Tuesday, December 22, 2009

The MVPuppets Do Christmas

Haha. These recent MVPuppets Christmas ads are great. Props to Nike for their creativity. The spots showcase a rap battle between Blitzen the reindeer (Lupe Fiasco) and Santa Claus (KRS-One).

A couple of other MVPuppets ads featuring the mystery of Lebron's missing shoe. Not as memorable as the Christmas ads.

Monday, December 21, 2009

What goes around......

Soooo, D-fish got boomed on something FIERCE a few days ago, and the person who delivered the dunk, Corey Brewer, had to be thinking this was the last thing that would happen to him......Somewhere D-Fish is smiling.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

GP - Where are you now?

As an avid NBA TV watcher, this season was a bit different. For starters, I noticed that GP was no longer doing commentary and had been replaced by Hall of Famer Kevin McHale. Gary wasn't always the most easiest to understand during his tenure on the air, but he was a billion times more entertaining than Eric Snow, Cheryl Miller, Steve Smith and Dennis Scott put together. Need proof? See Below.

Bonus: Here's a rarely seen Nike ad featuring GP and .....Evander Holyfield ?!?!?!

Monday, December 14, 2009

Fish can get baptized.....

This hurts to watch...in a good way. Peep DJ Mbenga and Josh Powell cracking up on the Lakers bench.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Kobe Vs.

Kobe's game winning shot against Wade and the Miami Heat.

The return of the Nike MVPuppets ads featuring Kobe and Lebron.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

So Yesterday

Have you guys seen the music video for "So Yesterday" performed by Toni Braxton & Trey Songz. It features Brooke Hogan, Ron Artest and Shannon Brown. Lol. Too bad Kobe didn't make a cameo.

Also I would highly recommend checking out this article on The 50 Best NBA Slam Dunks as compiled by Complex Magazine. It's a solid list that includes videos for each of the featured dunks.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Sign him up.....

For the 2010 NBA Slam Dunk Contest ASAP. From the first angle this looks like a regular dunk, when you are able to see it from various angles it reveals how amazing it really is.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Knicks Basketball

KrptoNate takes (and makes) a shot at the wrong basket just after the buzzer goes off to signal the end of the 1st period. Hilarity ensues, as D'Antoni chews him out. Classic.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

QB's Finest

Funny thing about this play is that it's completely legal. (I think)

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Vintage Iverson

Ah. Those were the good old days...

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Players On The Rise

It's still early in the season, but I thought I'd highlight some of the young player who look poised for a break-through year.

Trevor Ariza (HOU). He is looking like an offseason steal. His play so far has been outstanding and he is silencing the critics who doubted that he could be a legit go-to-player. Ariza was always known as a defensive stopper. But now he is showcasing his impressive offensive repertoire. If he can keep this up, Houston could be the surprise team in the West. Artest who? They have an exciting future ahead of them.


Aaron Brooks (HOU). With the departure of Artest and the injuries to McGrady and Yao, someone had to pick up that scoring slack. And that someone is Aaron Brooks. He's quick as lightning and is continuing his amazing scoring pace of last postseason. He has a nice outside shot, and gets to the free throw line at a nice clip. And more importantly, he's proven to be a solid play-maker, dropping dimes like they're out of style.


Andrew Bynum (LAL). So far, so good. Bynum is healthy through 4 games and his excellent play from the preseason has carried over. He looks like an all-star out there. Granted, Pau Gasol is out with an injury. It will be interesting to see whether he can keep up this high level of play once their entire squad is healthy. But he's been a force on the boards and in the block. If healthy, the Lakers will be tough to beat.


Chris Douglas-Roberts (NJN). The departure of Vince Carter frees up a lot of shots for this young New Jersey team. CDR was a beast in the preseason, and so far his strong play has carried over to the regular season. He's going to score a lot of points, and make a lot of NBA teams regret passing on him in last year's draft. He has a chip on his shoulder since he dropped into the second round. Watch out for him.


