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Tag:Dwight Howard
Posted on: October 24, 2010 12:12 pm
 

NBA 2010: Breaking Out The Boldest Predictions

LeBron JamesKobe Bryant, Dwyane Wade,Dwight HowardKevin Durant.

Just typing and reading out loud the NBA’s top players names gets me pumped for the season.

After watching the USA team bring home the gold the only thing on my mind was the official start of the NBA season.

With tip-off roughly 56 hours away, NBAPrimetime’s Brandon Ribak presents the boldest predictions for the upcoming season.

NBA commentator Jeff Van Gundy voiced his predictions on the Miami Heat.

The former NBA coach had this to say about the team, “They will break the single-season win record [of 72]. And I think they have a legit shot at the Lakers’ 33-game [winning] streak [in 1971-72], as well. …They will never lose two games in a row this year.”

Analysis: While it would really be incredible to see Miami break Chicago’s epic 72-10 record, I don’t see it being a top priority for the Heat.

Even though the cast of LeBron James, Dwyane Wade, and Chris Bosh have a better chance then any team in the league to break the record, it doesn’t seem likely to happen, especially since chemistry is still an issue.

The Heat will face off against the Orlando Magic (4 times), Boston Celtics (4 times), and the Los Angeles Lakers (2).

Although fully capable of doing so, even winning all 10 of those games seems unlikely as of right now.

Prediction: Miami exceeds 60+ wins for the first time since the 96′-97′ season.

ESPN’s NBA cast gave their playoff predictions and the New York Knicks‘ Eastern Conference seed average was a 7.5.

Analysis: Amare Stoudemire, Raymond Felton, Anthony Randolph, and TimofeyMozgov have the ability to uplift this Knicks team into playoff contention.

With the East’s top 6 already in place (Miami, Boston, Orlando, Chicago, Atlanta, Milwaukee, in no particular order), the Knicks have the opportunity to sneak in as the 7 or 8 seed for the playoffs.

Prediction: Unless Stoudemire falls to a serious injury, or a team like the Pacers and/or Wizards compile for an unpredicted amount of W’s, the Knicks have the talent to secure their first playoff spot in six years.

ESPN’s Chad Ford predicted that the Portland Trail Blazers “could” be the best team in the West this season.

Analysis: The Blazers locker room was seriously affected by the injury bug last season and the team still managed to win 50 games due to their massive amount of talent.

With a virtually healthy roster (with an exception to Greg Oden) Portland undoubtedly has the ability to emerge as a dominant powerhouse out in the West.

Portland has been known to give the Lakers a difficult time when matching up (Blazers went 2-1 against LA last season) and just the other day when Kobe Bryant was asked who is the toughest player for him to guard in the Western Conference, he stated,

“Roy 365 days, seven days a week. Roy has no weaknesses.”

Prediction: The Trail Blazers have the coaching, leadership, depth, and talent to become a top team in the West. If Oden can somehow remain durable once he returns from injury, Portland will have a chance to overthrow the Lakers in the playoffs.

For more of Brandon's content be sure to check out NBAPrimetime.com and follow him on twitter @_nbaprimetime
Posted on: September 30, 2010 1:11 pm
 

NBA 2010 Eastern Conference Preseason Rankings

The 2010 NBA season is just around the corner and boy oh boy did we have one heck of an offseason.

From LeBron taking his talents to South Beach, to Shaq joining the Boston Celtics , to Amare Stoudemire joining the Knickerbockers, to Joe Johnson signing the offseasons fattest contract, this historic offseason will surely be one that goes down in the record books.

But enough of who went where. Let’s get into NBA Primetime’s official Eastern Conference Preason Rankings.

1. Miami Heat - Last season record (47-35)

Is too much star-power a bad thing? Miami boasts three of the top players in the league on their roster. Doubters believe a mixture of ego and chemistry could crumble this three-head monster (LeBoshade), but until then they enter as the team to beat in the East.

