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Better Late Than Never: My 2011-2012 NBA Predictions

I had kind of been neglecting my blog the last few weeks amidst the hustle and bustle of the holiday season. I promise to get back to posting more in the new year, and I’ll start my finally posting my picks for the NBA season, even if the season is already a week old. So without further ado, here are my picks:

FINAL STANDINGS

EASTERN CONFERENCE

1. Heat

2. Bulls

3. Pacers

4. Celtics

5. Magic

6. Knicks

7. Hawks

8. Bucks

WESTERN CONFERENCE FINAL STANDINGS

1. Thunder

2. Nuggets

3. Spurs

4. Clippers

5. Lakers

6. Blazers

7. Mavericks

8. Grizzlies

PLAYOFFS

FIRST ROUND

Heat over Bucks in 4

Bulls over Hawks in 5

Knicks over Pacers in 7

Celtics over Magic in 7

Thunder over Grizzlies in 6

Nuggets over Mavericks in 7

Blazers over Spurs in 6

Clippers over Lakers in 7

The Western Conference playoffs could be outstanding. I love these potential series, how awesome would an all-Los Angeles playoff match-up be? And a Thunder-Grizz re-match in the first round? Yes, please. I think the Nuggets have the depth to excel in the shorten, compressed season, but how will they their talent translate to the playoffs? A re-match with the defending champs would be a tough, early test.

CONFERENCE SEMIFINALS

Heat over Celtics in 5

Bulls over Knicks in 7

Thunder over Clippers in 6

Nuggets over Blazers in 7

Thunder/Clippers, please happen. Blake comes home to OKC to battle KD. CP3 vs Westbrook. DeAndre Jordan vs Serge Ibaka. Yes. Please. And a good, old-fashioned Bulls/Knicks series? Love it.

CONFERENCE FINALS

Heat over Bulls in 6

Thunder over Nuggets in 5

NBA FINALS

Heat over Thunder in 6

Yep, we can all stop saying our lame LeBron doesn’t have any rings jokes. If LeBron and the Heat do win the title in 2012, LBJ will win his first ring in his ninth NBA season, at age 27. For comparison’s sake, Michael Jordan won his first championship in his seventh NBA season, at age 27…

AWARDS

MVP: Kevin Durant, OKC

KD leads the Thunder to the number one seed in the Western Conference and wins his first MVP award.

Rookie of the Year: Brandon Knight, DET

This is a tough call. There are a number of guys I could see taking home the award, including Kyrie Irving, Derrick Williams, Ricky Rubio and Jon Leuer (just kidding… although he’s off to a solid start). Knight isn’t surrounded by much talent in Detroit, so I think he’ll have a solid chance of being the team’s featured player.

Sixth Man of the year: James Harden, OKC

I’m not really sure why Harden isn’t a starter, but he should average over 20 points a game this season as the Thunder roll to the one seed in the West.

Defensive Player of the Year: Dwight Howard, ORL

It’s really hard to pick against Dwight, he’s such a force in the paint. So, I won’t.

Coach of the Year: George Karl, DEN

Like I said earlier, I think the Nuggets are built to win a lot of games in this shortened, compressed schedule. I think Denver will earn the second seed in the West thanks to their ten or eleven deep rotation. 

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