Oct. 30, 2007 -- Preseason is the time for predictions, to prove one's basketball knowledge. With only hours until Countdown to Tip-Off 07 begins the 2007-08 NBA season, a distinguished panel of NBA analysts get in on the fun and publicly proclaim who they think will win it all this season. The Spurs and the Suns are the hot picks to win the championship, KG is a popular selection to repeat his MVP performance of 2004 and Kevin Durant is the near unanimous choice to take home Rookie of the Year. Below is a look at who this crew believes will come out on top next spring:

NBA Expert
Atlantic
Central
SE
NW
Pacific
SW
East Champ
West Champ
Finals Champ
MVP
Rookie of Year
Coach of Year
Maurice Brooks
NBA.com

Celtics

Pistons

Heat

Jazz

Suns

Mavericks

Celtics

Suns

Suns

Garnett

Durant

Adelman
Fred Carter
NBA TV

Celtics

Bulls

Magic

Jazz

Suns

Spurs

Celtics

Spurs

Spurs

Duncan

Durant

Rivers
John Hareas
NBA.com

Nets

Bulls

Heat

Nuggets

Suns

Spurs

Bulls

Spurs

Spurs

Duncan

Scola

Adelman
Frank Isola
NY Daily News, NBA TV

Celtics

Bulls

Heat

Nuggets

Suns

Spurs

Bulls

Spurs

Spurs

Garnett

Durant

Skiles
Rick Kamla
NBA TV

Celtics

Bulls

Wizards

Jazz

Suns

Spurs

Bulls

Spurs

Spurs

James

Durant

Skiles
Bob Lanier
Hall of Famer

Celtics

Pistons

Wizards

Nuggets

Suns

Spurs

Cavaliers

Suns

Suns

James

Durant

Brown
Dave McMenamin
NBA.com

Celtics

Bulls

Wizards

Nuggets

Suns

Spurs

Bulls

Suns

Suns

Nash

Durant

Jackson
Rob Peterson
NBA.com

Celtics

Pistons

Wizards

Jazz

Suns

Rockets

Pistons

Suns

Suns

Yao

Durant

Adelman
John Schuhmann
NBA.com

Celtics

Bulls

Wizards

Jazz

Suns

Mavericks

Bulls

Spurs

Spurs

Garnett

Durant

Skiles

Breaking Down Their Picks

Maurice Brooks: Kevin Durant is going to get all of the minutes and shot attempts he wants in Seattle this season and that will translate into the winning formula for Rookie of the Year. Unless one of the terrific trio gets injured, there is no way that the Celtics don't win 50 games this season. Kevin Garnett can get 20 and 10 in his sleep and his leadership is unquestioned so he is my choice for MVP. As far as my team predictions, I pretty much went chalk all the way across the board. KG and Ray Ray make the Celtics the new beast of the East and at the very least, the top team in the Atlantic. The Pistons may have fallen short in the postseason, but they will rule the Central once again, and if Dwyane Wade comes back from injury in November as expected, the Heat will edge the Wizards in the Southeast. I picked the Jazz last year and they made me look smart so I will select them to repeat in the Northwest and the Suns will finish with the best record in the league. After getting chipped up by the Warriors in the first-round of the postseason last year, the Mavericks will be motivated and that should be good enough to get them another Southwest title.

John Hareas: Running through the divisions: Atlantic - Nets’ depth reigns supreme over The Big Three; Central - Pistons’ run (finally) ends as (first-time All-Star) Deng leads the way while Big Ben returns to form; Southeast - Down to the wire but the Hall-of-Fame coaching of Riles and a healthy D.Wade is the difference; Northwest - A.I. & Carmelo realize true tandem potential while Kenyon wraps up comeback honors, Pacific – Grant Hill is reborn as Suns finish in a rout; Southwest - Spurs downplay repeat angle but it matters and this season they prove it.

The Finals will be the Bulls who (quickly) come of age out of East versus the Spurs who get there after a classic rematch against the Suns nets same results. San Antonio will win it all making The Dynasty official.