2. Orlando Magic - Last season record (59-23)

Shifting Rashard Lewis to his natural small-forward position will allow forwards Brandon Bass and Ryan Anderon to showcase their unseen talents. Bass will inevitably emerge as a beast in the paint while Anderson will arise as one of the leagues top three-point shooters. Oh yea, Orlando also has a 24-year-old Dwight Howard and Vince Carter , who’s itching to prove his worth after a disappointing season.

3. Boston Celtics - Last season record (50-32)

It’s tough to ever rule out Boston, regardless of how many gray hairs Garnett, both O’Neal’s, and Allen would have if they weren’t bald. Injuries continue to be the teams biggest concern, but with enough depth at the four and five spot the Celtics should be in for another deep playoff run.

4. Chicago Bulls - Last season record (41-41)

After leading the league in RPG and ranking second in BPG (during the regular season) last year, the Bulls acquired Carlos Boozer this offseason to provide the team with a dominate power-forward. The Bulls are young, talented, and deep with a new head-coach. What more can you ask for?

5. Milwaukee Bucks - Last season record (46-36)

Milwaukee surprised us all last year, winning the most regular season games (46) since the 2000-01′ season. With young gun Brandon Jennings leading the way, along with John Salmons , Corey Maggette (currently injured), Andrew Bogut, and Drew Gooden , the Bucks have the talent to rise as a top 5 team in the East.

6. Atlanta Hawks - Last season record (53-29)

It’s funny how Atlanta gives $126 million to Joe Johnson and somehow they drop in rankings. The Hawks have the same core with virtually the same roster as last season. Reigning Sixth Man of the Year Jamal Crawford continues to seek an extension, so keep tabs on just how well he plays this season if he fails to get one.

7. New York Knicks - Last season record (29-53)

Even though New York failed to acquire LeBron, they made a few impressive offseason moves that should land them in the postseason since who knows when. Amare Stoudemire will easily adjust to his former coach’s run-and-gun offense, while newcomers Raymond Felton and Anthony Randolph should quickly begin to excel in it. Knick fans are pumped for the upcoming season and for once, they should be.

8. Philadelphia 76ers - Last season record (27-55)

Head-coach Doug Collins should be able to turn this Sixers team (that won only 27 games last season) around this year. Jrue Holiday will start at the point and should emerge as one of the league leaders in steals. Spencer Hawes will get his opportunity to shine in a new light and rookie Evan Turner could make a case for the Rookie of the Year Award.

9. Washington Wizards - Last season record (26-56)

With John Wall and Gilbert Arenas penciled in as Washington’s backcourt duo, it wouldn’t come to a surprise if this team quickly becomes a serious threat in the East. Height and depth will ultimately be the Wizards’ weakness and that solely could be the reason why they miss the postseason.

10. Charlotte Bobcats - Last season record (44-38)

After making it to the playoffs for the first team in team history, Charlotte decided to let go of both their starting point-guard and center this offseason. 33-year old Nazr Mohammed will most likely start at the five spot with D.J. Augustin assuming the point-guard duties. Unless Darius Miles gets signed to the roster and somehow becomes a top player in the league, this Bobcats team is in for a downfall.

11. New Jersey Nets - Last season record (12-70)

Anything the Nets do this season will be considered a success due to their horrific 12-70 record last year. Devin Harris , Troy Murphy , and Brooke Lopez sound like a great core on paper, and if Derrick Favors could unleash the beast the Nets could make a run for a playoff spot. Don’t forget, New Jersey is still in the race to acquire Carmelo Anthony .

12. Indiana Pacers - Last season record (32-50)

Indiana hit the jackpot acquiring point-guard Darren Collison this offseason. Throw him into the starting lineup with Danny Granger and Roy Hibbert and you’ve got yourself a pretty decent core. It’ll take time before Indiana makes an appearance in the postseason, but they’re surely on the right path to success.

