Gasol Will Be The Only Member Of The "Big 4" Who'll Play A Complete Season: Kobe is already a "game time decision" for tonight's game. Nash has had back problems for the past 5 years. And Dwight Howard is coming off of back surgery of his own. There's no way the Lakers "Big 4" stays healthy the entire season to play everyone. There's too much age and past injuries for that.
The Lakers Will Still Win 55 Games: Despite age, injury, and a weak bench, the Lakers will still win 55 games or more this year. The balance of power in the NBA has shifted East and the Western Conference doesn't look as good as it once did. The only real competition for the Lakers this year in the Pacific Division are the Clippers. The Lakers should win at least 55 games.
Orlando Will Win The Lottery: Look at the history of the lottery the past couple of years and you'll see that a team that has lost a star player has gone into the tank and came out winning the lottery in May (Cleveland 2 years ago, New Orleans last year). Going off recent history I'm guessing the Magic will be gift wrapped the lottery.
Andrew Bynum Will Have One Blowup With Doug Collins: Maybe it's a combination of Collins getting older and more gentler with the Sixers having players who won't do crazy shit like shooting a 3-pointer before the rest of the team gets in rebounding position, but Collins hasn't had a heated moment in Philly yet. That changes this year with Bynum. Bynum will get frustrated and jack up a 3 in the least appropriate time or nail a 5'10" point guard in mid-air and get ejection. Something will happen that will make Collins blow up.
Monta Ellis or Brandon Jennings Will Get Scott Skiles Fired: Speaking of coaches who run hot, I would be surprised if Scott Skiles doesn't get fired sometime this season. The east is loaded so it wouldn't surprise me if Milwaukee struggles. With the Bucks struggling I could see Monta or Jennings waning of Skiles and having him fired because they'll be tired of him.
This Will Be The Kings Final Season In Sacramento: This is the most painful prediction, but I just don't see the Kings staying in Sacramento. Especially after this article by Woj saying Stern in his final year and a half as commissioner is going to push hard to get Seattle a team. Unless a miracle happens and the Maloofs sell the Kings to someone who wants to stay in Sacramento and accept Mayor Johnson's offer, they're headed to Seattle.
Just Our Luck The Kings Will Turn Into The Thunder: Reading SI's preview of the NBA, they have a scout talking about each team. The scout who talked about the Kings completely trashed them, but it wouldn't surprise me if this is the year they improve to 35 to 40 wins, move, and then make the playoffs the following year. This would be Sacramento's luck.
Kevin Martin Will Have A Big Year In OKC: Lost in whether Harden was greedy or not or why would he want to leave a contender for a team that looks like it will be on the fringe, is the fact the Thunder picked up a pretty good scorer in Kevin Martin to come off the bench. Martin isn't the ballhandler Harden is obviously, but he's a much better shooter and someone who can play a pick-and-roll game with Westbrook or Durant. He'll have a big year in OKC and the Thunder will be alright without Harden.
The Warriors Will Disappoint Again: The Warriors fans always get their hopes up just to have them crash down on them. Warriors fans should be excited though. They have nice pieces in Steph Curry, Andrew Bogut, David Lee, and Klay Thompson. Thompson especially is a nice player who will only get better. It's the other three who will crush the Warriors fans hopes. Curry and Bogut haven't been able to stay healthy and Lee hasn't been the same since that devastating elbow injury. Warriors will disappoint again.
The Bulls Will Struggle Without Rose: My understatement of this portion of the predictions. Rose could return this year but in his absence the Bulls will struggle mightily. Look at that lineup and what they did in last year's Philly series after Rose went down and ask yourself can they really compete without Rose in a loaded conference? And the more Rose stays out the less I'm convinced the Bulls will even make the playoffs.
LeBron Will Be The MVP Again: Lebron probably won't win the MVP again because voters in the NBA seem like they get fatigued* over voting the same person as MVP every year. Still though Lebron will no doubt be the best player in the league and should win the MVP again.
*This happened to Michael Jordan and the voters in the 90's. Jordan should have won the MVP every year he played in the NBA during the 90's but didn't because voters got tired of voting for him. The same thing happened to Lebron two years ago when Rose won.
This Should Be One Of The Best NBA Seasons In Years: Confession time, because of the rise of talent in the NBA combined with my tiredness of Calipari and Kentucky I've watched more NBA games these past couple of years than college basketball. I love college basketball but that sport just isn't what it used to be and the NBA in my opinion has become the most exciting league in sports. Thus I've started watching more NBA games than college.
With all that being said I expect this to be one of the best NBA seasons in years. The league is loaded with talent and there are enough teams despite Miami, OKC, and the Lakers to keep my interest in the league. This should be one of the best seasons in years for the NBA and I couldn't look more forward to it.