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NBA Season 2010

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The off season prior to the start of the 2010 NBA season will come down in history as the Free Agent Bonanza. With a ton of talent ready to jump their proverbial ships, the rest of the NBA was jousting for position to land LeBron, Amar’e Stoudamire, Larry Hughes, Dwayne Wade, Chris Bosch, Joe Johnson, Dirk Nowitzki, Carlos Boozer, Paul Pierce, Manu Ginobili, David Lee, Yao Ming and Tracey McGrady to name but a few. The team to land the trifecta was the Miami Heat who inked LeBron James, Chris Bosh and retained Dwayne Wade After that, the rest of the free agency fell into place. Amare’ Stoudamire left Steve Nash in Phoenix and signed on with the New York Knicks.

In the Western Conference, the LA Lakers are still the top dog and are actively pursuing another 3-peat. Not only do they have the same team that won it all last season, they added former Cavalier Matt Barnes and Steve Blake to the mix for some deep scoring depth. The Oklahoma City Thunder are another team that is young, athletic and destined for greatness. Led by Kevin Durant, Russell Westbrook and Jeff Green, this team may learn what it takes to tangle with the Lakers come playoff time. Look out for the Dallas Mavericks, who re-signed their star forward Dirk Nowitzki in the offseason, to again be led by the ageless Jason Kidd. Kidd, who still averages 36 plus minutes a game will be subbed out with the Mav’s young gun point guard Rodrigue Beaubois. The only problem with the Mavericks is their depth. One or two injuries to key players and there is no one on the bench to depend on. The Denver Nuggets should also provide a challenge to opposing teams. After signing Al Harrington and Shelden Williams to strengthen their backcourt and the team is benefitng from the play of undrafted rookie forward Gary Forbes who is averaging 7.8 points per game and has hit 5 of 9 three point bombs. Other power teams who could emerge the Western Conference Champions are the San Antonio Spurs, the Portland Trailblazers and the Utah Jazz.

In the Eastern Conference, the Miami Heat are the team to beat. With the resigning of Dwayne Wade who is now joined by LeBron James and Chris Bosch, the Heat are a deadly three-headed monster led by Dwayne Wade’s 26.0 points per game, LeBron’s 20.6 points per game, Bosch’s 14.8 points per game and James Jones’ 10.4 points per game. The Boston Celtics will sport three starters who are 33 or older and Shaq who is 38. The upside is a young bench with Rajon Rondo, Glen “Baby” Davis and Luke Harangody. Barring any injuries to their top players, the Celtics should be there in the end battling for a piece of the Eastern Conference crown. Other teams to look for include the Atlanta Hawks, the Orlando Magic, the New York Knicks and the Chicago Bulls. The Hawk are currently the NBA’s best shooting team at .498 sporting six players who average double figures (Joe Johnson-20.8, Al Horford-17.1, Jamal Crawford-15.7, Josh Smith-14.4, Mike Bibby-11.5 and Maurice Evans-10.8).

Top Five Predicted 2011 Finish:

WESTERN CONFERENCE EASTERN CONFERENCE
Los Angeles Lakers Miami Heat
Oklahoma City Thunder Orlando Magic
San Antonio Spurs Boston Celtics
Dallas Mavericks Atlanta Hawks
Utah Jazz Cleveland Cavaliers

The NBA was turned on its ear during the summer of 2004. The unbeatable foursome of Gary Payton, Karl Malone, Kobe Bryant, and Shaquille O’Neal were getting blasted by a bunch of role players in the NBA Finals. When did teams start winning basketball games!? I thought superstar laden groups of individuals won championships; well that’s what Jerry Buss and Mitch Kupchak thought before they got blasted by Larry Brown and his Pistons

 
 

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