|Can LeBron James and the Miami Heat three-peat?|
The 2013-14 NBA Season officially kicked off Tuesday night with the defending World Champion Miami Heat easily defeating the Chicago Bulls 107-95.
The Informer knows exactly what you are thinking right now: Didn’t the NBA season just end a month ago?
The answer is yes; however regardless of the shortened off-season LeBron James, Kobe Bryant, Carmelo Anthony and Kevin Durant are all back in our lives for the next eight months.
Now obviously The Informer couldn’t let too much of the season begin without giving his predictions for the upcoming NBA marathon; so without “Freddy Adu” here is what The Informer knows will happen this season.
The Charlotte Bobcats will not be the worst team in basketball. That honor will go to the Philadelphia 76ers who have put together one of the most dreadful and least competitive rosters in recent memory.
(Editor's Note- The 76ers are 1-0 after beating the Heat on Wednesday night.)
Going from worst to first, the Heat will not break the Bulls record of 72-10, although they will finish with the NBA’s best record. Furthermore, Miami will win the Eastern Conference, thus reaching the NBA Finals for the fourth year in a row.
Now the only question becomes: Will the Miami Heat three-peat?
The Informer promises he will answer this question, but in order to build the suspense we are going to move forward and answer this question at the end of the article.
Moving forward: Did you know that last year Kevin Durant became the first NBA player since Larry Bird to join the 50-40-90 club while scoring at least 28 points-per-game? The Informer actually thinks this season Durant will become the first player ever to join the 50-40-90 club while scoring at least 30 points-per-game.
Durant's season long scoring spree will be rewarded with his first regular season MVP award.
Speaking of great scorers, The Informer’s favorite player, Kobe Bryant, will make his 16th trip to the NBA All-Star game, he will be named to an All-NBA Team for the 16th time and finally “The Black Mamba” will lead the Los Angeles Lakers back to the playoffs while averaging 30-ppg.
Since The Informer is predicting both Kobe and Durant are going to average 30-ppg, we might as well take this a step further and say at least three NBA players will average 30-ppg this season.
If The Informer’s prediction is correct it would be the first time since 2006 (Kobe, LeBron and Allen Iverson) three players averaged at least 30-ppg in the same season.
Now for this prediction to come true The Informer needs one of four things to happen; Carmelo Anthony remains an unapologetic “Gunslinger”, Stephen Curry heats up for six months, James Harden's beard keeps driving to the basket, or LeBron finally gets bored with all the passing and making his teammates better.
The Informer truly believes any one of these scenarios could play out.
Did you know since 1982 when the first Defensive NBA Player of the Year award was handed out only five guard/wing players have won? Well, The Informer thinks this year will be the sixth time as LeBron will take home the honors of the game’s best shutdown player.
(The Informer note – Sidney Moncrief (2x), Alvin Robertson, Michael Jordan, Gary Payton and Ron Artest are your five previous winners.)
Moving onto the playoffs, The Informer thinks the Western Conference will be represented (In order) by: Oklahoma City Thunder, San Antonio Spurs, Houston Rockets, Los Angeles Clippers, Golden State Warriors, Dallas Mavericks, Minnesota Timberwolves and the Lakers.
The Eastern Conference will be represented by: Miami, Indiana Pacers, Bulls, Brooklyn Nets, New York Knicks, Detroit Pistons, Cleveland Cavaliers and the Washington Wizards.
You may have noticed The Informer did not include the Boston Celtics in the Eastern Conference playoffs. This would mean the Celtics will miss the playoffs for the first time since the 2006-07 season.
Never fear Boston; this season is not a total loss as your rookie center, Kelly Olynyk, will beat out Orlando Magic guard Victor Oladipo for the NBA Rookie of the Year award.
(The Informer note - This article was written on Wednesday morning before 76ers rookie Michael Carter-Williams officially became The Informer's new favorite player (not named Kobe or Durant of course) and the most likely winner of the 2013-14 Rookie of the Year award --Sorry Boston fans. Hey at least you guys just won the 2013 MLB World Series.)
The Heat's backup center “Birdman-Birdman” will not win any awards this season, but he will continue to do “Birdman-Birdman” things.
(Yes, The Informer included the last sentence just so he could use the Shaquille O'Neal video on the right.)
Staying in Miami; Dwyane Wade will play in more than 70 games this season, but will average fewer points per game than Chris Bosh.
You know what, why don't we ramble our way to the finish with some quick hitters?
Wizards guard Bradley Beal will be the NBA’s Most Improved Player.
Pau Gasol will be named to the All-NBA Third Team. His brother Mark Gasol will be named to the All-NBA Second Team.
Timberwolves forward Kevin Love will lead the NBA in rebounding, his point guard Rickey Rubio will lead the NBA in assists and their teammate, Shabazz Muhammad, will lead the league in most times getting kicked out of the NBA Rookie Symposium for having a female in his room.
In Golden State, Steph Curry will break his own NBA record for three-point field goals made in a season.
Curry's three-point partner in crime, Klay Thompson, will also break Curry's record from last season as the "Splash Brothers" will become the first pair of teammates to both make over 600 threes in a single season.
Toronto Raptors center Jonas Valanciunas, New Orleans Pelicans PF Anthony Davis, Sacramento Kings PF DeMarcus "Boogie" Cousins and Pistons center Andre Drummond will all average double-doubles in points and rebounds.
Jeremy Lamb will average 14-ppg and fellow youngsters Perry Jones III and Steven Adams will end up playing valuable, and good, playoff minutes for OKC this season.
James Harden and Dwight Howard with lead the Rockets to the number three seed in the Western Conference. Howard will finish the season averaging 14-rebounds-per-game and 3-blocks while Harden will score close to 30-ppg while averaging 6.5-assists.
The Rockets will get knocked out of the playoffs in the second round by the Spurs.
Of course, the Spurs will win once again win over 60 games, Tony Parker will finish in the top five in the MVP voting and Tim Duncan will continue to defy all laws of aging.
The Informer has been rambling long enough: Let's wrap this thing up with who The Informer thinks will play Miami in 2014 NBA Finals and who he thinks will ultimately walk away with the Larry O’Brien Trophy.
With a healthy Russell Westbrook, OKC will defeat San Antonio in six games to return to the NBA Finals for a 2012 rematch with LeBron and company.
Unfortunately for the Thunder, they will come up short as James will defend his throne and the "Heatles" will become the first team since the Shaq-Kobe Lakers to three-peat.
Once again we all will have to let the "Royal King James" be our NBA ruler.
Long Live The King.