As if America didn’t have enough going on today, the 2004/2005 NBA season kicks off tonight with a doubleheader on TNT (how’s that for some election coverage counter programming?). The local teams don’t get started until tomorrow when the rebuilt Nets will take on Shaquille O’Neal and the Miami Heat at the Meadowlands and the Knicks travel to the Twin Cities to take on last year’s MVP and the Twolves. Both the Knicks and Nets will start the season with depleted rosters. Jason Kidd and Allan Houston will start the season on the inured list, ensuring they will miss at least the first five games of the season.

Of course the start of a new NBA campaign means lots of predictions from all the pundits and Gothamist is no different. Here are our thoughts on each teams upcoming season, done in 50 words or less:

isiahatawork.jpgNew York Knicks: Allan Houston $17.5 million + Stephon Marbury $14.6 M + Penny Hardaway $14.6 M + Tim Thomas $12.9 M + Shandon Anderson $7.5 M + Jamal Crawford $5.8 M = a .500 record. NY press has them trading for Vince, 'Toine AND Webber any day now. Go Isiah go!

New Jersey Nets: Dealt Martin and Kittles and didn't get a single body in return. Kidd is hurt and out until December. Can Jefferson carry team until then? He's exposed without Kidd. If 'Zo plays 10 games this year, Nets must pay the rest of his ridunculous salary. Ron Mercer starting at SG? Hahahahaha.

But wait, there's more! Click here for the full NBA preview covering all 30 teams.

[Editor's note: Gothamist is looking for some help in supplementing Kyle's basketball posts. Inquire with Tien (tien [at] gothamist.com) with qualifications and samples if you have any. Previous writing experience and familiarity with Movabletype are pluses and a love of basketball seems somewhat mandatory.]