2007-08 Preseason Predictions


Michael De Leon
MVP: Gilbert Arenas
Laugh at my choice all you want, but Gilbert is in a contract year and will likely be auditioning his services in every NBA city he visits. Not only that, he wants to make a strong comeback from an injury that once again kept the Wizards from getting past the Cavs. I’m looking for Arenas to put up big numbers this year before he looks for his payday in the summer.
Rookie of the Year: Kevin Durant
I would have to be a fool to not pick Durant. He’s gonna be the number one option for the Sonics and I expect him to put up at least 21 points a game. Look for Al Horford and Luis Scola to give him some competition as well.
Most Improved Player: LeMarcus Aldridge
With Greg Oden out and Zach Randolph in Manhattan, Aldridge will be the go-to guy in the post. He was impressive in his rookie year and he’ll have a bigger role with the team this season.
Sixth Man of the Year: Leandro Barbosa
If Manu stays on the bench, there’s no way he doesn’t get this. If not look for Barbosa to pick up the hardware yet again. Detroit’s Jason Maxiell may give him a good run for it though.
Defensive Player of the Year: Emeka Okafor
Okafor is a shot-blocking machine. He’ll be entering his third year, and I look for him to really make a splash this season and getting it done not only with blocks, but on the boards.
Coach of the Year: Rick Adelman, Houston Rockets
With Adelman in Houston, expect Bonzi Wells to have a big year. Not only that, he was able to add Luis Scola to an already impressive cast including Tracy McGrady, Yao Ming and Shane Battier.
Spurs ’07-’08 record: 54-28
Finals Matchup: Spurs vs. Pistons
The Cavs did not impress me at all last season and if the Pistons had not suffered a meltdown, I think we could have seen a repeat of the 2005 Finals. I’m also not yet sold on the Celtics. You’ve got to have more than the big three to get into the finals and they don’t have enough depth or role players to get them this deep into the playoffs, especially in their first year together.
Jordan Rivas
MVP: LeBron James
Last postseason we saw LeBron emerge as a superstar force of incomparable prowess. Assuming he brings that same level of play to this season, and carries it through all 82, there’s no telling how
great he could be. So long as the Cavs are at or near the top of the Eastern Conference standings, LeBron is going to be the front runner for MVP.
Rookie of the Year: Kevin Durant
This is a no-brainer. I’m pretty sure once Greg Oden went down for the season, they started engraving DURANT on the ROY trophy. For those of you who haven’t yet witnessed the straight up ill-ness of this kid’s game, be prepared. The load falls on his shoulders in Seattle, and his versatile game and mad competitive intensity won’t disappoint.
Most Improved Player: Daniel Gibson
Cleveland has been searching for that second option to LeBron ever since 23 slipped into a Cavs’ jersey, and with the health of Larry Hughes in question, Daniel Gibson stepped up last season in the playoffs. Gibson only averaged 4.6 points in the regular season, but upped that to 13.5 and 10.8 in the Eastern Conference and NBA Finals, respectively. He has the talent and opportunity to leap forward in his NBA career this season.
Sixth Man of the Year: Leandro Barbosa
Unless Michael Jordan hops in a time machine, reverts himself back to 1996 form, makes another comeback, and insists on coming off the bench for some team, there’s no way in a frozen over hell anyone but Leandro Barbosa wins Sixth Man of the Year. Barbosa is a true backup, and he’s also truly explosive – the most game changing force to come off the pine. Chalk him up for a Sixth Man repeat.
Defensive Player of the Year: Bruce Bowen
I’ve been vouching for Bowen to win DPOY for three seasons now, maybe more. It’s hard to make a case that doesn’t sound repetitive, but simply put, he’s the best perimeter defender in the league, hands down. He is the single most disruptive force for high scoring guards, and possibly the only true “shut down defender” in the league. As far as I’m concerned he could win it every year. He’s probably not in his prime anymore, but if this guy retires without ever winning the award practically invented for players like him, it would be a travesty.
Coach of the Year: Scott Skiles, Chicago Bulls
The Bulls have been an up and coming team for the past couple of seasons, and while everyone has recognized the young talent that has been moving through that team for the past few seasons, it’s only now starting to come together under the leadership of Skiles. Skiles stern leadership and detailed insight has greatly helped his young team, particularly his guards Ben Gorden and Kirk Hinrich. The Bulls will be the surprise contender in the East, and it will be in large part thanks to Skiles.
Spurs ’07-’08 record: 58-24
The Spurs always end up in about the same 57-62 win range, so I’m not taking any big risks by setting my prediction somewhere in the middle of that, towards the low side to be safe. The Spurs always hit some kind of rough patch, or go through a lull at some point, and that
repeat slump is likely to only worsen that this season. They’ll be fine heading into the playoffs, and roll off a couple of double digit win streaks towards the end of the season to meet their usual win
Finals Matchup: Spurs vs. Celtics
Trust me, I don’t want to pick the Celtics to make the Finals, but I’m not really left with a lot of options here. The Pistons reign in the East is over. The Cavaliers aren’t running that Cinderella shit two years in a row. The Bulls, by my schedule of playoff improvement, are slated for an Eastern Conference Finals appearance this year, Finals next year. That only leaves the over hyped Celtics. And appropriately enough, the trio of Pierce, Allen, and Garnett would actually make a nice matchup against the Spurs.
Jeff Garcia
MVP: Kobe Bryant
Rookie of the Year: Kevin Durant
Most Improved Player: Devin Harris
Sixth Man of the Year: David Lee
Defensive Player of the Year: Marcus Camby
Coach of the Year: Rick Adelman, Houston Rockets
Spurs ’07-’08 record: 56-26
Finals Matchup: Spurs vs. Cavs