NBA 2012-13 Christmas Game Predictions

The NBA will have possibly the greatest Christmas schedule in NBA Christmas Day game history. Here are the games and the predictions. These will be tough for certain people to predict, though I’ll take my best guesses.

The Christmas Day Matchups

Boston Celtics @ Brooklyn Nets, 12 p.m. EST

The Boston Celtics and the Brooklyn Nets are playing in a huge and very important Atlantic division matchup. Both teams have talented backcourts, as Joe Johnson and Deron Williams will lead the Nets, and Rajon Rondo leading the way for the Celtics. The Celtics have been struggling this season, and hope to end those struggles ASAP.

My call: The Boston Celtics will leave Brooklyn with a huge and unforgettable performance from Rajon Rondo, but come come up short of a win. The Final Score… Nets 109, Celtics 99

New York Knicks @ Los Angeles Lakers, 3 p.m. EST

The NY Knicks and the LA Lakers have already faced off this season, and the Knicks won 116-107, though the Lakers were Nash-less. Carmelo Anthony had left the game with with a left ankle injury after taking a hit from Lakers Center Dwight Howard on a very physical foul. Though both of these injured players are expected to return.

My call: The Lakers will finally show that they are good enough with Nash and that they are still a championship-caliber team. The Final Score: Lakers 111, Knicks 108

Oklahoma City Thunder @ Miami Heat, 5:30 p.m. EST

The Miami Heat will play their 2nd straight Christmas against their NBA Finals opponent. This year, they’ll face the Oklahoma City Thunder. The Heat beat the Thunder in 5 games, as LeBron James, probably the best player in the NBA right now, got the best of Kevin Durant, probably the 2nd best in the NBA right now, Dwyane Wade got the best of Russell Westbrook, and Chris Bosh got the best of defensive-minded player Serge Ibaka. The Thunder have been very quiet since then, and not as good as the James Harden-Thunder team from last season. The Heat have improved since last season by adding Ray Allen and Rashard Lewis. Though still, you can’t count any of these teams out, and this sure will be one exciting matchup in the 2011-2012 NBA Finals rematch.

My call: This will be the best game this Christmas and will be very unforgettable, as The Durantchula (Kevin Durant), and King James (LeBron James) post up eye-popping numbers. The Miami Heat will show that they are the best team in the NBA right now, as well as show why they were the winners of the 2011-2012 NBA Finals, and why they are the favorites for winning a repeat championship and adding one more Christmas win (and possibly one more ring to the Big 3’s resume’). The Final Score: Heat 120, Thunder 116.

Houston Rockets @ Chicago Bulls, 8 p.m. EST

The Houston Rockets are lead by James Harden and Jeremy Lin. The Bulls are lead by  Joakim Noah and Carlos Boozer. These are 2 teams that have had average seasons. None of the teams have eye-popping stats, they have multiple injured players, and both teams are not number 1 in their division or conference. The Rockets seemed like Western Conference favorites, and the Chicago Bulls seemed like ultimate flops, though the Rockets teams starting falling apart, and Tom Thibodeau started getting his team back on track.

My call: This will be the lowest-scoring Christmas Day game this season, though the Rockets have shown that they can challenge some great teams this season and will for many seasons to come. The Final Score: Rockets 86, Bulls 82.

Denver Nuggets @ Los Angeles Clippers, 10:30 p.m. EST

This game shows some Western Conference playoff atmosphere, and Lob City will play its 2nd Christmas Day game.

My call: Lob City, lead by Chris Paul, will blowout the Nuggets. The Final Score: Clippers 111, Nuggets 80

Your Thoughts? Leave a comment below…

My NBA Eastern Conference Playoff Bracket

There are many teams who are starting off fresh, so this year will be much more competitive than last year or any other year so far.

THE EASTERN CONFERENCE

The East hasn’t been known as the very competitive conference, though now, teams like the Brooklyn Nets and new-look NY Knicks might have a shot at beating powerhouse teams such as the Miami Heat and the Boston Celtics. Here is my bracket.

1. Miami Heat

Miami is coming in as championship favorites and are defending champs from last year. Miami will still rely on LeBron, D-Wade, and Chris Bosh, though they will rely on point guard Mario Chalmers and bench players such as Ray Allen, Rashard Lewis, Norris Cole, and Udonis Haslem.

2. Boston Celtics

Boston is an aging team with one of the strongest benches in the league. This team is still led by Rajon Rondo. Leandro Barbosa will lead the bench for the Celtics this year.

3. Brooklyn Nets

The Nets are now in Brooklyn and are ready to go in a new stadium and new city. D-Will, Gerald Wallace, and Kris Humphries will lead the pack in its 1st year in Brooklyn.