Channing Frye (PHO). Signing with the Phoenix Suns was the best career move that he could have done. He's a perfect fit for their system, where he can launch up as many 3's as he wants. They will utilize his shooting prowess to stretch the defenses and exploit mismatches. He's not a particularly good rebounder or defender; but will be a valuable contributor for this team, who have little depth at the PF and C positions.


Danilo Gallinari (NYK). D'Antoni proclaimed Gallinari the best shooter that he's ever seen. And so far during the season, he has backed up those claims. He's launching and making a ridiculous amount of 3's. He missed most of last season due to injury, but looks every bit of a lottery pick. And in D'Antoni's system, he should get every opportunity to thrive. And don't underrate his contributions on the defensive end.


Marc Gasol (MEM). Not only does Marc look more like his older brother after losing some weight during the offseason, but he is starting to play more like his brother too. I'm not sure if he'll be able to keep up the torrid scoring pace, but he'll have plenty of rebound opportunities with so many chuckers on his squad. He's a solid defender and a smart player, who will find ways to contribute to his team's overall success.


Brandon Jennings (MIL). I did not want to include any rookies on this list, but Jennings has been playing too good not to mention. He looks like a legit star, and could be the Paul Pierce of this season's draft. He nearly had a triple double in his first game. He's adapted quickly to the pace of the NBA game, and can get off his shot whenever he wants with his quickness. And so far, his jumper is better than advertised.


Marreese Speights (PHI). He's been the best big man for the 76ers this season. And has proven to be a valuable contributor off of the bench. In limited minutes, he's contributed two 20+ scoring and one 10+ rebounding game already. If he's able to supplant Dalembert or Brand from the starting lineup, he could be set for a huge season. He's an explosive scorer, and can put up solid rebound and block numbers.


Louis Williams (PHI). So far he's done a solid job of leading this team as the starting Point Guard. He can score at a nice clip, and will contribute a decent amount of assists and steals. He's more of a scorer than a play-maker, but he's the Philly's best option at the Point Guard spot. Iguodala can pick up some of the play-making duties also. He'll need to improve on his jumper for his team to be successful.


Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Preseason Highlights

Check out the top plays from Preseason action:

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Look at the Laker bench

Blake Griffin introduces himself to D.J. Mbenga, and a few of the Lakers get a chuckle out of it at his expense. That's just cold.....

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Getting Ready for the Season to Start

Below are a pair of commercials currently airing on TNT to hype up the upcoming NBA season. They feature Rainn Wilson interacting with NBA superstars, Dwight Howard and Gilbert Arenas.

Friday, October 9, 2009

The Year In Review (Part V)

A quick update today. Below is the latest Top 10 video from NBA.com. This one covers the "Top Moves" of the past year.

Friday, October 2, 2009

Fantasy Basketball: Top 12

Just like last year, I'm going to run down the top 12 picks in Fantasy Basketball. The couple top picks are no-brainers. But if you get stuck with a late draft pick, things get much trickier. This list is for 12-Team H2H leagues with the standard 9 scoring categories. Next to each player name is their position eligibility from Yahoo!.

1. Chris Paul (PG): Last year, CP3 was the consensus top pick. But with Lebron James's improved free throw shooting, I think you can go either way this year. Both guys are great for building your team around. CP3 once again led the league in both assists (11.0) and steals (2.8) per game; and by a large margin. He can single-handedly help you win those 2 categories. He's also a prolific scorer, netting over 22 points per game, nearly 1 3PT per game, and crazy high percentages for a Point Guard (50% FG and 87% FT). His only downside is a lack of blocks and a high amount of turnovers. But anyone who has the ball in his hands as often as CP3 will cough the ball up a few times. I should also mention that he averaged an impressive 5.5 rebounds per game from the Point Guard position.

