Tuesday, October 26, 2010

8 Reasons to be Excited for the 2010-2011 NBA Season

 The 2011 NBA season is about the start and by all measures it should be one of the greatest NBA seasons ever.   Tonight's opening game between the Heat and Celtics feels like a heavy weight title fight.  I've been preparing for weeks with a full Opening Night Heat vs Celtics special edition beard which is dyed half green and half red. 

1. Finally a real team to truly get your hate teeth into- It feels like forever since America has a real team to hate.  We've had plenty of pretenders to kinda hate on, but nothing like the 2010 version of the Heat.  In the past 20 years...

  • The Bulls had Jordan so it was hard to really hate them.  Plus by the time you were tired of Jordan and the Bulls they were playing back-to-back Finals with the Jazz and who could root for them?
  • The Shaq era Lakers had Shaq.  That's enough for any of amount of hate to be dissapated down to a strong dis-like.
  • The Spurs had too many nice guys and the general public had no feeling for them
  • The Yankees were close to hate status but they had so many proffesionals and good guys.  I say I hated Jeter, Bernie Wells, Andy Petite, and Joe "Nose Picking" Torre, but deep down they didn't get my hate juices running. (once the got Roger Clemons the hate def went up a notch)
  • The Patorits started to get hated, but for most of their run they were the fun to root for under-dogs.
 
I think the last team that was completely and utterly hated was the Cowboys of the early 90's.  They were completely dispicable and loathed.  They acted like asses, clowns, and ass-clowns and nobody liked them except people from Texas and people who root for things that do well.   This Heat team will challenge and eventually over take the Cowboys as the most hated team of all-time.  Unlike most of the listed team above the Heat are already hated.  Hate from day one is a great step in the right direction.  Soon enough half the nation will be long-time Heat fans and the other half will be miserable, spiteful, hateful shells of our pre-2010 "Summer of the Decision" selves.  Count me as a die hard member of the second half.  F*ck You Heat!
 
2.  Motivation- All kinds of teams/players will be extra motivated this year, but it will be interesting to watch the two-time defending champion Lakers.  Champs always struggle with motivating themselves after winning it all but now the Lakers are not considered the favorites and one of the games all time red-asses will be insanely hungry to prove that he and the Lakers can overcome the Heat Trinity.

3. Last gasps by two great teams- This is going to be the last year for the Spurs and Celtics title hopes as far as their core players are concerned.  They've both been great to watch and showed the world how great basketball is played.  Both teams have started to acknowledge how close they are to the end and it's no team will want to play these guys in the playoffs. 

4. Swing Man Rivalries- In Soccer the midfield is how you win games but the strikers get all the attention.  In the NBA big man win championships.  Duncan, Garnett, Shaq, Super Wallace Bros, Gasol, etc. but it's the swing man always listed as the best players in the league and it's the position that gets fans excited.  This year we'll have Kobe, Durrant, James, and Wade all trying to prove they're the best swing man in the game.   If the Lakers and Heat meet in the playoffs, ESPN will have to create a James vs Kobe 10 part special that will run instead of any and all highlights.  

5. Changing of the guard- We in the midst of the one of the greatest generation of talent making way for a new wave of exciting talent.  The transition has been seem-less but like the Spurs and Celtics it's getting close to the end for a lot of the games biggest stars.  Some of the older players that will soon be gone include Kobe, Duncan, Nash, Ginobili, Allen, Billups, Kidd, Dirk, Garnett, Pierce, Shaq while a new class of stars such as Rose, Noah, Durrant, Griffith, Wall, Westbroke, Rondo and Curry join their star peers such as Lebron, Wade, Amare, Bosh, Gasol, Paul, Parker, Williams, Howard, Roy, and Carmelo.  Has their every been this many star players in the league at once?

6. Wade and Lebron- Has the leagues two best players ever played on the same team?  Shaq and Kobe come closest in recent time and they destroyed the league when they weren't trying to destroy each other.   Can they co-exsist? Will they eventually despise each other when the spotlight has to be shared? My prediciton is Lebron gets it all and Wade gets tired of being Robin...

7. Dominating teams- Unlike the "If everyone is special, then no one is" NFL the NBA has a handful of great teams.  When the Magic, Heat, Celtics, and Lakers meet it will be must watch Television and when one of losses to a bad team it will feel like a real upset and not the Browns beating the Saints.

8. Awards that mean something- The only sport where the fans care about the awards and this year should be extra exciting. Already the MVP talk is being debated between slight favorite Durrant and Lebron and the Rookie of the year race should be quite the race between John Wall and Blake Griffin.  

