FanPost

NBA 2011-'12 League-Wide Predictions

Blake_griffin_high_fives_deandre_jordan_medium
Blake Griffin and DeAndre Jordan form a powerful frontcourt in LA. But can they, along with Paul, lead the Clips to a title? If so, they'll have to find a way to cool down the Heat.

Hey guys, this post is just a bit of fun for me personally, predicting the 2011-12 NBA season. I'll jump right in by predicting the final standings of the East and West.

Eastern Conference

1. Miami Heat

2. New York Knicks

3. Chicago Bulls

4. Philadelphia 76ers

5. Atlanta Hawks

6. Indiana Pacers

7. Orlando Magic

8. Milwaukee Bucks

___________

9. Boston Celtics

10. New Jersey Nets

The Heat finish on top, with the Knicks lurking. Tyson Chandler and Baron Davis will prove to be big additions to the Knicks. I think the Magic will trade Howard (along with Jameer Nelson) for Bynum, Gasol, Darius Morris, and 2 1st round picks. They will drop off a bit this year but will be better for the future. The Bucks squeeze in at the 8th spot, thanks to an implosion by the Celtics, who will feel the loss of the Jeff Green for the season, as well as Pierce and Garnett for extended periods due to injuries.

Western Conference

1. LA Clippers

2. LA Lakers

3. Oklahoma City Thunder

4. Dallas Mavericks

5. Portland Trailblazers

6. San Antonio Spurs

7. Memphis Grizzlies

8. Golden State Warriors

_____________

9. New Orleans Hornets

10. Denver Nuggets

Not only did the Clippers add Paul, but DeAndre Jordan is an emerging stud, and Billups and Butler each bring something to the table. The only issue is depth up front, but I think they will move Mo Williams to add a backup big. The Lakers and Dwight Howard finish second. Durant and Westbrook out-tandem Nowzitki and Terry, finishing 3rd. Looking down the list, I think good things are a-brewing in Golden State, with Steph Curry taking the next step and Lee and Biedrins both staying healthy for a season. The Hornets will still be in the hunt without CP3, led by Eric Gordon averaging 25 Points.

Playoffs

Eastern Conf.

2nd Round

Knicks Def. Bulls 4-3

Heat Def. Hawks 4-1

EC Finals

Heat Def. Knicks 4-3

Western Conf.

2nd Round

Clippers Def. Mavs 4-2

Thunder Def. Lakers (Upset) 4-3

WC Finals

Clippers Def. Thunder


NBA FINALS

Heat Def. Clippers 4-3

Not a major surprise that I have the Miami Thrice winning it all. I think the difference between them last year and this year is having legit depth (adding Battier and having Miller and Haslem healthy, having Chalmers and Cole sharing the point), plus I really think LeBron is an improved player. I watched both of their preseason games, he's posting up now and hitting tough, contested mid-range shots like they are nothing.

Individual Awards

Here, I'll tell you who I expect to win the individual awards, such as MVP and Rookie of the Year.

Most Valuable Player

Winner: Kevin Durant

In The Hunt:

2. LeBron James

3. Chris Paul

4. Derrick Rose

5. Carmelo Anthony

Durant is going to score around 28-29 PPG again, and will grab around 8 boards per. That combined with a 3rd place finish and 45 wins (in a 66 game season, that's 45-21) will earn him the most prestigious individual award in basketball.

Rookie Of The Year

Winner: Jimmer Fredette

In The Hunt:

2. Kyrie Irving CLE

3. Derrick Williams MIN

4. Darius Morris (Traded from LAL to ORL)

5. Ricky Rubio MIN

I forsee alot of minutes in Sacramento at Point Guard being alotted to Fredette, possibly as much as 30 per game. That, plus the fact that he's ready to contribute right now, means he will win the award, averaging almost 15 PPG and 5 assist while making 45% from 3-pt range. Irving will see alot of minutes as well, but will struggle with his FG%. Darius Morris will get traded to Orlando where he will quickly show what he can do and outlast Chris Duhon for minutes at PG.

Most Improved Player

Winner: Evan Turner

In The Hunt:

2. Tyreke Evans

3. DeAndre Jordan

4. Eric Gordon

5. Jeff Teague

I think this is Turner's year, after a rookie campaign where he failed to impress in limited minutes. He will lead the 4th seed 76ers in points and assists. Tyreke Evans will shake off whatever was plagueing him last season, and regain control of the court in Sacramento. DeAndre Jordan looks like a bloomer in LA, while his former teammate Eric Gordon will score over 20 ppg for the Hornets. Jeff Teague is a swifty point guard on the rise.

Sixth Man

Winner: James Harden

In The Hunt:

2. Jason Terry

3. Jodie Meeks PHI

4. Jamal Crawford

A pretty easy pick, Harden will log solid minutes off the bench in OKC, sharing the backcourt with Westbrook and averaging 16 PPG. Terry will be in the hunt as usual, and sharpshooter Jodie Meeks is a new face for the 76ers.

Coach Of the Year

Winner: Vinny Del Negro LAC

In The Hunt:

2. Erik Spoelstra MIA

3. Doug Collins PHI

4. Mike Brown LAL

5. Scott Brooks OKC

With the Clippers finishing 1st in the West, I see Del Negro getting it. Collins gets alot of recongnition for leading the 76ers to over 40 wins and the 4th seed.

Defensive Player

Winner: Russell Westbrook

In The Hunt:

2. Tyson Chandler

3. Dwight Howard

4. Andrew Bogut

5. Serge Ibaka

Westbrook will be leading the NBA in steals, and will have a number of highlight blocks as well. After that, it's bigs with big wingspans, using their length to block shots.

So there you have it, my 2011-12 predictions for the NBA. I'll probably look back at this after the season and see how I did, maybe I should have a job with ESPN.

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