CatAstrophe, Chronicles, Codespyder, JMD, Steelfan714, let's do this.
Preseason starts in 10 days. The regular season starts on Christmas day, which means I have just under 20 days to come up with enough money for NBA TV. I'm going to be a lot more involved in this season. It'd be rad if you guys could direct your NBA-friendly friends here to participate in the discussion.
Christmas day is beautiful. You just sit there and watch five NBA games back to back. I can't think of a better way to spend a day. Here are the matchups for Christmas day (tips in bold):
Celtics @ Knicks
Heat @ Mavericks
Bulls @ Lakers
Magic @ Thunder
Clippers @ Warriors
The season is 66 games instead of the regular 82, but the games are scheduled closer together than they would otherwise be. How will this change things? Teams will have to have higher intensity over a shorter amount of time.
(on being scheduled to play 3 games back to back): We did that last Summer during the world championships, and I was playing 25 minutes a game, so I was drained. Imagine playing 40 minutes, or something like 44 minutes back to back to back. But that's what you play for.Full Kevin Durant interview
The modified schedule obviously benefits the younger teams. So expect to see 2010-2011 leaders Bulls repeat form, and also expect great performances from other younger teams, including the Thunder, Knicks, and Hornets. Expect to see older teams such as Boston, Lakers, and Spurs begin to struggle towards the end of the season as the disadvantage of old age begins to become more significant than the advantage of accumulated basketball experience.Griffin thinks that this will benefit the Clippers too.
Mo Williams has promised that the Clippers will make the playoffs this year. Personally, I don't know if they can do it, even with the abridged season as an advantage. I'd have to wait to see how their line up has changed before speculating with any certainty, though.
The hardest part about making predictions for me is considering how the draft will change things, because I don't really know anything about the prospects (I don't get much College Ball on my television here). Anyway, here are the top 5 entries to the league this year:
1. Kyle Irving (point guard) goes to Cavaliers from Duke Full commented list of draft picks
2. Derreck Williams (forward) goes to Timberwolves from Arizona
3. Enes Kanter (centre) goes to Utah from Kentucky
4. Tristan Thompson (power forward) goes to Cavaliers from Texas
5. Jonas Valanciunas (centre) goes to Cavaliers from Lithuania.
So Cavaliers get 2 of the top 5 picks. I guess that means they should have a solid rebuilding year or two then start to return to being competitive? Does anyone in that list stand out as being strong enough to bring any of the teams to form?
It is kind of obligatory here on DM that we predict the winners, so I will tentatively do that:
Eastern top 4 in no particular order: Bulls, Heat, Knicks, Bucks.
Western top 4 in no particular order: Lakers, Mavericks, Thunder, Suns.