My predictions

Champs- Heat
Runner up- Lakers
MVP- Lebron James
Rookie of the Year- John Wall
Defensive Player of the Year- Dwight Howard
Coach of the Year- Greg Popovich
Best half time show- Inside the NBA with Kenny, Chuck, and Ernie
Worst half time show- Anyone with Stuart Scott
Leagues Stupidest Player- Gilbert Arenas
Surprise Team-LA Clippers
Disappointing Team- Nuggets

8 comments:

  1. Great post! I love all of the predictions, but I would probably differ on a few. I like Durant for MVP, especially if the Heat don't win 80 games like everybody thinks they will.

    I don't know if the Heat can be more hated than the mid-90s cowboys. I'd have to say that was the most polarizing team in all of sports. Hate or love, no in between. I'm getting the feeling that a lot of people (outside the cleveland area) don't care. Maybe the people of Boston tonight (booing Lebron every touch on the ball) are feeling it a little too.

    One thing I do know, D-Wade = worst second round pick in Fantasy Basketball ever! What was I thinking?

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  2. I didn't realize until watching the Heat tonight, just how much playing without a true big man is really going to hurt them. They were all jumpshots tonight, and Bosh was too weak to bang bodies with the likes of Shaq and Big Baby. I guess they can still go 81-1. Good luck to them!

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  3. First, great post!

    Now, no way in hell with the Heat win 70 games. It's beyond reach and let's all forget that shit right now.

    As for the hate, it's a tough call. Basketball more than any sport relies on the individual stars. The Cowboys were a "team" to hate. The Heat are more of Lebron/Pat Riley to hate. However, the Lebron hate might be so overwhelming it changes everything. Hate meter - push

    I think Durant's as close to a lock at MVP as it gets. Of course if the Heat put up a monstrous win-loss record and Lebron goes nuts, it could go his way. There are too many X-factors in that scenario, IMO. The Thunder are poised to be the #2 team in the West and if that happens, Durant gets it.

    No, Rich. Mike Miller getting drafted at all is the worst pick of the draft. Perhaps you could say Wade could be injury prone, but Miller's is even more likely to go down. Horrendous move!

    If I'm a Heat fan I want Lebron averaging 20-24 points a game, and getting double figure assists with 7-8 boards a game. He needs to make sure Wade and Bosh get theres. If that happens the unholy trinity will win the title and frankly it won't be close.

    But, I don't see that happening and the Lebron/Wade honeymoon will end sooner rather than later.

    Lakers win it all. They sign Blake and Barnes. Blake stretches the floor more for the them and keep Sasha off the floor (hopefully!) Barnes signing means Odom will be played almost exclusely up front backing up Gasol/Bynum. As long as they're healthy come playoff time, it's the Lakers title to lose. (Unless Lebron actually get's it, like previously mentioned)

    I love Duncan, but I think the window is officially closed now for the Spurs. Boston can still win it this year if the stars are aligned.

    Howard's almost locked in as DOY nowadays. Poppovich needs the Spurs to finish in the top 3 overall to get COY. That awards tends to go to surprise teams coaches. I like Blake Griffin for ROY.

    AllStar game suggestion...Make that Kobe/Lebron one on one game happen. Guaranteed to be the biggest ratings in All Star history and motivate one guy for the rest of the season.

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  4. How about when the Magic trade for Chris Paul...will they be the favs then?

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  5. I still don't think you can make them favorites if that happened. Lakers HAVE to be favorites becuase they're the defending champions and got better in the off-season.

    And, I don't see how the Magic trade for Paul anyhow. Nelson/Vince gets Chris Paul? Don't think so.

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  6. I wouldn't be surprised at all if Paul gets traded. Magic could offer Nelson, Gortat, Carter, and some other pieces for Emeka Okafor and Paul.

    If the Magic got Paul they'd definitely be the favorites. Sorry Lakers fans.

    What about the Heat question Davy? Wade for Billups and Nene be good for the Heat?

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  7. Wow! The Miami Heat trading Dwayne Wade???? Is that even possible? The one true Heat player. The guy drafted by Miami and the guy that helped net Lebron/Bosh??? NO WAY in hell he's traded for at least 2 years. They have to see if the unholy trinity can be that unbeatable team, first. Unless he realizes Lebron won't be taking a backseat and will want to be scoring and not taking on the Magic Johnson role of the team. Only then, with a Wade meltdown does he get traded.

    But, I love the trade for both teams. Denver gets Wade, and in turn secures Melo staying.

    I still like the Lakers to win this year (if healthy) over any team including a Magic with Paul. Of course, I could be bias.

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  8. The Heat would never trade Wade, I'm just wondering if that would be a better move for the Heat.

    I think you still gotta go with talent. Talent wins out right?

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