By Mike Wise
Champion: Miami (if the Daddy stays healthy).
MVP: Shaquille O'Neal (if the Daddy stays healthy).
Rookie of the Year: Andrew Bogut, Milwaukee (either that or sixth man of the year).
Coach of the Year: Bob Weiss, Seattle.
Executive of the Year: Pat Riley, Miami (if the Daddy stays healthy).
Sixth Man of the Year: Antoine Walker (if the Daddy stays healthy).
Date of First Phil/Kobe Spat: Tomorrow.
First Coach to Be Fired: Mike Montgomery, Golden State. (It's karma for leaving Stanford and failing to commit to savvy senior scorer Dan Grunfeld.)
Month Pat Riley Will Return to Sideline: Late April, prior to the playoffs, after he fires Stan Van Gundy for finishing 71-11. "Stan did a nice job, but he didn't surpass the Bulls' all-time regular season record of 72-10," Riley will say. "He took them as far he could. Now it's time to bring them home."
First to Be Suspended for Not Conforming to League's New Dress Code: Stephen Jackson, Pacers. He will be released on his own recognizance, though, after posting a platinum rope as bond.
First to Be Banned for Poor Fashion Taste: Craig Sager, TNT.
Date Ron Artest Will Be Suspended: He won't be -- unless he wins a Grammy and is forced to miss a game for the awards show.
Game When the Wizards Realize How Much They Miss Larry Hughes: Season opener.
Year LeBron James Will Surpass Tracy McGrady and Kobe Bryant as the Game's Most Exciting Player: 2007.
First Completely Tasteless Yet Utterly Hilarious Comment Made by Charles Barkley: Wait, when is TNT's first broadcast?
First Big-Name Player to Be Traded: Allen Iverson. Look, nothing against short people. But a 6-foot-nothing, brittle shooting guard masquerading as a point guard will never win you a championship. Uh-uh. Not possible. It's time.
MVP Candidates You Never Thought Would Be: Artest, Rasheed Wallace, Manu Ginobili.
Surprise Finals Team: Houston. But only if Yao "Goin' Make Me Lose My Mind . . . "
Round Wizards Will Be Eliminated from the Playoffs: Can you say Eastern Conference finals? No? Okay, second round and out again. But this time they go seven games.
First On-Court Citizen's Arrest by a Player: Sheriff Shaquille O'Neal (but only if the Daddy stays healthy.)
Most of These Predictions Will Come True: There's about as much of a chance of that happening as there is of Sager giving his fluorescent blazers to Goodwill.