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Friday, April 17, 2009

Friday Detour: NBA Awards and Predictions

I didn’t grow up as an ardent follower of the NBA, since college sports were what was in my backyard. But when I moved to my first NBA city 8+ years ago, I realized why everyone thought it was FANtastic.

During those lean Nugget years, a group of 10 of us went in on season tickets, sat 10 rows off the court and each spent less than $75 TOTAL for the right to 4 pairs of tickets. In an age where there are seats at the new Yankee Stadium that run Wall Street broker $2500/seat, we would EACH receive 8 tickets, 10 rows off the court, for $75.

That was the year before Melo came to Denver and the Nuggs won 17 games that season. That June they drafted Melo and jacked the season price up to $1000 for the same seats. So our cost increased to $100 for the same 8 seats. Still we were glad to pay.

Denver won 43 games that year and made the playoffs, with us having the right to purchase playoff tix, which we gladly did.

Well, they wised up and when our account rep called us before the 2004-05 season he informed us that the price for our season tickets would be $4500, an increase of 450% over what we paid the previous year and a 600% increase over our first year.

So needless to say we disbanded our troupe of season ticket holders and have more recently picked single games to go to.

Even though I’m not sitting courtside anymore, I have still been following the NBA, and below are my 2008-09 NBA post season awards and predictions on the upcoming NBA playoffs.

MVP: DeWayne Wade, Miami Heat (second place). Instead of boring you with why LeBron should be the MVP, I will state my case for why DeWayne wade should come in second over Kobe or CP3. Wade led the league in scoring with a 30.2 average. He also averaged 7.5 assists and 5.0 rebounds. In any other year, those stats result in unanimous MVP voting.

Rookie: Derrick Rose, Chicago Bulls. In a stellar showing by first year players, Derrick Rose narrowly edges out NJ Net big man Brook Lopez for the Rookie of the Year award. Averaging 16.8/3.9/6.2, Rose led the Bulls to an 8 game improvement and playoff birth against the Boston Celtics.

Coach: George Karl, Denver Nuggets. One may argue this is a homer pick, but the Nuggets were predicted to finish below .500 by most pundits and finish out of the playoffs for the first time in Melo’s career. What Karl was able to do instead was instill a winning (and defensive) attitude to the squad and propel them to the second best record in the league.

Now for the playoff predictions:

Cleveland over Detroit in 5 – Reason: League MVP
Miami over Atlanta in 6 – Reason: Who’s In First (2nd place) MVP
Orlando over Philly in 4 – Reason: Next year’s MVP
Boston over Chicago in 7 – Reason: Without KG, this actually may end up as an upset

Cleveland over Miami in 6 – Reason: Home court rules
Orlando over Boston in 5 – Reason: Superman

Cleveland over Orlando in 7 – Reason: Howard can win a few games, but not in Cleveland

LA over Utah in 5 – Reason: Good series, in the end LA has too much depth
Portland over Houston in 6 – Reason: Houston’s D is stifling, but who scores for them?
Dallas over San Antonio in 7 – Reason: No Manu. No Texas toast
Denver over NO in 5 – Reason: JR Smith

LA over Portland in 5 – Reason: Kobe is prime
Denver over Dallas in 6 – Reason: Shut down Dirk. Shut down the Mavs

LA over Denver in 6 – Reason: Better team wins

LA over Cavs in 7 – Reason: Kobe won’t let the Lakers lose

So there you have it! I will post a follow up after the champion has been crowned to see how I did.

How do you think I did? Post a comment below.

Keep sporting!
-Who’s In First

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