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2011-2012 NBA Predictions

Brandon McCoy and I summoned our inner Nostradamus, and predicted how the NBA will take shape this season.

At the jump, see who has the New Orleans Hornets doing better than the Los Angeles Clippers and who has a Hawks player winning one individual award this season.

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Rookie of the Year:

Brandon: Kemba Walker. A few talented rookies out there, but Kemba was the most ready NBA player coming out of Uconn. He will get the keys to the Bobcats car early enough, even though it looks like he may start the season coming off the bench. The kid just knows how to score and showed at Uconn that he can be a playmaker.

William: Kyrie Irving. You need two things in order to win ROY, talent and opportunity. Kyrie Irving will have both this season. Kyrie Irving has a coach in Byron Scott that has a resume’ of taking a young point guard (Chris Paul)  and giving him a lot of opportunities to make a name for himself.

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Coach of the Year:

Brandon: Lionel Hollins. If the Memphis Grizzles continues to get better, Lionel Hollins will get more respect. He didn’t deserve it last year because the Grizz didn’t turn it all the way on until the end of the year. If they start this year how they finished last year, not only will Memphis be a legit contender in the West, but they will also have the Coach of the Year.

William: I’m going with Lionel Hollins as well. The Coach of the Year Award seems to always go to a coach that is coaching a team that exceeds their pre-season expectations, and I have the Memphis Grizzlies doing a lot better than what most people expect them to do. With that, Lionel Hollins is an easy choice for me for COY.

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Most Valuable Player:

Brandon: This was by far the toughest decision, as I could easily say LeBron James and wouldn’t regret it one bit, but Kevin Durant is an absolute stud. The scoring will be there. You can book 27-30 points a night. But what I think we may finally see, is KD’s ability to make his teammates better. I think if KD can get to 28/7/5, which he is fully capable of doing, and lead his Thunder team to a #1 seed in the West, KD will take home his first of many MVP trophies.

William: Give me Chris Paul.  People will see the impact he makes in a team by turning a team that only won 32 games last season, to a team that no one wants to face. Also, the voters always like players who make the players around them better, and Chris Paul definitely does and will do that this season.

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Most Improved:

Brandon: Andrew Bynum. This has Andrew Bynum’s name all on it. If reports are accurate and he truly is in great shape, I could see Bynum being an 18-20 points and 10 rebounds. That’s a whole lot of improvement for a guy who averaged 11 points and 9 rebounds. With Kobe getting a little older and Bynum hopefully having a bigger role in Mike Brown’s offense Bynum should get this award in a runaway. He has to stay healthy though.

William: MV-Teague! MV-Teague! MV-Teague! Yup, I have our very own Jeff Teague taking this award. Homer pick? Maybe, but hear me out. He’ll have the opportunity this season to show what he can really do, which he didn’t have in the regular season last season. As we saw in the second round last season, when he’s given the opportunity, Teague is actually a player that can really contribute to the team. There’s still questions if he can do that consistently throughout the course of the season, but my bet is that he can and that he will.

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6th Man of the Year:

Brandon: Jamal Crawford. As much as it pains me to say this, because I still want to see him in a Hawks uniform, Jamal Crawford is my pick for 6th man of the year. Nate McMillan will allow Jamal to be Jamal again. Larry Drew, from what I seen, wanted Jamal to be more of a playmaker/scorer and that’s not Jamal’s M.O.. With Jamal going back to that “I’m in to get buckets” mentality, Jamal will get this award for a 2nd time in his career. I’m just sad it will be in Rip City and not in Atlanta.

William: Going with Jamal Crawford as well. I agree with everything Brandon said.

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Defensive Player of the Year:

Brandon: Dwight Howard. I don’t even have to think about this one. There is no player in the game that changes a game defensively like Dwight Howard. Period. He is in a league of his own and I see nobody taking the DPOY away from him anytime soon as long as he continues to give effort on the defensive end of the floor.

William: Dwight Howard. He will probably never commit to the Orlando Magic, but you can bet that he will always commit to playing defense (see what I did there?). The only player that I see taking this award from Dwight is Tyson Chandler, but I still think that the Knicks will still be a horrible defensive team (which will hurt Tyson’s chances on winning DPOY), so Dwight will take this….again.

