The Hardwood Nation’s 2013-14 NBA Predictions

Surprise Team:  

G.R. Baker:  Houston Rockets

The Houston Rockets will be a good team but I feel as if they will be better than what many people currently think.  The Rockets could become the Western Conference champions do to the inside/outside tandem of James Harden and Dwight Howard but their bench will be particularly strong as well.  

C.D. Paul:  Washington Wizards

John Wall, Bradley Beal, Nene and newly acquired Marcin Gortat got them a nice nucelus to work with, also adding Otto Porter Jr. in the draft and the luxury of being in the East can get them a 40 win plus season, that’s right, I believe if this team is healthy, 40 wins, the guards can create for their teammates and get their own shot, Nene is solid in the post, and Gortat will solidify them as far as rebounding. they will be the 2nd best team in their division.

C.L. Anthony:  Golden State Warriors 

In the vain of G.R. Bakers assessment of the Houston Rockets, I think that people expect the Golden State Warriors to be good but I can actually see them making a run to the Western Conference Finals.  They are young, dynamic and can beat teams in a number of ways.  Who’s to say that the Warriors if healthy during last season’s playoff run would not have defeated the San Antonio Spurs?  It was a tough 6 game series and perhaps the Warriors could be won if not for the injuries to Bogut, Lee, and Stephen Curry.  

Rookie of the Year:

G.R. Baker:  Victor Oladipo

If the playing time is there consistently, Victor Oladipo will be a major factor in the Orlando Magic’s current youth movement and will garner national attention.  It’s not hard being the best player on a team with low expectations but at least it will grow his legend in the meantime.  

C.D. Paul:  Victor Oladipo

The draft I thought was a weak one, but in my eyes, I think he could be a star in the making, his jumpshot is better than I thought, attacks the rim, disrupt the passing lanes, he will get at least 30 minutes a game, and at times, I believe he will be the one closing games too, sky is the limit for this kid.


C.L. Anthony:  Trey Burke

Looks like we all like guards, the injury to his right index finger concerns me but if we go back to March’s NCAA Tournament, I saw something in this kids eyes that I’ve only seen a few other athletes (Dwyane Wade/Russell Westbrook) have.  I’ve always enjoyed players that play with a certain passion, a certain fire and this kid has that in him.  Upon his return, around January, Burke will make his name known despite the Jazz being the bottom feeders of the Western Conference.  


Defensive Player of the Year:

G.R. Baker:  Dwight Howard

It’s kind of a joke that Marc Gasol won the award last season despite the fact that Howard’s numbers just wasn’t there.  This year and seemingly 100% healed, it’s Howard’s award to lose.

C.D. Paul:  Larry Sanders

I remember seeing a stat whereas when Sanders is on the Floor, that teams were allowed 95 points over 100 possessions while Skiles were there. He doesn’t rebound as much as a big man should but he does alter shots and blocked 2.83 a game.  He actually had a 10 block game against the Timberwolves last season.  Milwaukee is not really a good team at the moment, but, if he can carry them on that side of the ball and have them overachieve a bit, then he should be recognized because he can guard the post and does it very well. 

C.L. Anthony:  Dwight Howard

Dwight Howard being in Houston along side of James Harden does one thing, takes the offensive pressure of off the center.  Lets be honest, Howard lacks the offensive fortitude of past greats who’ve played center for the Rockets and if Howard is to stand along side of the like of Moses Malone, Yao Ming, and Hakeem Olajuwon then it must be done on the defensive end.  Leave the offense to James Harden and the other quick 2’s and 3’s and patrol the paint like we all know he can.  

Coach of the Year:

G.R. Baker:  Jason Kidd

I feel Jason kidd might do a descent job and better than most think.  In order for Kidd to win I feel that the Brooklyn Nets would have to have a great regular season as in top 3 in the Eastern Conference.  Being recently retired from the league, the trick for Kidd will be commanding the respect of his veterans in crunch time.  They can’t question his authority in those scenarios.

C.D. Paul:  Mike Brown

No Lebron James to add any amounted pressure, but he will be looked upon to get the Cavs back in the right direction.  I think he got a bad rep since he dealt with players that wanted to be elsewhere.  Get Bynum Healthy, preach defense to Bennett and Thompson and he already has a building block defensive with Varejao and athletic guard in Waiters.  They could be a really good defensive team and take the pressure off Irving and watch him blossom before our very eyes.  If Cleveland makes the playoffs and gets into top 10 categories with their defense, he could be very well be Coach of the Year. 

C.L. Anthony:  Erik Spoesltra 

It’s simply time!!!  What does one have to do to win this award after never missing the playoffs as a coach and maneuvering a franchise to 3 straight NBA Finals appearances.  Just the motivation aspect alone is hard to do.  Also there were moments during last season’s finals where Spoestra made better adjustments than the Gregg Popovich who is considered as the NBA coach of this era, for that alone Spoesltra deserves the award.  If it was up to him he’d never win it because he doesn’t care to but if the Heat again top the Eastern Conference in the standings by season’s end, the award should be his.  


NBA MVP:

G.R. Baker:  Chris Paul

Yup I got Chris Paul, only because it’s Chris Freaking Paul and that’s all I got

C.D. Paul:  Kevin Durant

Westbrook is going to be out for four to six weeks, Kevin Durant must make his guys that he has available now such as Jeremy Lamb, Reggie Jackson, and Serge Ibaka better while finding ways to dominate. Durant is a offensive machine, can pratically get any shot he wants, I think he comes out to a hot start without his sidekick Westbrook, and it’s his to win just as long as he doesn’t get complacent. 


C.L. Anthony:  Derrick Rose

Everyone loves a comeback and this could be one of the best comeback stories of all time.  With LeBron James dominating the NBA news cycle for parts of the last 4 years fatigue can sit in among the voters where they want to reward new blood.  LeBron is still by far the best player of this era, Derrick Rose however will win the MVP this season.  

2013-14 NBA Champion:  

G.R. Baker:  MiamI Heat

The Heat are the team to beat based on the additions of Greg Oden and Michael Beasley akin to Ray Allen and Chris Anderson joining the team last season.  As always the Heat are one of the best defensive teams in the NBA and we know that in crunch time, defense wins championships.  

C.D. Paul:  Miami Heat

I’m not really sure on this, but, as of right now, i’m sticking with “they are the champs, beat them otherwise” mantra. I do believe the champion is coming out of the east, right now, i’m 50% Miami, 30% Indiana, 20% Chicago, those are the only teams that could beat them in a seven game series because of the physicality style that they play, Pacers still have a turnover problem that Miami can capitalize on, but that Scola addition is going to be cruical, Granger’s health as well, that’s if he’s not traded by the deadline. The Bulls get Derrick Rose back, we know what he does, and it show what the Bulls was lacking. Miami Heat at 50% to win title. 

C.L. Anthony:  Indiana Pacers

This pick is more out of respect than anything else.  I predicted two years ago that this will be the year that the Miami Heat are dethroned as champions and I’m sticking to that and the Indiana Pacers represents the franchise that’s next in line.  The ascension of Paul George has been one of my favorite things to watch in the NBA over the past year but the Pacers are much more than George.  They’re bench has been solidified with the additions of Luis Scola and C.J. Watson and the re-signing of David West was huge.  For the last two seasons the Heat have eliminated the Pacers from the playoffs but for the Pacers, the third time will be the charm.  

Agree with The Hardwood Nation?  Lets us know, disagree with us, let us know as well!!!  Lets get this new NBA season started right (and the debates) and as always we’d like to say thank you to all of our fans because you’re the reason that we continue to do this and continue to grow.  



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