Where Damon Stoudamire gets his pot.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Guest Post: James Kot

Today we have the first guest post in The Cold Draft's short history from James Kot, most recently of Canadian war epic, Passchendaele. If you haven't checked out the film, go to the theatres. Unless you're from the States, in which case you should try to download it illegally. James offers some thoughts on the upcoming NBA season.

Originally, I was set up to write a more comical piece that centered around Darius Miles on the Boston Celtics. I had plans for an over/under on Garnett-Miles stare downs, possible conversations with Ray Allen about his art collection, and the generally strange fact that Darius has worked with both the newly married Ryan and Scarlett…in films. (IMDB Darius Miles; seriously, I dare you.) But that idea got thrown in the crapper faster than young Darius’ career after he tested positive for drugs before the season even began. Instead, I did some random and quite possibly idiotic NBA hypothesizing three games into the season.

Here are some of my predictions.

Allen Iverson will get traded to Detroit for Billups, McDyess and a guy I’ve never heard.

MVP. Lebron. The more I think about it, the more I realize CP3 got robbed last year. Kobe wasn’t the MVP until Pau dropped in Los Angeles. New Orleans is a .500 team without Chris Paul instead of the two seed. I still think Kobe is the most talented player in the NBA but Lebron is a monster every night. The NBA gets it right this year and shows King James some love.

Rookie of the Year. Rudy Fernandez. The second half of the Olympic gold medal game signified this decision for me. If you can throw down on Dwight Howard, and not think twice about getting in Kobe’s face on the world stage, you’re destined for great things. Beasley will be a close second. Mayo gets the bronze on a stinker in the dirty south.

Biggest Disappointment. Artest in Houston. I think Ron-Ron will play fine for them, but the idea that he makes them a contender baffles me. The expectations are way too high. If I were the GM of that team, I would rest Yao until the last ten games of the season. There’s no way Yao plays 75 games this year.

Not as Bad as You Think. The Knicks. They are going to surprise people. They win ten more than last year and will be surprisingly exciting as David Lee’s set to break out with more playing time. I love that D’Antoni kicked Marbury to the curb too. I’m so sick and tired of hearing about that guy for any reason other than his affordable sneakers.

Comeback. If the Olympics were any sign of what’s to come, Dwyane Wade could be considered an MVP Candidate if the Heat win 45. His health being worth 30 more wins could be a real case for Wade.

Kevin “My Uncle was in the Beach Boys” Love will have an average year but will be my guy to watch in Rookies-Sophmores game at the All-Star Break. That kid is more competitive than “Pet Sounds” in Top 10 Lists and will want to make a statement on the big stage.

Philly will make the playoffs only to last four or five games. The Elton Brand signing was a mistake. Enjoy the World Series and the Flyers making a run.

I feel bad for Baron Davis. That team is going to be terrible and it’s not his fault. Luckily, my friend Rachel doesn’t work in the Clippers PR department anymore. It’s going to be tough trying to spin eleven wins.

Dwight Howard will have five 20- 20 games. God, I wonder what the odds are like on that in Vegas!

There will be an Atlanta Hawks-Boston Celtics brawl this year. The Atlanta Hawks seem like a disgruntled franchise that has WAY more confidence than they should. The aggressive nature of that first round series last year - plus, the Boston Celtics taking being the Champs quite seriously this year and Kevin Garnett taking being Kevin Garnett extremely seriously - should be the perfect recipe a good dust-up. I dare Zaza Pachulia to get in Garnett’s face like he did last year. I bet Garnett does a Gatorade Fierce commercial at some point during the proceedings.

Less technicals for Rasheed Wallace this year. A.I. gets his share in Motown. Maxiell is also a beast this year and earns his contract. I like him as darkhorse for sixth man of the year if he can get the minutes.

I love the Suns but I think the dream is over for the Steve Nash era out in Arizona. A half court Phoenix Suns team makes me want to cry. I don’t think it will work. I hope that I’m wrong. And I’m melancholic that I honestly believe the chances of Steve Nash winning a championship in Phoenix are slimmer than they are if he concludes his career north of the border with the Raptors.

The Jermaine O’Neal deal works out surprisingly well. As Calderon finishes only behind Chris Paul in assists and Chris Bosh has a tidy 24 points, 10 rebound season, O’Neal can have a twelve and ten season and be an impact defensive player this year. Raps win a playoff series in the postseason.

The Final. We’re going to have a repeat of the Celtics-Lakers final. I think the Lakers take it this year with much more depth in their line-up and a much missed James Posey no longer on the Boston sideline. Kobe wins the finals MVP with more weapons in his arsenal.

But you never know what’s going to happen. I haven’t ruled out a Detroit-New Orleans final as a possibility…

In closing, I’ve written this. A bit of rant trying to explain why we should embrace and not fear the globalization of the NBA.

The NBA is becoming an increasingly global league with basketball’s popularity soaring world wide following the success of the Olympics and subsequent growth in European markets. Josh Childress opting out of sitting on the bench in Hotlanta to make double his quote in Greece and Arizona recruit Brandon Jennings going pro in Rome (in order to forgo the mandated collegiate year) signifies to me that basketball is bigger than the house it’s been given. While some purists gasp at the idea of US born players leaving home turf, (and the excitement that comes with playing a road game in Salt Lake City on Tuesday night or the constant exploitation of the NCAA) I’m not one of them.

I see it differently. I see the NBA as a jump off point for the Champion’s League of Basketball. A global league with teams in Europe, North America and the Middle East will leave no doubt who the greatest players are and where they play. They will be in this league.

But we’re not there yet.

For now: the best are still in the NBA, The Slam Dunk Competition will garner another party at my house, and March Madness will still be the most exciting time of year.

It's great to be an arm-chair athlete this year.

No comments: