Sunday, October 27, 2013

NBA 2013-14 Top 50 Player Rankings

NBA 2013-14 Top 50 Player Rankings

99 - LeBron James
97 - Kevin Durant
96 - Chris Paul
95 - Carmelo Anthony
95 - James Harden
94 - Derrick Rose
94 - Kobe Bryant
94 - Russell Westbrook 
93 - Dwight Howard
93 - Stephen Curry
93 - Kyrie Irving
92 - Tony Parker
92 - Dwyane Wade
92 - Paul George
92 - Blake Griffin
91 - Kevin Love
91 - Deron Williams
91 - Marc Gasol
91 - Rajon Rondo
90 - Tim Duncan
90 - Dirk Nowitzki
89 - Chris Bosh
89 - LaMarcus Aldridge
89 - Roy Hibbert
88 - Joachim Noah
88 - John Wall
88 - Al Horford
88 - Zach Randolph 
88 - Paul Pierce
87 - Brook Lopez
87 - DeMarcus Cousins
87 - Andre Iguodala
87 - Rudy Gay
86 - Pau Gasol
86 - Mike Conley
86 - Damian Lillard
86 - Josh Smith
85 - Anthony Davis
85 - Ty Lawson
85 - Kawhi Leonard
84 - Serge Ibaka
84 - Kevin Garnett
83 - Joe Johnson
83 - Tyson Chandler
83 - Monta Ellis
82 - Jrue Holiday
82 - Al Jefferson
82 - Luol Deng
81 - David West
80 - David Lee

NBA 2013/14 Season Predictions

Eastern Conference
1 Miami Heat 67-15
2 New York Knicks 57-25
3 Indiana Pacers 55-27
4 Chicago Bulls 54-28
5 Brooklyn Nets 52-30
6 Washington Wizards 44-38
7 Toronto Raptors 42-40
8 Cleveland Cavaliers 40-42
9 Atlanta Hawks 37-45
10 Detroit Pistons 33-49
11 Milwaukee Bucks 32-50
12 Charlotte Bobcats 31-51 
13 Boston Celtics 24-58
14 Orlando Magic 21-51
  15 Philadelphia 76ers 14-68

Western Conference
1 Los Angeles Clippers 60-22  
2 San Antonio Spurs 56-26
3 Oklahoma City Thunder 55-27
4 Houston Rockets 54-28
5 Golden State Warriors 53-29
6 Dallas Mavericks 48-34
7 Memphis Grizzlies 47-35
8 Minnesota Timberwolves 43-39
9 Los Angeles Lakers 37-45
10 Portland Trail Blazers 36-46
11 New Orleans Pelicans 35-47
  12 Denver Nuggets 33-49
13 Sacramento Kings 31-51
14 Phoenix Suns 22-60
15 Utah Jazz 17-65

MVP - LeBron James
Finals MVP - LeBron James (Heat over Thunder in Five)
Scoring Champ - Kevin Durant
DPOY - LeBron James
Rookie - Victor Oladipo
Sixth Man - Jamal Crawford
Most Improved - East, Jonas Valanciunas/ West, Kawhi Leonard
Bust Potential - East, Amare Stoudemire/ West, Tyreke Evans
Coach - Doc Rivers
Highlight OTY - Kevin Durant poster dunk
All-NBA First Team - Paul, Harden, James, Durant, Howard
All-NBA Second Team - Rose, Curry, Anthony, Griffin, Love
All-NBA Third Team - Parker, Bryant, Wade, George, M. Gasol
All-Rookie - Oladipo, Burke, McLemore, Zeller, Olynyk
got beef? talk to me @devingray33 

Saturday, August 10, 2013

Divisional All-Stars: West

This idea came to me via a twitter proposal; what if instead of conference all-star teams, each division put forth a team of their top players to compete tournament-style? I've made them teams of ten with one wild-card player, a young and intriguing guy along for the ride who are mostly rookies but I made a few exceptions for talent or for lack of talent on a certain team within a strong division. If each city/ team had to be represented in the Divisional All-Star team with at least one player, here's what the lineups might look like in the Eastern Conference divisions, and how they might play.

