Sunday, December 1, 2013

NBA Predictions for 2013

Eastern Conference
Southeast
Miami Heat
The Heat are ready to go for 'not two' this year.  Oden was a very decent pick-up, Beasley, however, not so much.  Still a nasty roster and team for opponents to face, even with D-Wade getting more minutes than he should.  It appears that most teams are vaguely set in their ways for 2014 as well, (barring trades obviously) except for the Heat and Lakers.  The Heat resist the urge to compete for the best record in the NBA regular season of all time.  63-19

Washington Wizards
Keeping Webster was a great move.  If the Wizards can have him and a healthy Wall, then they should be back in the playoffs.  41-41

Atlanta Hawks
Keeping Korver was nice, but he and Horford can not carry the Hawks to the playoffs by themselves.  40-42

Charlotte Bobcats
Not as many moves for the Bobcats in the off-season as I would prefer, and the pick-up of Jefferson wasn't a very good move, but they at least have Cody Zeller now.  A poor roster is assembled for this season, but not as bad a roster as the Bobcats have had the last couple of seasons.  25-57

Orlando Magic
Going willfully wacky for 'wonderful' Wiggins.. Even if the guy hasn't played a minute of college ball yet.   (At least when I wrote this.) Oladipo is better than most think.. I don't have the Magic as the worst team of all time anyways..  Though, if Vucevic and Oladipo were to go down with injury, then they could possibly challenge for being one of the worst NBA teams of all time.  22-60

Central
Chicago Bulls
If not for Coach Thibodeau.. I might have this team at .500.  For some reason D-Rose being healthy again and the Bulls single win against the Heat last season in the playoffs has the media hyped about the Bulls..  Why I am not certain.  Butler is actually the main player that saves the Bulls.  49-33

Indiana Pacers
The Eastern Conference kind of stinks..  Somewhat poor off-season for the Pacers.. Don't know why they picked up Scola and re-signed West.  48-34

Cleveland Cavaliers
Anthony Bennette, Earl Clark, Andrew Bynum, Jarrett Jack..  It didn't take the Cavaliers too long to move on from LBJ to field a fairly decent supporting cast.  Trading for a poor man's Korver would be a great move for the Cavs, but otherwise their roster appears to be fairly good.  Bynum isn't a fair player, Bynum is a decent player, and when paired with Varejao I think he can be a very good player.  42-40.

Detroit Pistons
Very odd team..  So many cast-off type players that they acquired and lost in FA.  I don't really understand what they are trying to do, other than get together a bunch of low quality shooting players..  Wins Produced people really like the team, mainly because of Drummond, but sometimes you should trust your eyes over advanced stats.  32-50

Milwaukee Bucks
Odd team two.. (and very high turnover of their roster) Apparently the Bucks have learned from their ways, they finally cast off Brandon Jennings.. And replaced him with Gary Neal..  Something doesn't quite computer there..  Apparently some GM's never learn.  On the brightside, or downside, I doubt the Bucks will have to worry about being a bottom playoff contender this year..  But for the wrong reasons.  29-53

Atlantic
Brooklyn Nets
What do a bunch of overpaid, old veterans get you?  Well, actually these veterans quite possibly get you to decent seeding and the playoffs in the East, but otherwise it wouldn't get a whole lot.  Kirilenko was a good signing.  The Nets are probably this years version of the Lakers.  Unproven coach in Jason Kidd, but I'll still pick them to finish with 53 wins.  53-29

New York Knicks
I did not know that they picked up Artest.  Interesting signing..  Not exactly a great idea (though he did sign for a low amount), but then it is the Knicks..  Welcome to the playoffs (maybe).. By default.  It would be very hard for Coach Woodson to improve the Knicks record this year, and I would say it's almost assured that he will not this season.  Bargnani is starting for the Knicks?  Say what?  Yay Points!, apparently.  46-36

Toronto Raptors
As opposed to a bunch of the other teams, I actually like what the Raptors have done in the off-season.  First time in the playoffs since Bosh and the 08 Raptors.  41-41

