Around the start of the NBA season I looked at SI.com’s predictions of the upcoming season. Now that the season is finally over lets see how they did:
1. Who will win the NBA title? No one had the Lakers and Celts. Also no one had the Lakers in the finals, and the 2 people who picked Boston had them losing. Paul Forrester really blew it with a Mavericks-Bulls final. The Bulls were horrible this year and the Mavs got bounced easily in the first round.
2. Who will be the regular season MVP? Not one person picked Kobe
3. What team will be the biggest surprise? Jack McCallum picked the Bulls, and if he picked them for their total collapse this season and finished 16 games below .500. Oops. Forrester was the closest by picking the Hawks, who at least made the playoffs this year, but were still 8 games below .500. Clearly the biggest surprise this season were the New Orleans Hornets who no one picked, of course.
4. Who will be the biggest disappointment? Some guys really nailed this one. Marty Burns and Chris Mannix both picked the Heat, and they were absolutely right. The Heat really tanked and Riley decided it was time to retire from coaching again. Steve Aschburner selected the Mavericks, which I have no argument against. Unfortunately, Ian Thomsen picked the Lakers and claimed they wouldn’t even make the playoffs.
5. What player will break out and become a star? This could be painful:
Ian Thomsen picked Andrea Bargnan from Toronto, he of the awesome 10.2 PPG and shooting 38% from the field.
Marty Burns took Rudy Gay who did have a decent year for the truly awful Grizzlies at 20 PPG
Bostjan Nachbar of the Nets was Chris Mannix’s pick. The guy shot a sparkling 9.8 PPG at about a 40% clip.
McCallum and Aschburner both took Luol Deng, and he put up 17 PPG. As high as he was taken, and this being his fourth season in the league I would like that number to be closer to 20. This is particularly true when you consider his PPG, shooting percentage and rebounds per game all dipped from the previous year.
Finally Forrester chose LaMarcus Aldridge of the Trailblazers. He did almost double his scoring from his rookie season to 17.8 per game.
I don’t see any stars here…
6. Which coach opens the season on the hot seat? Meh. That is more for the beginning of the year lets move on.
7. Who will be the best rookie? In the end, whoever didn’t pick Kevin Durant was a fool, and that would be Thomsen and Burns who both picked Luis Scola. Durant averaged 20.3 PPG breaking the rookie record for the Sonics
8. What will be the leagues biggest controversy? A couple of guys picked Donaghy, which is the story that still has legs. Forrester said a star would test positive for a PED, and that didn’t happen.
9. Will Kobe Bryant be traded? Only Mannix and Forrester said yes, and we know how that went
10. If you think Kobe is staying, then who will be the biggest name traded during the season? Everyone else said Jermaine O’Neal. Wrong. Wrong. Wrong.
Good job guys, see ya next season!!!!