Predicting how LeBron finishes up, the Lakers fare and the postseason plays out
1. With the Cavaliers putting up a better second-half record than the Nuggets, LeBron James moves past Carmelo Anthony to win Rookie of the Year honors.
2. Unable to replace the toughness, mid-range scoring and end-to-end game of Karl Malone, who can't shake a nagging right knee injury, the Lakers make a first-round playoff exit.
3. After posting the league's best regular-season record, the Kings are doomed by their porous defense in a Game 7 home loss to the Timberwolves in the Western Conference finals.
4. The surging Nets and their star trio of Jason Kidd, Kenyon Martin and Richard Jefferson overcome the Pacers' terrific twosome of Jermaine O'Neal and Ron Artest to reach the NBA Finals for the third consecutive season.
5. Much like Michael Jordan, who waited seven years for the arrival of a strong enough supporting cast to deliver the Bulls their first title, nine-year veteran Kevin Garnett leads the T-Wolves to their first NBA crown.