2. Lebron James (SF): I like to think of CP3 as option 1A and Lebron as option 1B. You can't go wrong selecting either of these players. Lebron James is the league MVP and fills up the stat board like no other: 28.4 points (second in the league), 7.6 rebounds, 7.3 assists, 1.7 steals, 1.2 blocks, 1.6 3PT. He's improved on his FT shooting which used to be his Achilles heel (78% last season), to go along with his solid 49% FG. If you select Lebron James, you can go with any kind of draft strategy cause he's so well-rounded. He's valuable in that he gives you PG type assists and steals from the SF position. And he's a true ironman. He rarely misses any games. And the addition of Shaq on this team, could free him up for more open looks. Maybe. His only downside is his turnovers, which were down last year compared to the previous year.

3. Dwyane Wade (PG/SG): He rebounded brilliantly from an injury-plagued season and posted Fantasy MVP worthy type numbers. He averaged 1.3 blocks per game from the Point Guard position, which is unheard of. He also led the league in scoring at 30.2 points and was second in steals at 2.2 (and unfortunately second in turnovers at 3.4). He also improved on his 3PT shot, and averaged a shade over 1 per game. How's that for versatility? To finish off the rest of his statline, he averaged 5.0 rebounds and 7.5 assists, on 49% FG and 77% FT. Wade does it all. I rank him a shade under CP3 or Lebron because there are some injury concerns. He seemed to run out of gas at the end of the last season, probably from carrying his team all season long, and his team is basically the same as it was last year. Can he keep up this high level of play? Probably. The dual position eligibility is a nice bonus.

4. Kevin Durant (SG/SF): It feels a little strange ranking Durant so high, but he was a beast last year after moving to the SF position. He put up a statline of: 26.1 points, 7.0 rebounds, 2.9 assists, 1.4 steals, 0.8 blocks, 1.5 3PT, 3.0 turnovers (unfortunately), 48% FG and 86% FT through 61 games. And I think he still has room to grow. He will only get better as this young Oklahoma City team improves. I really like their young nucleus of Westbrook/Harden/Durant/Green. I expect Velvet Hoop to make his first all-star game this upcoming season, and finally get some of the recognition that he deserves. I also considered Granger for this spot, but I have some injury concerns about Granger. Sometimes its better to go with the safe pick in the first round. Also I like his dual position eligibility. It adds some flexibility to your roster.

5. Danny Granger (SG/SF) You gotta love Granger's upside. He has made some great strides in his game over the past couple of years. He was second in the league in 3PT made with 2.7 per game and 5th in the league in scoring at 25.8. He also contributed on the defensive end with 1.0 steals and 1.5 blocks per game. He makes 88% of his FT which is dynamite. But he missed 15 games last season with a right knee injury, which is a bit worrisome. Also the rest of his statline is not as impressive, he only averages 5.1 rebounds, 2.7 assists and 45% FG. There's a good chance that he'll be able to improve in those areas, but he doesn't offer the across the board versatility that other players do. It's no clear how the return of Mike Dunleavy will affect his stats. I like the dual position eligibility, though. I'm going to be saying that a lot.

6. Kobe Bryant (SG): This year's Lakers squad is arguably the most talented team that they've rolled out in the past several years. The signing of Artest and the return of Bynum from injury could decrease the number of touches that Kobe gets each game. I think he is at the point in his career when he'll start deferring to his teammates more and playing less minutes during the regular season to be rested for the postseason. I still expect an excellent statline, but nothing like what he posted during his prime. He won't be averaging 30 points per game any more, and I expect his statline to look something like his career averages: 25.0 points, 5.0 rebounds, 4.5 assists, 1.5 steals, 0.5 blocks, 1.5 3PT, 45% FG and 85% FT. Still very solid, but he doesn't have the upside that either Durant or Granger has. With Kobe you know what you are going to get; and that's both a good and bad thing. Also of note is that he has not missed a game in the past 2 seasons. He's rock-solid consistent.