Pacific Division

C - Pau Gasol
PF - Blake Griffin
SF - Kobe Bryant
SG - Steph Curry
PG - Chris Paul

Andre Iguodala
Klay Thompson
Andrew Bogut
Steve Nash
DeMarcus Cousins
and... Eric Bledsoe 

With Chris Paul and Steph Curry in the backcourt this team will have an amazing series with the Central Division featuring Derrick Rose and Kyrie Irving. Imagine that matchup!? I'd start Pau and slot him at the elbows allowing Blake to make his awkward post-ups with plenty of space, and crash to the basket if he can crash his way around his defender. They won't be elite rebounders but it's not like Kobe and Steph are going to miss many shots when Chris Paul is setting them up. Iguodala off the bench can defend any of the LeBron/Melo/Harden types if one of the point guards goes to the bench. Klay is another shooter, one of the greatest luxuries in the NBA. If you need rebounding and Pau and Blake just aren't doing it, put the Big Aussie in and see what happens if he's playing at his best. Steve Nash can play veterans minutes and be a leader and DeMarcus Cousins can do the opposite of that. Bledsoe is along for the ride because of his break-out potential and current status as one of the biggest potential breakout stars of the year. This team will be dangerous.

NorthWest Division

C - LaMarcus Aldridge
PF - Kevin Love
SF - Kevin Durant
SG - Damian Lillard
PG - Russell Westbrook

Ty Lawson
Danilo Gallinari
Ricky Rubio
Nikola Pekovic
Serge Ibaka
and... Trey Burke

Lillard should be an All-Star this year, I'm going to go ahead and lock him in. He and Westbrook would wreak havoc in the backcourt. And Westbrook would play with Durant and Love, teammates that he's familiar with and are familiar with him and his tendencies and his needs. Durant will score whenever necessary and lead the charge from mid-range with a spread offence. Lawson and Rubio off the bench gives options and you can never have too many point guards! Bring Trey Burke along for the ride to represent Utah and he just might crack the rotation. Big Pek can bring the rebounding off the bench and allow Love or Aldridge to be more mobile on defence if the other goes to the bench. Gallo gives them another guy with size and shooting off the bench and can create his own shot and work as a role player if necessary. Serge Ibaka gives them another athletic forward and defender/ shot blocker that they'll need. This is a solid team that could contend with the best.


C - Dwight Howard
PF - Dirk Nowitzki
SF - James Harden
SG - Monta Ellis
PG - Tony Parker

Mike Conley
Zach Randolph
Marc Gasol
Jrue Holiday
Tim Duncan
and... Kawhi Leonard

Harden and D12 team up AND Mark Cuban's evil vision comes true with this SouthWestern squad as Dwight and Dirk form the frontcourt. Dirk is an underrated presence in the NBA right now, but with the right team he's got another title in him. With Duncan and ZBO/ Gasol off the bench, this is possibly the best frontcourt you could assemble in the entire NBA. They have veterans, champions, cerebral players and leaders that combine the best qualities of post players. And Dwight Howard. If I'm the coach I'm running everything through the post, like the Grizzlies do with Gasol, except teach Dwight that offence and get him rolling to the basket. Marc Gasol with Dwight up front would be a lethal pairing, Duncan and Gasol would combust defences, and Dirk and Dwight are the best inside-outside big man combo there could be. Harden and Ellis will get buckets and push the tempo, and they'll buy into the system of passing into the post and moving on offence with and without the ball. Tony Parker can orchestrate the show with Conley and Holiday behind him for point guard depth desperately needed for this tournament. Then if you need that elite wing defender, turn to Kawhi Leonard - next years' Most Improved Player. Book it. I like this team for it's interior focus, but it lacks something unless Harden is transcendent.

