Let’s take a momentary break from fake basketball to focus a bit on Razzball’s real basketball predictions for the 2010 season. I’m of two minds about making preseason predictions about the league on a grand scale. If I’m wrong, I’ve voluntarily published my wrongness for anyone to see. That’s not good for my self-esteem. Then again, if I’m way off, it means the season was full of surprises and it was well worth the time I spent invested in it. Here are my predictions for basketball’s post-season awards who’s getting closest to a new banner in their stadium.

Eastern Conference Champion – Orlando Magic – The question here is less about why I’m going with Orlando than why am I not going with Miami. I’ll leave the Stan Van Gundy versus Eric Spoelstra argument for another time. As brilliant as Miami’s trio is  (and they are), no team in the league is as deep as the Magic. The Heat are a collection of players with varying degrees of talent. The Magic are a team. Having said that, if the Heat end up winning 73 games this season, I’m deleting this entire post.

Western Conference Champion – L.A. Lakers – If not the Lakers in the West, who? The Lakers are like Tiger Woods five years ago. If you could bet on Woods or any other golfer on any other tour, smart money bet on Woods. Also, I’m pretty sure the Lakers as a collective have also schtupped several dozen breakfast servers.

NBA Finals Champion – L.A. Lakers – Anyone get the feeling Phil Jackson’s going to take his dozen rings and disappear like Thomas Pynchon?

Rookie of the Year – Blake Griffin – Truth be told, I think John Wall might have a better season, but the Clippers have a better shot at the postseason. The player with the better team will win this award. You heard me, DeMarcus Cousins.

Most Valuable Player – LeBron James – I’m a bit embarrassed to say it, but I’m really curious if he’s going to toss the talcum powder in the air before each Miami game or if he’s going to leave that shoplifted shtick in Cleveland. He can’t, right? I mean, Hulk Hogan didn’t tell kids to say their prayers and take their vitamins when he turned into a villain.

Most Improved Player – Roy Hibbert – Bill Walton wouldn’t allow anything less. Darren Collison is also on my shortlist for this award. Danny Granger won it two seasons ago. Yet the Pacers won’t win 35 games this season. What’s my point? Three great players do not a great team make. So stop bugging me about my Orlando Magic pick from earlier, okay?

Defensive Player of the Year – Dwight Howard – To paraphrase “The Social Network,” ‘if anyone else were the best defender in the league, they’d have won Defensive Player of the Year.’

Go ahead and drop your predictions in the comments so that I don’t have to go down all by myself.

  1. d2bnz says:

    I remember last year around this time one of my keeper leagues ran a poll on picking the finalists and i plumped for magic/spurs, this year 2010 I have different thoughts……Lakers / Celtics
    I’m pretty much picking the Lakers by default …..the only team that gave them any sort of competition in the post season last year was the Thunder and I don’t see them as ready to tip the Lakers over just yet.
    The Celtic’s ……regardless of what Miami may do in regard to a season streak of wins playoff basketball is a different beast , we know that Shaq knows how to negotiate the regular season and they still have their big 3 plus the ultimate complimentary player the self proclaimed “best PG in the league” Rondo …..I’m sure the Celts still have a small window of opportunity.

  2. barker says:

    18 team league H2H a/t ratio off reb def reb 3 pt % ftm and fgm as extra stats whatcha think
    pg sg g sf pf f c c util util util
    should i drop jason williams for reggie evans
    hibbert went right b4 i picked okafor is that a big downgrade??
    1.(12) Deron Williams PG
    2.(25) Al Horford PF,C
    3.(48) Zach Randolph PF,C
    4.(61) Gilbert Arenas PG,SG
    5.(84) Emeka Okafor C
    6.(97) Anthony Morrow SG,SF
    7.(120 D.J. Augustin PG
    8.(133) Tiago Splitter SF,PF,C
    9.(156) Marvin Williams SF,PF
    10.(169) Jeff Teague PG,SG
    11.(192) Udonis Haslem PF,C
    12.(205) Arron Afflalo SG
    13.(228) Ersan Ilyasova SF,PF
    14.(241) Chase Budinger SG,SF
    15.(264) Chuck Hayes PF,C
    16.(277) Jason Williams PG

  3. thepizzaman says:

    Took a flier on Yao last night in the 9th round..I feel that if he is healthy, he will far surpass his rankings and be a great value

    Any thoughts on that Adam?

