Category Archives: 2009-10 nba preview

2009-10 NBA Preview: Atlanta Hawks

Atlanta has went from laughing stock to playoff team in the matter of five seasons. They have built their team through the draft and hiring head coach Mike Woodson has improved this team greatly. Can the Hawks surpass Boston or Cleveland this season? Is Jeff Teague a potential Rookie Of The Year candidate? Is Horford/Smith/Williams the best young front-court in the league? Here is our 2009-10 NBA Preview for the Atlanta Hawks.

Additions/Subtractions – Atlanta seems to have finally turned the corner and became a perennial playoff team. They didn’t make too many moves this off-season, in hopes of their young talent developing. They did trade Acie Law and Speedy Claxton to Golden State for guard Jamal Crawford. They also improved their back-court by signing Juan Dixon and drafting Jeff Teague. They are building around their young talent and their team is shaping up pretty well.

2009-10 Expectations – The Hawks had one of their best seasons since Dominique Wilkins was winning slam-dunk contests. They hope to build on a 47-35 season last year and make a leap into the 2nd-round of the playoffs and beyond. A potential starting line-up of Mike Bibby, Joe Johnson, Marvin Williams, Josh Smith, and Al Horford gives them one of the best line-ups in the East. When you add in Jeff Teague into the mix, they have one of the youngest and best rotations. I really like them this year and could surprise some people. They are in the 2nd-tier of good teams in the East and they could possibly move into the same conversation as Orlando, Cleveland, and Boston. If everyone can stay healthy, this team can do some major things this year.

2009-10 Predictions – Jeff Teague was a steal where Atlanta drafted him. He will be the future point guard of the Hawks and a season under the wing of Bibby can only make him better. He will be a first-team All-Rookie and will finish in the top-5 in the Rookie Of The Year voting. Al Horford, Josh Smith, and Joe Johnson will have career years and possibly two of the three will be named to the All-Star team. They will improve on their 47 win total last year and if everyone can stay healthy, their ceiling of wins could be around 55 this year. Don’t sleep on Atlanta, they will have a great year, if only they can get some fans in the Atlanta area to go to games.

2009-10 Win Total – 53-29

BallHype: hype it up! submit to redditDigg my article

A Sports & Entertainment blog that focuses on absurdity in sports, snarky banter, updates on Tim Tebow’s virginity, and decent sports gambling advice.

2009-10 NBA Preview: Orlando Magic

The Magic had a dream season last year, but fell short in the NBA Finals. They made a lot of changes to their roster, but are they a better team? A lot of teams in the East went out and tried to improve their teams and the Magic tried to keep up. Can Vince Carter stay healthy this year? Will the Magic miss Hedo Turkoglu? Who is the whitest guy on the team, Jason Williams or J.J. Redick? Here is our 2009-10 NBA Preview for the Orlando Magic.

Additions/Subtractions – For a team coming off of an NBA Finals appearance, this team has done a lot to change their roster. One of the biggest trades this off-season was when they traded Courtney Lee and Rafer Alston to New Jersey for Vince Carter and Ryan Anderson. The Magic had to do something to fill void that Hedo Turkoglu left. He is more athletic than the “Turkish Jordan,” but he’s getting up their age and you can’t bet that he’ll be healthy for the entire season. They also went out and signed Brandon Bass and Matt Barnes. Bass is expected to split time with Ryan Anderson and Matt Barnes is a nice option off the bench. Also, they signed “White Chocolate” Jason Williams, who is coming out of retirement to back-up Jameer Nelson. The Magic could have lost Marcin Gortat, but matched the offer than Houston gave him. He’s a nice insurance policy in case Dwight Howard gets injured.

