Paul Pierce's dominating performance in the NBA Finals is already ancient history, at least to the scribes over at ESPN. A team of 25 morons experts rolled out their predictions for the upcoming season. Let's just say Paul Pierce and KG aren't MVP candidates. Here's how the voting breaks down:
- LeBron James (16 votes)
- Chris Paul (5 votes)
- Kobe Bryant (3 votes)
- Dwayne Wade (1 vote)
I'll be honest, it's tough to argue against James. But the Wade vote is absurd, if only for the fact that Miami will be lucky to be the 8th seed in the East. Pierce deserves to be mentioned with Bryant and Paul. With Bynum returning, Kobe has just as many co-stars as Pierce. CP3 may be the buzz in the Hornets, but he's not as clutch as the Truth.
As for the standings, the Celtics get some respect, sort of. ESPN has them at 55-27, 11 wins off last year's pace. Here's why:
How big is the Posey problem? Enough that the departure of Big Game James helps take the Celtics down 11 wins in our survey. Plus, by next June, the Big Three will nearly be the Big 33 (Kevin Garneet, 33; Paul Pierce, 31; Ray Allen, 33). But guess what? They're still the East's beasts.
I'm not expecting another 66 win season. But if the Pistons were able to sleep-walk their way to 59 wins last year, I think the Celtics can do the same. Yes, the Big Three will get more rest. And some of that "drive" will be lacking, at least in the regular season. But what about the improved play of Rondo, Perkins, Powe and Big Baby? That's got to be good for something. For those who care, here's the Western conference predictions.