4. NY Knicks

NY has no Jeremy Lin, though they still have ‘Melo and Amar’e Stoudemire, and Raymond Felton has returned. NY is a led by reigning defensive player of the year Tyson Chandler, though their offense will need to improve if they want to surpass round 1 of the NBA playoffs. Amar’e Stoudemire was officially on Tuesday afternoon (October 30, 2012) listed on the injured list for the beginning of the 2012-2013 season. He will be out 6-8 weeks with a left knee injury. Jason Kidd signed a contract to play with the NY Knicks.

5. Philly (Philadelphia) 76ers

The 76ers were the only Eastern Conference team that had effect on the Dwight Howard trade, as they got Andrew Bynum from the Lakers, and Jason Richardson from the Magic. The downside is the fact that the ‘Sixers lost Andre Iguodala, who went to the Denver Nuggets. Nick Young went from the Clippers to the ‘Sixers. The ‘Sixers have the talent from point guard Jrue Holiday to get past round 1 and possibly past the Conference Semifinals.

6. Chicago Bulls

Derrick Rose was furious and he told Tom Thibodeau that no matter what, he will not miss a single game this season.  This will be the main reason that the Bulls will be the 6th seed. Other than that, their defense has been struggling. When Derrick Rose injured his ankle, players like Joakim Noah, Luol Deng, and Carlos Boozer weren’t able to carry the load for Chicago. The same exact thing happened in the playoffs, though even players like Taj Gibson and Kyle Korver were struggling with their defense, and later on, everything in the organization started falling apart, and because of that, their offense started struggling, and Tom Thibodeau couldn’t lead his team back into the series. If they continue these struggles with Derrick Rose, it’s going to be a very long 82-game season for the Chicago Bulls.

7. Indiana Pacers

The Indiana Pacers were the most surprising team this season, and most of that surprise was due to the addition of power forward David West. He will carry the pack for the number 3 ranked defense from last season. The low part will be that Danny Granger, the Pacers premier small forward and elite scorer and playmaker, will be out with a sore knee. George Hill, leading the way at point guard, is very healthy and ready to go for this season. He is ruled as the starter due to Darren Collison contract expiration, as he became a free agent, he signed a contract with the Dallas Mavericks after Jason Kidd signed a contract with the NY Knicks.

8. Orlando Magic

Despite the loss of Dwight Howard, who signed with the LA Lakers, the Magic got valuable players from the trade, such as Arron Afflalo and Al Harrington. Jameer Nelson and Glen ‘Big Baby’ Davis said that they are ready to lead this team to a good season after being upset by the Indiana Pacers in 5 games in round 1 of last seasons playoffs. JJ Redick and Hedo Turkoglu are players who will be very important roles. The Magic hired new GM Rob Hennigan and new head coach Jacques Vaughn.

* All Logos used here are property of the NBA and the respective teams.

My Top 5 NBA Power Rankings 2012-13

The NBA season is nearing, as tipoff is October 30th. Here are my power rankings and my expectations for each team this season.

(1) Miami Heat

The defending champions are coming in to this season as huge championship contenders for this season. LeBron James, Dwyane Wade, and Chris Bosh had stellar performances in the playoffs, and should carry the load for the rest of the season. Mario Chalmers and Ray Allen will help out the Big 3 when certain struggles start happening.

(2) OKC Thunder

The Western Conference champions are turning into one of the more younger teams in the NBA. Kevin Durant and Co. have the talent to return to the Finals, though teams such as the Lakers and Clippers could come in their way and effect their huge run for this season.

(3) LA Lakers

The 1980 LA Lakers were called “Showtime” for their stellar offensive play. “Showtime” seems to return after the arrivals of free agent Steve Nash, and the 4-team deal in a trade which got them Dwight Howard, adding to the phenomenon called Kobe Bryant. Expect them to be competitive, though don’t be surprised if OKC surpasses them in the tough Western Conference battles.

(4) LA Clippers

The Clippers certainly got some hope when Chris Paul signed the deal with LA. The Clippers can get No. 1 in the Pacific Division, though their defense will need to improve for that to happen.

(5) Boston Celtics

The Boston Celtics have one of the oldest starting lineups in Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce. Rajon Rondo has showed the world why he deserves to be the best point guard as well as the best passer in the NBA. Though this team certainly doesn’t lack any depth in their bench, with players like Leandro Barbosa, Keyon Dooling, Jason Terry, a fresh and healthy Jeff Green, and aging Darko Milicic, who is still considered a great jump shooter for a center and a great defensive player who continues to excel in his ability to help his team off the bench.

And the 2012-2013 NBA champion is…

The Miami Heat are repeat-champions thanks to the great bench play and help from Ray Allen. The LA Lakers will be the Western Conference champions and will surpass the OKC Thunder who have a struggling bench and are expected to lose James Harden near the trade deadline late February.

Award Picks:

MVP: LeBron James

Defensive Player of the Year: Dwight Howard

Rookie of the Year: Anthony Davis

Coach of the Year: Eric Spoelstra

Most Improved Player of the Year: Jeremy Lin

Sixth Man of the Year: Ray Allen

* All Logos used here are property of the NBA and the respective teams.