Friday, October 31, 2008

The 2008-09 NBA Predictions of Correctitude

"Opinions are like assholes, because everyone has one," goes the old saying. With that in mind, I figured I would come back from my extended layoff at the Porcelain Bowl (there's a constipation joke in there somewhere) with a preview of the recently started 2008-09 NBA season. Yes, I know these things are a dime a dozen, but mine is different. The reason mine is better is because it will all come true. After reading this brilliant article, make it your desktop wallpaper. Then, take your computer monitor down to Las Vegas, plop that sucker down at the sports book, point to it, and tell the book employee, "I want to bet my life savings on all of this shit right here."

I will list each team in their correct order of finish at the end of the regular season, and we'll start in the Eastern Conference:

1. Charlotte Bobcats (Predicted final record: 75-7, Southeast Champions): This collection of college basketball all-stars will magically gel into a great team spurred by daily viewings of Hoosiers and a rabid home crowd that is mostly pissed off that Sean May eats all of the concessions in the stadium prior to every game.

2. New York Knicks (55-27, Atlantic Champions): The Knicks will end the season on a 30 game winning streak after coach Mike D'Antoni realizes that Stephon Marbury is some kind of Freudian Hockey Goalie that can just stand in front of their basket for 48 minutes and swat away nearly every opposition shot using nothing but his inflated ego.

3. Houston Rockets (48-34, Central Champions): Tired of fighting with the super-tough Southwest division, the Rockets organization decides to move back into the Eastern Conference Central division they started in over thirty years ago and create their own schedule, catching many opposing teams by surprise as they show up for games completely unannounced. A good team, but most of their wins will come by forfeit.

4. Cleveland Zoom LeBron VI (47-35): Desperate to keep their megastar player happy, Cleveland initially renames their team the Cleveland Yankee Cowboys before settling on naming themselves after his shoe line. The Zoom LeBron VIers point guards will create a wildly successful morning radio show called "Mo, Snow, and Boobie".

5. Chicago Bulls (47-35): The Bulls flounder out of the gate, so management decides to drag the statue of Michael Jordan into the stadium to drum up some enthusiasm. The statue goes on to lead the team in scoring and is third in rebounding and blocked shots. To be fair, the monument gets a lot of points that should be credited to other players, but the stadium announcer would rather yell "Michal Jordan's Statue!" than "Thabo Sefolosha!"

6. Washlando Warlocks (43-39): After years of squabbling over who should have rights to the prestidigitation-themed nickname, the Washington Wizards and Orlando Magic declare a truce and merge into a a single entity. Their season is going well until Dwight Howard sustains a season-ending head injury caused by smacking it into the ceiling of the Lance Burton Arena during a rebound attempt.

7. Boston Celtics (41-41): Due to a mix-up at the jewelers, Kevin Garnett receives a Green Lantern power ring during the opening game 2008 championship ceremony. Believing he has been called to a higher purpose, Garnett flies off into the stars, looking for outer space crime to fight. Several of the younger Celtics hurt themselves jumping off of buildings in an attempt to fly using their title rings, causing the older team members to wear down over the course of the season.

8. Miami Heat (40-42): A strong start to the season is short-circuited by a South Florida drug cartel, who declare Miami Arena to be a part of their "territory". The Heat are forced to play the last half of the season on one long road trip, wearing makeshift uniforms that feature their names and numbers written in permanent marker.

9. Toronto Disco Fries (39-43): The Toronto organization dumps the outdated Jurassic Park nickname in favor of one that is a bit more Canadian. In an attempt to have the new name stick, the players are forced to eat nothing but poutine for two months, causing the young Disco Fries to become the fattest NBA team in history. The "That's no Jamario Moon, that's a space station" flash animation goes viral and becomes the hot online meme of early 2009.

10. Indiana Pacers (33-49): The Pacers have become so nondescript, that they literally vanish into thin air during a game in late January. Teams are ordered to keep showing up to play them as David Stern hopes they reappear at some point. They never do, leading to incredibly lopsided losses in which the opponent regularly breaks 400 points.

11. Manhattan Nets (30-52): Tired of waiting on Brooklyn to get their act together, the Nets move to Harlem and start playing their home games in Rucker Park. Vince Carter is forced to retire from basketball after getting mercilessly and constantly mocked by the Rucker crowd for calling "foul!" every time he drives the lane. The Nets lose several games to "playground legends" posing as NBA teams.

12. Milwaukee Bucks (29-53): A bad start is compounded by a management decision to dress the team in deer costumes during games in a bizarre attempt to increase attendance. The players have extreme difficulty dribbling and shooting with their fuzzy hoof-hands, and several of them are shot by confused hunters during games.

13. Philadelphia 76ers (25-57): Realizing that Philly-area fans are good to go for another 25 years after the Phillies recent World Series win, the 76ers essentially take the season off, figuring no one would notice. They're right.

14. Atlanta Hawks (20-62): The Hawks take their ninth consecutive season off, figuring no one would notice. They're also right.

15. Kyoto Nintendo Powers (5-77): The cash-strapped Detroit Pistons are forced to sell their operation to the video game giant a couple of weeks into the season. The company promptly fires all of the players and coaches, and replaces them with cheap, efficient Japanese workers. They get obliterated in every game from that point, ending the season on a record 74 game losing streak, and even managing to get shut out in a couple of contests.

And now, here's the Western Conference:

1. Los Angeles Laklippers (161-3, Pacific Champions): Since they play in the same building and city as the defending Western Conference champions, the Clippers convince the NBA to merge the two teams, much to the chagrin of the Lakers. Starting every game with 10 players on the floor and 14 more on the bench (not to mention 1.5 head coaches), the Laklippers cruise to wins in every game except the ones they were scheduled to play each other.

