by Khalid Salaam

1. Lets just be honest about it. The East is joke. Because not only are the Heat a totally uninspiring potential repeat champion but there are no other East teams that are good enough to beat them. I still like Detroit and I expect them to win the Central but don’t sleep, they are gonna miss Ben Wallace more than they think. The question isn’t whether or not Nazr Mohammed can match his defensive impact because you already know the answer (um, hell no!). It’s that the whole concept of that team is now altered, People wonder can Nazr block as many shots as Ben but its not that its the fact that teams will be looking to take more shots against him. He’ll be challenged more, there is no mental aspect to playing against him. With Ben you know dudes were like “this is some BS, I’m just gonna take this 20 footer and keep it moving”. So now more attempts, more shots going in and most important more foul trouble against everyone else because of that. They’ll still be good but this is not a team that’s offensively dominant, you saw that in the playoffs. They have to rely on their D to jump start the offense. They’re like the Bears. Sure they can blow some teams out but that O can’t be counted on solely in the playoffs. Don’t do it to yourself and think otherwise. The Cavs have Lebron and yes he’s awesome but the team isn’t so good where you just can see them playing until June. The Wizards can’t stop anybody and until they do you can’t really consider them. Indy is just weird and they got rid of Anthony Johnson (stupid idea), Jersey could be good but only if their bench is ready for solid food. Chicago is good but seemingly a year away on the offensive end. And that’s it.

2. Everyone is leaving Kobe off their MVP and 1st Team All NBA lists I guess because it’s trendy. Can’t really think of another reason. You know how people want to be edgy so they try to champion the next thing and after awhile its looks played and corny. Like celebrities all of a sudden adopting babies from non-descript African countries. At first it was courageous and admirable, now people are doing it because everyone expects them to. It’s like the seasons new handbag or something. Well doubting Kobe is in this year. I’m like how can you not pick him as one of the five best players in the L when he’s the single best player in the League anyway. It makes no sense.

3. When is supporting Ron Artest gonna finally play out. I wouldn’t want this guy on my team if you threw in Steve Jobs stock options.

4. Avery Johnson is about to be the man. He’s a great coach and the key to everything because Dallas is right there. They need to shake off last year’s loss, win 65 games and win the title that they blew last year. I love the fact that he got an extension too. They love him down there. The only thing that can stop him is a slanderous video in which a skanky blonde asks him to give her a call.

5. The Suns don’t need a 100 percent healthy Amare just a 70 percent. That’s enough. But they do need a 100 percent Kurt Thomas. Can’t have both those dudes hurting. If they can stay on the court they are right there.

6. The Clips are no joke. They aren’t a title contender but they’ll be really good and could upset one of the contenders. They are primed for a run and the apocalypse isn’t here. Confused yes I am but super happy.

7. I know Brandon Roy is gonna be a good player but damn is there any love for anybody else. Man I hate sportswriters. Don’t sleep on Randy Foye or Adam Morrison or Marcus Williams. Its not just about Rookie Of the Year its about the player that has an impact on his team. No matter what Roy does Portland is still gonna suck.

8. Be honest. The future of the League is Lebron, Wade and Dwight. Don’t do it to yourself and think otherwise.

9. I wish Borat would make a visit to the office of Sixers Gm Billy King. The ensuing laughfest would be awesome. I’d like to see that and listen as Borat asks him questions about the salary cap and whether or not he feels he got hustled by Sam Dalembert’s agent. Otherwise what legit reason does this guy keep a job.

10. Man the Knicks are awful but isn’t there a secret part of you that hopes Isiah can pull this off? How I see it that’s the only logical thing that can happen. It’s the law of averages you know? Something can only keep getting worse for so long until the universe responds with a reciprocal event. Their roster does have some intrigue to it. Guys stay healhty and play focused anything can happen. Dudes are acting like 6 bills for the PS3 is reasonable. If people can believe that why not the Knicks getting the 8th seed?