I have the awards going as Duncan for MVP (Mikan, Russell, Wilt, Kareem and Duncan), Luis Scola for Rookie of the Year (the 27-year-old rookie is is the biggest steal since the Bulls acquired Deng in ’04) and Rick Adelman for Coach of the year (a runner up three previous times, he finally receives his due).

Dave McMenamin: I'm a big believer that teams of destiny led by one truly great player that get to the verge of something big, oh, say, a championship, year after year will eventually learn what they need to get to the next step. Just look at Peyton Manning and the Colts last year finally beating the Patriots en route to the Supe or Michael Jordan's first seven years in the league ending in playoff dissappointment before the Bulls got over the hump. That's why I'm picking Phoenix and the incredible Steve Nash to hoist the Larry O.B. in June.

I like Chicago to get out of the East because I just don't see Boston coming together that quickly and the Bulls' young talent is just starting to come into their own.

As far as MVP goes, it should probably go to Nash every year that he is running the show in Phoenix and the Suns are hovering around the 60-win mark because he is the only player in the league to make that team run the way they do. (By this reasoning, Tim Duncan should be Nash's main competition for the award and that sounds about right.)

I think Durant runs away with Rookie of the Year and averages the most points per game for a rookie since Allen Iverson's 23.5 points per game in 1996-97 and my big shocker pick is Phil Jackson for Coach of the Year. Why the Zen Master? This will probably be the most challenging season in his Hall of Fame career and I truly think that one of two things will happen: A) Kobe stays and Jackson gets KB24 to once again buy into the team oriented aspects of the Triangle Offense and Kobe's willingness combined with a healthy supporting cast (i.e. Odom, Mihm, Radmanovic) gets L.A. 50-plus wins - or - B) Kobe leaves and Jackson galvanizes whatever squad he is left with and guides them to a 41-41 record in the deep-as-Freud Western Conference. Pulling off either A) or B) is worthy of the Red Auerbach Trophy in my book.

Rob Peterson: You want an explanation, do ya? You want insight, right? I picked Boston and Detroit to win their respective divisions. Ho hum. For the second consecutive year, I went with Washington to win the Southeast. They were on their way until mega-star Gilbert Arenas had a Bobcat fall on his knee. I'm granting myself an injury exception on that one. That, and the Heat haven't been healthy since the end of the 2006 season and the Magic don't have much depth. I'm still skeptical about the Hawks and the Bobcats. Yes, I tread on very shaky limbs.

Only Maurice Brooks picked the Jazz in the Northwest last year and this year, I'll ride his coattails, unless, of course, AI and Melo go bonkers and lead the Nuggets to the division crown. I'll only have myself to blame. My Rookie of the Year, Seattle's Kevin Durant, comes out of the Northwest as the lanky small foward just edges the Clippers' Al Thornton.

Phoenix is a no brainer in the Pacific. In the Southwest, I went with Houston for the mere fact that I'm being trendy. I like my Coach of the Year pick Rick Adelman's style of offense and I believe my MVP pick, Yao Ming, will play a full 82 this season. With a potential trade hanging over Kobe, a less-than-stellar supporting cast for LeBron in Cleveland, Dwayne Wade not coming back 'til mid-November, Dirk Nowitzki haunted by the specter of last year's postseason and Steve Nash, well, he'll be Yao's closest competitor for the award.

That being said, I think the Suns will finally make it to the Finals where they will meet the bizarro-Suns, the Detroit Pistons. The Suns in six.

John Schuhmann: If they're healthy, it's difficult for me to choose anyone but the Spurs. They probably won't win their division, but they'll be tough to beat in a seven-game series. Every team in the East has questions, but the Bulls just seem to have more answers than the rest. The Celtics will easily be the most improved team, but they'll need another year together and another year under Rajon Rondo's belt before they can win the East. Still, 47-50 wins should be enough to earn KG his second MVP. And while I really like Luis Scola and Juan Carlos Navarro, I'd be pretty shocked if Durant isn't ROY.