Predictions made by Frank Fleming on October 28, 2002 at 2:05 am EDT.
2002/03 NBA PREVIEW
Atlantic
Central
1. New Jersey Nets 55-27*
2.
Orlando Magic 50-32*
3.
Boston Celtics 48-34*
4. Philadelphia 76ers 46-36*
5.
Washington Wizards 44-38*
6. Miami Heat 24-58
7.
New York Knicks 18-64
1. Toronto Raptors 46-36*
2.
New Orleans Hornets 45-37*
3.
Milwaukee Bucks 43-39*
4.
Detroit Pistons 40-42
5.
Atlanta Hawks 38-44
6.
Indiana Pacers 37-45
7.
Chicago Bulls 34-48
8. Cleveland Cavaliers 20-62
Midwest
Pacific
1. Dallas Mavericks 62-20*
2.
San Antonio Spurs 59-23*
3.
Minnesota Timberwolves 50-32*
4.
Utah Jazz 42-40*
5.
Houston Rockets 37-45
6.
Memphis Grizzlies 33-49
7.
Denver Nuggets 26-56
1. Sacramento Kings 66-16*
2.
Los Angele Lakers 63-19*
3.
Los Angeles Clippers 46-36*
4. Portland Trailblazers 45-37*
5.
Seattle Supersonics 38-44
6.
Phoenix Suns 35-47
7.
Golden State Warriors 27-55
NBA AWARDS

Coach of the Year: Alvin Gentry Clippers
Rookie of the Year:
Jay WIlliams Bulls
Most Improved Player:
Michael Olowokandi Clippers
6th Man:
Michael Jordan Wizards
Defensive Player of the Year:
Diekembe Mutumbo Nets
MVP:
Jason Kidd Nets
With Deikiembe Mutumbo the Nets will be even stronger this year. While the Magic with a healthy Grant Hill will be a dangerous team as the regular season ends. Celtics should be a solid team again, but won't make it as far in playoffs. 76ers are still a one-man team and as far as Alann Iverson goes they will follow. The addition of Jerry Stackhouse will be good enough to get Wizards into the playoffs. While the Heat are in rebuild mode and the Knicks are in for an unmitigated disaster.
With Vince Carter healthy look for the Raptors to win a weak Central Division. The Hornets will benefit from playing in front of full houses at home. While the Bucks will underachieve and barely make playoffs again. The Pistons will be kicking themselves over the Jerry Stackhouse trade all year as they miss the playoffs. As the Hawks begin to make strides the Pacers will begin their fade. The young Bulls will show flashes with Rookie of the Year Jay Williams, while the Cavs continue to drift aimlessly.
The Mavericks are primed to make a real push for the NBA Finals, while the David Robinson just hopes he can stay healthy for the Spurs. The Timberwolves are still wishing they can switch to the Eastern Conference where they would dominate instead of being out in 1st round, as the Jazz make one last playoff performance. The Rockets will only start to win when Yao Ming learns NBA game. While Grizzlies start to turn it around, the Nuggets are going nowhere fast.
The true test for the Kings will be when the face the Lakers in the real NBA Championship Series for a trip to the Finals. Meanwhile the Lakers are clearly ripe for the pickens. As LA's other team the Clippers will make the playoffs. The Blazers will make the playoffs again if they can stay out of jail long enough, while the Sonics will be looking to trade Gary Payton around the deadline. The Suns will continue to long for Jason Kidd while missing the playoffs as the Warriors try to build a foundation for the future.
EASTERN FINALS
Nets over Magic

Western Finals
Kings over Lakers

NBA Finals
KIngs over Nets