Some things to know about the 2009-10 NBA season

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  • Warriors coach Don Nelson needs only 24 victories to pass Lenny Wilkens for the most victories of all time. Interesting tidbit: Don Nelson was named as one of the 10 greatest coaches in NBA history in 1996. Of those ten coaches, he and Bill Fitch are the only ones not in the Hall of Fame (Fitch's winning percentage was only 46%). Of those ten coaches, Nelson is the only one that doesn't have a championship ring -- though to be fair, he traditionally coached small-market teams like Milwaukee, Dallas, and Golden State that never had much of a shot anyway.
  • Shaquille O'Neal is the only player who was named as one of the 50 greatest of all time in 1996 who is still in the NBA. He has played with maybe the four best pure talents in the game in the post-Jordan era: Anfernee Hardaway, Kobe Bryant, Dwyane Wade, and now LeBron James. Will sidekick No. 4 on team No. 5 be the winning combination?
  • If Ray Allen continues to stay healthy, he should break Reggie Miller's record for most three-pointers made in history -- in about two years. Since he joined the Celtics, Ray Allen has been the most inconsistent, sporadic player in the history of mankind. On any given day, he can go 10-14 and score 30 points or he can shoot 3-15 and score 8 points. If he can be a little more consistent this year, it'll do wonders for the Celtics.
  • Since Michael Jordan retired in 1999, there hasn't been much diversity in the Western Conference. In fact, the Los Angeles Lakers and San Antonio Spurs have accounted for 10 of the 11 finals since that time -- the lone exception came in 2006, when the Dallas Mavericks lost to the Miami Heat. Seeing as Ron Artest is now on the Lakers and that Richard Jefferson and Antonio McDyess are now on the Spurs, I'd say that trend isn't likely to break.
  • Following up on that last bulletin, ever finals series since M.J. retired has featured either Shaquille O'Neal, Kobe Bryant, or Tim Duncan. Again, with those three players on three of the five best teams in the league, that trend will probably continue as well.
  • I'm hoping to god that Lionel Hollins does good with the Memphis Grizzlies. Hollins has already been hired thrice and fired twice by the team, putting him just two hires behind Billy Martin -- who was hired a rediculous five times by the New York Yankees -- for the most all time by a team. I'm worried about their chemistry issues, but I think that with some GREAT coaching, the Grizz could be molded into a .500 team. With Iverson, Randolph, Gay and Mayo, it's not improbable -- just unlikely.
  • Realistically (barring any unforseen injuries), there is only one playoff spot available in the Western Conference. Now that Houston is without Yao Ming and Ron Artest, the Rockets will battle with Phoenix and possibly the Clippers, Warriors, or Grizzles for the No. 8 seed.
  • Look to see more in-season trades than you saw last year. There are a lot of players who are going to be free agents next year, and you know that some teams are going to try to trade them before they lose them forever. Also, look for Minnesota to make a couple swaps during the season. They do it every year and since they got nothin' on that roster (aside from Al Jefferson) they got nothin' to lose. Same thing with Toronto. You know that Chris Bosh will eventually be on a roster other than the Raptors.
  • Lawrence Frank is the longest-tenured coach in the Eastern Conference. The Nets coach has been with the team for six seasons since taking over on an interim basis for Byron Scott. But New Jersey hasn't had a winning season in four years, and now that there's a change in ownership, I worry about Frank's security. Sure, the team is rebuilding, but that hasn't stopped teams from firing coaches in the past.
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