by Adam Figman | @afigman

A quick intro: I’m the dude with the above byline who’ll be writing The Post Up this season. I’ll be holding down these parts Mondays-Fridays, while Anton will have the reins each Saturday and Sunday.

Since I haven’t been around here nearly as long as Anton or most of the other contributors, guess I should provide a little background. I grew up in Long Island, where I simultaneously learned to read and spin a mini-basketball on my middle finger with ease. Unfortunately this skill—albeit an important one—didn’t help me get on my high school’s varsity team, and my professional hoop dreams died there. I’ve been a Knicks fan since I could crawl, though I promise to keep my hometown bias out of the daily recaps. Well, I promise to try. I attended and graduated from Lehigh University, a Patriot League school you might recognize from that time we almost-but-not-really gave Kansas a decent run for its money in the first round of last March’s NCAA tournament. And now I’m here, at SLAM, a publication I’ve loved since I could pick up a magazine and a website I’ve had bookmarked since I knew how to do so. That good enough? OK, cool. Let’s get it.

Finally, preseason’s done and we’re ready get the season underway. The best part of the preseason is seeing rookies get some reps and watching squads work to iron out chemistry kinks, and these past few weeks have been especially great for those two; John Wall and Blake Griffin both look ready to burst out, while some of the new-look teams are steadily improving. The worst part of preseason play? Undoubtedly, injuries. Dwyane Wade will be starting the season slow after hurting his hamstring against the Pistons. Mike Miller tore a ligament in his thumb trying to guard LeBron (bad idea, son!) during practice, so he’ll be out until January. And something happened involving Carlos Boozer and a backpack, and now he’s gone through November. This stuff happens, but is always incredibly frustrating.

A couple of notes before I wrap this thing up:

First, let me drop some predictions (and if this post mysteriously disappears mid-season, you’ll know why):

Top 4 in West:
1. Lakers
2. Thunder
3. Jazz
4. Spurs

Top 4 in East:
1. Heat
2. Celtics
3. Magic
4. Hawks

Western Conference Finals: Lakers over Jazz
Eastern Conference Finals: Celtics over Heat
NBA Finals: Celtics over Lakers

MVP: LeBron James
ROY: Blake Griffin

Also: LeBron averages a triple-double (yeah, I said it); Durant leads the League in scoring and is also a fantasy beast; the Knicks lose in the first round of the Playoffs; Melo’s a Nugget through the season; Chris Paul brings the Hornets back to the postseason and reminds everyone why he’s the NBA’s best pg; Eric Gordon breaks out and helps my fantasy team earn a championship (please?); everyone (rightfully) continues to Fear the Dear; and David Kahn jokes continue with full force.

Secondly, tomorrow we’ll be introducing a new feature that’ll make our homepage even more dope than it already is. I won’t ruin anything, but let’s just say SLAMonline will finally be on-point at all hours of the day. Stay tuned.

And lastly, I wanna give a huge thanks to Ben and Ryne for offering me this role, and another huge thanks to everyone at the SLAM Dome for welcoming me to the fam with open arms. The awesomeness of this website/magazine is no coincidence—it’s because the people working behind the scenes to produce them are awesome, too. Thanks for everything, y’all.

Anyway, that’s all I got. I’ll be hanging around in the comment section all season, and I’ll be on Twitter (the handle’s up top), tweeting hoops and more until some snazzy new social networking site whisks us all away. See you Wednesday.