NBA Tipoff Preview Extravaganza

kings

The BULLS play the HEAT in a real, live NBA game TONIGHT!!!! If you’re not tuned into TNT at 7 PM, we’re not friends anymore. There’s not even a World Series game, you shmoes. Anyway, I think the title of the post pretty much covers it. Take my hand to the promised land, fellow Bulls fans.

Eastern Conference

  1. Chicago Bulls
  2. Miami Heat
  3. Brooklyn Nets
  4. Indiana Pacers
  5. New York Knicks
  6. Washington Wizards
  7. Atlanta Hawks
  8. Detroit Pistons
  9. Toronto Raptors
  10. Cleveland Cavs
  11. Milwaukee Bucks
  12. Charlotte Bobcats
  13. Orlando Magic
  14. Boston Celtics
  15. Philadelphia 76ers

Eastern Conference Finals: Bulls over Heat

Western Conference

  1. San Antonio Spurs
  2. Los Angeles Clippers
  3. Oklahoma City Thunder
  4. Houston Rockets
  5. Memphis Grizzlies
  6. Golden State Warriors
  7. Dallas Mavericks
  8. Minnesota Timberwolves
  9. Denver Nuggets
  10. Portland Trailblazers
  11. New Orleans Pelicans
  12. Los Angeles Lakers
  13. Sacramento Kings
  14. Utah Jazz
  15. Phoenix Suns

Western Conference Finals: Thunder over Rockets

NBA Finals

Bulls over Thunder

What kind of Bulls fan would I be if I didn’t pick them this year? The stars have aligned and, at least in October, the Bulls look they could be the most complete team in the NBA. Obviously, LeBron and co. will have plenty to say about that (starting TONIGHT!), but no team has made four straight NBA Finals since the Lakers and Celtics in the 1980s. The West is a little harder to predict but I like the Rockets upsetting the Spurs in the semifinals but falling to Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook in the WCF. Bulls-Thunder would be the bee’s knees, you guys.

rose best gif

MVP

  1. LeBron James
  2. Derrick Rose
  3. Kevin Durant
  4. Chris Paul
  5. James Harden

I wanted to pick against James badly, but I think he may pull off the ultra-rare fifth MVP. By this time in a Hall of Famer’s career, the voters often get bored and pick someone else. However, I think LeBron’s continued dominance combined with America’s collective hard-on for the King will be enough to notch another. D Rose is a legit contender as voters will love the story of his return, especially if the Bulls win the East as I expect. Kevin Durant is always a worthy contender, but he’d probably need Westbrook to miss some extra time for him to have a real crack this season.

Defensive Player of the Year

  1. Dwight Howard
  2. Marc Gasol
  3. Joakim Noah
  4. Tyson Chandler
  5. LeBron James

Dwight is the best defensive player on Earth and now that he’s (presumably) healthy again everyone will remember.

dwight passing

Sixth Man of the Year

  1. Tyreke Evans
  2. Andrei Kirilenko
  3. J.R. Smith
  4. Jamal Crawford
  5. Taj Gibson

I don’t like the options this year, at least yet. Tyreke has the most potential off the bench, while I believe AK47 will be the most important bench player in the league. I threw Taj in because he’s an elite defender who looks ready to take another step in his game.

Most Improved Player

  1. Derrick Favors
  2. Eric Bledsoe
  3. Tobias Harris
  4. Jimmy Butler
  5. Gordon Hayward

They should really just call this one the “biggest increase in minutes” award. Favors, Bledsoe and Harris will all be seeing extended starting roles for the first time while Butler and Hayward will perhaps shine a bigger stage than in the past.

Coach of the Year

  1. Doc Rivers, Clippers
  2. Tom Thibodeau, Bulls
  3. Kevin McHale, Rockets
  4. Gregg Popovich, Spurs
  5. Rick Carlisle, Mavs

Tough one to predict, as it usually goes to the team that surprised everyone the most. In this case, Doc is a good choice because the voters will want to reward him for switching teams, or something. Trust me. Thibs or Pop should win this every year.

Rookie of the Year

  1. Victor Oladipo
  2. Ben McLemore
  3. Kelly Olynyk
  4. Cody Zeller
  5. Anthony Bennett

Oladipo looks like the best player in the draft class and figures to get as many minutes as any other rookie down in Orlando. I’m not really sold on any of these other guys.

Orlando Magic v Dallas Mavericks

Stat Champs

  1. Points: Kevin Durant
  2. Rebounds: Kevin Love
  3. Assists: Chris Paul
  4. Steals: Ricky Rubio
  5. Blocks: Serge Ibaka

Make sure you bookmark this page for when I nail my predictions in June. Also, feel free to disagree with everything in the comments. Enjoy your opening night, my friends, and GO BULLS! (Or whoever you root for!)

 

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