2008-09 NBA Season Predictions
The Lakers were the near unanimous pick to win it all. Boston and New Orleans each received one vote while the Lakers received the remaining votes. Their upgrade at small forward (with Trevor Ariza) as well as a healthy and improving Andrew Bynum combined with their great depth makes them the most talented team in the league. After last year's Pau Gasol trade and a run all the way to the NBA finals, this team appears ready to win it all this year behind last year's MVP Kobe.
NBA Runner Ups: Celtics
Despite being Vegas' odds on favorite after pulling off the KG trade last year, not one member of NBADraft.net picked them to win it all last year. This year they received 1 vote as champs and 4 votes to reach the finals but lose. Who knows, another mid-season trade could rock the balance of power (as it did for the Lakers) once again.
MVP: LeBron James
LeBron's lifetime achievement award is coming, (and likely more than one). Whether or not the voters of this award deem him ready this year is the question. While Kobe was looked over a number of times despite being deserving in prior years, it's unlikely he'll win this year unless he's head and shoulders above the field. Chris Paul received some votes, but the consensus is that it's LeBron's time. If he matches his numbers from the past few years, look for him to claim his first MVP award.
Scoring Champ: LeBron James
LeBron swept the vote after leading the league in scoring by over a point last year averaging 30 ppg. Kobe appears to be focusing on rings as opposed to scoring titles nowadays, so this could end up being a runaway. Surprising that not even one person chose Kobe however.
Rookie of the Year: Michael Beasley
Beasley makes the most sense as he's in a position to score a lot of points for a Miami team that lacks great depth. He's also the most prolific scorer to enter the league in years and could match the numbers Durant put up last season, although he won't be the team's first option the way Durant was. Oden received a couple votes but has already suffered a foot injury and struggled to score in his NBA debut. He should bounce back and have a nice year but his stats will likely be somewhat modest in his first season. Derrick Rose may ultimately have the biggest impact and could grab the award based on leading the Bulls into the playoffs.
Most Improved: Devin Harris
The Knicks have a number of solid candidates for this award including David Lee, Chris Duhon and Wilson Chandler. Harris gets the nod with just two votes as the choices were spread out. Harris figures to take his game up a notch and with little depth behind him, should see significant minutes this season. Hopefully he can do something spectacular this year to make everyone forget about the humiliating English streetballer episode.
Coach of the Year: Nate McMillan
McMillan always gets the most of his teams, as he did last year with the Blazers making an excellent mid-season run, ultimately falling short of the playoffs. Portland played much better than expected with Greg Oden out. McMillan received half of the votes (4) to win the award.
Defensive Player of the Year: Kevin Garnett
KG won the award last year and there's no reason to think he won't focus his efforts on winning it once again. The team's defensive ability was a real key to winning the championship. Garnett's ability to defend the perimeter and in the post make him extremely versatile keying the Celts D.
||Jon Nichols||Nick Prevenas||Aran
|Borko Popic||Simon Dresden||Adi Joseph||Jon Pastuszuk||Kevin Duffy|
|MVP||LeBron James||LeBron James||LeBron James||LeBron James||LeBron James||Chris Paul||LeBron James||Chris Paul|
|Scoring Champ||LeBron James||LeBron James||LeBron James||LeBron James||LeBron James||LeBron James||LeBron James||LeBron James|
|Rookie of the Year||Michael Beasley||Michael Beasley||Michael Beasley||Derrick Rose||Michael Beasley||Greg Oden||Derrick Rose||Greg Oden|
|Most Improved||Rajon Rondo||Devin Harris||Devin Harris||Danny Granger||Chris Duhon||Shawne Williams||Wilson Chandler||Randy Foye|
|Coach of the Year||Michael Curry||Nate McMillan||Vinny Del Negro||Mike D'Antoni||Mike D'Antoni||Nate McMillan||Nate McMillan||Nate McMillan|
|Defensive POY||Kevin Garnett||Kevin Garnett||Kevin Garnett||Ron Artest||Kevin Garnett||Tyson Chandler||Dwight Howard||Kevin Garnett|
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