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News » 2009-10 preview: Gazing into crystal basketball

2009-10 preview: Gazing into crystal basketball

2009-10 preview: Gazing into crystal basketball

Well, I'm predicting the league's decision to be a bit more lenient in regard to on-court traveling makes it through an entire season without being noticed. It also should be noted that, based on statistics collected during the NBA's exhibition season, coaches will burn about 90 percent of their future practice time on free-throw shooting.

Anyway, aside from allowing players to truly walk the walk and Brown donating money to the league's emergency-party fund, here's a list of predictions that may hold even greater importance:

Most Valuable Player

This distinction won't be attached to Kobe Bryant. Kobe has enough high-profile playmates in L.A. — and enough postseason focus — to keep his numbers from reaching an MVP level.

Miami Heat guard Dwyane Wade should be statistically crazy, but his team won't rise high enough in the Eastern Conference for him to achieve an honor usually bestowed upon a player working for a squad with a gaudy record. Orlando's Dwight Howard is working with Vince Carter and probably won't touch the ball enough.

Boston's Kevin Garnett may be the most valuable at both ends, but doesn't score enough to wake up voters.

That leaves us with LeBron James, who should be able to dodge Shaquille O'Neal's vast ego enough times on rim journeys to post fabulous numbers and win lots of games.

I'm betting that LeBron even shakes David Stern's hand.

Western Conference champions

The aforementioned traveling rule will make it legal for players to gather on the catch and take two steps before dribbling the ball. This means San Antonio Spurs guard Tony Parker will be taking three steps on his way to the hoop. While this particular rules upgrade could have a profound impact on the standings, I believe Kobe and the Los Angeles Lakers will prevail once again.

To do so, they'll have to hope nobody throws beer on Ron Artest, pray that Khloe Kardashian avoids raiding Lamar Odom's gummi-bear stash and make sure debris from a meteor shower does not find Andrew Bynum's knee during its plummet to Earth.

2009-10 NBA season preview

Portland Trail Blazers coach Nate McMillan ignores last season's plus-minus stats and provides enough minutes for former overall No. 1 draft pick Greg Oden to grab this honor. When asked to comment on his teammate's MIP distinction, personable first-year Blazers point guard Andre Miller replies, "Oden? Which one is he?"

Coach of the Year

If he can coax his team into just threatening to reach the playoffs, who could deny the contributions of Houston's Rick Adelman?

NBA champions

In a rematch of the 2008 Finals, the Lakers and C's square off with the home-court advantage belonging to L.A.

Despite the absence of former assistant coach Kurt Rambis, the Lakers reach a tactical stalemate with Boston and its ubuntu spirit. With the union referees back on the floor and Artest riding the karmic flow of coach Phil Jackson, the Lakers win Game 7 on a Bryant free throw awarded after a late technical foul against Wallace.

Nicholson uncrosses his legs to join the ensuing celebration.

Author: Fox Sports
Author's Website: http://www.foxsports.com
Added: October 22, 2009


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