2. Phoenix Suns (60-22): The old players in Arizona ask management to mortgage their future and trade for the Alaskan-born young up-and-comer Carlos Boozer, yet they still finish in second place.

3. Minnesota Timberwolves (56-26, Northwest Champions): Bowing to local pressure, the T-Wolves begin playing all of their home games on a sheet of ice. It turns out to be a successful move, as 6'10" Al Jefferson shows to be surprisingly nimble on ice skates, averaging 22 points, 12 rebounds, and 3.6 penalty minutes per game.

4. Dallas L01l3rz (56-26, Southwest Champions): Forced to change their nickname after the 2008 election permanently ruined the word "maverick", the team hosts an open renaming contest online, promising to use the winner. Shackled with their crappy new name, the team plays the entire season with an enormous chip on their shoulder, with most of their games ending in massive, bloody brawls.

5. Portland Trail Blazers (52-30): Portland fans, accustomed to players that are constantly in trouble with the law, grow bored with this young, talented team of nice guys. Attendance begins to sag until displaced Seattle fans adopt the squad, creating a wild, raucous home court advantage. Nightly sights at the Rose Garden include burning effigies of Clay Bennett and David Stern.

6. Utah Jazz (47-35): The state government of Utah essentially cost the Jazz a chance at a division title by passing a law forbidding them to play on Sunday, causing them to forfeit over a dozen games. The team counteracts it by running out a lineup of Kyle Korver, Andrei Kirilenko, Matt Harpring, Mehmet Okur, and Kost Koufos, blinding opponents with their collective whiteness.

7. San Antonio Spurs (45-37): The Spurs run into trouble early in the season as several of their players begin showing the early stages of Alzheimer's disease, causing the team to be short-handed on many occasions as players forget to show up for games. The team manages to convince the NBA to start their games in the mid-afternoon so their players won't miss the early dinner specials at Denny's. That contributes to some wins as most players on younger teams don't even wake up before three in the afternoon.

8. Golden State Warriors (44-38): The team's fortunes dramatically turn for the better after mopeds are banned in Alameda County. The team's fortunes dramatically turn for the worse after it occurs to Stephen Jackson that he is the team's best player.

9. New Orleans Hornets (42-40): The Hornets start out well until someone reminds them that as long as George Shinn is their owner, they are doomed to fail no matter how hard they try. Karma is a real bitch, George.

10. Sacramento Kings (39-43): Embarrassed by the lack of fans willing to pay a hundred bucks a game to watch a group of nobodies get blown out every night, the Maloofs begin letting livestock into the second deck to fill out the seats. The methane buildup causes an explosion that removes the roof of the ARCO Arena. Despite the fresh air, opponents still have problems dealing with the awful smell, leading to easy home wins for the Kings during the second half of the season.

11. Memphis Gay Mayo (24-58): Realizing there isn't a wild grizzly bear within 1000 miles of Memphis, the team renames itself after its two young stars, hoping to keep them in town longer than two years. Thousands of homosexual men and women adopt the team as their favorite and move to Tennessee, spawning a new form of music: Pink Blues.

12. Oklahoma City Thunder (11-71): The young team struggles to win even eleven games, but they do manage to set an unofficial NBA record for shattered backboards. Unfortunately, it doesn't come from exciting Thunderous dunks like Shaq and Darryl Dawkins used to provide. It is caused instead by the team's collectively atrocious shooting.

13. Denver Nuggets (3-79): The Nuggets roster, a.k.a. The Most-Heavily Tattooed Collection of People Ever Assembled Anywhere, gets ravaged by a widespread herpes breakout. The organization has to fill in with a group of raw players straight out of the D-League. The results are disastrous, as the Nuggets only manage to win their two games against Kyoto, plus one in a series split versus the M.I.A. Pacers.

Here's how the playoffs will shake out:
First Round
East: Charlotte over Miami as several Heat players go missing after they cover the spread in game one. New York over Boston in a five game series that features 83 total points. Houston over Washlando as Ron Artest literally kills two opposing players on-court during the series. Cleveland over Chicago, featuring LeBron James averaging a triple-double while wearing a vintage Jordan-era Bulls baseball cap.

West: Los Angeles over Golden State, rebounding from an early series deficit after Kobe Bryant locks the Clippers in their dressing room before game three and refuses to let them out. Minnesota over San Antonio, during which Manu Ginobili is severely beaten by Minnesota fans who have grown tired of his soccer-style flopping. Dallas over Utah after Tay Zonday badly performs the national anthem before game one, spurring the L01l3rz into a frenzy of anger that leads to an easy series sweep. Portland over Phoenix, because it's time for a change.

Second Round
East: Charlotte over Cleveland, despite LeBron James averaging a triple-double while wearing a vintage Jordan-era UNC Tar Heels baseball cap. Houston over New York as Artest solves the Marbury defense by kicking him repeatedly in the balls.

West: Portland over Los Angeles as the Clippers influence is too much to overcome. Dallas over Minnesota as the team recruits Mike Modano to teach the team how to ice skate, causing twice as much sadness for old-school Minnesota sports fans.

Conference Championships
East: Houston over Charlotte, as the Bobcats can't recover from the Artest tactic of burning the city of Charlotte to the ground.

West: Dallas over Portland easily, motivated by their hatred of Blazers owner Paul Allen, who they hold partially responsible for their stupid new nickname.

NBA Finals
In the heart of Texas, a German power forward outduels a Chinese center. The Rockets come close after Ron Artest somehow acquires a nuclear device and threatens to start World War 3, but the L01l3rz are too skilled to overcome, taking the series in six games.

The NBA Champions: The Dallas L01l3rz

There you go. The most accurate NBA prediction you will read this year. You're welcome.