7. Dirk Nowitzki (PF): He is probably the most overlooked superstar in the league. He quietly does his thing, and does not get a lot of accolade or attention. I wish that he would shoot more 3PT (only makes 0.8 per game), but you can't find much fault in his statline: 25.9 points (4th in the league), 8.4 rebounds, 2.4 assists, 0.8 steals. 0.8 blocks, 1.9 turnovers, 48% FG and 89% FT. The low turnover and the higher percentages are especially valuable. How many big men are there in the league that shoot nearly 90% from the charity line? And there's a chance that Dirk might gain Center eligibility in Fantasy Leagues. I heard that Rick Carlisle plans to play Dirk at Center for stretches at a time. That would make his selection at the #7 even sweeter. He's a great consolation prize if you get a middle of the pack draft pick, and is a great building block.

8. Amare Stoudemire (PF/C): Obviously, there is some injury risk with selecting Amare, but with the Suns returning to their old Run-And-Gun style, he has a chance to set career highs across the board. He is the only legit big man on the Phoenix team. So he'll get plenty of scoring, rebounding, blocking opportunities. Looking at his statline from 2 years ago before the Suns acquired Shaquille O'Neal, Amare averaged: 25.2 points, 9.1 rebounds, 1.5 assists, 0.8 steals, 2.1 blocks, 59% FG and 81% FT. He can probably do better than that. And also it's worth noting that he's in a contract year, so he'll be eager to prove his worth. You have to love that he qualifies for both the Power Forward and Center positions. This makes him the top ranked Center in the game; with Centers being a prized commodity in Yahoo! Fantasy leagues.

9. Dwight Howard (C): He leads the league in both rebounds (13.8) and blocks (2.9), and like CP3 he can singlehandedly help you win 2 categories. But his FT shooting is just atrocious (59% on 11 attempts). It's the number of attempts that really hurts your team. In my opinion, if you select Howard, you have to go with the strategy of punting FT%. It's just not worth the effort to select high percentage and volume free throw shooters to try to compensate for Howard. He's the only player in the first round that necessitates a specific draft strategy. He also contributes nicely to points (20.6) and FG (57.2%), and is a decent thief for a big man with 1.0 steals per game. But his turnovers (3.0) are pretty awful for a big man. He needs to learn how to pass out of the post better. He and Yao are the only big men amongst the top 20 worst in turnovers. It's a gamble to select Dwight, unless you know what you are doing.

10. Deron Williams (PG): He is the #2 Point Guard in Fantasy Basketball. And that is not a bad thing. He will always be overlooked by CP3, but he is not a bad consolation prize. The main difference between the two is CP3 gets 1.7 more steals, and a couple more rebounds and points. Deron Wiliam is second in the league in assists (10.7) and also contributes nicely to the scoring categories: 19.4 points, 47.1% FG, 85% FT, 1.0 3PT. Like most other superstar point guards, he does average a lot of turnovers though (3.4 per game which is good for 2nd in the league). He missed 14 games early last season, but he was able to bounce back nicely and show his resilience. I'm not worried about any injury risk. The uncertainty of Boozer in Utah may add some distractions to this Jazz team. He should be safe to pick in the first round. His high number of assists can help anchor your team in that category.

11. Chris Bosh (PF/C): He is one of 2 players in the league to average more than 20 points and 10 rebounds last season. He's a great percentage guy, shooting 49% FG and 82% FT. And he takes approximately 8 attempts from the charity line each game. He is solid on the defensive end too, averaging roughly 1 steal and 1 block per game. The addition of Hedo Turkoglu on the Toronto squad should make him even better. As he has another shooter to stretch the floor, and another playmaker on the floor to feed him buckets. Supposedly he's put on a lot of muscle over the offseason and should be poised for another all-star season. As I've mentioned many times, these dual eligibility players are very valuable. I give him the nod over other remaining Centers like Pau Gasol or Al Jefferson, who are more risky acquisitions.