Which division do you think would win? Compare these Western Division's with my All-Star selections for the Eastern Conference's divisional teams by scrolling down or clicking on this link - Eastern Divisional All-Stars. Let me know in the comments section below or tweet me @devingray33

Friday, July 26, 2013

Divisional All-Stars: East

This idea came to me via a twitter proposal; what if instead of conference all-star teams, each division put forth a team of their top players to compete tournament-style? I've made them teams of ten with one wild-card player, a young and intriguing guy along for the ride who are mostly rookies but I made a few exceptions for talent or for lack of talent on a certain team within a strong division. If each city/ team had to be represented in the Divisional All-Star team with at least one player, here's what the lineups might look like in the Eastern Conference divisions, and how they might play.

Atlantic Division

C - Tyson Chandler
PF - Kevin Garnett
SF - Carmelo Anthony
SG - Paul Pierce
PG - Deron Williams

Joe Johnson
Brook Lopez
Rajon Rondo
DeMar DeRozan
Rudy Gay
and... Nerlens Noel

With KG and Pierce staying Atlantic, they could have divisional chemistry from the outset. Melo and Pierce are crafty scorers and Melo can slide up to the four-spot if KG heads to the bench. The defensive tandem of Chandler and KG at the rim is as intimidating as we'll see in this tournament and make up for this teams lack of elite perimeter defenders and allow Rondo to cheat in passing lanes. Gay and JJ are great scorers off the bench, DMDR gives depth on the wing, and Brook Lopez provides a scoring alternative to Chandler in the post. If Noel gets healthy it would be interesting to see him up front with one of the other interior defenders, plus who else are you taking from Philly?

SouthEast Division

C - Chris Bosh
PF - LeBron James
SF - Ray Allen
SG - Dwyane Wade
PG - John Wall

Paul Millsap
Al Horford
Kemba Walker
Al Jefferson
Nik Vucevic
and... Victor Oladipo

Remember when this ^ happened? This post-game summit sparked more than a few forum threads titled, "What were LeBron and Wade saying to John Wall?" Could they have been recruiting him to play in Miami? Well in a divisional tournament they'd get their wish. The effectiveness of the pairing depends on whether you think Wall is overrated or underrated, which is pretty much an even split right now. Back in 2006 when the Heat steamrolled the SouthEast behind Shaq and Wade everybody realized what a weak division it was. Now? It's even worse. You would have to start what amounts to the Heat plus Wall and bring a couple of notable big bodies off the bench. You could have made a case for Nene over any of these bigs, but why? Oladipo is a rookie I'm bullish on who could score from the perimeter off the bench. This makes for a strange team, but I'm not counting any team with LeBron out.

Central Division

C - Andrew Bynum
PF - David West
SF - Paul George
SG - Kyrie Irving
PG - Derrick Rose

Luol Deng
Joachim Noah
Josh Smith
Roy Hibbert
OJ Mayo
and... Anthony Bennett

With a healthy Bynum in the middle and Rose running the point, this is the division to beat in the East. Not that they'd necessarily need Bynum but his offensive potential would draw defenders opening up even more space in the mid-range for David West. Plus Bynum with Hibbert and Noah coming off the bench gives this team ridiculous size, shot-blocking and rebounding. Add in the back-court of Rose and Irving with the inside-out defense of George, Deng and Josh Smith and this is a great all-around team. I've placed Kyrie at the off-guard because he's still probably a better shooter than Rose though we don't know what we're necessarily getting out of the post-injury former MVP. Throw Mayo in the back-court just in case they need a slight scoring boost, and so that the Bucks are represented somehow. Bennett fits both inside and outside and can score, plus with this lineup he won't be forced to play any specific position.

Which division do you think would win? Compare these Western Division's with my All-Star selections for the Western Conference's divisional teams by scrolling up or clicking on this link - Western Division All-Stars. Let me know in the comments section below or tweet me @devingray33

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Top 10 Dunks of 2012-13

Each of these dunks rattled our souls and broke the time-space continuum. If you weren't near a computer set at the time of the dunk, you surely rushed to one after hearing about it on twitter. For days afterwards you couldn't keep your mind off that dunk; the ferocity, the athleticism, the ability to master gravity. These dunks all interrupted our lives at some point this past year, made us drop everything and just watch, so once again gaze in horror at the sublime slams from a season gone by.

