The NBA: 2013 Preseason Playoffs Predictions

Who will hoist the Larry O'Brien trophy in June 2014?
Your guess is as good as mine.  
The NBA Global Games are in full swing. Training camps and exhibition games are making basketball fans hopeful (or doubtful) about their team's chances in making the playoffs for this season. It's great to dream and fantasize while everyone is undefeated and tied at 0-0.

The real season starts in 3 weeks and it's time to make predictions (and guesses) on what could happen in 2013-2014 for our beloved NBA teams. Who will make the playoffs and what seeds will they get? Will the Heat accomplish the 3-Peat? Will D-Rose return to MVP form? Will Dwight soar with the Rockets? Will Kobe be back soon? All these questions and many more make the NBA interesting and entertaining every year. So, on to the predictions!

EASTERN CONFERENCE
1. Chicago Bulls
A healthy Derrick Rose led the Bulls to first place twice in the East in the previous two seasons before he missed a year. Rose looked great in his two exhibition games: fast, explosive and unstoppable in transition. His jumpers were rusty and he struggled defensively but those should improve during the season.

2. Miami Heat
The Heat know that they can win on the road so chasing the best record in the NBA might be an afterthought. Plus, having another long winning streak is probably not going to happen. Ironically, having home-court advantage last year helped them with Game 7 wins vs the Pacers and Spurs.

3. Indiana Pacers
The Pacers are a better team this year. Their bench is much improved with CJ Watson and Luis Scola plus Danny Granger is healthy. Last season, they only finished 4.5 games ahead of the Bulls in the Central Division. Im not convinced that they are ready to overtake the Heat or Bulls in the standings.

4. Brooklyn Nets
The additions of Garnett, Pierce, Terry and Kirilenko make the Nets a better team from last season but that probably wont translate into a higher seed in the East. This team is built for the playoffs and they have a realistic shot of beating anyone. But, can Jason Kidd really coach though?

5. New York Knicks 
Amare will still play on limited minutes to ease up on his knees. Andrea Bargnani can somewhat shoot and score but cant defend nor rebound. MWP can still defend a little bit. Melo is an elite scorer but a subpar defender too. A lot of their defensive responsibilities will fall on Tyson Chandler. Can he handle all of that?

6. Atlanta Hawks
This is now Al Horford's team. New guy Paul Millsap will help and so will Jeff Teague but their bench is limited with Lou Williams still recovering from an ACL injury. Another blow to the bench: backup  PF/C Gustavo Ayon injured his shoulder and could be out 4-8 weeks.

7. Washington Wizards
The Wizards already lost Okafor and Singleton to injuries even before training camp but they still have enough talent to make the playoffs. If John Wall stays healthy and his supporting cast (Nene, Beal, Ariza, Harrington) do their jobs, the Wiz are going to make the playoffs.

8. Cleveland Cavaliers
The Cavaliers are in the same boat as the Wizards because they need Kyrie Irving healthy. Andrew Bynum is still uncertain of his return but rookie Anthony Bennett and Andy Varejao have been cleared to play. The Cavs have more talent than the Wizards but most of their core guys are young and inexperienced compared to the Wiz.

WILDCARDS
The Pistons and even the Bucks have legitimate shots to make the playoffs. Detroit needs their frontcourt guys to develop chemistry quick and Brandon Jennings needs to take less bad shots and run their offense more effectively. Meanwhile, the Bucks are fielding a weaker team this year (no Ellis, Jennings, Dunleavy) but they could sneak in if the Wizards or Cavaliers fail to capitalize this season.

WESTERN CONFERENCE 
1. San Antonio Spurs
The Spurs have Manu back but their Big 3 consists of Timmy, Tony and Kawhi. We all saw Leonard thrive in the playoffs and he was spectacular in the Finals. Kawhi could potentially be an all-star this season. Duncan had his best season in 4 years last year and is it possible for him to duplicate that?

2. Los Angeles Clippers
The Clippers are a deep, deep team (Dudley, Redick, Mullens, Jamison, Collison, Crawford, etc). Coach Doc Rivers also emphasizes more on defense and will probably bring more to the offensive side than ex-coach Vinny Del Negro who was rumored to favor the play "Let CP3 decide/improvise what to do" often.

3. Golden State Warriors
Andre Iguodala will be a perfect fit for the Warriors. Iggy will be their primary perimeter defender against Kobe, Durant, Harden while Barnes and Thompson gets to focus on their offense. The Warriors got 78 games from Steph Curry last year and they hope it will be the same this season.

4. Oklahoma City Thunder
If Westbrook was healthy and not projected to miss around 20 games, the Thunder would easily be at the top of the West. The Thunder might lose around 3-5 games (vs the Clippers, Warriors and Spurs) during Westbrook's absence. Those losses would easily slip them into the middle of the super-competitive West.

5. Houston Rockets
Obviously, the Rockets are a better team this year and they will have more wins this season but are they good enough to be in the top 4 in the West? I dont think so. It was easy to declare the Lakers best in the West last year with Howard (my mistake) but I wont make that same mistake again without seeing a regular season game first.

6. Memphis Grizzlies 
The Grizzlies are returning with the same players plus a perimeter shooter in Mike Miller who will definitely help their shooting woes. Kosta Koufos is a very good backup big man and he can start for some teams. Mike Conley had a great series vs the Clippers last playoffs. Can he be like that for the whole season?

7. Denver Nuggets
The Nuggets still dont know when Danilo Gallinari can play but they have enough talent to be competitive. Iguodala is gone but they have JJ Hickson, Darrell Arthur and Nate Robinson with them. Wilson Chandler and Ty Lawson are healthy plus JaVale McGee was promised to play more minutes.

8. Portland Trailblazers
Rookie CJ McCollum could be out for months which hurts their rotations and playoff chances but they have enough talent to overcome that. Mo Williams and Dorrell Wright could easily fill the minutes that would have gone to McCollum while Robin Lopez will start as their true center.

WILDCARDS
The Lakers, Mavs, Pelicans and T'wolves all have chances to snag one of the last TWO playoff spots in the West. The Lakers will need Kobe to be back ASAP and in fine form. The Mavs need Dirk and Monta to work effectively together. The Pelicans need Anthony Davis to be dominant defensively while the T'wolves need to avoid more injuries.

PLAYOFFS
1st Round
Bulls over Cavs
Heat over Wizards
Pacers over Hawks
Nets over Knicks
Spurs over Blazers
Clippers over Nuggets
Warriors over Grizzlies
Rockets over Thunder

2nd Round
Bulls over Nets
Heat over Pacers
Spurs over Rockets
Clippers over Warriors

3rd Round
Heat over Bulls
Spurs over Clippers

Finals
Heat over Spurs

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2 Comment
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Wala yan. Celtics na champions, makakalaban nila wolves sa finals. Kaya yan

Balas
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not impossible at all especially since everyone is tied at the moment

Balas