It’s that time of year, where everybody and their mother puts out the obligatory preseason predictions. And who am I to buck tradition?
So here are my predictions for the upcoming season. Feel free to disagree with me, argue with me, and berate me. I probably deserve it.
Sixth Man of the Year
So everybody knows about the big three in Miami, but many people forget about the supporting cast. There isn’t a lot of depth on the roster but Mike Miller could be in a position to have a BIG year as the sixth man for a team with three players who demand double teams. If the Heat expect to go anywhere this season, they will need guys like Miller to step up and fill a role. Miller will be the 4th scorer and primary shooter entrusted with relieving pressure from the Miami Thrice. Mike Miller is my odds on favorite to win the 2010 NBA Sixth Man of the Year award.
Rookie of the Year
John Wall and Evan turner received most of the publicity during the 2010 draft, but draft hype doesn’t always translate into production on the court. I believe both guys will be very good NBA players in time, but a confluence of circumstances may hinder their immediate effectiveness. Wall is extremely talented yet joins a Wizards team with a complicated backcourt situation. The Wizards roster still features the eccentric Gilbert Arenas, and now adds in highly regarded veteran point guard Kirk Hinrich in a trade with the Bulls. Evan Turner joins a 76er team in transition. They will look to new head coach Doug Collins to form an identity after a 27-55 season, 14 games worse than the previous year. And Turner is eerily similar in talents and style to 76ers leading scorer Andre Iguodala. AI has length and athleticism on Turner, while neither man excels at the perimeter jump shot. The player who could step out of this draft to make an immediate impact is DeMarcus Cousins. At 6’11″ and 270 lbs, Cousins has the size, athleticism, and skill to excel at the NBA level and he joins a young and talented Kings team desperately in need of an inside presence. If his work ethic and focus are on par, expect DeMarcus Cousins to rise above the pack for the 2010 Rookie of the Year award.
Defensive Player of the Year
Dwight Howard is the odds on favorite to win this award in any given year. This season should be no different as the Magic star continues to be regarded by most as the best center in the game, and will likely continue to lead the league in both rebounds and blocked shots. Dwight Howard will win his third consecutive Defensive Player of the Year award by a slim margin over Lebron James.
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