10. Lord Byron

BJ Mullens is kind of an enigma. A white, Russell Brand-looking, seven-footer with athleticism that can shoot from outside and throw down big jams? Apparently during the lockout he went and played prison basketball, just visiting of course. And yet he plays in Charlotte so we've never really seen him. Until now. And what was LaMarcus Aldridge thinking?

9. Michael Kidd-Gilchrist on Greg Monroe

This is a beautiful dunk for it's deceptive degree of difficulty. MKG starts his gather with basically no momentum before he explodes upwards off of two feet after just one hard dribble. A great dunk plus it happened in the fourth quarter and helped swing momentum. Two Bobcats dunks so far, I guess that can be their legacy after they become the Hornets again.

8. Jeff Green on Al Jefferson

Jeff sat in his basement at home unable to play. Recovering from heart surgery that may have saved his life as well as his career he itched to be back on the court again. "I want to fly again!" he told his teammates and friends and they gave him pleasant responses; "Ya buddy, you'll get there," "stay strong," "that's the spirit!" but they didn't look him in the eye. They wanted to believe, and Jeff wanted to believe so he started a list. It was titled "Guys to Dunk On."

7. DeMar DeRozan on Timofey Mozgov

Timofey had been having nightmares. He couldn't sleep well and even when awake he had begun to cower when a bird flew overhead or when passers-by attempted a high-five. The doctors said he'd suffered physical and emotional trauma. In order to get "away from it all" the Russian decided to go to Canada where he'd have some time to recollect himself, but then, on a play like any other...

6. Paul George on Birdman

Paul woke up and slid out of the covers into embroidered slippers. After fixing his glasses, and taking his pills, one-by-one he put on his championship rings. He gently eased out of bed and looked out at the coast from the retirement house window. His family was here to visit. When he met them at the lobby he noticed his grandson had a mohawk and he laughed as he remembered the very first moment when he knew he just might be the best player in the NBA.

5. Interlude/ A Toast To Coast-To-Coast

When a player can take the ball and dominate on both ends with defensive and offensive highlight all rolled into one, it's worth a watch. Kevin Durant and Jeremy Evans both impressed with such plays this season. Fourteen steps for KD, ten for Evans but he started from further out. And I don't know if we'll ever see a player look as foolish on both ends as Turiaf looked there.

4. Harrison Barnes on Nikola Pekovic

Rookies aren't supposed to move mountains in their first season. Incoming NBA rooks carry the bags, do the dirty work, say "Yes, Sir!" and quietly put in the hard work before they get a chance to shine. Harrison decided to break the rules one day. And when there was a real mountain in front of him, he made the mountain move. Somewhere, somebody is still Bazemoring right now.

3. "The Half-Windsor"

Blake chased down the offensive player in front of him, expecting some form of Lob City to emerge to his benefit, but this one was going to be different. See, Blake could never really get a handle on Jamal and neither could anybody else on the Clippers. The only one that knew what he was going to do next was... well, nobody knew, not even Jamal himself. Jamal's game is organic and grows from the flow of the game rather than the mechanics of drills and practices. So when he decided to tie knots around the Bucks, it's not something he thought about - it just happened. Over, under, around, and through.

2. LeBron lob poster on Jason Terry

The Jet knew it was going to happen. As soon as he felt the tap of Dwyane Wade knocking the ball loose he recognized his dilemma. Caught between two point guards and a vengeful basketball King desperate not to lose he could run out of the way and avoid the poster or stand there and submit, take it like a man. It may have been destiny from that moment and some say you can't change the future even if you can see it, but whatever Jason did he knew he'd be grounded. A sad reminder of his short time in Boston.