Boston Celtics
'The Celtics are awful.  They better just be tanking for Wiggins.'  Huh?  Why?  They do not play in the Western Conference, they play in the Easy East.  With my favorite pro coach, Brad Stevens, they should be a decentish team.  40-42

Philadelphia 76ers
Well, the 76ers are going about being wicked for Wiggins correctly, but, other than from that mindset, they made some bad moves.  While this isn't one of those bad moves, they fail to even have a single player with an 8 figure salary.  20-62

Western Conference
Pacific
Los Angeles Clippers
Barnes is still signing cheaply..  Bledsoe is a bit overrated so cue the Kings or Suns trading for him..  Chris Paul is so nasty..  Him aside the Clippers are still a fair team, but with him they may happen to be a top 4 team.  Coach Rivers should have the Clippers ready to go.  56-26

Golden State Warriors
Curry doesn't even make 8 figures.. Even with his injury history he kind of got a bad deal.  And by 'Curry' I obviously mean Stephen.  Have to give credit where it is due, the Warriors did have a decent off-season.  I think their record will regress to the mean a little bit this year, but they will actually be a better team as opposed to last season. Iguodala is a great pickup.  47-35

Los Angeles Lakers
As opposed to the Beasley signing, I'm partially fine with the Lakers picking up Johnson, since he's a bad player with talent, so it's quite possibly a good result either way..  Certainly an influx of new faces on the Lakers..  Should be able to post a somewhat respectable record.  They are an old team, but they have three aged veterans who won't want to bow to tanking for Wiggins.  39-43

Sacramento Kings
Odd roster number 3.   Losing Evans is kind of bad, but the roster still looks largely fine.  If they played in the East they could practically snooze into the playoffs, but as it is they should be an alright .430ish team.  Vasquez is a great fit for the team.  35-47

Phoenix Suns
Trying to look at their roster and not feel sick is rather hard to do..  In the off-season they traded bad players for more bad players.. Sounds like a great strategy to me.  Credit to their GM for doing a good job of stinking..  (Wiggins surely can't be this good..)  Seeing WP folks peg their realistic prediction at 30.9 wins gave me a bit of a double take..  Don't look at their roster, it causes headaches as to why anyone would actually try to set up this team to be in this position..  Markieff and Marcus?  Gerald Green and Kendall Marshall? 22-60

Southwest
Houston Rockets
Not a great draft for the Rockets, but in the off-season they did pick up D-Howard.. If Howard would just change his form and become a 70% free throw shooter, then the Rockets could possibly contend for the best record in the league.  Beverley kind of had a coming out party last year against the Thunder in the playoffs.  (I especially like the point at 56 seconds where Beverley out-rebounds Durant, Perkins, and Sefolosha.. Twice.  That basically just comes from pure effort.)  I did originally have a fair amount more to say about Beverly and Evans, but for some reason I can't find the file where I wrote about them now.  While Houston's bench is fairly poor and effectively only consists of either J-Lin-Beverley or Montiejunas, their starting 5 may in fact be the best in the NBA.  56-26

Memphis Grizzlies
Decent off-season, the Grizzlies can continue their grind.  Tough team, Miller is nice, but they still need more shooting from deep.  54-28

San Antonio Spurs
The Spurs mostly stayed pat in the off-season.  They make their usual 50+ wins, but barely.  54-28

New Orleans Pelicans
I'm somewhat interested in seeing how the Pelicans roster will mesh.  They may be fairly young, but I think the Cans can be a decent team.  Anthony Davis should improve and hence the Pelicans defense as well.  41-41

Dallas Mavericks
Odd Roster number 4. (apparently the odd rosters go in pairs) [At least when I was originally writing this.] Did they have enough roster turnover?.. Very different team from last season.  Confusing move to sign Ellis.. I am a little uncertain as what to make of it.. Do the Mavs have some secret medicine that will make him shoot wayyyy more quality shots or something?  If not, then it's a bad move for them.  Cuban seems to be a little off his rocker with the off-season moves. I don't like the current roster for the Mavs.  Third straight year of being one of those teams that hangs around the edge of the playoff bubble on either side.  38-44

