I made some predictions for the NFL before the season got started and I couldn’t have been more off base; especially regarding Colin Kaepernick. It’s funny reading it now since the 49ers were eliminated from the playoffs. I had started working on post this before the holidays and one of the original predictions I wrote came true this week
(shout to the Cavs finally moving Dion Waiters) so I had to revamp them slightly.
I’ve always said that the Hawks will never prosper because they drafted Marvin Williams when they could’ve had Chris Paul. Yet in a weakened East, the Hawks very well could sneak into the ECF. You might be surprised to know that the Hawks are #1 in assists per game. Jeff Teague is having a career year in assists and shooting percentage. In terms of the latter, he’s ahead of Russell Westbrook and Derrick Rose for qualified playing time. What’s worked for the Hawks is that their starting 5 has played cohesively thus far. They beat Cleveland, Houston, Dallas, and the Clippers all in the same week. They’re getting it done by playing traditional, blue-collar basketball. A lot can happen up until the trade deadline, but Atlanta is one team that won’t be making any changes. As the current #1 seed, the Hawks are poised to be playing basketball in June.
Stephen Curry wins season MVP: Curry has become the point guard we expected him to be when he was drafted out of little-known Davidson College. I view Curry as the heir-apparent for Deron Williams’s spot in the “Top 5” conversation of point guards. Curry has 530 field goal attempts and is 58% from inside the arc. Statistically that translates to Curry is as skilled getting to the cup now as he is from 3 point range. So Marc Gasol and Anthony Davis might be more “deserving”. But this award will be Stephen Curry’s.
Anthony Davis wins DOPY: Naming the defensive player of the year is as tight of a race as is the season’s MVP. The candidates range from this young superstar to 34 and 38 year old Pau Gasol and Tim Duncan. If you ignore win shares, it’s hard to diminish what Anthony Davis is doing down in New Orleans. He’s the leading score among power forwards, as well as the 4th leading scorer overall. He’s averaging 10.5 rebounds per game with more defensive rebounds than LaMarcus Aldridge and Duncan. He’s surely on pace to be the best big man to ever come out of Kentucky.
Melo will shut it down: Melo’s game was never based on being explosive or super athletic like Lebron. However, he’s spent most of his career on the “bulkier” side and only recently began playing the 4. That’s beginning to show with the recent pains in his back and knee. He did a video saying that him sitting out for the remainder of the season are just rumors. However, it’d work in his and the Knicks’ favor to take the rest of the season off. He’s not helping the Knicks by playing through the pain. They’ll be lucky if they win 15 games this year. Once the All Star break is over, I think the Knicks brass will essentially force him to sit out. After all, they need a healthy and rejuvenated Melo in order to sway a major free agent to sign in NY this summer.
The big 3 era comes to an end: It’s an era we’ll remember for so many reasons. It brought out the true meaning of bandwagon fans. It brought out an unprecedented amount of hate for one player. But players understand that they are their own brands now. I’d even go out on a limb to say the Miami’s big 3 worked so well because Lebron took the humble route. He was rewarded for that. He’s trying to do the same thing in Cleveland with a group of younger players. So far, no one’s impressed. With TV revenue kicking in, I don’t see any marquee players being convinced to take a pay cut for the allure of winning a ring.
Any other bold predictions?