12. Brandon Roy (PG/SG): He keeps on getting better each year. The addition of Andre Miller should help him lessen his workload. He won't have to be a facilitator and a scorer. Miller should give him more easy buckets, and allow him to focus more on scoring and defense. Portland will need to improve their defense to become an elite team. He averaged 22.6 points, 4.6 rebounds, 5.1 assists, 1.1 steals, 0.3 blocks, 1.1 3PT, 48% FG and 82% FT. He is like the guard version of Dirk Nowitzki or Chris Bosh. He's rock solid and puts up comparable stats to Kobe Bryant who is being drafted several spots earlier. The dual position eligibility is a nice bonus. He is a shooting guard that can post point guard type assist numbers. He's a very efficient player and averages only 2 turnovers per game, which is solid for a superstar player.

Players on the bubble: Pau Gasol, Al Jefferson, Steve Nash.

Friday, September 25, 2009

There Will Never Be Another

Some of my favorite Jordan commercials from over the years:

Nike "Frozen Moment" Commercial

Nike "Let Your Game Speak" Commercial

Gatorade "23 Vs. 39" Commercial

McDonald's "The Showdown" Commercial

Nike "Career Retrospect" Commercial

Friday, September 18, 2009

Let The Season Begin

Below is the latest Top 10 video from NBA.com. This one highlights the top "teamwork plays" of the last season.

Onto some bigger news, it looks like Yahoo! has opened up registration for the upcoming Fantasy Basketball season. Zee! and I usually run a private league every year where we invite some of our buddies to join. But this year, we are looking for bigger and better competition. So we are going to open up the league to the public. If any of you guys out there are interested in joining and have the credentials, please let us know. Maybe we can start up a little inter-blog league, if we can find enough blog owners out there who are interested in joining. We usually run a H2H league with mostly default Yahoo! settings. But just to warn everyone, if you join the league, be prepared to compete with Zee! for 2nd place. I'm going to take the league crown.

Monday, September 14, 2009

We miss you Spree.....

Say what you want about the man, but he always tried to keep it classy with the fans....

MJ's Top Dunks....

As a tribute to one of the newest members of the NBA hall of fame, here is a compilation of His Airness top 10 dunks...Congrats Mike!!!! Check M.J.'s reaction in dunk #8.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

The 1 Year Answer.....

Various media outlets are reporting that Allen Iverson via his twitter account has announced that he will be playing for the Memphis Grizzlies this upcoming NBA season. Reports have estimated Iverson's one year contract to be within the range of $3.5 million for this season along with a series of incentives. I gotta applaud Bubbachuck for just wanting to play, and not chasing a check. No denying the love he has for the game.

Monday, August 31, 2009

The Year In Review (Part IV)

Here's another one of those Top 10 videos from NBA.com. This one covers the top circus shots of the year. The #2 play by Vince Carter is hilarious. He literally walks all over Delonte West.

Also I should point out that Zee! has finally added his comments to our preseason power rankings post. It's better late than never. Everyone scroll down on this page and check 'em out.

ZEE!: That's cold Kay, but I guess you don't understand that greatness takes time. Roffle.

Friday, August 28, 2009

The Year In Review (Part III)

Below are the top 10 blocks from last season according to NBA.com. Meh. I wasn't too impressed with their selections. Although the Anthony Randolph block on Tyrus Thomas was pretty nasty. I'm surprised that Dwight Howard didn't have any highlights...

ZEE!: Why is it that Brooke Shiel...er Lopez getting blocked began and ended the countdown?

For those people who are keeping track, below are the top remaining free agents on the market. I expect most of these guys to get signed within the next few weeks. For example, Iverson is rumored to have gotten a contract offer from Memphis. As you can see there's a big drop-off in talent from the top 5 compared to the rest. So the pickings are starting to get slim. The bottom 5 picks are pretty interchangeable. In fact, there were a handful of other players that I was considering for those spots who were equally deserving; but won't get any mention here. There just weren't any clear cut favorites.