1. DeAndre Jordan lob poster on Brandon Knight 

DeAndre paced the hallway of his house in LA. One of the greatest moments of his career had happened earlier that night and yet he didn't know quite how to feel about it. Sure his teammates loved it, the crowd loved it, and by the morning the world would love it if they didn't already. Still, DeAndre looked at his phone and the message he'd typed out. It said he was sorry, that he didn't mean to, and that he'd make it up to him. He pressed send. Somewhere, Brandon Knight's phone buzzed like it had all night and he ignored it, rolled over, felt the lump on the back of his head, and tried to forget.


Honourable mention - Kobe on Josh Smith, JaVale self-oop vs Rockets, Kawhi on Mike Miller, Griffin on Hawes hand-switch

Thursday, June 27, 2013

2013 NBA Mock Draft

It can never be anywhere close to an exact science to form a mock draft and try to predict how each team subjectively views a diverse range of prospects. Some will try to fill a positional need while others will draft the best talent available, but it all depends on who picks before them and sends the dominoes toppling. Recent social media advances have allowed us to glean tips and insider info from those close to "league sources," though more often than not it often forms a cloud of undecipherable information that leads to nothing. Anyways, us NBA "experts" try to figure it all out and inevitably end up getting no more than 10 or 11 of 30 correct, but if I talk the talk and walk the walk, I've got to mock the mock. Here's my best shot.

1. Cleveland Cavaliers - Nerlens Noel (GM likes him, best talent available)
2. Orlando Magic - Ben McLemore (seek wing talent and arguably best talent available)
3. Washington Wizards - Otto Porter (fills SF position, NBA-ready, home bias)
4. Charlotte Bobcats - Anthony Bennett (adds talent, scoring to defensive frontcourt)
5. Phoenix Suns - Victor Oladipo (need a sure pick, solid defense)
6. New Orleans Pelicans - Alex Len (some think top pick, allows Davis to play PF)
7. Sacramento Kings - Trey Burke (PG of future, scoring upside)
8. Detroit Pistons - Shabazz Muhammad (scoring, creating offense, upside)
9. Minnesota Timberwolves - CJ McCollum (backcourt rotation, next Lillard)
10. Portland TrailBlazers - Cody Zeller (solidify frontcourt rotation, NBA-ready)
11. Philadelphia 76ers - Lucas Nogueira (fills gap at C, intriguing prospect)
12. Oklahoma City Thunder - Kelly Olynyk (frontcourt depth, big shooter, stretch floor)
13. Dallas Mavericks - Michael Carter-Williams (backcourt distributor with size)
14. Utah Jazz - Kentavious Caldwell-Pope (wing boost to compliment frontcourt depth)
15. Milwaukee Bucks - Sergey Karasev (move up to draft? Russian Olympian, skilled)
16. Boston Celtics - Steven Adams (best big man prospect on the board)
17. Atlanta Hawks - Allen Crabbe (scorer with size and range)
18. Atlanta Hawks - Gorgui Dieng (underrated big man known for D, underrated scorer)
19. Cleveland Cavaliers - Isaiah Canaan (NBA ready and respected, PG depth)
20. Chicago Bulls - Glen Rice Jr (earned way through D-League, wing scoring/depth)
21. Utah Jazz - Jeff Withey (frontcourt insurance and rim protection)
22. Brooklyn Nets - Rudy Gobert (french big brings length and defence)
23. Indiana Pacers - Dennis Schroeder (german PG to back up Hill, distribute and drive)
24. New York Knicks - Tony Mitchell (best raw talent on the board, frontcourt depth)
25. Los Angeles Clippers - Reggie Bullock (backcourt shooting, scoring insurance)
26. Minnesota Timberwolves - Tim Hardaway Jr (scorer with pedigree, replace BRoy)
27. Denver Nuggets - Mason Plumlee (solid skills add frontcourt depth)
28. San Antonio Spurs - Ricky Ledo (unknown prospect for Spurs to mold, lots of talent)
29. Oklahoma City Thunder - Shane Larkin (point guard depth, shooting)
30. Phoenix Suns - Giannis Adetokoubo (highest upside left, still 18, multi-positions)

Monday, June 24, 2013

NBA 2012-13 Preseason Predictions Revisited

This is the time of year when I look back at my predictions and think of how very wrong I was on many things and "I called it!" on many others. The game always surprises me. Without further ado, here is the list of my predicted team records and actual records starting where I went...

