I’ve done no research. I’ve heard little hype. I don’t know much. What I do know is the NBA season starts tonight. You know me, I’ve gotta make some picks. Here goes nothing.

Stephon Marbury is ready for the 2008-09 NBA season. Are you?

Stephon Marbury is ready for the 2008-09 NBA season. Are you?

Eastern Conference (division winners highlighted)
1. Boston
– As much as it pains me to say, the Celtics are still the cream of the crop, particularly in the East, which is extremely weak.

2. Detroit – They may be getting older, but they’re still an elite team, and one of the few with continuity. Oh yeah, and they play defense.

3. Toronto – This one needs a giant asterisks next to it, but if … if … Jermaine O’Neal can stay relatively healthy, this team will win a lot of games. Chris Bosh and O’Neal down low – name me a better post tandem in the East.

4. Orlando – The only reason the Magic aren’t at the top of this list is their shaky guard play. Mickael Pietrus is starting? Is that how he spells Michael? Really?

5. Cleveland – They have Lebron James. By default they are a Top 5 team in the East. After another mediocre season from the Cavs, they won’t have him for long.

6. Atlanta – Call me crazy, but I like what’s going on in Atlanta. I think they’ll build on their late-season momentum last year and be a major factor in the East.

7. Philadelphia 76ers – I’m not sold on Elton Brand’s health, but if he plays 82 games this will be a dangerous team in the posteason.

8. Chicago Bulls – The Bulls had a down year last season, but still have some of the best young talent in the league. Add Derrick Rose to a roster boasting Ben Gordon, Luol Deng, and Joakim Noah and I think you have a playoff team.

Western Conference (division winners highlighted)
1. Houston – With the addition of Ron Artest, the Rockets are the best team in the NBA … on paper. Problem is, Yao Ming and Tracy McGrady don’t get hurt on paper. We’ll see.

2. LA Lakers – Just couldn’t bring myself to chalk them in as No. 1. Andrew Bynum is the wildcard here. If he’s another Kwame Brown, the Lakers will be harmless in the postseason. If he’s a force, look out.

3. Utah – Never underestimate Jerry Sloan. Especially when he has tools to work with. Deron Williams and Carlos Boozer take their chemistry to the next level and the Jazz take the Northwest going away.

4. San Antonio – Goodness they’re getting old. Doesn’t matter. With a slew of crafty veterans, the Spurs will earn homecourt advantage in the first round with their defensive swagger.

5. New Orleans – Not sold on them despite the break out year. Chris Paul is undoubtedly one of the league’s top talents, but I don’t like his swingmen – Morris Peterson and the ever-slowing Peja Stojakovic.

6. Phoenix – I always feel like I misspelled Phoenix. Did I? New coach, old Grant Hill and Shaq. Still, the Suns have too much talent not to be a contender in the West.

7. Portland – Greg Oden is a monster and sky is the limit for Brandon Roy. This young squad will make some noise, even in the deep Western Conference.

8. Denver – The Nuggets aren’t a postseason threat, but they can put up tons of points and will win their share of regular season games – as long as Carmelo Anthony stays out of trouble and continues to share the ball with AI.