2009-10 Expectations – The Magic had a great season last year and they are building this team to win the NBA championship. They had to keep up with San Antonio, Los Angeles, Boston, and Cleveland with their off-season roster moves. If they don’t win a ring this year, the team would consider this season as a loss. They hope to have Jameer Nelson for the entire season. He looked like a franchise player before he tore his labrum last year. Dwight Howard will have to have another MVP-caliber season for the Magic to match their success from last year. He demanded double-teams, but with Bass/Anderson splitting time at PF, you would think that they would be in the market for a better option before the trading deadline. Rashard Lewis could move to PF and put Vince Carter at SF and Michael Pietrus would be at SG, but Lewis would lose his length-advantage playing PF. The Magic have to have a better record than the Celtics and Cavaliers going into the playoffs, because home-field advantage is huge for those teams and they have to take that away to have a shot in beating them.

2009-10 Prediction – It’s going to be very difficult for the Magic to duplicate the success of last season. All of the better teams in the East have improved and the Celtics didn’t match up well with them last year, but that changed with them signing Rasheed Wallace and Marquis Daniels. Vince Carter will not playing in more than 65 games and this could very well be his last season. He has a lot of miles on those knees and he isn’t the high-flying star that played in Toronto, but he’s still pretty good. Jameer Nelson and Dwight Howard will be All-Stars, but this team stays around the same win total as last season. They will end the season as a #3, right behind Boston and Cleveland.

2009-10 Win Total – 58-24

BallHype: hype it up! submit to redditDigg my article

A Sports & Entertainment blog that focuses on absurdity in sports, snarky banter, updates on Tim Tebow’s virginity, and decent sports gambling advice.

2009-10 NBA Preview: Chicago Bulls

The Chicago Bulls had one of the best playoff series ever against the Boston Celtics last year. Unfortunately for fans, it was in the first round, but the level of play in that series was only equaled by the NBA Finals. Derrick Rose had a great rookie season and a late-season trade with the Kings was the best trade deadline transaction last year. Will the Bulls miss Ben Gordon? Can Tyrus Thomas and Joakim Noah finally develop? Here is our 2009-10 NBA Preview for the Chicago Bulls.

Additions/Subtractions – I’m not going to say that the Chicago Bulls will not miss Ben Gordon, but he wasn’t a starter on Chicago. He may have played starter minutes as the sixth-man, but he was very inconsistent. When they made the trade with the Kings last year to acquire John Salmons, he was their insurance policy if Gordon left in the off-season. This team shouldn’t look that different from the team that lost against the Celtics in the first-round of the Eastern Conference playoffs. Jannero Pargo is with the team again after being with the Hornets the last two seasons, they signed the often banged-up Jerome James, and they have two very good draft picks. James Johnson will be a work in progress with a very high upside and Taj Gibson could be more NBA-ready. They expect big things from these guys and they should be starters in a couple years.

2009-10 Expectations – NBA teams aren’t supposed to have playoff seasons with a new coach and rookie point guard, but Chicago did that. They set the bar high for this season with the great playoff series against the Celtics last year and the emergence of Derrick Rose as a NBA superstar. The expectations for this team is very high and anything less than a playoff appearance would be disappointing. They have to get to the 2nd round for this team to feel good about the season. Derrick Rose had an injury and will start the season a little banged up, but the Bulls will be a very fun team to watch. They have players that can fun the fast break and with Brad Miller, a true low-post center. Chicago wants Joakim Noah and Tyrus Thomas to take it to the next level and live up to their high draft pick status. Thomas was rough when the Bulls drafted him and has had moments of looking like a future star, but he isn’t consistent. Noah has developed into a good rebounder, but his offensive game hasn’t improved very much.

2009-10 Prediction – This team is full of winnners at the collegiate level. Derrick Rose, Luol Deng, Joakim Noah, and Tyrus Thomas all were on winners in college and sometimes that’s all a team needs, players who know how to win. I believe Chicago has the ability to win close games. Derrick Rose and John Salmons will be All-Stars this season. Chicago could use some more depth at small forward, if can get a deal for a nice back-up SF near the trade deadline, they should jump at that. The Bulls will start off slow, but as they usually go, turn it up in the 2nd-half of the season and get into the playoffs. I don’t see a huge jump in their win total, but they should end up as the #5 or #6 seed and hopefully avoid the Boston Celtics in the first-round of the playoffs.