The Most Wrong.

TEAM                    Predicted wins           Actual Wins            Variation
Houston Rockets -           27                              45                         +18
Minnesota TWolves -      45                              31                          -14
Boston Celtics -               53                              41                          -12
Phoenix Suns -                35                              25                          -10
Los Angeles Lakers -      54                              45                           -9
Denver Nuggets -            48                              57                           +9
Memphis Grizzlies -        47                              56                          +9
G-State Warriors -           38                              47                           +9
Los Angeles Clippers -    48                              56                          +8
Toronto Raptors -            42                              34                           -8 

At the time of this prediction the Rockets hadn't acquired James Harden yet and the roster seemed to be overwrought with random characters, an overpaid Lin, and no real identity. Somehow, they moneyballed themselves into a legit playoff contender with Harden in tow and were the surprise of the season.

Injuries to Kevin Love and Rajon Rondo derailed teams that were on the edge already, while Phoenix underwhelmed considerably. The Lakers were THE story all season long and fell short of predictions which isn't too crazy when you see how much the Nugs, Griz, Warriors and Clippers exceeded expectations. And the Raptors? sigh...

Medium Predictions.

TEAM                    Predicted wins           Actual Wins            Variation
New York Knicks -          47                              54                         +7
Philadelphia 76ers -         40                              34                         -6
Cleveland Cavaliers -      30                              24                         -6
Brooklyn Nets -               44                              49                         +5
San Antonio Spurs -        53                              58                         +5
Washington Wizards -     33                              29                         -4
Detroit Pistons -              33                              29                         -4
Milwaukee Bucks -         35                              38                         +3
New Orleans Hornets -    24                              27                         +3

The Knicks won more games than expected even though some of their vets spent the season on crutches, as the Nets heated up the rivalry. The Sixers were a tough pick with the unknown health of Andrew Bynum but came out worse for the distraction. Strangely, I picked the Wizards and Pistons to have identical records and it came true! And the Spurs winning 50-some games could have been predicted by a monkey.

Well Predicted, sir.

TEAM                    Predicted wins           Actual Wins            Variation
OKC Thunder -                62                              60                          -2
Utah Jazz -                       45                              43                         -2
Dallas Mavericks -           43                              41                         -2 
Portland Trailblazers -     35                              33                         -2
Charlotte Bobcats -          19                              21                         +2 
Orlando Magic -              18                              20                         +2
Miami Heat -                   65                              66                         +1 
Indiana Pacers -               50                              49                         -1
Atlanta Hawks -              43                              44                         +1 
Sacramento Kings -         29                              28                         -1
Chicago Bulls -                45                              45                         0

When a team comes within two total wins of my preseason prediction, I know I did pretty well. For all the unknowns and ups and downs, I either got really lucky with these or I really know my basketball. Sometimes you need both.

The Thunder traded away Harden and still won 60 games, though it hurt them in the playoffs when they lost Russ and KD had to do it all. But all of that is fairly predictable. Mavs, Jazz, and Blazers missed the playoffs in the tight West as expected. I figured the Magic would win one fewer game than Charlotte for the title of worst team in the league and got that one right! Miami winning mid-60s games was a given, but the Pacers were an underrated team I had pegged as a 50-win squad that didn't show people until the playoffs. The Hawks and Kings were painfully predictable, while the Bulls were probably the biggest pre-season wildcard and I nailed it exactly...

 (prediction in italics, actual in bold)
MVP - LeBron James, LeBron James
Finals MVP - LeBron James (Heat over Lakers in Six), LeBron James (Heat > Spurs 7)
Yeah, I called LeBron having another great year and wrapping up another MVP/title, but who wouldn't have? It was the safe bet (other than the Lakers in the Finals...)

