2007-08 NBA Season: Expert Picks
By Aran Smith
[img_assist|nid=3639|title=Kevin Garnett - Sporting News/ZUMA Press/Icon SMI|desc=|link=none|align=right|width=300|height=426]NBA Champs: (Tie) Suns/Spurs
The consensus is that the NBA championship will once again come down to the match up between Western Conference giants: the Suns and Spurs. Hopefully this time around the referees won't interfere with the outcome. The Mavericks got one vote, so despite their surprising first round exit at the hands of the Golden State Warriors last year, some believe they still have what it takes to win it all.
NBA Runner Ups: Bulls
The Bulls nudged out Boston 4-3 While the Celtics seem to be Vegas and the general public's choice to win the East, NBADraft.net's panel chose the Bulls 4-3 over the Celtics. While the Celtics unquestionably have the most talented trio, their lack of depth and lack of quality point guard play may ultimately keep them out of the Finals. Each of their stars appear to be at the end of their respective primes, and all three staying healthy will be crucial to their Finals hopes. The Bulls have much greater overall depth and some emerging stars in Luol Deng, Kirk Hinrich and Ben Gordon as well as youngsters like Tyrus Thomas and Joakim Noah.
MVP: Kevin Garnett
Garnett's fresh start in Boston is sure to re-energize him. With Ray Allen and Paul Pierce on the wings, KG will no longer feel the weight of the world on him to do everything. It should free him up for more easy baskets and all around numbers. Duncan, Kobe, Lebron, and Melo all received one vote apiece.
Scoring Champ: Kobe Bryant
Kobe was the heavy choice and figures to lead the league in scoring once again. He's the games top scorer and clutch shooter and is driven to score as much as any player in NBA history. If he somehow gets traded, it could affect his scoring some, but not much. Others receiving votes were Lebron (2) and Agent 0 (Arenas).
Rookie of the Year: Kevin Durant (22 ppg)
Durant is everyone's pick for ROY. With Greg Oden out for the season, it's hard to imagine anyone giving Durant any real competition. After torching NCAA ball for one season, Durant takes his act to the NBA stage. His ability to hang with the Dream Team over the summer and excel at such a young age gave him a lot of confidence and hope for a big initial season. He figures to be the offensive focus of the Sonics team that may struggle to win 20 games.
Most Improved: Andre Iguodala
The most improved award is open for interpretation. Can they be a second or third year player that struggled early in their careers due to youth? Or do they need to at least be a fourth or fifth year guy with a few seasons under their belt? Iguodala appears primed to build on a strong third year in the league (18.2 ppg) and blossom into a all star level player this season. Others receiving votes included Andrew Bynum, Josh Smith, Corey Maggette, and Randy Foye.
Coach of the Year: (Tie) Mike D'Antoni/Marc Iavaroni
With such a talented roster, the Suns could easily run off with the leagues best record and home court throughout the playoffs. Mike D'Antoni, who won the award in 2004-05, is one of the best in the business and with Steve Nash running the show and a stacked roster, he looks poised once again to make a run at Coach of the Year. With such a terrible season last year, and the return of Pau Gasol, it will be easy for the Grizzlies to show improvement. Iavaroni has the energy and fire to be an excellent coach and could help the Grizzlies climb out of the cellar and contend for a playoff spot in his first season.
Defensive Player of the Year: (Tie) Josh Smith/Tyson Chandler
Entering his fourth season in the league, Josh Smith has raised his shot blocking numbers in each of his 3 seasons, quickly approaching 3 blocks per game. He's a terror under the boards blocking shots but has also improved as an on ball defender. Tyson Chandler is fast becoming one of the better shot blockers and defensive players in the league as well. Others receiving votes: Marcus Camby, Kevin Garnett, and Shane Battier.
|Joshua Motenko||Simon Dresden||Adi Joseph||Jon Nichols||Nick Prevenas||Aran
|MVP||Kevin Garnett||Kevin Garnett||Kobe Bryant||Kevin Garnett||Tim Duncan||Lebron James||Carmelo Anthony|
|Scoring Champ||Kobe Bryant||Kobe Bryant||Lebron James||Lebron James||Gilbert Arenas||Kobe Bryant||Kobe Bryant|
|Rookie of the Year||Kevin Durant
|Kevin Durant (24ppg)||Kevin Durant (23ppg)||Kevin Durant (22ppg)||Kevin Durant
|Most Improved||Andre Iguodala||Corey Maggette||Andrew Bynum||Josh Smith||Andre Iguodala||Andre Iguodala||Randy Foye|
|Coach of the Year||Mike D'Antoni||Doc Rivers||Marc Iavaroni||Marc Iavaroni
||Don Nelson||Stan Van Gundy|
|Defensive POY||Marcus Camby||Tyson Chandler||Josh Smith||Shane Battier||Kevin Garnett||Josh Smith||Tyson Chandler|