(NOTE: asterisks note playoff teams)
1. Nets. Young, old united/big bucks might gel into a/dark horse contender.
2. Knicks*. Blue and orange crushed?/Hardly, but a deeper East/makes a tough battle.
3. Raptors. North of the border/sleeping dinos lurk; a hot/start is quite crucial.
4. Celtics. Rondo? Still injured/don't blame Stevens for struggles/as Shamrocks rebuild.
5. 76ers. Very soft offense/despite a decent backcourt/hello, top five pick!
1. Bulls. A healthy Rose blooms/while the D divides and/conquers; be afraid!
2. Pacers*. So close, yet so far/a deeper bench is needed/to turn off the Heat.
3. Pistons*. Monroe and Penguin/hot-shot ballers on paper/must work together.
4. Cavaliers*. Anthony Bennett/left his heart in Bedford Heights/but can Bynum thrive?
5. Bucks. All hail "The Greek Freak"/there's something in the gyros/...if he ever plays.
1. Heat. Targets on their backs/a three-peat won't come easy/...ah, I'm just kidding.
2. Wizards*. The number eight seed/is the final Wall to climb/you might be surprised.
3. Hawks. A middling bunch, true/with Carroll at small forward/same so-so results.
4. Bobcats. Battle for last place/credibility growing/but no playoffs yet.
5. Magic. Fascinating youth/but a lack of direction/produces few wins.
1. Thunder. When Rusty's knee heals/Durant's long quest for a ring/may finally end.
2. Nuggets*. Play by committee/swaggy, but no superstar/clutch or confusion?
3. T-Wolves*. Rubio and Love/upfront? Great, but no depth and/injuries linger.
4. Blazers. Get Fred Armisen/to back up Lopez, and I/might want to watch this.
5. Jazz. Upside is the word/with so many question marks/Favors sings the blues.
1. Clippers. No second fiddle/Staples' other occupant/is ready to win.
2. Warriors*. Spicy Curry for/my dinner with Andre; Bay/Area says "yum!"
3. Lakers. Kobe's got a beef/one last year in Laker gold/another ring? No.
4. Kings. So much potential/yet the pieces don't fit; more/soap opera crap.
5. Suns. Desert of talent/the Phoenix won't rise this year/70 losses?
1. Spurs. Sound fundamentals/and a seamless youth movement/Popo's boys can't lose.
2. Rockets*. D12 aside, they're/weak on the charity stripe/they need a stretch 4.
3. Grizzlies*. Merciless defense/must make up for shaky O/and lack of upgrades.
4. Pelicans. Young birds hatching, but/like old Hornets, they won't sting/just hover around.
5. Mavericks. There's Dirk and... uh, um.../big step backwards in Big D/Shocker! Cuban's pissed.
Rookie of the Year: Victor Oladipo, Magic
Most Improved Player: Andre Drummond, Pistons
NBA MVP: Lebron James, Heat
First Head Coach Fired: Rick Carlisle, Mavericks
2014 NBA Finals: Thunder over Heat in 6