2009-10 Win Total – 46-36

BallHype: hype it up! submit to redditDigg my article

A Sports & Entertainment blog that focuses on absurdity in sports, snarky banter, updates on Tim Tebow’s virginity, and decent sports gambling advice.

2009-10 NBA Preview: Indiana Pacers

As many of you know, I write for a Pacers site over at Fanball. You can read my stuff at PacersPlace.com. As part of my 2009-10 NBA Preview posts, I wrote one about the Pacers that can be found there. I have copied it here on my site too and here is the 2009-10 NBA Preview for the Indiana Pacers.

The Pacers have barely missed the playoffs the last few years, could this be the season when that streak ends? Danny Granger is a stud, but could he possibly win the MVP award? Troy Murphy is coming off the best season of his career, can he keep up those numbers this year? Can Mike Dunleavy make a comeback from his knee problems? Can Tyler Hansbrough, Brandon Rush, and Roy Hibbert take the next step and become legit NBA stars?

Additions/Subtractions – There are quite a few new faces on the Pacers this year. They did well in the draft when they picked up Tyler Hansbrough and A.J. Price. They were both winners in college and this team is starting to be filled with players who excelled in college. The lost Jarrett Jack and Marquis Daniels via free agency, but they picked up Luther Head, Dahntay Jones, Solomon Jones, and Earl Watson to fill their roster. They look to be a better defensive team than they were the last two seasons.

2009-10 Expectations – They have been the 9th best team in the Eastern Conference the last few seasons, but they look to change that this year. They have been in a transition mode since Reggie Miller retired. Indiana has been lucky that they haven’t bottomed out like many teams have during their rebuilding process. Head coach Jim O’Brien has played an offensive style that has fit this team and he should get the credit for the Pacers not falling completely into a void the last two seasons. Larry Bird could be on the hot seat this year if the team doesn’t improve on their record from last year, but the roster has nearly turned over completely the last three seasons. This team has a lot of former Wooden Award winners on it and it’s nearing time that many of them to mature and reach their potential. Danny Granger came into his own last year and he may even get better. If the Pacers end up in the playoffs, it will be because of his play. If he has a bad year, the Pacers could be one of the worst teams in the league. They look to him for leadership and production.

2009-10 Prediction – I look for Granger to be a possible MVP candidate and he will make the All-Star team. Tyler Hansbrough, Roy Hibbert, and Troy Murphy will be a nice three man rotation at the PF/C positions. It’s time for Hibbert to really show the league what he can do. Brandon Rush will improve, he had a pretty good last two months of the season last year. Mike Dunleavy is dealing with an nagging knee injury. He had surgery on it, but had a setback. He should be back at some point near the beginning of the season, but it could be a lost season for him. The Pacers will make the playoffs, but it could be as a #8 seed.

2009-10 Win Total – 38-44

BallHype: hype it up! submit to redditDigg my article

A Sports & Entertainment blog that focuses on absurdity in sports, snarky banter, updates on Tim Tebow’s virginity, and decent sports gambling advice.

2009-10 NBA Preview: Milwaukee Bucks

The Bucks basically had a fire sale this off-season and the team is without Richard Jefferson, Charlie Villanueva, and Ramon Sessions. They did end up drafting Brandon Jennings, who couldn’t get into a college because of low SAT scores, so he played a mediocre year in Europe. Can you really put your franchise in the hands of a guy that couldn’t handle simple word problems on the SAT? It’s going to be a long season in Milwaukee and this team appears to be a few years ago from contending for anything but a lottery pick. Here is my 2009-10 NBA Preview for the Milwaukee Bucks.

Additions/Subtractions – Let’s start off with the people who aren’t on the Bucks this year. Ramon Sessions, Richard Jefferson, and Charlie Villanueva are all on better teams and the Bucks will miss them severely. Sessions was a huge surprise last year, but you can’t ignore his scoring ability. The additions on this team aren’t exactly huge names, but they did do well with the draft. They picked Brandon Jennings, who is flashy and Milwaukee needs some sort of identity and he can help this team in that department. Jodie Meeks was a big-time scorer at Kentucky and could end up becoming a Ramon Sessions typer of player for the Bucks. In a “I didn’t forget to mention” section, they also acquired Hakim Warrick, Amir Johnson, and Kurt Thomas, take what you will from this, it doesn’t mean much.

