Spots five through eight will not play much of a factor in the 2012 Playoffs, but these teams will provide great entertainment. The Hornets are in limbo because of the uncertainty of Chris Paul’s contract situation, the Denver Nuggets lost a third of their active roster to China, and the San Antonio Spurs’ window is closed. Look for newly hired coach Mark Jackson to propel the Golden State Warriors to a low-seed playoff spot, and the Los Angeles Clippers will make the playoffs if they can stay healthy.

The Eastern Conference.

The Chicago Bulls are the frontrunners in the East, and the only thing that derailed them in the 2011 Playoffs was their deficiency at shooting guard, which is sure to be addressed at the beginning of free agency when the NBA Lockout is officially over. The Miami Heat, Orlando Magic, and Boston Celtics will round out the upper echelon of the East. The Heat will have the same problem they had last year-a lack of a solid bench. Only this time, LeBron James and Dwayne Wade won’t be enough to overtake the Bulls. Dwight Howard needs help in Orlando, and if he doesn’t get it, he will leave the Magic at the end of the season. The Celtics might have one more shot, but they will need a big man or two and may have to dangle Rajon Rondo as trade bait to get one.

The bottom part of the top eight teams in the East won’t fare too well, either. The high-scoring Knicks with Carmelo Anthony and Amare Stoudemire and the Atlanta Hawks will take the fifth and sixth spots, and the seventh and eighth spots will be up for grabs.

My Prediction:

The Bulls will play the Mavericks in the 2012 NBA Finals, and the Bulls will win in six games.

Does a shortened season favor veteran teams or young, up-and-coming teams like Chicago or Oklahoma City? No one can say for sure that fewer games will guarantee that Boston or Los Angeles will make it to the Finals, but it will allow the veteran teams to have fresher legs during their playoff push. With that being said, let’s look at the top teams in each conference.

The Western Conference.

The edge definitely goes to the defending champions, the Dallas Mavericks. Their top priority is undoubtedly trying to resign free agent, Caron Butler. Even though he was injured during their championship run, he is still an important part of the equation in keeping the team intact. The Los Angeles Lakers, Oklahoma City Thunder, and Memphis Grizzlies round out the top half of the first four playoff spots. The Lakers will need some fine tuning of their bench with a free agent signing or two as their championship window is quickly closing, and most of their veterans like Kobe Bryant are approaching their mid-thirties. The Grizzlies top priorities will be resigning Mark Gasol and O.J. Mayo, and they may need another free agent to contend with the Mavericks for the top spot in the West. The Thunder are in the same boat as the Grizzlies, and Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook will need a veteran free agent signing to help them with scoring.

Derrick Rose - “I WANT TO BE MVP” That’s what Pooh said in the latest issue of SLAM. Already strong, fast, explosive, great passer. So far Simeon’s finest has proven to be a leader of this team and is not afraid of Miami. He worked on his jump shot over the summer and if automatic, he’ll be the king of the PGs hands down. Expect him to be in the running for MVP all season long. 27ppg 8assist 5 rebounds

Rajon Rondo - Right now the Black Irish PG is not only the best player on his team, but if the MVP award were given today Rondo would win it in a landslide. Rondo is a classic lead guard and has dished out 60 assist over 4 games (Stockton being the other). Still has a tendency to over dribble but his passing ability is second to none. Jason Kidd never worked on his jumper and he’s one of the best ever. 11 points 16 assist 6 rebounds

John Wall - Whatever John Calipari is doing it’s amazing. Flashes of Derrick Rose are completely accurate. Speed, finisher, #1 overall pick, athleticism, court vision, potential rookie of the year. FYI…he’s only a rookie.

he NBA season less than 10 games the point guards have dominated this season. If the MVP award were given today, several point guard are making strong cases. The question so far this season and asked by Kenny Smith…”Who is the best point guard in the NBA”? Well lets meet the contestants:

With t*For argument sakes Chris Paul & Deron Williams will not be mentioned*

Brandon Jennings - Young Money is not having a sophomore slump already dropping a triple double in the first week. Some say the Kenny Anderson clone is the best point guard in the Central Division. Once his jump shot matches his quickness and passing ability, you’ll have to consider the Compton native one of the best. 14 points 7 assists 4 rebounds

Russell Westbrook - The FIBA game did wonders for the former guard out of UCLA. He’s not a true point guard but very explosive and finishes very hard at the rim. Compliments Kevin Durant very well. 20 points 7assist 6 rebounds

The sexy pick of this season has been to pick Derrick Rose from the Chicago Bulls. He’s a slashing, scoring, electrifying point guard on the Eastern Conference’s “best team”. The media has already dubbed him the MVP, because he is the pick that people want to see.

