The 2014-2015 NBA season tips off tonight with games in New Orleans, San Antonio and Los Angeles. With key injuries to major stars like Kevin Durant, the return of stars like Kobe Bryant and Derrick Rose, and major off-season movies like LeBron James going back to the Cleveland Cavaliers, the league is looking quite different this season.
While everyone will weigh in on who will make the most noise (on and off the court) we decided to reach out Ballup.com to get asphalt icons of the streetball circuit–The Professor, SPRINGS, G. Smith, Sik Wit It, Baby Shaq, Special EFX, Mr. Afrika, AO and Too Easy to find out what their predictions are for the NBA this year.
1.) LeBron is back in Cleveland. What impact will that have on the Eastern conference and title contention?
SPRINGS: Just because LeBron is back on the team doesn’t mean they gonna win the
championship. It’s a lot that can go wrong in the season and I still think the Spurs are going all the way.
The Professor: I think Cleveland is the favorite but there is no championships without competition/contenders. San Antonio will be tough again, Chicago should be tough, Clippers are hungry again, OKC and I’m sure more. They’ll have to fight hard and gel really well to win it.
G. Smith: I see Chicago as the premiere opponent in the eastern conference for them. With the return of Derrick Rose it changes the dynamics drastically.
Mr. Afrika: LeBron being back in Cleveland doesn’t really change the game to me, just make other teams want to work harder on winning the NBA title but i think on the east i think the Washington Wizards are going to be good, i think the Chicago Bulls will also be good, and as well as the charlotte Hornets.
Special FX: I don’t think Cleveland is a title contender. The east is very strong this year. The Wizards, Bulls, Miami, Atlanta are still good teams and the west is always stacked. Maybe next year.
Sik Wit It: Yes San Antonio will compete with LeBron and Cleveland for the NBA title.
2) Who is the consensus #1 pick in Fantasy Basketball?
The Professor: I don’t see how anyone can find a better fantasy player than LeBron. And side note I’m not a fantasy guy, but if it’s based purely off stats? Can’t see a better option.
G.Smith: The number one fantasy pick in my opinion is LeBron James. The versatility he applies to the game is just incredible. He’s a special player, so I’ll definitely select him.
Special FX: Always will be LeBron because of his strength on offense and defense.
3) Is NBA 2k15 fun or fail?
AO: 2K fun to me cause Anthony Davis blocks everything
G. Smith: NBA2K15 is absolutely fun ! I had the privilege of working on NBA2K15 doing motion captures. I was able to bring my dunking style to the most exciting basketball video game in the world. It was a tremendous honor to represent my family, city and organization (Ballup) on such a grand scale.
Baby Shaq: It’s both, can’t play online but the “MY PLAYER” is the most popular of the game
Special FX: I like that it’s more realistic this year. You have to really get by your defender to score. And the facial scan for your my player is a great feature. Now you can really “see” yourself in the game!!!!
4) Which player is most likely to be fined for Tweeting this season?
3 people gotta off this list for sure. pic.twitter.com/xs7n5rmxwX
— BRANDON JENNINGS (@BrandonJennings) October 8, 2014
Baby Shaq: Paul George.
TOO EASY: Meta World Peace Will be fined the most lol (**Note Artest is playing in China this year, not the NBA).
SPRINGS: Ron Artest (see above).
Violator: I will go with Brandon Jennings even tho I don’t follow him….
Mr. Afrika: I think JR Smith because his attitude is horrible and he likes to say what he wants at all times without caring.
Special FX: Joel Embid!!! He says whatever he wants on Twitter lol
Sik Wit It: The player most likely to be fined for a tweet may be Special Efx or Baby Shaq.
G.Smith: I honestly think the NBA players are not gonna get fined this year for tweeting. In such a time were athletes are in the media dealing with unfortunate situations, I believe the NBA players will retreat from drawing any unwarranted attention that sheds negative light on them.
5) Who will have the better post-injury comeback, Derrick Rose or Kobe Bryant?
The Professor: This might be a toss up. Kobe has looked good his first couple pre season games and D Rose showed he was 100% with the USA team this summer. I guess if I had to pick one I’d say Kobe. Only because I think he’ll play a smarter, below the rim type game at this phase of his career. While we saw that D rose still wants to be a high flyer. Not to mention Kobe has had several successful injury comebacks in his career.
G. Smith: Although the physical transition will be alot more gradual for Bryant then Rose. Bryant being primarily a jump shooter and Rose a penetrator, I believe the Bryant will conform to the NBA game more rapidly then Rose.
TOO EASY: I have to go with Kobe, D rose didn’t have a good recovery off the last injury and hasn’t really made it through a season healthy since the initial knee injury. Kobe had recovered miraculously year after year, injury after injury. He looked good in the press on opener and I think he’s gonna have a great season.
Mr. Afrika: i think derrick rose will have a better come back from his injury he came back during the Olympics playing well almost looking like that MVP D.Rose.
Special FX: I’m going with Kobe. He learned how to play on the ground now. Rose needs his athleticism to be affective. But Kobe is older. Gotta wait and see
SPRINGS: I think Kobe Bryant will have a better season than Derrick Rose because Kobe is a smarter player and he has a jump shot. D-rose is too aggressive and it’s brains over body.