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NBA Outlook 2005

SPECIAL TO ESPN.COM

Oct. 31, 2005

I am a big fan of basketball, so I keep an eye on the NBA as well as the sport I love, college basketball.

As the pro season tips off, there are a lot of interesting story lines. How will the Knicks fare with Larry Brown as coach? How will the Lakers' soap opera of Kobe Bryant and Phil Jackson play out? Personally, I think Kobe is going to have a big season.

Watch out for LeBron James; he should get the Cavaliers into the playoffs under new coach Mike Brown.

Looking ahead, a lot of people have asked me which two teams will meet in the finals. I am predicting the San Antonio Spurs and Miami Heat will battle for the big gold trophy.

Tim Duncan and company are even better with a couple of newcomers: Michael Finley and Nick Van Exel. Those two are seasoned, hungry veterans. By the way, Timmy D., you are going to need a jacket when you are on the bench and not playing, thanks to the new dress code!

I really feel Miami has made a lot of moves to strengthen its depth. Shaq and Dwyane Wade lead the way, but important contributions should come from Antoine Walker, Jason Williams and James Posey.

In the end, I see the San Antonio Spurs celebrating again as Duncan leads the way to yet another championship.

Dick Vitale coached the Pistons and the University of Detroit before broadcasting ESPN's first college basketball game in 1979. Send a question for Vitale for possible use on ESPNEWS.

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