1. Allen Iverson

2. David Lee

3. Raymond Felton

4. Ramon Sessions

5. Nate Robinson

6. C.J. Watson

7. Rashad McCants

8. Flip Murray

9. Wally Szczerbiak

10. Desmond Mason

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Preseason Power Rankings

Just for kicks, Zee and I decided to throw together an early preseason power ranking. We both picked our top 5 teams from each conference, based on the current rosters. Between now and the start of the season, I'm sure there will be some additional trades, injuries and free agent signings. So we'll be sure to update this list as the start of the season approaches. With that said, we present the first edition of our preseason power rankings. Let us know your thoughts.

Western Conference

Kay's Picks





Zee's Picks






Kay's Comments: The Lakers are the defending champions and arguably the most talented team in the league. Resigning Odom might have been the most significant move made during the offseason by any team. Swapping out Artest for Ariza has the potential to make them an even better team. There's no reason to think that they won't make the Finals again. And if Bynum can stay healthy... Yikes.

ZEE!: I have to agree with you 100 percent on this one. For you to give the Lakers such props must mean that they have a team (and possible dynasty perhaps?) to be reckoned with for several years to come. I for one can't believe the move that Trevor Ariza made in leaving a team you just won a championship with, to go play for a team you beat in your title run, who has lost arguably it's two best players in Yao and Ron Artest. In addition, you have T-Mac on the bench taking up space until possibly the middle of the season. Have fun playing wallowing in mediocrity. While the Lakers team you left, should they stay healthy, will make continuous runs at a title for the next few years to come.

The Spurs have reloaded their roster and look like the only team in the West that could challenge the Lakers. Jefferson and McDyess are huge upgrades over Finley and Bonner. And the return of Manu should help this team greatly as well. They have some nice young talent on this roster too: Hill, Blair and Mahinmi. Can they stay healthy?

ZEE!: Umm...what to say here....SMH @ Kay thinking the Spurs will challenge the Lakers. I'm gonna go ahead and circle Tuesday, January 8th, 2010 and look forward to the first meeting between the defending champs, and your San Antonio Spurs. FYI: Timmy and Manu aren't getting any younger/healthier.

The addition of Miller on the Trailblazers could push them to elite status. He'll bring some much needed leadership and experience to this team. Roy continues to be one of the brightest young players in the league. Aldridge is a star in the making. If Oden and Rudy can live up to their potential, this team could be downright scary.

ZEE!: I agree, the Trailblazers are solid from top to bottom. Had they been able to grab Hedo, wow. But even without Turkoglu, these young guys really should make some noise this season, and hopefully Brandon Roy will step out into national recognition for his game. TNT needs to book as many Blazer/Lakers, Blazers/Spurs matchups as possible for airing on T.V.

I like the changes that Dallas made to their team in the offseason. The addition of Marion and Gooden are huge improvements in their frontcourt. When you add them to the mix of Dirk, Terry, Howard and Kidd, you have a dark horse team. Young guns Beaubois and Barea have shown flashes of brilliance so far.

ZEE!: I really don't like this team, seriously. Cubes is spending money on players that really aren't gonna do crap this season. Jason Kidd basically passed up on a ring back in the day when he could have signed with the Spurs, and opted to go to Jersey. Now he's at it again, playing for a team with no shot, but he is steady cashing checks....pathetic. Anyhow, the breakdown for this team goes like this: Soft perimeter oriented team will shoot, shoot, and shoot. They will play no defense, they will not make it out of the first round. Mark Cuban will rip his hair out and grind those ugly yellow plaque crusted teeth of his as he realizes he wasted more money. But isn't that what he does best?

For the last spot, I went with Denver (over Utah or New Orleans). They were the surprise team of last year thanks to the addition of Billups. The loses of Kleiza and Jones will hurt this team's depth, but they should still be competitive next season. JR Smith is primed for a breakthrough. K-Mart, Birdman and Nene need to stay healthy.

