The Lakers are tough and this might be the year for L.A. with Dwight Howard and Steve Nash donning the purple and gold. Kobe says it’s still his team but the tried-and-true veteran will groom the big man Howard for success in Hollywood which would equate to a title or a date with a Kardashian.
Two more titles for Kobe and he will take the lead over Jordan and possibly cement himself as one of, if not the best ever, because we all know Kobe compares himself with MJ on a daily basis.
The Staples Center is big enough for two teams and Blake Griffin and the Clippers will make it to the postseason only if he finds a way to dunk over a Ford F-150.
Ray Allen landed in Miami and will keep knocking down treys with his old knees. Word in Miami is that shooters are complaining they have too much time to take shots with the opposing defense scheming against LeBron and Bosh. This was a legitimate complaint.
The Timberwolves appear to be on the verge of making the playoffs but the hand injury to Kevin Love could spell disaster before things even take off — especially with Ricky Rubio to be out for a while longer.
When evaluating the offseason, who were the T-Wolves supposed to sign? The hobbled Brandon Roy will be more solid than people think and Andrei Kirilenko and his liberally minded supermodel wife will be a good edition to the squad.
Former Minnesota high school standout Cole Aldrich has found a new home in Houston moving over from Oklahoma City in the trade that sent James Harden and his beard to the Rockets.
Harden is a heck of a player but not worth $15 million a year, especially for a sixth man that will be forced into a starting role. Who does he think he is, Joe Johnson?
Milwaukee has a young squad and one of the most dangerous back courts in the NBA with Brandon Jennings and Monta Ellis — two shoot-first, pass-seldom players — exactly what any GM wants in his starting guards.
The Brooklyn Nets have a new venue, uniforms and Deron Williams with the aforementioned Johnson and Brook Lopez. Not really a big three, but formidable nonetheless. Lopez needs to get off his flat feet to make a significant impact, which most likely won’t happen. Look for Andray “This is your captain” Blatche to get some minutes for the Nets.
Across the East River in Manhattan, the Knicks appear more like a geriatric home than a legitimate threat with the addition of workhorse veterans Jason Kidd, Marcus Camby, Kurt “Methuselah” Thomas and the one and only Rasheed Wallace. That’s 66 years of veteran experience and easily the oldest team in the league. At least they can get the dinner special for seniors, which will save the Knicks some coin.
Kevin Durant and the Thunder will be one of the league’s best for the second year in a row. Even without Harden’s beard the Thunder will roll deep into the playoffs.
The Rondo era in Boston will began to take shape and Paul Pierce will continue to do amazing things on the court. Look for Jason Terry to break out and fill in nicely in the void Allen left.
Dirk Nowitzki is as German as ever, which is nice, but he’s hurt and will miss time early. Mark Cuban also didn’t make any big offseason pickups.
All things considered there’s a lot to be excited about and plenty to scoff at this season. Here’s a handful of NBA predictions to close out with.
The Heat will win the East and the Lakers will take the West. Lakers will win the finals in six. LeBron will take home season MVP honors and Damian Lillard will win the rookie of the year.
Milwaukee and Memphis will sneak into the playoffs. Charlotte will again continue to have the league’s worst record. Who knows, maybe they will get the first pick —if Commissioner Stern approves.
Finally, this season’s social media maven will be Harrison Barnes so follow him on Twitter for a few laughs.