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GSoM 2k7-2k8 NBA Preview: Picking the Hardware

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Apologies for the obnoxiously long trophy photo, but this is what it's all about. This is why you play the game.

Make the jump for some 2007-2008 NBA hardware predictions.

This is how it will go down this season:

Eastern Conference Champ
Boston Celtics
  I'll admit that after the Warriors lost out on the KG sweepstakes I've been green with envy. Kevin Garnett, Ray Allen, and Paul Pierce could be a legendary trio.
Western Conference Champ
Phoenix Suns

(Photo by Barry Gossage/NBAE via Getty Images)
  They'll need the Mavs to knock out the Spurs in the semifinals, but this should finally be the year in the valley of the sun. It all rests on offensive wonders of the world Steve Nash and Amare Stoudemire actually trying on D.
NBA Finals Champ
Phoenix Suns
  If it's the Celts and Suns in the Finals it'll be epic. The NBA Finals are back baby!
Yao Ming
  Those years under Jeff Van Gundy's tutelage will help Yao out tremendously throughout his career on the defensive side. This year and beyond under Rick Adelman's offensive schemes will help vault him into an MVP-level player. Put him down for 28 points, 12 rebounds, 3.5 assists, and 2.5 blocks nightly this season. (And yes that does mean we'll have two straight NBA MVP's who couldn't make it out of the 1st round of the playoffs.)
Coach of the Year
Rick Adelman
  The Rockets will be fun to watch, especially if they run a few of those Princeton halfcourt offensive sets that the golden age Kings used to run. Adelman will exploit TMac and Yao's great court vision and passing ability to the fullest. Remember this is just a regular season award, so he won't get penalized when the Rockets get knocked out in the 1st round of the playoffs... again.
Rookie of the Year
Kevin Durant
  Talk about Super Sonic. Oklahoma- I mean Seattle is in for a real treat. I don't see why he can't average 20 points and 6 boards in his inaugural season.
6th Man of the Year
Al Harrington

I kid you not. If Nellie's serious about using Al in a 6th man role, he's going to put up some stellar numbers off the bench. The problem is we honestly never know when Nellie's just playing mind tricks with the players, media, and fans.

Say what you will about Harrington's rebounding or lack thereof, but put this man in the game and he can put points up on the board fast. If his 41.7% 3pt stroke from last year wasn't a fluke with the Warriors (and 45.8% with the Pacers), he'll be a perfect fit for the role. Don't forget that back in 2004 he was actually a runner-up for the honors.

Most Improved Player
Kelenna Azubuike
  The league is about to learn how to spell this good man's name. This past preseason we've heard all the hype about Marco Belinelli, but Kelenna is going to be the one on the NBA map when it's all said and done this season.
Comeback Player of the Year
Kenyon Martin

Will he ever be worth that superstar contract? Nope. Does he have the ability to help lift the Nuggets from a solid team to potential NBA Championship contender this season? Yes.

By the way in case you were wondering the caption for the picture to your right reads:

Nuggets forward Kenyon Martin, having his right knee checked by trainer Jim Gillen in October, has to wait until at least next season to play again as the top pick of the 2000 draft. (Post / John Leyba)
Executive of the Year
Kevin McHale (Celtics)
  Oh sorry I meant Danny Ainge.


Who will be walking away with the trophies this year? Post your picks in the comments section and we'll see whose shots in the dark actually hit the target after the NBA Finals in June.


GSoM 2007-2008 NBA Preview

Also see: GSoM 2006-2007 NBA Preview: Picking the Hardware