Northwest
Oklahoma City Thunder
Golf clap applause for the Thunder, they did (effectively) nothing in the off-season.  Pick up someone like Koufos or Korver?  Nah, we'll just stick with Perkins and Lamb.  Yeah, because doing things like that have worked out extremely well for you in the past..  'Lucky' for them that they have a semi terrific trio..  (I'm of course referring to Mcgruder, Roberson, and Gomes.  Or not..  And seriously, it is sort of lucky for management that they have such a good trio, because they honestly haven't been making good moves for  while now..  Their drafting/scouting is still fairly impressive.. But their moves non-related to the draft have stunk, Harden, Perkins, etc.)  

Once Westbrook is back, then the Thunder can roll-out him, Durant, Ibaka, Collison, and Sefolosha, and continue to have a legitimate title contender.. Or they could simply keep playing Perkins and stay mired in complacency and being a half-step behind other title contenders..  Should be sort of a good thing for Westbrook to be out for a short while so the rest of the Thunder can adjust to him being gone.  Durant isn't going to accept being #2 this season, his scoring average is going to be very good... Especially if the Thunder actually get around to implementing a legitimate offense this season.  55-27

Minnesota Timberwolves
If the T-Wolves didn't have K-Love and Pekovic, then they would possibly be in the hunt for the Wiggins jackpot, but as it is they should be a somewhat strong playoff contender.  Khan is no longer in charge,  despite him near the end making good decisions.. Minnesota should be in position to take a top 5 spot in the West.  Last season the Wolves were effectively certainly going to be a playoff team.. If not for a half dozen injuries.  This year the injury bug doesn't bite the T-Wolves so badly.  Curious that the WP crowd is off the MN bandwagon this year, I would say that .500 would be a bad year for the T-Wolves.  47-35

Denver Nuggets
Quite possibly the Nuggets will have a better coach.. At the very least in regards to rotations.. However, losing Iguodala and Koufos is huge.  Still a good team, don't really know what to expect of the rotations.  39-43

Portland Trail Blazers
Good defensive team.. But, with that said, where does the offense come from?  So many non-quality shooters.  Excuse me for saying this, (no not really), but 'Rookie of the Year', Damien Lillard, is not currently a very good player..  Fairly young team, potential to be a very bad team, but Aldridge should be able to carry them to below mediocrity.  I think this will mark the third straight year as a poor team, but not an awful team.  34-48

Utah Jazz
The Jazz must have learned from the Bobcats or something..  Got rid of bad players so that they could pick up more bad players.  It's such a good strategy..  Let's get rid of some of our bad players and trade for bad players from the Warriors.  Sounds like a 'winning' idea to me.  (Actually, I don't even know if the Warriors really won in that either.) Favors and Evans getting more playing time is a good thing, but I do not really see anyone else, other than Hayward, being an above average player.  (though Burke is an unknown entity) 

I'll go ahead and guess that the Jazz give Evans 18 minutes a game the first half of the season, then they realize that he's actually a good player, who knew.., and give him 27 mpg for the second half.  The block is very impressive (though his strength isn't great and he did almost get knocked out of the play), the dunk almost equally so, but really the most impressive part to me.. His hustle.  Somehow he is the one who, after dunking, gets back before his teammates to prevent the easy two.  The Jazz are a good defensive team and they did overachieve last season.. But, I don't necessarily know how they are supposed to field a legitimately competitive team against the tops in the league.  While points are a bit overrated, still they do have to come from somewhere and somehow I don't think that someone like Derrick Favors will be scoring an average of 25 per game. 26-56

To finish it off, here are the 8 teams that I am most convinced about on either overachieving or underachieving as opposed to their projected amount of victories.
Over Celtics, Heat, Lakers, Timberwolves.
Under Bulls, Mavericks, Nuggets, Pistons.
Thanks for reading.

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