No one really cares about these NBA predictions but I’ll make them anyway.
I regret not posting this before Opening Night, but please trust me when I say these were my thoughts before the first game (it’s probably easy to point out 1 & 2 come after Opening Night losses by the Bulls and Clips).
You’ll notice my predictions are mostly “Who’s Not Good Enough to Make It to the Finals, and then Who’s Gonna Be There in June”.
Who’s Not Good Enough to Make It to the Finals
1. The Chicago Bulls Need Another Scorer And Without One, They’re Not a Contender – I did not watch the game on Tuesday, but I predicted the outcome. I LOVE D-Rose, and he’s easily one of my favorite players to watch besides Kyrie and Lin, but I don’t know who else can carry the load offensively for the Bulls. I can’t see them getting past Indy or Miami.
2. I Don’t Think the Clippers are Contenders - Now, you’re hearing this as a Clipper Fan, and as much as I love the Clips, I think the acquisition of Doc Rivers is overrated. I think he’s a great motivator and recruiter (one of the best), but I don’t think he’s a great game manager, which is what I think the Clips need. I think most of Boston’s success came due to KG’s leadership, so I’m hesitant to say that Rivers’ addition has pushed the Clips into contender status.
3. The Knicks are Exactly Who They Were Last Year - I really don’t know what’s different about them. I think they’ve hit their ceiling, unfortunately. I’d love for them to win just because I think the City would explode, but I can’t see them getting past the first round of the playoffs.
4. The Nets are Too Old For a Long Season - The team sorta reminds me of the Lakers in 2004 when Gary Payton and Karl Malone joined the Lakers. I mean, that team made the Finals, but that was with a Prime Shaq & Kobe. I really want the Nets to do well, but I don’t think they’re anywhere close to the Eastern Conference Finals. I think they’ll be almost even with the Knicks, although I think they’re better than the Knicks.
5. I Think OKC has peaked and Will Not Make it to the Western Conference Finals – KD is amazing, and he’s inching toward Lebron-status, but I can’t see how they’ve gotten better when it comes to the top teams in the league.
6. Golden State is a Wild Card for Representing the Western Conference, but they’re not Big Enough – I love Mark Jackson as a coach. I don’t think they match up well with SA or Houston, though, and they kind of remind me of the D’Antoni Phoenix Suns – really fun to watch with all their perimeter scoring, but not enough punch inside. Steph Curry could just carry them, but I don’t know if they’re small-ball can be as overwhelming as SA & Houston.
7. Indiana’s Scary Good, and My Dark Horse to Win It All – In a seven game series, these guys are scary good. Just for them, I could see the Heat trying to move Bosh for Asik. It seems like Indiana knows it was so close to beating the Heat, and they reloaded with way more depth and size while Miami stayed virtually the same.
Who’ll Be In the NBA Finals
8. The Houston Rockets will square off with the Miami Heat in the NBA Finals – I actually think Houston, San Antonio, & OKC are the best teams in the West, and I think Houston has more young talent than SA and more depth/versatility than OKC.
In the East, I think it’s a two dog race between Miami and Indiana. Honestly, I think this might be Indiana’s time, but yeah, I’m actually pulling for Lebron to reach mythical status (see below).
9. This is the Season That Defines Lebron’s Status vs. Jordan – So many teams have improved over the offseason (Bulls, Nets, Pacers), and Miami has essentially stayed the same while relying on the greatness of Lebron (and the health and spring of guys like Wade and Greg Oden). If Lebron can hold off Indiana et al in the East and beat whoever comes for him in the West, I think he moves up to 2nd Greatest of All Time. If he loses, I think he stops being compared to Jordan and falls back into Magic/Bird territory.
With this said, I’m rooting for Lebron.
Why do I love Lebron so much?
10. Lastly, this wouldn’t be a post about the NBA from me without my requisite take on Jeremy Lin – Jeremy will be vastly improved this year, and although he’ll put up similar numbers, those numbers will be way more efficient. I don’t mind if he starts or comes off the bench because I know he’s going to get quality minutes. He’ll be an X factor on an NBA Championship contender, and I couldn’t be more excited for him this season!