2009-10 Expectations – They over-achieved a little bit last season by winning 36 games. They have to expect a season around their 2007-08 season when they only won 26 games. They are in a rebuilding mode since they lost nearly half of their scoring by either trading or not re-signing Jefferson, Sessions, and Villanueva. You know your team is in trouble when you have Luc Richard Mbah a Moute and Amir Johnson as your starting forwards. If the Bucks can get another lottery pick next year to help out at SF/PF, this team could be good in a couple years.

2009-10 Prediction – Michael Redd will be traded this season for more youth. They need to move him, he hasn’t been the same since his injury two seasons ago. Brandon Jennings, if he can get enough playing time, could end up being a Rookie Of The Year contender, but Luke Ridnour is currently scheduled in as the starter. The Bucks aren’t very good defensively and they will be in the bottom 5 in the Points Against category. Scott Skiles, a fellow Indiana white boy, will be on the hot seat and could end up being fired if he doesn’t get more than 25 wins out of this team. It isn’t fair that they drained this team of talent, but he will be the fall guy if this team becomes laughable.

2009-10 Win Total – 23-59

BallHype: hype it up! submit to redditDigg my article

A Sports & Entertainment blog that focuses on absurdity in sports, snarky banter, updates on Tim Tebow’s virginity, and decent sports gambling advice.

2009-10 NBA Preview: Cleveland Cavaliers

Cleveland hasn’t won a championship in any major sports since before the Super Bowl was even created. Shaq was brought there to deliver a ring for Lebron, but will this be the last year the King will be there? Can Delonte West avoid hiding guns in guitar cases this season or is he this generation’s J.R. Rider? A lot of pressure is on the Cavs to go out and dominate every night, but is the pressure too much? Here is my 2009-10 NBA Preview for the Cleveland Cavaliers.

Additions/Subtractions – Cleveland made one of the biggest trades this off-season by acquiring Shaquill O’Neal from Phoenix. They made the trade without sending any contributors. They have all the pieces from last year, minus Wally Szczerbiak, who’s contract ran out. They added Leon Powe from the Celtics and Anthony Parker, Jamario Moon, and Rob Kurz all hope to make the team. I look for J.J. Hickson to get some minutes this year, since he had a year under his belt and he could be a nice addition to the rotation.

2009-10 Expectations – The Cavs are the NBA Championship or bust this year. They cashed in all their chips and this could be their last year with Lebron James on the roster. They can’t allow it to become a distraction, especially since Delonte West’s actions were enough to derail a team alone. They will need Mo Williams to become a more consistent offensive threat if this team wants to live up to their potential this season and get a ring on their finger. Shaq and Zudruna Ilgauskas are a nice two-headed monster at the center position and can match up with any team in the NBA. If the Cavs play up to their potential, it’s their championship to lose.

2009-10 Prediction – I don’t want a lot of hate mail from Cleveland fans, but I don’t forsee a title in their future. They will coast in the regular season, but they will have to go up against Boston and possibly Los Angeles in the NBA Finals and it’s going to be a tough. Shaq had a miracle season last year just by staying healthy and I don’t see that happening this year. A lot of pressure is on him to produce and deliver Lebron a title. If they don’t get a ring this year, Mike Brown could see his way out and Lebron could even leave for a better chance at a championship. I would like to see Cleveland win the title this year, but even though they look very good on paper, I am not sure if they will be able to do it.

2009-10 Win Total – 65-17

BallHype: hype it up! submit to redditDigg my article

A Sports & Entertainment blog that focuses on absurdity in sports, snarky banter, updates on Tim Tebow’s virginity, and decent sports gambling advice.

2009-10 NBA Preview: Detroit Pistons

The Pistons got rid of Allen Iverson and Rasheed Wallace, but added Ben Gordon and Charlie Villanueva this off-season. The core of this team is still there and an improvement on their 39 win season is in their future. Can Villanueva fill the shoes that Rasheed Wallace left? Can Rodney Stuckey take his game to the next level? How much does Richard Hamilton have left in the tank? Here is the 2009-10 NBA Preview for the Detroit Pistons.