  4. KamanYourFace says:

    12 Team, H2H, 9 Cats, 5 Keepers

    1. Dwyane Wade (K)
    2. Chris Bosh (K)
    3. Al Jefferson (K)
    4. Derrick Rose (K)
    5. Danilo Gallinari (K)
    6. Steve Nash
    7. Kevin Martin
    8. Luis Scola
    9. Linas Kleiza
    10. Dorell Wright
    11. James Harden
    12. Jarrett Jack
    13. Arron Afflalo
    14. Yi Jianlian
    15. Tyson Chandler

    How would you rank this team? Thinking I am going to be a bit light in rebounds and blocks. Any thoughts on potential trades or waiver pick ups to target?

    Free Agents Available:
    Shawn Marion
    Mehmet Okur
    Jermaine ONeal
    Tayshaun Prince
    Ronnie Brewer
    Taj Gibson
    Travis Outlaw
    Jason Thompson
    Omri Casspi
    Marreese Speights
    Corey Brewer
    Mike Bibby
    Steve Blake
    Hakim Warrick
    Tyler Hansbrough
    Zydrunas Ilgauskas
    Sonny Weems
    Randy Foye
    Kenyon Martin
    Brandan Wright
    Rudy Fernandez
    Martell Webster
    CJ Miles
    Raja Bell
    Kelanna Azubuike

  5. Brade says:

    I agree that Orlando might end up the #1 seed in the East, but I have to think Miami will top them in the playoffs and advance to the Finals. The more apt comparison for the Heat (aside from the NWO) is the Big 3 in Boston a few years ago: immediate dividends. I may not like it, but that’s how I see it.

    As much as I want to pick against the Lake Show, who else is there? The coaching prowess of Jerry Sloan and the mix of players who actually want to be there could mean good times for Utah. But I’m putting my balls to the wall and calling OKC for the finals. This will depend on multiple Laker injuries, but the odds are decent for that, so that’s my pick.

    NBA champ: Heat

    MVP: Durant

    Rookie: Wall

    Those other awards: Whatevz

    BTW the Juwanna League was magically filled and the draft complete. There were a couple of “public” joiners, thus resulting in Rondo being taken #2 overall. But hey, we’ll see what happens: http://games.espn.go.com/fba/standings?leagueId=109094

  6. Adam

    Adam says:

    @d2bnz: I considered the Celtics and I do believe they’ll be a force in the East. I’m just not sold on any of their four centers. Too old. Too hurt. Too Perkins-y.

    @barker: With Duhon on the roster, Jason Williams won’t give you much value. Drop him for someone who will. And yeah, Okafor is a big downgrade from Doctor Hibbert. I like that Haslem pick and Teague is a must-own upside pick in deep leagues.

    @thepizzaman: Meh. A flier is fine, but I have more hope for Bynum and Oden this season than Yao. The fact is, currently Yao IS healthy and Houston is (smartly) limiting his minutes to 24 per game. Added to which, they’ll probably sit him in back-to-backs for weeks with more than three games in it. That averages out to Yao playing 24 mpg in about 65 games this season. Perhaps come December/January this gameplan changes, in which case, I’d be warmer toward Yao.

    @KamanYourFace: I’d consider dropping Chandler for Taj. Gibson will produce well while Boozer is out, then when Boozer returns, I’m sure you’ll have found another big to take Gibson’s place.

    @Brade: I’d love to see the Eastern and Western powers topple this season. Mostly because everyone on powerful teams have smug faces. I hate smug faces. Re: Juwanna Man RCL – Hey, great news Brad. Thanks.

