Your Playoff Teams in the East:
3. New York
8. New Jersey
Obviously a Dwight Howard move to New Jersey could mess up the order of this quite a bit. But think these are the 8 teams you see in the playoffs the order I could see changing based on moves and injuries could make it tough on teams the biggest of those could be Boston.
As for the Raptors they will not be in the Playoffs yet again but no one is expecting them to be. The big question for most is will they be the 15th team in the East and likely 30th in the NBA. That answer is no. Detroit will be worse than the Raptors. Think the Wizards will be as well. Also the Bobcats will not be up to snuff. So that would leave the Raptors finishing 12th with more wins than expected at 20-46. I think the Raptors will hang around in enough games to steal a few here and there. They also have the advantage of some young players that will be able to handle the grind of this crushing schedule.
Now on to the West:
4. L.A Clippers
7. San Antonio
The West is a lot tougher to figure out. I am convinced that OKC is the class of this conference now. Dallas got worse, Lakers got worse and the Thunder stayed the same for the most part but have a Kendrick Perkins that looks in fantastic shape and a year of experience at playing as an elite team. The Clippers are the real wild card with Chris Paul. Think 4th is a conservative approach as to where they will end up.
What Raptor Fans really care about is your Lottery Top 5
Now on we go to the Awards:
Defensive Player of the Year: Chris Paul
Dwight Howard has owned this award for years but with the issues of getting out of Orlando and how long that takes think it will be a Destraction and a less focused Howard. Chris Paul will rack up a ton of steals and get the Clippers running. I thought about going with Dwayne Wade or Lebron James but decided to go with Chris Paul and I am sure David Stern will be on hand to give him his award. Tyson Chandler in New York would have been a more conventional pick to make.
Rookie of the Year: Kyrie Irving
I wanted to say Tristan Thompson but that would be my Canadian Pride talking. You may say that picking Irving is going the easy route but it is not a lock the number one pick always gets the award. Irving has the opportunity and the ability to cash in and win the award. He is starting from day one and has little challenge for minutes in Cleveland.
Coach of the Year: Scott Brooks
The first time I picked him people thought I was nuts. He ended up winning the award. This time my pick will be viewed in a lot different light. Eric Spoelstra will not get the credit for the Heat dominating. While same will be true for Vinny Del Negro with the Clippers. Want a long shot? Frank Vogel will have a nice group with Pacers and they should be much improved.
6th Man of the Year- Taj Gibson
Boozer has been losing favour in Chicago and in a season that has injury issues at the forefront given the schedule it is not looking good for Boozer given his history. All this says to be big things for Taj Gibson. Think that is a good a guess as any. Want a total shot in the dark. Norris Cole the rookie in Miami. They love him and getting to play with the Big 3 in Miami can only help him wrack up some impressive numbers off the pine backing up Chalmers.
M.V.P- Lebron James
People have started to hate him a little less and he has had a extended off-season to get upset how we were all mean to him and his friends. So Game On. Kevin Durant, Rose the defending M.V.P will be in the conversation. Chris Paul could also get a serious look if he is able to make the Clippers the better team in L.A
So what is left to do? Oh right who is going to win it all? Last year I picked this and it almost happened so this year I will pick it again with the same two teams and a different winner.
The OKC Thunder will defeat the Miami Heat in 6 games.
Your Finals MVP : Kevin Durant.
You can bet that I will brag about everything I get right and hope that you all forget everything I get wrong but those are my educated guesses for this season. If you want to share yours feel free to leave them in the comments or hit me up on Twitter @Dinonationblog.