Additions/Subtractions – The Pistons were one of the most active teams in free-agency this past off-season. They signed two of the best free agents available right off the bat. Ben Gordon and Charlie Villanueva signed the same day for big money and will be slotted into the starting line-up this season. They also went out and signed Chris Wilcox and Ben Wallace, which will fortify their roster depth. I like their draft picks coming in. Austin Daye is a long, athletic player and DaJuan Summers could turn into a useful player for the Pistons. Rasheed Wallace, Walter Herrmann, and Allen Iverson are no longer with the team, but only one of those players they will miss, I’ll let you decide which player that I am referring to.

2009-10 Expectations – After seven straight seasons of winning at least 50 games, they took a step back in 2008-09 and fell to 39-43. Michael Curry was fired as head coach and John Kuester was hired to lead the team. They signed Gordon and Villanueva to be fixtures on this team for years to come, but neither have really lived up to their potential so far in their NBA career. Gordon has proven to be a great sixth-man, but he is being paid “starter money” and Villanueva has only averaged 13.4 points per game since he was a lottery pick. They will miss Rasheed Wallace and his leadership, but Tayshaun Prince, Richard Hamilton, and Rodney Stuckey are still there to become the new leaders on this team. I believe the Pistons are expecting to be a top 5 seed in the East this year and if they don’t make to at least the 2nd round of the playoffs, this season will be a failure.

2009-10 Prediction – The Stuckey/Hamilton/Prince/Villanueva/Kwame Brown starting line-up will lead this team to the playoffs, but they need more PG depth. Prince will end up being an All-Star and Gordon should win the Sixth-Man of the Year award. They will bounce back from the 39-win season and get back near their normal 50 win total.

2009-10 Win Total – 49-33

BallHype: hype it up! submit to redditDigg my article

A Sports & Entertainment blog that focuses on absurdity in sports, snarky banter, updates on Tim Tebow’s virginity, and decent sports gambling advice.

2009-10 NBA Preview: New Jersey Nets

The Nets have a lot of young talent and the trade that sent Vince Carter to the Magic loaded them up with even more youth. Can the Nets finish the season over .500? Can Courtney Lee develop into an All-Star? Will the Nets miss Vince Carter? Will Brook Lopez finally get his cookie? Here is the 2009-10 NBA Preview of the New Jersey Nets.

Additions/Subtractions – The Nets made a big trade in the off-season that sent Vince Carter to Orlando for Courtney Lee, Tony Battie, and Rafer Alston. Lee will be in the starting line-up, while Alston will add depth at point-guard by backing up Devin Harris. I like Battie off the bench, he was an asset for the Magic and Celtics. I love the drafting of Terrence Williams, he was a very good player at Louisville and can help this team as a rookie. He’s a big of a goof ball, but this team needs some characters.

2009-10 Expectations – The Nets have went 34-48 the last two seasons and have finished above .500 since 2005-06. Brook Lopez, Devin Harris, Courtney Lee, Yi Jianlian, and Terrence Williams could be one of the best sets of young talent in the league. A few years from now, they could be competing in the East, but they are still all pretty green and they need some more experience under their belt. The expectations of this team is to possibly finish around .500 and make the playoffs as one of the last seeds. Lawrence Frank is one of the longest-tenured coach in the NBA and I don’t expect that a rough season would end in getting fired, but if the ownership change happens, anything can happen.

2009-10 Prediction – The young talent on the Nets will start to mature this year and lead this team to a better record and a spot in the playoffs. I do worry about Rafer Alston coming off the bench, if he embraces the back-up role, he can help, but if he doesn’t, he’ll end up in the doghouse or on another team.

2009-10 Win Total – 42-40

BallHype: hype it up! submit to redditDigg my article

A Sports & Entertainment blog that focuses on absurdity in sports, snarky banter, updates on Tim Tebow’s virginity, and decent sports gambling advice.