Thursday, October 23, 2014

NBA Predictions

I'm picking the Spurs to win the title again since they're the best and most reliable team there is, though there are a few more uncertainties than usual in the generally-predictable NBA.  For instance, I had a legit few minutes earlier today when I thought that the Raptors were going to win the East.  It's not impossible…simply very improbable.  Put it this way, there's a better chance the Raptors will make the Finals than there is that they'll fall apart in classic Raptors style and miss the playoffs entirely.  That's progress! 

My predictions for this NBA season…

Western Conference
1. LA Clippers: They seemingly have everything going for them, except for the fact that they're the Clippers.  That's right, the Sterling Curse is still lingering around the building even though he's been thrown out of the NBA.
2. San Antonio: Biding their time, resting the veterans, no big deal that they're the #2 seed, rinse and repeat.
3. Houston: Get ready for a terrific, rockin' and rolling regular season that will get everyone in Houston thinking their team is a title contender!  (Punchline forthcoming)
4. Portland: They're the #4 seed by default, as they'll win the suddenly-awful Northwest Division.
5. Golden State: Steve Kerr in charge, not sure if he's a good coach or if he'll be able to get anything good defensively out of these guys.  Blazers/Warriors is a guaranteed seven-game series and it would be incredible to watch, so let's make this happen, world.
6. Dallas: Dirk's window is open for two more years, tops. 
7. Memphis: Talent-wise they're much better than this, yet I can't help but think all the offseason front office and coaching drama will hurt them.  Does Dave Joerger (won't lie, I had to look up his name) really want to be there?
8. Oklahoma City: Losing Kevin Durant for two months is THAT big a blow in a tough Western Conference.  Thunder still get the #8 seed, thus setting up a monster first-round series with L.A.
9. New Orleans: Anthony Davis can't do it all himself…yet.
10. Phoenix: Regression time!
11. Denver: This team has nothing going for it.
12. Minnesota: Loveless.
13. LA Lakers: Kobe will be openly insulting his teammates by U.S. Thanksgiving.
14. Sacramento: Next spring, the city will be like, "On second thought, move to Seattle."
15. Utah: THIS team REALLY has nothing going for it.

Eastern Conference
1. Cleveland: It's going to take some time for all the parts to gel, but realistically, this team is the best in the East.
2. Chicago: If Derrick Rose is even 75% of his old self, they can win the title.  Less than that, and another first-round offensive flameout is a possibility.
3. Brooklyn: Yeah, I'm not sure losing Jason Kidd's soda-spillin' coaching skills is a negative.
4. Atlanta: Horford's healthy and this team will be a big surprise.  In fact, if you're willing to lend me $950 million, I want to buy them.
5. Toronto: I mean, sure?
6. Charlotte: Part of me wanted to go nuts and have them winning the Southeast, though I came to my senses.
7. Washington: Regression time, since everything went just a bit too smoothly for them last year.  I like Paul Pierce as a veteran mentor, and they're a midseason coach firing away from being an under-the-radar contender.
8. Miami: For old time's sake.
9. Detroit: Van Gundy will help, though not yet.
10. New York: This team is still awful.
11. Indiana: So after having a dreadful second half to last season, now the Pacers have lost both Paul George and Lance Stephenson.  Nope.
12. Milwaukee: Handing your franchise over to a guy with one year of middling coaching experience, not to mention a guy who has shown that he'll screw a franchise over for a better opportunity elsewhere, is a GREAT idea.
13. Orlando: They're still in the league!
14. Boston: Kevin McHale was genuinely funny on 'Cheers.'
15. Philadelphia: They're tanking so hard they would be legitimately sad to be anywhere but dead last.

*Cavaliers over Heat
*Bulls over Wizards
*Hornets over Nets
*Raptors over Hawks (I mean, sure?  I think Toronto might actually be good, and last year wasn't just a cosmic fluke thanks to a supremely weak conference.)
*Clippers over Thunder (I can't believe this is a first-round series.)
*Spurs over Grizzlies
*Mavericks over Rockets (oh yeah, that's right, I forgot Houston will never win a title with Howard, Harden and McHale.  They think they have a title window, it's actually Windows 94)
* Warriors over Trail Blazers (everyone needs a cigarette after)

* Cavaliers over Raptors
* Bulls over Hornets
* Clippers over Warriors (both teams will be exhausted from their seven-gamers in the first round)
* Spurs over Mavericks (this one will be a doozy)

* Bulls over Cavaliers (the LeBron/Love/Irving mix isn't quite settled yet, plus we don't actually know if David Blatt can coach)
* Spurs over Clippers

* Spurs over Bulls (Chicago at least does better than the Heat did last season and doesn't get embarrassed in three consecutive games.  Progress!)

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