The NBA: Preseason Predictions for Playoffs

The exhibition games are finally over. The Lakers were the only team to go winless in 8 games while non-playoff teams like the Raptors and Warriors finished with 6 wins each. These games did not count so everyone starts with a clean slate on October 30. All 30 teams will have the same win-loss record and an equal chance of going to the playoffs and maybe winning the NBA title. Unfortunately, only a handful have a realistic shot at the Larry O'Brien trophy in June. Which teams are those?

Will the Miami Heat Repeat as NBA Champs?
Read on and find out.
Atlantic Division Champs: Boston Celtics
This division got tougher and stronger with the roster upgrades that each team did over the summer. It's not impossible to see all five teams actually get .500 or better records, even the Toronto Raptors. Overall, the Celtics improved their backcourt immensely with Jason Terry and Courtney Lee while their frontcourt will be better with the return of Jeff Green and their rookie Jared Sullinger.

Central Division Champs: Indiana Pacers
The Chicago Bulls will not end up with the best record in the NBA or the number 1 seed in the East like they did in the last 2 years. This shows how important and essential Derrick Rose is to the Bulls. The Indiana Pacers will take this chance to win the division while Rose recovers from his ACL injury. The Bucks might make some noise but it probably wont be loud enough to win the division.

South-East Division Champs: Miami Heat
The Heat will have no competition in their division. Only Atlanta can provide a small challenge to their supremacy in this division. This division might produce 3 teams (Orlando, Charlotte, Washington) that could compete for the first pick in next year's draft. The Heat should win the division by New Year.

Eastern Playoffs
1. Miami
2. Boston
3. Indiana
4. Brooklyn
5. Atlanta
6. New York
7. Philadelphia
8. Chicago
Sleeper Pick for 8th Spot: Toronto
The Raptors could sneak in if D-Rose misses the whole year or just comes back after the All-Star Break. The Raptors upgraded their roster with a very capable PG in Kyle Lowry who is among the top 10 point guards in the league and their rookie, Jonas Valanciunas could provide a decent inside presence that Bargnani cant provide.

East Finals: Miami over Boston
This could be decided with another Game 7 in South Beach. The Heat still has the best player in the league and they are still a better team than the Celtics. For the 3rd year in a row, the Heat will send the Celtics home.

North-West Division Champs: OKC Thunder
The Thunder traded James Harden for Kevin Martin and Jemery Lamb. This weakens the Thunder since Harden is a top 25 player in the NBA and on some nights, he is the best player on OKC. Nonetheless, the Thunder still have enough talent to win their division.

Pacific Division Champs: LA Lakers
This is not a surprise pick. The Clippers will give the Lakers a battle  for the division crown but the Lakers will come out on top. Both teams upgraded their rosters but the Lakers added better players. The Lakers have a superior starting five but the Clips have the better bench. If Odom can get back in shape and Billups recovers nicely from his injury, the Clippers could be the division champs.

South-West Division Champs: San Antonio Spurs
Yes, the Spurs are a year older and yes, they are still the best team in their division. The injury to Dirk hurts the Mavs from gaining on the Spurs while Memphis could pose a threat but that depends on how healthy and great Zach Randolph plays.

Western Playoffs
1. OKC
2. San Antonio
3. Lakers
4. Clippers
5. Denver
6. Memphis
7. Mavericks
8. Warriors
Sleeper Pick for 8th Spot: Minnesota or Utah
If healthy, the Warriors (Bogut and Curry) should compete for a playoff spot. The T'wolves had the upper hand until Kevin Love broke his hand doing knuckle push-ups. Love possibly missing 2 months and with Rubio still out until January, the Warriors have the chance to build a lead. The Jazz could sneak into the last spot like last season but I prefer the overall roster that the Warriors possess, IF healthy.

West Finals: Lakers over OKC
Originally, I had the Thunder over the Lakers but the Harden Trade swayed me to pick the Lakers. Harden was integral in beating the Lakers last year and with him gone this year, the Thunder wont be able to exploit the match-up problems that Harden brings. Kevin Martin can score and make jumpers but he is not a playmaker and he cannot defend like Harden.

NBA Finals: Miami over Lakers
We will finally have the match-up between LeBron vs. Kobe. Unfortunately, LBJ is too dominant at this stage and he will be no match for Bryant (similar to how LBJ outclassed Durant last finals). The Heat also have a better supporting cast and better chemistry than the Lakers. Like the Heat during 2010-11, the Lakers will taste defeat in their first year together.

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3 Comment

Cheat Fakers Crap

Typical Bandwagoner prediction.


Typical Baseless Comment (see previous comment) = useless crap. Don't comment if you have nothing useful to say. It would have been more appreciated if you gave reasons for your comments.

While I disagree with some of the points the article raised, at least it had more sense than the anonymous person who made the previous comment to give basis for its predictions.

In all likelihood, the "bandwagoner" appeal of the article's predictions only shows how dominant teams last year either retained their core or improved on said core, leading therefore to the natural conclusion that they will still *probably* dominate this year.


Anonymous2, i would be very interested to know which points you disagree with?

Anon1, I am not a bandwagoner. Id love to know your realistic predictions for this season