No disrespect to Derrick Rose and the season that he had, but he should not win the 2010-2011 NBA MVP. That honor should go to LeBron James for the third straight year. When he won the award the last two seasons, he was on the Cleveland Cavaliers before he notoriously “took his talents to south beach”. He was the team, the franchise and the city, so obviously he is going to put up ridiculous numbers. But this year, he shares the ball with Dwayne Wade and Chris Bosh, and he is still putting up his same out of this world statistics that he did the previous two years.

LeBron James is undoubtedly the most valuable player in this game, he has been since 2006, and I see him to continue to maintain his dominance for the foreseeable future.

LeBron should win the MVP, but D-Rose will.

You heard it here first from The Sports Guru

At face value, this looks like LeBron James will threepeat, because of the fact that his stats do seem to better all of the other candidate’s. But this is only half of the equation that I am using for the NBA MVP. We still have the team’s overall record to think about.

Because LeBron James and Dwyane Wade are on the same team, with the same record and it has been verified that LeBron’s stats beat out Dwayne’s, I am taking Dwayne Wade off of the list, taking it down to three candidates remaining. Lets look at these team’s records side by side.

Dwight Howard from the Orlando Magic: Orlando’s record to date: 46-26 

LeBron James from the Miami Heat: Miami’s record to date: 49-22 

Derrick Rose from the Chicago Bulls: Chicago’s record to date: 51-19

This would eliminate Dwight Howard’s chances to claim the crown of MVP because it seems like MVP’s tend to come from championship caliber teams, and frankly, Orlando is not a championship caliber team at this stage of the NBA season.

So now comes the debate that seems to be running rampant through the sports world today: Who will win the NBA MVP?

Well I think it is more of a question of who SHOULD win the MVP and who WILL win the award.

Well the discussions have started across the sports world about the NBA’s MVP. The burning question remains: Will Lebron James threepeat, and defend his MVP status, or will someone else take away the title from him? I can make a case for four players in this year’s race. Those players are; Dwight Howard from the Orlando Magic, Dwayne Wade from the Miami Heat, Derrick Rose from the Chicago Bulls, along with the defending MVP LeBron James, also from the Miami Heat.

It seems like the ingredients to win the MVP race is to have gaudy offensive statistics along with a team who has a very good record, and is in line to potentially win the NBA Finals.

So let’s compare my candidates side-by-side.

Dwight Howard- 23.1 ppg and 14.2 rpg while shooting over 60% from the field. 

Dwayne Wade- 25.4 ppg, 6.5 rpg along with 4.4 apg. 

LeBron James- 26.3 ppg, 7.4 rpg along with 6.9 apg. 

Derrick Rose- 24.9 ppg, 4.2 rpg along with 7.8 apg.

"The Decision" was a bad idea from the beginning but apparently no one warned LeBron about that. Mark Cuban, the outspoken owner of the Dallas Mavericks called the show "the big gets public humiliation in history" and ex NBA superstar turned analyst Charles Barkley a ‘punk move" claiming "That was torture. I want that hour back in my life". The entire city of Cleveland seemed to turn against their former favorite son overnight, not so much for the fact he was leaving them to head to the beach but for the way he announced his intentions to the world.

The failure of the Big Three - James, Dwayne Wade and Chris Bosh - to beat the veteran Mavs did little to make things better. But Lebron does not seem to care too much. He is still the biggest star in the NBA today, Lebron James’ Twitter has 2.4 million followers and counting, his talent is nothing anyone questions and his best years are certainly yet to come. Despite all of the haters, it is still good to be King James.

Why all the hate for a player who some feel may be better than the great Michael Jordan? Partly because of his decision to leave the Cleveland Cavaliers, essentially his hometown team, for the glamor of the Miami Heat and partly because of the way he made that choice. In the summer of 2010 Lebron James told the world that he would announce his choice of team on a live ESPN TV special “The Decision”.

His intentions were probably good, the money raised would got to the Boys and Girls Club of America, a cause close to his heart. It was just the flashy, maybe arrogant, way he did it that evoked all the ire of these who were not even Cleveland fans.

To some people he’s a basketball demi-god, while to others he is the most hated man in NBA today, but whatever you want to think or say about him LeBron James is hard to ignore.

The kid from Akron, Ohio first attracted attention when he was in high school and when, in 2002 he won the Gatorade National Player of the Year his now famous nickname was first coined - King James. And ever since then the name LeBron James has become not only a household name in the US but across the world as well.

But it was not until 2010 and King James was about to become a free agent for the first time that he really began to attract the kind of negative reactions from some fans that he does today. On any given day if you check LeBron James’ Twitter the negative comments directed his way often outnumber the positive - especially true after the Miami Heat lost Game 7 of the 2011 NBA Finals - and the crown they had promised to bring to South Beach - to the upstart Dallas Mavericks.