13. Detroit Pistons - Last season record (27-55)

Injuries plagued the Pistons last season and with Tracy McGrady on the roster, the injury bug could devastate this team once again. Ben Gordon and Charlie Villanueva will definitely improve after a terrible first year with Detroit and young guns Rodney Stuckey and Greg Monroe should be able to shine this season.

14. Toronto Raptors - Last season record (40-42)

Losing Chris Bosh will force this Raptors team to be entered in the draft lottery for years to come. Andrea Bargnani will lead the team in PPG, and Linas Kleiza is lined up to be in the race for the Most Improved Player Award. Aside from that, the Raptors will end the season near the bottom of the totem pole.

15. Cleveland Cavaliers - Last season record (61-21)

It’s truly crazy how one team could go from leading the league in wins (back-to-back seasons) to ranking dead last in their conference. LeBron James did it all for the Cavaliers and now being in a state of LeBron-less, this team is more likely to re-acquire James then make the postseason.


Posted on: September 18, 2010 11:46 am
 

Orlando Magic 2010-11 Season Preview

Orlando Magic

Last Season Record- 59-23 (.720) 2nd in East

2010-11 Season Record Prediction- 57-25 (.695) 2nd in East

Team Strengths 

The Magic enter the upcoming season with minimal tweaks to their roster. The additions of point-guard Chris Duhon and shooting-guard Quentin Richardson, along with role players such as J.J. Reddick, Marcin Gortat, Ryan Anderson, Brandon Bass, and Mickael Pietrus make Orlando one of the deepest teams in the league, if not the deepest.

While head coach Stan Van Gundy has yet to declare it, the Magic could be switching sharp-shooter Rashard Lewis over to his natural small-forward position, creating an opportunity for Brandon Bass to start at the four spot.

Last season Bass averaged just under 10 PPG and 3.2 RPG in 23 minutes per contest during the first nine games of the year (when Lewis was suspended).

With Bass and Dwight Howard dominating the paint and the leagues biggest three-point shooting threats surrounding the arc, the Magic will be in for another solid season.

Team Weaknesses

Vince Carter was expected to lead Orlando back to the NBA Finals last season after being acquired during the offseason.

Carter, 33, had one of his worst seasons in his career, shooting just 42.8 percent from the field and averaging only 16.6 PPG (career-low).

In addition, Rashard Lewis posted just 14.1 PPG (lowest since his sophomore season).

Without Hedo Turkoglu around to create mismatches at the top of the key and to distribute the ball to Rashard Lewis, it seems as if the Magic failed to find a way to get their shooters consistent open looks last season.

Orlando needs to figure out a way to get the ball into their shooters hands more often (Lewis averaged only 11.2 shots per game last season, Carter only 13.5, a career low) in order to be a serious threat against the elite teams in the league.


Posted on: September 14, 2010 5:44 pm
Edited on: September 14, 2010 5:47 pm
 

NBA Primetime's 2010-11 Fantasy NBA Draft Guide

NBA Primetime's owner, Brandon Ribak, and a few staff writers came together to create the ultimate fantasy NBA draft guide for all of you fantasy basketball fans out there.

Use our fantasy insight on draft day and be sure to check us out at NBAPrimetime.com for weekly fantasy tips on how to win your fantasy NBA league!

NBA Primetime’s Top Sleepers for the 2010-11 Season

Each and every season there are certain players that receive the opportunity to step up and play a new role for their organization.

These athletes average more playing time per game which ultimately leads to more production.

With the 2010 Fantasy NBA season nearing, here is a list of NBAPrimetime’s Top Fantasy Sleepers to draft onto your team (in no particular order, rookies are excluded from this list).

Darren Collison (PG, IND)- Collison has transitioned from the back-up point-guard role in New Orleans to being the starting one guard after getting dealt to Indiana. Last season Collison enjoyed an impressive rookie campaign, posting 18.8 PPG, 9.1 APG, and 1.4 SPG in 37 starts. With those type of numbers you can expect Collison to be snatched up early on during draft day.

