NBA Season Win Totals and My Rockets Prediction
For those of you who think I was a little too hard on Big Humph (and by my count, there were exactly none of you who felt that way), just know that according to results of a recent poll of NBA fans, Humphries is now the most hated player in the NBA. Yes, Kris Humphries.
The entire list looks like this:
1. Kris Humphries (50 percent dislike)
2. LeBron James (48 percent)
3. Kobe Bryant (45 percent)
4. Tony Parker (37 percent)
5. Metta World Peace (36 percent)
6. Chris Bosh (34 percent)
7. Carmelo Anthony (27 percent)
8. Paul Pierce (25 percent)
9. Dwyane Wade (23 percent)
10. Lamar Odom (21 percent)
So if you're keeping score at home, in one offseason, Humphries went from anonymous NBA grunt worker to being more loathed than:
-- JAMES: the one athlete who had a made-for-TV special to announce his free agency intentions last year (and was arguably the most hated non-criminal athlete on the planet for a full year afterward)
-- BRYANT, PARKER, WADE: three known adulterers (including one who may or may not have raped a woman in 2003 and another who banged his teammate's wife)
-- METTA WORLD PEACE: a clinical kook who thanks his psychiatrist after games and who started the biggest melee in the history of American sporting events
-- BOSH: It's Bosh. Enough said.
-- ODOM: A guy who actually stayed married to a Kardashian.
It's a fact. Only the Rockets had a worse offseason than Humphries.
Speaking of the Rockets (world-class segue there), the sports betting world has weighed in on how they think the Rockets will do in 2011-2012. The posted total for your hometown team this season (keep in mind, 66 games this season) is 32 1/2. If you're wondering how the Samuel Dalembert acquisition yesterday effected the number just know that the posted number Monday night was 32 1/2, and after the Dalembert signing it didn't move at all.
I'm not a big Dalembert fan, but I have a hard time believing that this team's having a seven-footer who is proficient in a couple basketball skills (as opposed to Hasheem Thabeet who may be a better soccer player than basketball player, and is MUCH better at hanging out at the mall than he is at both of those things) manning the paint will not result in a couple more wins. And they were already a 43-39 team last year with Chuck Hayes (God bless him) playing most of the minutes at center.
Truth be told, I think last year's team overachieved a little bit to get to 43-39, but a bet on going over 32 1/2 wins against this schedule is essentially a bet that the Rockets are a .500 team or better. I think they are provided that:
1. Kyle Lowry takes the leap from solid all-around point guard to "firmly in the All-Star debate." The only point guards in the West who teams would definitively take over Lowry for this season are Chris Paul, Russell Westbrook, Steve Nash, and maybe Tony Parker. After that, there's no reason Lowry shouldn't be more productive than Jason Kidd (although I had a hard time slotting him because of intangibles and his improved shooting), Ty Lawson, Devin Harris, and Andre Miller.
2. Dalembert has to stay on the floor. He's played 80 games or more the last five seasons, so what he's lacked in dominance he's made up for in durability. If Dalembert gives the Rockets 8.5 points, 11.5 rebounds, and 2 blocks per night this contract will be a huge win. They have nothing resembling a competent NBA center behind him on this roster.