College basketball conferences always do some preseason voting on various awards. None of it means anything, but it gives the coaches, Athletic Directors and Sports Information Directors a chance to visit the nicest city in the conference and use their expense accounts for charges they have to try to cover up later.
I was not able to gather the best Northwest Division team bloggers in a nice locale, but thanks to the wonder of the information super highway we were still able to get together and do some preseason voting. Below you will see the preseason award winners in nine different categories from Preseason Northwest Division Player of the Year to the Most Overrated Player in the Northwest Division.
Before we get to the results, here is the list of distinguished voters.
Andy – Denver Stiffs
Wyn – Canis Hoopus
College Wolf – TWolves Blog
Joe – Thunder Guru
Zebulun and Benjamin – Blue Blitz
Royce – The Thunderworld
Casey – Trail Blazers Center Court
Coup – Rip City Project
Dave – Blazer’s Edge
Basketball John – SLC Dunk
UtesFan89 – The Utah Jazz
CB Jack – True Blue Jazz
And of course myself
1. Who will be the Newcomer of the Year in the Northwest Division?
Greg Oden – 69.2% (9 votes)
Kevin Love – 15.4% (2 votes)
Mike Miller – 7.7% (1 vote)
Rudy Fernandez – 7.7% (1 vote)
Despite not playing in a game that mattered since April of 2007 Greg Oden is the overwhelming winner of the preseason Northwest Division Newcomer of the Year vote. That just adds to the expectations for the rookie former number one overall pick.
2. Who is the most overrated player in the Northwest Division?
Carmelo Anthony – 46.2% (6 votes)
Carlos Boozer – 15.4% (2 votes)
Kevin Durant – 7.7% (1 vote)
Al Jefferson – 7.7% (1 vote)
Andrei Kirilenko – 7.7% (1 vote write in)
Jeff Green – 7.7% (1 vote write in)
Chucky Atkins – 7.7% (1 vote write in)
Read it and weep Nuggets fans. Carmelo was the clear winner of the preseason Most Overrated Player in the division vote. The results also beg to ask, how bad does someone think Chucky Atkins is if he is currently considered overrated?
3. Who is the most underrated player in the Northwest Division?
Ronnie Brewer – 30.8% (4 votes)
Mehmet Okur – 23.1% (3 votes)
LaMarcus Aldridge – 15.4% (2 votes write in)
J.R. Smith – 7.7% (1 vote)
Ryan Gomes – 7.7% (1 vote write in)
Nick Collison – 7.7% (1 vote write in)
Joe Smith – 7.7% (1 vote write in)
And here is the flip side of that coin, the preseason Most Underrated player in the Northwest Division Award. It was a close vote, but Ronnie Brewer takes it over teammate Mehmet Okur. As well regarded as LaMarcus Aldridge is around the league apparently Portland bloggers interestingly enough believe most observers do not give him his just due.
4. Who is the worst rotation player (at least 15 minutes per game) in the Northwest Division?
Sebastian Telfair – 30.8% (4 votes)
Johan Petro – 30.8% (4 votes)
Jeff Green – 23.1% (3 votes)
Corey Brewer – 7.7% (1 vote)
Matt Harpring – 7.7% (1 vote)
We have a tie for the preseason Worst Rotation Player award. It is not surprising to see the two teams widely regarded as the two worst teams in the conference well represented here.
5. Who will make the playoffs?
Portland Trail Blazers – 61.5% (8 votes)
Portland Trail Blazers and Denver Nuggets – 23.1% (3 votes)
Denver Nuggets – 15.4% (2 votes)
Neither – 0.0% (0 votes)
Only two members of our panel believe the Trail Blazers will miss the playoffs, while only five believe the Nuggets will make it.
6. Are the Utah Jazz a legitimate championship contender?
Yes – 76.9% (10 votes)
No – 23.1% (3 votes)
The clear favorites in the division are widely regarded as a true contender to win the NBA finals.
7. The Minnesota Timberwolves will be in the playoffs…
in 5 years – 38.5% (5 votes)
in 3 years – 23.1% (3 votes)
um…don’t hold your breath T-Wolves fans – 23.1% (3 votes)
next year – 15.4% (2 votes)
The Timberwolves have made a decent turnaround in the wake of the Kevin Garnett trade, but a slight majority of our panel believes it will be five or more years until the TWolves make the playoffs.
8. Who will be the player of the year in the Northwest Division?
Deron Williams – 77.0% (10 votes)
Al Jefferson – 15.4% (2 votes)
Greg Oden – 7.7% (1 vote write in)
Carmelo Anthony – 0.0% (0 votes)
Brandon Roy – 0.0% (0 votes)
Carlos Boozer – 0.0% (0 votes)
Allen Iverson – 0.0% (0 votes)
Kevin Durant – 0.0% (0 votes)
As good as some of the players are in the Northwest Division Deron Williams is an easy winner of the preseason Northwest Division Player of the Year award.
9. Where will each team finish in the Northwest Division?
First – Utah Jazz – 100% (13 votes)
Second – Portland Trail Blazers – 84.6% (11 votes)
Third – Denver Nuggets – 84.6% (11 votes)
Fourth – Minnesota Timberwolves – 92.3% (12 votes)
Fifth – Oklahoma City Thunder – 92.3% (12 votes)
Apparently there will not be much drama when it comes to the Northwest Division standings this season. Utah was a unanimous favorite at the top, and the rest of the order was only slightly less lopsided.
There you have it. We think we know what will happen, now all we can do is sit back and see if we end up being right.
Thank you to all the great team bloggers that took part in the preseason voting.