D.J. Augustin (PG, CHA)- Augustin has shown flashes of brilliance throughout his short two year career when getting the chance to play starters minutes. With Raymond Felton now out of the picture Augustin will battle with Shaun Livingston for the starting point-guard role. If he emerges as the favorite he will be a nice sleeper this season.

J.J. Hickson (PF, CLE)- Other than Mo Williams and Antawn Jamison the Cavaliers have no consistent producers aside from young gun J.J. Hickson. Head-coach Byron Scott already announced that Hickson would be the teams starting power-forward for the upcoming season with Jamison coming off of the bench as the sixth man.

During last season when Hickson logged 30+ minutes per game (13 games) the forward averaged 14.3 PPG and 7.1 RPG. With no LeBron James to steal away fantasy production, Hickson should be averaging around a double-double with at least a steal and block per game.

Reggie Williams (SF, GS)- During the final month and a half of the regular season Reggie Williams broke out of the D-League boundaries, placing himself into the fantasy spotlight. In 24 games Williams dropped 15.2 PPG, 4.6 RPG, 2.8 APG, and 1.0 SPG on an impressive 49.5 percent from the field and 83.9 percent from the charity stripe.

With Corey Maggette now in Milwaukee, Williams will most likely fill into the role as the starting small-forward and will certainly be a fantasy sleeper on draft day.

Roy Hibbert (C, IND)- The 7’2″ center made a big leap from his rookie to sophomore year, averaging 11.7 PPG, 5.7 RPG, and 1.6 BPG in 25.1 MPG during his second season. At the age of 23 Hibbert still has much room for improvement, but from the looks of things the big fella is destined to make another giant stride this season. With Troy Murphy shipped to New Jersey, expect the center to grab 7 plus RPG along with over 2 BPG and around 13-15 PPG.

Drew Gooden (PF, MIL)- Although Gooden has played for nine different teams throughout his career, one thing has remained constant. Every team that has allowed him to average 30 plus MPG has received at least 11.3 PPG and 8.3 RPG from the power-forward.

Gooden is an extremely consistent forward that could grab boards in bunches. It looks as if he will land the starting gig in Milwaukee which can only mean good news for fantasy owners that draft the poor man’s Carlos Boozer.

Anthony Randolph (SF/PF, NYK)- In 22.7 minutes per action last season Anthony Randolph managed to score 11.6 PPG while grabbing 6.5 RPG, distributing 1.3 APG, and rejecting 1.5 BPG. The forward has a wingspan well beyond that of a seven-footers and has a very high ceiling for being just 21 years of age.

In Mike D’Antoni’s run and gun system Randolph should be able to excel on both ends of the court. Reports are stating that he will start the season at the small-forward position.

George Hill (PG/SG, SAS)- Hill enjoyed a break-out season with Tony Parker on the sidelines for the majority of the season just last year. With Parker back at full strength Hill won’t be able to emerge as a top guard in the league just yet, but his fantasy value will still be worthy of selecting on draft day.

Amir Johnson/Linas Kleiza (SF, TOR)- Johnson logged 17.7 MPG last season (career-high) while shooting a leagues best 62.3 percent from the field (based on players that played over 60 games last season). With Hedo Turkoglu now on the Phoenix Suns roster the Toronto Raptors will turn to the five-year forward to start at the three spot or Linas Kleiza.

Kleiza averaged 17.1 PPG, 6.5 RPG, and 1.3 APG on 54.0 percent shooting during the Euroleague 09-10 season. The 25 year-old is a terrific shooter and slasher, filling the back-up role for Carmelo Anthony during his first four seasons in the NBA.

On a new Toronto team that is in desperate need of a starting small-forward, Kleiza could get the starting nod ahead of Amir Johnson. If so, Kleiza could post close to the same averages as he did in the Euroleague.

 

Click here to get sent to the entire Fantasy Draft Guide on NBA Primetime.

 
 
 
 
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com