  7. Ray says:

    12 Team H2H 9-cat, Weekly Lineup Changes. Just drafted this last night, what do you think?:
    1. (1) Kevin Durant (OKC – SF)
    2. (24) Al Jefferson (Uta – PF,C)
    3. (25) Tyreke Evans (Sac – PG,SG)
    4. (48) Jason Richardson (Pho – SG,SF)
    5. (49) Blake Griffin (LAC – PF)
    6. (72) Paul Millsap (Uta – PF)
    7. (73) Eric Gordon (LAC – SG)
    8. (96) DeMarcus Cousins (Sac – PF,C)
    9. (97) JaVale McGee (Was – PF,C)
    10. (120) Ben Gordon (Det – SG)
    11. (121) D.J. Augustin (Cha – PG)
    12. (144) Jeff Teague (Atl – PG,SG)
    13. (145) Omri Casspi (Sac – SG,SF)
    I will say, drafting with Durant first is tougher than I thought. I usually used early picks on guys like Dwight Howard or CP3, it’s a lot easier to draft around guys who really clearly lock up stats. Feels like I’m missing the PGs to play small ball but missing the C’s to play big

    West: Lakers, East: Boston, Finals: Lakers; MVP: Durant, MIP: Tyreke Evans, DPOY: Howard

  8. Steve Mc says:

    12 team Dynasty league – would you trade Manu for Conley/Thad Young?

  9. Adam

    Adam says:

    @Ray: Yeah, you just don’t have the PGs for small ball. I’d hang on to both Augustin and Teague as possible trade chips to bubble teams looking for an extra PG. I’d consider dropping Casspi. Re: your bigs – could go either way on your team. If Cousins and McGee perform well, you should be fine. If not…

    @Steve Mc: Nah.

  10. I had a copy of your H2H top 200 in my hand when I drafted, so I went with Dwight Howard as my 1st round (7th slot) pick. You had him ranked 4th, most people had him around 10th. Therefore, Dwight better be Defensive Man of the Decade of the World(TM).

  11. Adam

    Adam says:

    @ChrisV82: He’s had a 95 DRtg since 2007. If you don’t consider him the DMotDotW so far, you might be too hard to please.

  12. AnotherFalstaff says:

    @Adam – Also had KD at #1 and experienced the same difficulties. Where do I look to shore up? 12 team H2H. Thanks!

    1. (1) – KD (SF/F)
    2. (24) – Horford (PF,F,C)
    3. (25) – Tyreke (PG,SG,G)
    4. (48) – JRich (SG,G,SF,F)
    5. (49) – Murphy (PF,F,C)
    6. (72) – Harris (PG,G)
    7. (73) – Hibbert (C)
    8. (96) – Jameer (PG,G)
    9. (97) – Batum (SG,G,SF,F)
    10. (120) – RWilliams (SG,G,SF,F)
    11. (121) – Oden (C)
    12. (144) – GHill (PG,SG,G)
    13. (145) – Beaubois (PG,SG,G)
    14. (168) – Hawes (C)
    15. (169) – Dragic (PG,G)

  13. Adam

    Adam says:

    @AnotherFalstaff: If you’re punting assists, then I might get rid of Jameer and trade him for someone who provides BLKs. There’s too much risk on your team in that category (Hibbert is still young, Oden is still injured) and Horford is your only other legitimate option there.

    If you’re not planning on punting assist, you should.

  14. AnotherFalstaff says:

    @Adam – All the better PG’s flew off the board so I got stuck. I agree that I need to punt assists. If I can’t trade for a big, should I try to boost my %’s with another PF?

  15. Adam

    Adam says:

    @AnotherFalstaff: Your percentages and blocks. Especially the blocks.

  16. AnotherFalstaff says:

    @Adam – Thanks! I’m trying to turn Jameer and Hawes into Okafor. Speights, DeAndre, Tolliver and McRoberts are my best WW options.