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Surprise Team:

Brandon: New Orleans Hornets.  A lot of people wont give them much of a chance due to the lost of CP3 but don’t sleep on David Stern’s team. They still have a very solid team lead by Eric Gordon. Also, I will say this… if you don’t know who Eric Gordon is by now, you will know by the end of the year.

William: Golden State Warriors. I don’t have this team pegged in the playoffs, but I think they’ll really challenge for a spot, which is more than what a lot of people are expecting of them. If they were in the Eastern Conference, I think they would be a playoff team. I think Coach Mark Jackson’s leadership, defensive mentality, and toughness will rub off on his players. They’re not going to be a top defensive team, but they will be impressively better.

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Demise Team:

Brandon: Orlando Magic. With the combination of a disinterested superstar and an unexciting supporting cast, the Magic are an easy pick for “Demise Team of the Year”. Unless Otis Smith pulls something out of his hat the Magic can go ahead a book a first round exit with Dwight and a trip to the NBA lottery without him.

William: Los Angeles Lakers. We’re in a new era…the era of where the Lakers are getting worst and the likes of the Memphis Grizzlies and Los Angeles Clippers are improving. I just don’t believe in this team anymore. They lost Phil Jackson and added a coach that I don’t particularly believe in (Mike Brown). They traded Lamar Odom for basically nothing, and they have a big man in Pau Gasol who is probably more emotionally hurt than what he’s showing. Oh yeah, and Kobe has old knees.

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Western Conference Standings Champion:

Brandon:

  1. Oklahoma City Thunder
  2. Dallas Mavericks
  3. Portland TrailBlazers
  4. Memphis Grizzlies
  5. Los Angeles Lakers
  6. San Antonio Spurs
  7. New Orleans Hornets
  8. Los Angeles Clippers
  9. Golden State Warriors
  10. Houston Rockets
  11. Denver Nuggets
  12. Utah Jazz
  13. Phoenix Suns
  14. Sacramento Kings
  15. Minnesota Timberwolves
William:
  1. Oklahoma City Thunder
  2. Memphis Grizzlies
  3. Dallas Mavericks
  4. Los Angeles Clippers
  5. San Antonio Spurs
  6. Portland TrailBlazers
  7. Los Angeles Lakers
  8. Denver Nuggets
  9. Golden State Warriors
  10. Houston Rockets
  11. Utah Jazz
  12. Minnesota Timberwolves
  13. New Orleans Hornets
  14. Sacramento Kings
  15. Phoenix Suns

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Eastern Conference Standings:

Brandon:

  1. Miami Heat
  2. Chicago Bulls
  3. Atlanta Hawks
  4. New York Knicks
  5. Boston Celtics
  6. Orlando Magic
  7. Indiana Pacers
  8. Philadelphia 76ers
  9. New Jersey Nets
  10. Milwaukee Bucks
  11. Washington Wizards
  12. Detroit Pistons
  13. Charlotte Bobcats
  14. Cleveland Cavaliers
  15. Toronto Raptors
William:
  1. Miami Heat
  2. Chicago Bulls
  3. New York Knicks
  4. Boston Celtics
  5. Atlanta Hawks
  6. Orlando Magic
  7. Indiana Pacers
  8. Philadelphia 76ers
  9. Milwaukee Bucks
  10. New Jersey Nets
  11. Washington Wizards
  12. Cleveland Cavaliers
  13. Detroit Pistons
  14. Charlotte Bobcats
  15. Toronto Raptors

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Western Conference Champions:

Brandon: Oklahoma City Thunder

William: San Antonio Spurs

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Eastern Conference Champions:

Brandon: Miami Heat

William: Miami Heat

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NBA Champions:

Brandon: Miami Heat

William: Miami Heat

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Tags: Andrew Bynum Atlanta Hawks Chris Paul Dwight Howard Golden State Warriors Jamal Crawford Jeff Teague Kemba Walker Kevin Durant Kyrie Irving Lionel Hollins Memphis Grizzlies Miami Heat New Orleans Hornets

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