Scoring Champ - Kevin Durant, Carmelo Anthony
Probably the only guy that could even possibly challenge LeBron for MVP for the next five years, unless they drunkenly give it to Chris Paul, KD was just .littlebit away from taking his fourth consecutive scoring title. Should that have earned Melo one MVP vote? Probs not.

DPOY - Dwight Howard, Marc Gasol
 Some scratched their heads at the selection of Gasol, but he's such a smart team defender and reads plays so well he helped Memphis develop into an elite defensive team without being an incredible rebounder or shotblocker. It's not always about stats and appearances, plus the Dwightmare never seems to end...

Rookie - Anthony Davis, Damian Lillard
Davis played pretty well when he played but wasn't always in the best of health. It was hard for him to get going when he was constantly dinged up, and even if healthy it would have still been Damian Lillard. He made a rookie-record 185 threes and was voted ROY unanimously for only the fourth time in NBA history.

Sixth Man - Jason Terry, JR Smith
As part of the failed retooling in Boston this year I expected Terry, tattoo and all, to make a huge contribution to the last-chance Celts. But he played poorly and wasn't even in the race which came down to Jamal Crawford and JR Smith, none of which I'd want to trust my team with.
Most Improved - East, Jeff Green/ West, Kawhi Leonard, Paul George
When Granger went out it became Paul George's team and he stepped up in a big way that I didn't foresee. Sure Jeff Green showed flashes and seems poised to inherit the Celtics, and Kawhi Leonard can post 19 points, 16 rebounds in a Finals game 7 while giving LeBron fits on defense, but they only started to show this late in the season. I might keep these picks for next year.

Bust Potential - East, Andrew Bynum/ West, Jeremy Lin, Andrew Bynum
I know it's sometimes not okay to pick on the injured guy or call him a bust, but with Bynum it became a circus. It drove Doug Collins out of the coaching business, and tanked a team that gave up Iguodala to get it done. Plus there was the bowling scandal and the ridiculous hair.

Coach - Frank Vogel, George Karl
Vogel's genius wasn't realized until he almost toppled the Heat with the underdog Pacers. Menawhile Karl gets they COY award and promptly gets fired. Coaches in the NBA have such a short lifespan that Spo will be second only to Pop if Doc is indeed leaving for LA. Spo hasn't been coaching for that long...

Highlight OTY - Blake Griffin dunk, DeAndre Jordan dunk
The Ray Allen three to save the Heat's season in Finals Game 6 was the play of the year, but in terms of sheer highlight it was the other half of Lob City that supplied the jam. DeAndre Jordan's dunk on Brandon Knight had power, height and posterization, plus it was off a lob. Sorry Blake, you'll have to do better next year.
All-NBA First Team - Paul, Rondo, James, Durant, Howard 
/ Paul, Bryant, James, Durant, Duncan
All-NBA Second Team - Westbrook, Bryant, Anthony, Griffin, Love 
/ Parker, Westbrook, Anthony, Griffin, Marc
All-NBA Third Team - Parker, Williams, Wade, Bosh, Pau 
/ Harden, Wade, Lee, George, Howard
 The Rondo injury opened up a spot on the first team that Kobe was hero enough to take, while Duncan had a renaissance year that I didn't see coming and made first team as well. Howard's terrible year still netted him a third team selection. Marc Gasol was a surprising addition to the list but he played well enough for it, while Lee's election is questionable. Griffin is overrated on the second team but takes the spot that may have belonged to KLove. Harden deserved more than third team, but not over the other guards on this list.
All-Rookie - Lillard, Beal, Kidd-Gilchrist, Davis, Valanciunas 
/ Lillard, Beal, Barnes, Waiters, Davis
Lillard and Beal anded up where they belonged and Davis earned this spot as well. Big V had a terrific rookie year in Toronto but missed some time with injury and will develop more in the coming years. MKG was decent but Barnes provided a real punch for the playoff-Warriors and Waiters at his best looked like a young DWade.

Seeya Next Season!