Chicago Bulls

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. More Much, color : as this chart from Http://www.82games.com will Illustrate

Plus / Minus splits for Shaq-Kobe

Player Situation Off48 Def48 Net48 W L

Shaq with Kobe 104.0 93.5 +10.5 45 10

Shaq w / out Kobe 95.0 91.2 +3.8 34 29

Kobe with Shaq 104.0 93.5 +10.5 45 10

Kobe w / out Shaq 94.7 99.3 -4.6 22 36

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

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