans, the Hornets may make a push at the playoffs. The Sixers are set to be the worst team in the NBA. But, they have it all planned out. Hopefully, a year of suffering and dismal play will payoff with years upon years of excellence.
In the beginning of this summer’s draft, the Sixers traded All-Star point guard Jrue Holiday to New Orleans for Nerlens Noel and a lottery pick in next summer’s draft. The hopes are that the Hornets will be bad enough, or the West will be good enough, for them to miss the playoffs. If New Orleans misses the playoffs, the Sixers are guaranteed that the pick they acquired from the Hornets will be a top 12 in the draft. The Sixers themselves are destined to have a bad year. They lack the talent and veteran leadership to be even considered mediocre. Philly plans to tank this season in hopes of winning the lottery. If everything goes their way, they will have the number one pick and another lottery pick from New Orleans. They would then draft destined-star Andrew Wiggins, and someone else from the stacked 2014 NBA Draft. If they are bad enough this year, Philly could be really, really good for years to come.
Projected Postseason Positions
1) Miami Heat (63-19)
2) Indiana Pacers (58-24)
3) New York Knicks (56-26)
4) Chicago Bulls (51-31)
5) Brooklyn Nets (50-32)
6) Cleveland Cavaliers (49-33)
7) Detroit Pistons (47-35)
8) Washington Wizards (42-40)
9) Atlanta Hawks (40-42)
10) Toronto Raptors (38-44)
11) Milwaukee Bucks (35-47)
12) Charlotte Bobcats (32-50)
13) Boston Celtics (30-52)
14) Orlando Magic (27-55)
15) Philadelphia 76ers (13-69)
1) Golden State Warriors (58-24)
2) Houston Rockets (56-26)
3) Oklahoma City Thunder (54-28)
4) San Antonio (53-29)
5) Los Angeles Clippers (51-31)
6) Memphis Grizzlies (50-32)
7) Denver Nuggets (48-34)
8) New Orleans Hornets (42-40)
9) Minnesota Timberwolves (41-41)
10) Dallas Mavericks (39-43)
11) Portland Trail Blazers (37-45)
12) Los Angeles Lakers (36-46)
13) Utah Jazz (33-49)
14) Sacramento Kings (31-51)
15) Phoenix Suns (29-53)
The Heat will face the Rockets in the NBA Finals. It will be an intense, well-contested series, which will see six games. The Heat will capture their third consecutive NBA title, with Lebron James winning his second consecutive Finals MVP.
Kevin Durant will win his first career league MVP (his production will account for every win OKC gets without Russell Westbrook). Andre Iguodala will average around twenty points per game, and be named two his second all-star game. Stephen Curry, Josh Smith, and Brandon Jennings will each be awarded their first career all-star game appearances. Kobe Bryant will not play more than fifty games this season. Thaddeus Young will be named an all-star, simply because he will lead the Sixers in almost all statistics (not because everyone else is not good enough so he’ll have small numbers on a bad tea, but because he will have to do everything to keep games respectable, so he’ll have predictably very good numbers). Evan Turner will win the most improved player award.
The Celtics will probably trade Rajon Rondo, most likely out of the Eastern Conference.
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