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NBA 2004-2005 Season Preview

Here are your big stories for the upcoming new season:

·Kobe Bryant found guilty of rape. Lakers are forced to “bend over” for Kobe’s manhood and finish with their worst record in 10 years
·Mark Cuban shocks the world as he gives away the Dallas Mavericks on his show, The Benefactor! Although the show was cancelled before this episode was aired, the transfer of ownership is legal and binding.
·Vince Carter traded to Knicks! Unfortunately, trade had to be annulled after Vince fails medical. After years of speculation, doctors confirm that Carter indeed has no heart.

Ok, so those may not actually pan out, but here are some that we think will:

·SHAQ catches latino Heat in Miami as the city gets playoff fever
·James may be King, but it’s Carmelo that finds playoff gold for the 2nd year in a row
·Vince Carter traded Knicks! Team then goes on to loss 15 straight and fall out of playoff contention as Vince’s heart is called into question.

The focus of this year will not be on the top two draft picks, but on (arguably) the top 2 players in the league. Expect Kobe and Shaq to dominate national headlines as each will set out to prove that they were not the cause of the Lakers collapse in the Final’s against the Nets. It is a matter of public record that during stretches of the last 2 seasons, that when either Kobe or Shaq would go down with an “injury”, the Lakers won more with Kobe OUT of the line-up, then when Shaq was out of the lineup. Much more, as this chart from www.82games.com will illustrate

Plus/Minus splits for Shaq-Kobe
PlayerSituation+/-Off48Def48Net48WLW%
Shaqwith Kobe+379 104.0 93.5 +10.5 45 10 81%
Shaqw/out Kobe+57 95.0 91.2 +3.8 34 29 54%
Kobewith Shaq+379 104.0 93.5 +10.5 45 10 81%
Kobew/out Shaq-67 94.7 99.3 -4.6 22 36 38%

Looking forward though, none of that matters as both players go into this season surround by a new starting 4.

Shaquille and Miami aside, the next biggest story will be how 5 of the 8 playoff teams from the East may be below .500. We expect quality basketball to be hard to come by in the East. Your two other top teams will be Detroit and Indiana. We expect Isiah Thomas to make things interesting in New York, Lebron James to make highlight reels in Cleveland, and Toronto to be Charlotte’s 2nd rival (after New Orleans) as they will be battling to stay out of the cellar.

The Sun may set in the West, but we feel that this team is on the rise, and ready to take the next step forward. The Kings, Timberwolves, Lakers and Spurs will be hard pressed to keep them out of the top 4 this year. With the possible exception of Seattle, every team should be fun to watch this year.

Here are our predictions for the final standing this season

Eastern Conference

Atlantic

Boston Celtics
New York Knicks
Philadelphia 76ers
New Jersey Nets
Toronto Raptors

Central

Detroit Pistons
Indiana Pacers
Milwaukee Bucks
Cleveland Caveliers
Chicago Bulls

Southeast

Miami Heat
Orlando Magic
Washington Wizards
Atlanta Hawks
Charlotte Bobcats

Western Conference

Southwest

San Antonio Spurs
Houston Rockets
Memphis Grizzlies
Dallas Mavericks
New Orleans Hornets

Northwest

Denver Nuggets
Minnesota Timberwolves
Utah Jazz
Portland Trailblazers
Seattle Supersonics

Pacific

Phoenix Suns
Sacromento Kings
Los Angelos Lakers
Golden State Warriors
Las Angelos Clippers


About the Author

Gary Whittaker is the editor of T.E.N Magazine, a webzine with balls. Check out more articles at http://www.tenwebzine.com

Gary Whittaker