Saturday, November 13, 2010

2011 NBA Predictions

Every now and then a weird blog post appears on TDvsBL about basketball. I make no apologies though, because I still love this game. To make things a little more fun, I've compiled a mix for the top 16 teams in the league this year. This way you can read my descriptions for each team while listening to the appropriate jam on your computer speakers.

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After two entertaining weeks of watching various clips and games on League Pass, here are my predictions for what the playoff rankings will look like a few months from now:

East:

The power shift is complete. This year, the east is top heavy. The three best teams in the east can all beat any team in the west. I'm pretty confident that these are the eight teams we'll see in the playoffs. The order might change, but these are the best bets right now.

1. Boston Celtics



This feels like the last dance for Boston. They looked old last year. But after we saw what real veterans could do last year, it just feels like the Celtics are mature enough to steal the crown from the Lakers. And Rondo is now the best player on the team. Which is terrifying.

track 1: The Cool Kids - What It Is.
(Old school hip-hop with 2010 style. Yeah... yup. Boston is a brotherhood.)

2. Miami Heat


Yeah, they won't win 70 games. But they'll probably get 60. Which is awesome. LeBron and Wade will combine for the most highlights this season. They'll be way too much fun. They are capable of beating anyone. But will they? I don't think they'll get a championship this year, I see at least one year of growing pains. But after 2010-11, watch out...

track 2: Foals- Miami
(easy going rhythms to 60+ wins)

3. Orlando Magic


Dwight Howard is the best center in the league, and he has a lot of talent around him too. The Magic have enough to make it to the finals again, but there's still a glimmer of immaturity in this team. Especially compared to the Celtics, the Magic kinda look like kids on the basketball court.

track 3: Tobacco feat. Beck- Fresh Hex
(Magic = Hex.)

4. Chicago Bulls


Derrick Rose's confidence is out of this world. He has the ability to become the most improved player, even though he was excellent last year. When Boozer comes back, he really will add a lot to the team, pushing them into the top four of the eastern conference. Joakim Noah will be an All Star this year. The team will easily make it to the second round of the playoffs.

track 4: Kanye West- Take One For the Team
(Chicagoans Yeezy and D Rose, great team players and even better individual leaders in their respective games)

5. Atlanta Hawks


Almost exactly the same as last year, the Hawks are one of the most talented teams in the league. I don't know what it's going to take to push this team into the championship discussion, but they just don't have it. They'll give any team in the east trouble though, and might even upset one or two of the top four teams.

track 5: Robyn- Hang With Me
(Josh Smith gets hang time.)

6. Milwaukee Bucks


This team will challenge the Bulls for the central division, but they won't pull it off. They have more depth than the Bulls, but not as strong a leader. Jennings and Bogut will orchestrate some of the sickest plays of the season together, but this team still doesn't have that killer instinct. They won't get out of the first round again.

track 6: Bumblebeez 81- Pony Ride
(Ponies. Deer. Animals with hooves. They kick ass apparently.)

7. New York Knicks


Amare Stoudamire is arguably the best power forward in the league. He doesn't have much help around him on the Knicks' roster, but he makes them better this year. And with a still weak eastern conference, he's got more than enough to lead his team to a lower spot.

track 7: Yeasayer- ONE
(Brooklyn band, Amare's number. It works.)

8. Cleveland Cavaliers


The Cavs have something to prove this year. For the simple reason that they hate LeBron, they'll will their way into the playoffs. Antawn Jamison and Mo Williams are good basketball players, and will help this team win enough games during the regular season to get swept in the first round. Of course everyone will want a Heat/Cavs playoff, which is very possible actually (and would be a lot of fun).

track 8: Lee Dorsey- Yes We Can
(soulful, hopeful, and jammin'.)

West:

The west is much more difficult to predict. I didn't even include the Suns or Nuggets in the playoffs this year. Crazy? Maybe. But things were shaken up so hard this year I just don't see them pulling it off. I also feel the Nuggets will implode the day Carmelo leaves. If he sticks around, of course they'll make the playoffs, but who knows where or when he'll go (and he will go at some point). He's definitely the wildcard difference-maker for a lot of teams this season.

1. LA Lakers


Defending champs until dethroned. They've still got all of the elements of a winning team, and they might even do it again. But the Lakers have the toughest road ahead of them this year. The Thunder could do them in this year, as could any of the top teams in the east. But irregardless, the Lakers still have what it takes to three-peat.

track 9: Big Boi- Daddy Fat Sax
("Niggas wish [Kobe] would retire.")

2. Portland Trailblazers


This is aiming high, but the Blazers should've been the second-best team last year too. Remember all of those injuries though? It was uncanny. It won't happen again this year. And they'll be more determined to make up the ground they lost. Watch Brandon Roy closely, because he'll be the stealth killer this season.

track 10: Mos Def- Quiet Dog Bite Hard
(It's the stealth connection. Nobody expects Portland, but that's when they'll bite the hardest)

3. Oklahoma City Thunder


The country's favorite team (and for good reason) is the Thunder. They remind me of the old Charlotte Hornets when they emerged in the 90s' with Muggsy Bogues, Larry Johnson (Grandmama), and Alonzo Mourning. Kevin Durant can possibly snag the MVP award this year, and Russell Westbrook is very likely to get his first all-star nod. They'll make it out of the first round of the playoffs, and (like last year) give the Lakers a major challenge.

track 11: Kasper Bjorke- Thunderstorm
(self-explanatory)

4. Dallas Mavericks


Basically the same strong team Dallas had in the second half of the season last year, Dallas won't be a surprise this year. They won't be better or worse. They won't win a championship. They'll be respected around the league as one of the top 10 teams and they'll play solid basketball all season long. For some reason, I still feel bad for Mavs fans.

track 12: Sleigh Bells- Tell 'Em
(the Mavs walk the talk)

5. Utah Jazz


Losing Carlos Boozer, and a couple other Jazz players, shook the team up over the post-season, but D-Will is the best point guard in the league. By the end of the season, he may be dethroned by Rose or Westbrook, but for the moment, Williams is capable of getting his team to the second round by himself.

track 13: Broken Bells- High Road
(It's a joke about Mormons)

6. San Antonio Spurs


I think this is the last year for the Spurs, but they'll make a go at it regardless. Duncan, Parker and Ginobli are still there, playing well. These guys are champions, and they'll play like it.

track 14: Vitalic- Second Lives
(More like "last life," but it could be the championship we never expected in 2011)

7. New Orleans Hornets


Chris Paul got his team off to the best start of the year, but I honestly can't see him sustaining it for 82 games. Trevor Ariza is already starting to gel with his new team, and their energy will propel them into the playoffs with a lot of confidence. As long as they don't get the Lakers in the first round, they might even make it to the Western Finals.

track 15: Maximum Balloon with Theophilus London- Groove Me
(CP3 grooves. Oh yes.)

8. Memphis Grizzlies


Z-Bo, Rudy Gay, and OJ Mayo. If these guys continue to grow together, Memphis could have their own organic version of the big three. The talent is there, they just have to push harder this season if they want to make the playoffs.

track 16: Slim Thug, TI and Bun B- Three Kings, Ratatat Remix
(Three kings in the south. This is how it sounds in Memphis)

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