ZEE!: Ahh the Nuggs. Thanks for that wake up call in the WCF fellas! This team is so talented, yet so primed to self destruct at any moment that it isn't even funny. Billups didn't look like himself in the playoff series vs the Lakers, and I wonder if he was just trying to do to much, or if he's starting to wear down. Anyhow, I expect a second round playoff exit from this ballclub come next season.

Eastern Conference

Kay's Picks





Zee's Picks






Kay's Comments: It's only fair that the defending Eastern Conference Champions start at the top of the power ranking. They've completed retooled their roster. Out go Turkoglu, Lee, Alston and Battie. And in come Carter, Barnes, Bass, White Chocolate and Anderson. I like their depth and talent on paper, but only time will tell if they are able to recapture the magic and chemistry of last year's team. Also don't forget that Nelson missed a huge chunk of last year.

ZEE!: I think this team was fortunate last year to not have had to play a healthy Celtics squad. This go round, if they want to prove that last season wasn't a fluke they're gonna need to completely destroy Boston and Cleveland, which I don't think is going to happen. Expect Van Gundy to be out as Head Coach in a couple of years. However, I am juiced to see if JWill still has it. Ill advised 3 pointers anyone?

Had KG not been injured last season, we could have been talking about a Lakers and Celtics rematch. The addition of Rasheed, Daniels and Williams should provide some necessary depth in the frontcourt. This will hopefully allow them to rest their Big 3 and ensure that they are healthy for the postseason. Rondo is on the verge of stardom; if he can keep his head straight. They need a backup PG, though.

ZEE!: The silly, grammatically butchered off season twitters from Paul Pierce about the Lakers vs Magic series were comical . And after an early post season exit the Celts have gotten desperate and picked up Sheed, so they could fulfill the possibility of having two maniacs on their squad at the same time. Now to the optimist, hope springs eternal that the Celts turn out to be as interesting on the court as they seem to be on paper. Only problem with this team thinking they are going to go all the way is Cleveland and Orlando, which have beefed up their respective squads, and are ready to go mano y mano with each other. Makes for great T.V. no?

The Cavs could finish anywhere from 1 to 3. The addition of Shaq is a big wildcard. Can he stay healthy and how will he affect team chemistry? He improves their offense, but he doesn't help their pick-and-roll defense at all. The addition of Parker, Powe and Moon are all underrated moves. This team doesn't look as intimidating on paper as the other Big 3, but they have Lebron James and play great defense.

ZEE!: Poor poor LeBron. Who does Danny Ferry think you are? Why does he seem content to surround you with average and past-their-prime players? Quote me, if this season produces nothing less than a finals win, LeBron is gone like the wind. No joke, even Stevie Wonder could see that. But hey if they do win, LeBron may just stay for another year or so. If Shaq can produce at a level on par with his time in Phoenix, then the Cavs may be on to something.

Pending the healthy of Arenas and Butler, this Wizards team is my dark horse pick. I expect them to make a huge turnaround this year. Arenas will be a beast. Let's not forget that Haywood missed nearly all of last year, too. The additions of Miller and Foye give this team even more firepower and depth. But the success of this team is pending on the development of Blatche, McGee and Young.

ZEE!: Gilbert Arenas, the first minute you come into camp, give back 1/3rd of your gaudy salary you were paid by the Wizards, learn to be a point guard, and shut up. That probably won't happen so Arenas and co (Butler, Jamison and ..... meh) are going to need to step it up from last years season, anything will be an improvement, but everyone on that team needs to focus on the next step. For goodness sakes, you play in front of the President of the United States!!

I had a tough time deciding on the 5th team, but I elected to go with the Bulls. I like them slightly better than either Miami or Atlanta. Rose will continue to develop, and the return of Deng from injury should help fill the void left behind by Gordon. To make it to the next level, however, they will need their big men to step up: Thomas, Noah, Miller and the rookies. Time will tell if last year was a fluke.

ZEE!: Derrick Rose, how do you fail the ACT 5 times?!?!?