10. San Antonio Spurs (29-17)
The first draft held in the Prudential Center was filled with North Carolina and Kentucky players. 10 players were drafted by both schools with 8 of them going in the first round. The Rockets dominated the first round with 3 picks (Jeremy Lamb, Royce White and Terrence Jones). Now lets take a look at how the first ten picks went down and how the Sixers made out in Newark.
1. New Orleans Hornets- Anthony Davis, C, Kentucky
The Hornets didn’t surprise anyone by going with the best overall player in Davis. Davis will roam the middle in New Orleans being a defensive threat with his length and tremendous shot blocking ability. He will need to bulk up a bit more in order to be able to score on the offensive end at the next level.
Scotty B’s Eastern Conference Playoff Teams
1.Chicago Bulls (Central Division Champs) – The starting five is loaded with the addition of Richard Hamilton but they need one of the young guys to step on the bench.
2. Miami Heat (Southeast Division Champs) – The new big three added a defensive stopper in Shane Battier and have Udonis Haslem and Mike Miller back healthy.
3. New York Knicks (Atlantic Division Champs) – The Knicks added Tyson Chandler and Mike Bibby to an already explosive offense but the lack of depth on the bench may hurt them.
4. Orlando Magic – They have the talent to make the finals, but if they struggle it will be interesting to see if they shop Dwight Howard.
5. Boston Celtics – Could be the “Big Three’s” last run at a championship.
6. Philadelphia 76ers – They will take another step under Doug Collins.
7. Atlanta Hawks – A solid starting five, but can Tracy McGrady replace Jamal Crawford off the bench.
8. Indiana Pacers – They add an all-star like David West to a core of young, talented players.
Warren’s Western Conference Playoff Teams
1. Oklahoma City Thunder (Northwest Division Champ)– Russell Westbrook doesn’t shoot as much as he did in last year’s playoff while Kendrick Perkins provides the depth down low for the Thunder to overtake Dallas and become the Western Conference representative in the NBA Finals.
2. Dallas Mavericks (Southwest Division Champ)- Tyson Chandler is a big loss, but Lamar Odom and his candy fix will soften the blow.
3. San Antonio Spurs– Return virtually the same roster that won 61 games last year. Will the shorten season hurt the veteran team?
4. Los Angeles Lakers (Pacific Division Champ)- If Kobe get hurts, this team is screwed. They don’t have any depth.
5. Memphis Grizzles- With resigning Marc Gasol, Memphis looks to take the next jump after upsetting the Spurs in the playoffs.
6. Los Angeles Clippers- That starting 5 is legit and if the Lakers slip because of a Kobe injury, the Clips could jump up to the Top 4.
7. Portland Trail Blazers– LaMarcus Aldridge is a superstar that no one ever talks about because he plays in Portland.
8. New Orleans Hornets– Kaman and Eric Gordon are a nice package for Chris Paul. Okafor and Landry will provide depth on the front line to sneak them into the playoffs.
Warren’s picks for the hardware
-NBA Finals– Thunder over Heat in 7. Perkins is better than any big the Heat can throw out there. Westbrook vindicates himself with a great Final after last year’s struggle in the playoffs and wins the Finals MVP.
NBA MVP– Kevin Durant- Durant leads the league in scoring for a third year and wins his first MVP.
Defensive Player of the Year– Dwight Howard- Motivated by an upcoming free agency, Howard dominates and wins his fourth DPOY.
Sixth Man of the Year– Jason Terry- Terry could start on every team, but the system in Dallas works out well.
Most Improved Player– Jrue Holiday- Homer pick, sure. However, I really feel he’s going to take the next step and become a great player.
Coach of the Year– Monty Williams- Expectations are probably low for the Hornets because of the trade of Chris Paul, not having an owner, and low home crowds, but they are good enough for a surprise playoff berth.
Rookie of the Year-Ricky Rubio, Minnesota- Rubio provides the Wolves with a point guard of the future as the revolving door at point guard for the organization finally ends.
Scotty B’s picks for the hardware
NBA Finals – Thunder over Bulls in 6. Sensational match up at the point guard with Rose and Westbrook, but the Bulls problem will be finding someone to guard Durant.
NBA MVP – Kevin Durant – There is nothing this guy can’t do and now he has a solid team around him.
Defensive Player of the Year – Tyson Chandler – He adds a defensive presence the Knicks haven’t had since Patrick Ewing.
Sixth Man of the Year – James Harden – A sharp shooter off the bench who will spark the Thunder when teams actually can slow down Durant.
Most Improved Player – John Wall – He will join the elite point guards this year in the Nations capital.
Coach of the Year – Vinny Del Negro – Blake Griffin and Chris Paul will make him look like a pretty good coach.
Rookie of the Year – Kemba Walker – With Gerald Wallace now in Portland, Kemba will be the man in Charlotte.