  17. Bob says:

    @Adam: Don’t really care much about Fantasy Basketball (I never heard of Tiago Splitter until I drafted him), but I’m a huge (old Lakers fan). As such, I think they did brilliantly this year adding bench strength and depth. Baring injury, I think it’s a Three-peat. Looking forward to taking on whoever survives in the East. No predictions on that.

    I drafted DeMarcus Cousins so I hope he’s ROY. My main competitor stole Blake Griffin for a now benched and injured Marcus Thornton in a pre-season rape (err, I mean trade), so I hope BG suffers nagging injuries all year on the always pathetic Clippers.

  18. Quintero says:

    Rank Arron Afflalo, Carlos Delfino or Marco Belinelli please.

  19. Adam

    Adam says:

    @Bob: Ugh. I can only assume either heavy gin consumption or a gun was involved in that trade.

    @Quintero: Delfino, Afflalo, Belinelli. All of those sound like pasta styles.

  20. Steve Mc says:

    @Adam: so you like the Manu side better than Conley/Young? You don’t see him losing a step anytime soon?

  21. Adam

    Adam says:

    @Steve Mc: Not enough steps so that Conley and Young are worth more than he is.

  22. Quintero says:

    @Adam: Thanks!

    btw, I’m suggesting Marlos Affinolli as a razzball-basketball glossary. Like Grey’s Crapolanco.

    Marlos Affinolli, an undesirable swingman who only contributes modest in pts, 3s and stl. Merely a warm body you plug-in before something better shows up.

    “Just picked up two Marlos Affinollis after a 3-for-1 trade. Hmm, maybe I should order spaghetti for dinner?”

  23. Adam

    Adam says:

    @Quintero: Ha! Love it. It’s going in.

  24. Quintero says:

    @Adam: Thanks, glad that you like it!

    My team, 12-team H2H

    PG Tyreke Evans (Sac – PG,SG)
    SG Vince Carter (Orl – SG,SF)
    SF Kevin Durant (OKC – SF)
    PF Paul Millsap (Uta – PF)
    C Andris Biedrins (GS – C)
    Util Devin Harris (NJ – PG)
    Util Tony Parker (SA – PG)
    Util Kevin Love (Min – PF,C)
    BN Marco Belinelli (NO – SG)
    BN Terrence Williams (NJ – SG,SF)
    BN D.J. Augustin (Cha – PG)
    BN J.J. Hickson (Cle – PF,C)

    My team is not very good at any category unless those four bench players pay off, so I’m thinking punt 3s and gain on stl, ast, and maybe blk.

    Is sending Harris/Carter/Belinelli for Rondo and picking up Rip/Hawes a good idea? Or wait to see how my sleepers do and can ‘Reke make 3s? Trade or wait?

  25. Bad at Fantasy says:

    10 team H2H league with no 3PM, but adding MP, 3%, A/T, OReb, Dreb and fouls.

    My team is

    SF Durant
    PF Josh Smith
    F Paul Millsap
    PG Collison
    SG Tyreke Evans
    G Tony Parker
    C Noah
    C Anthony Randolph
    UT Marcus Thornton
    UT Luis Scola
    BN Batum
    BN Oden
    BN Johny Flynn
    BN Wilson Chandler
    BN Ty Lawson

    I’m pretty sure I’m going to do poorly, but I’m curious why? Is it because I’m impulsive? Because I took Marcus Thornton and Wilson Chandler because I dislike them enough that they’ll be easy to drop? What should i do? Thank you for your time.

    Oh yeah, I love your writing.

  26. foulmouth says:


    Do you still rank K Love in your roto standings at 43 or do you bump him up a bit?

  27. Adam

    Adam says:

    @Quintero: First you’ll need to decide what you want your team to be. Trading three players to get Rondo isn’t a good idea unless you’re going to turn it into a team that will be competitive in AST and STLs (right now it isn’t). As is, you’ve got a high rebounding, high-scoring team and a glut of players who do 1-2 things fairly well and everything else mildly. I’d wait. See how things play out in the first few weeks and if necessary after that, target owners who have one specific need and shop the players you don’t have a place for (i.e. teams that need FG% and assists, offer them Parker, etc.) Define your strengths first, build on the categories that you’re on the bubble and punt the ones you don’t have a chance.

