Predictions made by Frank Fleming on October 28, 2003 at 1:05 am EDT.
2003/04 NBA PREVIEW
Scoring Champion: Tracy McGrady Magic
Coah of the Year: Jeff Van Gundy Rockets
Rookie of the Year: Carmello Anthony Nuggets
Most Improved Player: Yao Ming Rockets
6th Man: Bobby Jackson Kings
Defensive Player of the Year: Ben Wallace Pistons
NBA MVP: Kevin Garnett Timberwolves
New Jersey Nets 54-28
In the pathetically weak Eastern Conference the Nets are way ahead of the class, as they continue to establish themselves as the Buffalo Bills of the NBA by easily making it to the NBA Finals for the 3rd straight year.
Detroit Pistons 51-31
The addition of Coach Larry Brown could help the Pistons take the next step. However, the Pistons still do not have the offensive weapons to get past the Nets and into the NBA Finals.
Orlando Magic 51-31
The addition of Juwan Howard should be able to help last year's leading scorer Tracy McGrady and the Magic finally have some playoff success as they could perhaps make as far as the Eastern Conference Finals.
New Orleans Hornets 47-35
The Hornets will again quietly be one of the strongest teams in the Eastern Conference, as new Coach Tim Floyd proves himself to his critics by getting the Hornets into the 2nd round.
Philadelphia 76ers 46-36
The 76ers will miss Coach Larry Brown more then they think, as they continue to come up short in an attempt at returning to the NBA Finals, even Allen Iverson will long for the days of Brown after the 76ers are 1 and done.
Indiana Pacers 44-38
The Pacers will again be a team that when it puts it all together could make some noise. However, they will severally miss Brad Miller, who could have really benefited under the system of new Coach Rick Carlise.
Toronto Raptors 43-39
If Vince Carter is able to return to the level of play that made him an all star the Raptors could be one of the most dangerous teams in the East, as Morris Peterson is quietly becoming one of the better players in the East.
Chicago Bulls 40-42
The return of Scottie Pippen and improved play at the end of the year has brought optimism back to Chicago, as the Bulls climb back into the playoffs in the East, which still needs 8 playoff teams no matter how bad they are.
Washington Wizards 36-46
The Wizards will continue to toil in mediocrity as they miss the playoffs again. However, this year there will not be any excitement around the team as Michael Jordan has gone back into retirement.
Boston Celtics 34-48
The trade of Antoine Walker for Raef LaFrenz will haunt the Celtics all season as they struggle to find a second scoring option while missing the playoffs, in what will end up being a year of transition.
Cleveland Cavaliers 30-52
The addition of LeBron James has brought excitement back to Cleveland. However, James will struggle to make the adjustment to the NBA, as the Cavs are never a factor in the playoff race.
Milwaukee Bucks 33-49
Just a few years ago the Bucks appeared to be one of the up and coming teams in the NBA. Now they are back at square one as Ray Allen, and Glenn Robinson are both gone, with nobody is left to show for it.
Miami Heat 27-55
Make no mistake here the real reason Coach Pat Riley resigned is that he knows the Heat will not be any good this year, and he did not want to endure another frustrating season where the Heat battle for last place.
New York Knicks 22-60
Fans in New York will be continued to frustrated as none of the Knicks off season moves will work out as Van Horn will struggle and Mutombo wil join McDyess on the sideline. In the end the Knicks fans may get their wish, as GM Scott Layden will be fired after another poor season.
Atlanta Hawks 17-65
The Hawks finally have new ownership in place, but after bad deals, have left the Hawks at the bottom of the leagues talent pool where they will drown in last place, all season hoping to get a franchise player in the draft.
Los Angeles Lakers 67-25
Even if Kobe Bryant goes to prison its hard to imagine anyone beating the Lakers, as Karl Malone and Gary Payton will deliver the hunger they missed last year enabling the Lakers to regain the NBA's crown.
Minnesota Timberwolves 63-29
The additions of Latrell Sprewell, Sam Cassell, and Michael Olowokandi will finally enable the T-Wolves to take the next step and join the NBA's elite, by winning the Division and a playoff round.
Sacramento Kings 64-28
The addition of Brad Miller will only make the Kings stronger, as they are perhaps the only team that stands in the way of the Lakers returning to the top, as their match up in the Western Finals could be another classic.
Dallas Mavericks 60-22
Expect the Mavs to continue to be one of the most exciting teams in the NBA, as the addition of Antoine Walker will make their team even more explosive. However in the end their lack of defense will hurt them again in the playoffs.
San Antonio Spurs 57-25
The defensing Champs will miss David Robinson more then they think as they will find it hard to even get home court in the highly competative Wetern Conference playoff picture, leading to first round exit.
Houston Rockets 51-31
In his second season expect Yao Ming to be even better as he benefits from the tutelage of Assistant Coach Patrick Ewing, and Head Coach Jeff Van Gundy, as he delivers the Rockets into the postseason.
Phoenix Suns 47-35
In the East the Suns would be a strong contender and possibly a team that could go to the NBA Finals. However in the tough Western Conference they will be setting early in the first round again.
Portland Trailblazers 45-37
Now that HBO has ended Oz the Trailblazers are the best prison drama on TV. The Blazers have the talent to get into the playoffs but come the postseason they will be swept again in the first round by the Lakers.
Memphis Grizzlies 38-44
If the Grizzlies were in the East they would probably make the playoffs. However, in the West they don't have a chance as they fail to make the playoffs again, at least they should be able to get closer.
Denver Nuggets 36-46
By the time the season is over Carmello Anthony will step out of LeBron James' shadow and establish himself as the best Rookie in this year's draft as he helps the Nuggets double their wins and bring hope back to Denver.
Golden State Warriors 32-50
Letting Gilbert Arenas go, will haunt this team all season as Nick Van Exel fails to fill the void as the Warriors take a step backward, and are a non-factor in the playoffs again, while losing 50 games again.
Seattle Supersonics 30-52
The Seattle Supersonics are obviously going with a youth movement, and for at least the time being will rank with the NBA also-rans as they struggle just to win 30 games, and fight to stay out of last place.
Los Angeles Clippers 27-55
The sky is blue, Christmas is December 25th, Green Lights mean Go, and the Los Angeles Clippers will finish dead last in the Pacific Division. Some things are just obvious and never change.
Utah Jazz 20-62
After 20 years of making the playoffs with Stockton and Malone the Jazz are left with a bunch of role players. Each game for the Jazz will just be a sad reminder that the glory days are gone as they go from the playoffs to the worst team in the West.
New Jersey Nets Over Orlando Magic
Los Angeles Lakers Over Sacramento Kings
Los Angeles Lakers Over New Jersey Nets