Quantcast 2010 NBA: 2009-2010 NBA Season Review

 

2009-2010 Season Review

 

As this NBA regular season comes to a close tomorrow night, I will be following the entire way to see how the 2010 NBA Playoffs shape up, especially according to my preseason predictions. I certainly picked out some winners and a couple of surprises, but I also got my hopes up too high for some clubs that just have not delivered as I expected. Plus, there have been some really big surprises that I absolutely did not see coming this year (*cough* OKC *cough*). All in all, it has been a very fun regular season, and the playoffs are expected to be one of the most exciting that we have seen in years. The Western Conference is still tremendously tight, and the top four in the Eastern Conference are going to provide us with some classic semi-final action. So, let's find out how well I had foreseen my favorite and most exhilarating time of the year turning out.

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Beginning in the Eastern Conference, my expectations of the Celtics were a bit too high (#1), as were the expectations by many others regarding this team. However, the team to beat in the East has turned out to be none other than LeBron James's Cavaliers, who I had pegged to finish third behind Boston and Orlando. The Atlanta Hawks have been right about where I expected them to be, as I had them finishing fourth. These teams will be the top four in the East no matter how it is looked at; however, I did have a bit of trouble picking out the bottom half of the Eastern Conference bracket. Three teams that I had dubbed “playoff-bound” have seriously underachieved this season. The Raptors, Wizards, and 76ers are teams that I believed would finish fifth, sixth, and eighth respectively. And then cue the injuries and the guns. All three teams have been marred by injuries all season long, and the Gilbert Arenas gun incident completely ruined Washington's season to the point of total rebuilding. As far as Philly goes, bad coaching and players that have not played to their highest potential sealed the deal on the team's postseason hopes months ago, unfortunately. They really do have a solid core of talent. Finally, the Raptors are trying to hold on to the eighth and final playoff spot by their last talons because of injuries but, more importantly, a lack of focus. If this team had played to its fullest ability all season long, Toronto would be in fifth place. Instead, the Bucks and Bobcats made great transactions and have been able to clinch playoff berths in the East, while D-Wade's Miami Heat have basically lived up to my preseason expectations as a mediocre playoff team.

 

 


Let us now take a trip to the wild, wild west. You just gotta love the Western Conference. I particularly love the Western Conference, not only because of Jason Kidd and the fantastic competition, but because of the fact that I nabbed seven out of the eight confirmed playoff teams way back in October. Of course, I did not peg their exact order, but I do not feel bad because nobody can do that, even on this day. I had the Lakers finishing at the top, with Denver and Dallas finishing third and fourth respectively. As I mentioned in my last article, I did indeed have the San Antonio Spurs being the second-best in the conference because of their supreme depth and experience, but they are going to fall short of that, finishing no better than sixth. Portland, Utah, and Phoenix were also in my bracket, and the latter two pleasantly surprised me this season. The Jazz can potentially finish second, while I had them at seventh, and Phoenix can also grab that #2 spot, while I pegged them to finish eighth. My only true flaw in the Western Conference was failing to pick out the Oklahoma City Thunder, who will meet the Lakers in the first round. But who did? Durantula and the youngsters overwhelmingly exceeded everyone's expectations this year and definitely earned the respect of NBA fans across the world. Instead of OKC, I had the New Orleans Hornets clinching a spot. They have a talented group, but the injury-prone season that Chris Paul had was just too much for this team to handle. However, they have some really bright spots in the rookies, Darren Collison and Marcus Thornton. With that, I say, “Maybe next year, New Orleans.”

 

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Overall, I think I had a pretty successful prediction session back in October. Stay tuned for my official Playoffs 2010 predictions in the next few nights once the field is finally set. In October, my premonition was a 2008 rematch in this year's NBA Finals between the Lakers and Celtics. I might just have to rethink my Eastern Conference champions this time around. As a matter of fact, the Lakers shouldn't get too comfortable either.

 

By: Steven Barile
ProBasketball-fans.com Staff Writer


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