    @Bad at Fantasy: Thanks for the kind words. Your team isn’t that bad, really. You need PGs. I might consider seeing what you can get for Randolph. His upside is Josh Smith, who you already own and the odds of him reaching his full potential soon or even this season seem to dwindle the farther he falls out of D’Antoni’s good graces. If you can get someone like Jrue Holiday or Devin Harris, I’d go for it. If you want to keep Randolph for his blocking potential, you might as well wait and see how your roster performs before changing it all around.

    @foulmouth: I’d put him somewhere between 35-40 at this point.

  28. d2bnz says:

    Finished my drafts ……startled at how little ownership Nic Batum has in fantasy CBS are telling me 37%. Are there really that many uninformed

  29. Quintero says:

    @Adam: Great analysis, seeing the things that I’m afraid to see. I’ll wait and see how things go, thanks!

  30. Adam

    Adam says:

    @d2bnz: Yup. They’ll see.

    @Quintero: I hope it works out for you. Good luck.

  31. celtic_shire says:

    9 Cat – H2H

    Should I trade M. Gasol for Tyreke or Monta to get points/assists/steals? I think I am OK on rebounds, percentages, and 3’s.

    PG Steve Nash (Pho – PG)
    SG Ray Allen (Bos – SG)
    G Andre Miller (Por – PG)
    SF Kevin Durant (OKC – SF)
    PF Chris Bosh (Mia – PF,C)
    F Kevin Love (Min – PF,C)
    C Marc Gasol (Mem – C)
    C Roy Hibbert (Ind – C)
    Util O.J. Mayo (Mem – SG)
    Util Michael Beasley (Min – PF)
    BN Devin Harris (NJ – PG)
    BN Linas Kleiza (Tor – SG,SF)
    BN Troy Murphy (NJ – PF,C) INJ

  32. Adam

    Adam says:

    @celtic_shire: Yeah, steals is your biggest weakness here. If you can get either of those SGs for Gasol, go for it. If not, you might be able to get away with giving up Allen or Beasley for someone like Trevor Ariza. You can afford the hit in FG% and you’ll rack up steals – ll without giving up a quality big like Gasol.

  33. D.A. says:

    Adam, what’s your $.02 on this squad. 12 team, roto, 9 cats.

    Tim Donaghy’s Bookie
    1. (2) Chris Paul (NO – PG)
    2. (23) Al Horford (Atl – PF,C)
    3. (26) Tyreke Evans (Sac – PG,SG)
    4. (47) Kevin Martin (Hou – SG)
    5. (50) Jason Richardson (Pho – SG,SF)
    6. (71) Blake Griffin (LAC – PF)
    7. (74) Paul Millsap (Uta – PF)
    8. (95) Jameer Nelson (Orl – PG)
    9. (98) Carl Landry (Sac – SF,PF)
    10. (119) Ben Gordon (Det – SG)
    11. (122) Greg Oden (Por – C)
    12. (143) Kyle Korver (Chi – SG,SF)
    13. (146) Wesley Johnson (Min – SF)

    This is my first year doing bball. I went off your rankings for the most part. I need to make a move to get another C. The guy who has Duncan is willing to trade him in return for Griffin + ???. Any thoughts who’d be good to pair with BG?

  34. Adam

    Adam says:

    @D.A.: Love the lineup, hate the bench. I’m not sure I’d package much with Griffin past your 10th pick . Maybe if he’s willing to part with Duncan for Griffin and Gordon or Johnson, but there’s no other 2-1 where you’re getting a good or even fair deal.

    What about a 1-1 trade using less marquee bigs? Like Landry for Biedrins or something like that?

  35. OrlandoMagic may be getting Gilbert Arenas. With those gun charges he had, he could be their magic bullet.

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