The season was in jeopardy of not happening—if you ever believed that for a second—so the fact of a shortened season is something with which we’ll all have to live. But look on the bright side: Santa couldn’t give you a better gift than the return of the best professional sport in these United States. On Christmas enjoy the hoops, and I’ll keep my predictions short, sweet and to the point. Hopefully, the gift exchanges go the same way, so NBA die-hards can get their fix before it’s too late.
I have the East first, then the West, and the way to read this is that the teams are in the order they’ll finish, division by division, yet the numbers next to the names are for playoff seeding; I hope I didn’t make it sound too complex, for it’s not.
4.) Boston—One last push before the Big Three becomes less.
5.) New York—New and improved Knicks, but we’ll see about the latter.
6.) Philadelphia—A well-coached young team, with a few vets to keep the young-ones in order.
7.) New Jersey—A good two-man team in the East means playoffs.
2.) Chicago—Repeat MVP for Rose?—maybe—yet Finals MVP?—yes sir.
1.) Miami—Wade and company take the best record in basketball.
3.) Orlando—Best team in the East, because of their depth.
8.) Atlanta—This team has been solid for years; why not another playoff push?
Playoffs: Round One: Heat over Hawks; Celtics over Knicks; Magic over Sixers; and Bulls over Nets. Round Two: Heat over Celtics; Bulls over Magic. Conference Finals: Bulls over Heat.
2.) Oklahoma City—Boys became men last year—more positives soon.
7.) Denver—Too many good players not to be taken seriously, and their division is in flux.
8.) Minnesota—A growing talent, but they have the horses to reach the postseason.
1.) L.A. Clippers—Fresh faces equal a ton of wins, with chemistry to come.
3.) L.A. Lakers—They have Kobe—still the best player in basketball—the rest doesn’t matter.
4.) Dallas—Lost some pieces, yet they’re the best team in Texas.
5.) New Orleans—The CP3 trade helped them too; it was a win/win.
6.) Memphis—This team’s just fun to watch: Fearless.
Playoffs: Round One: Clippers over Timberwolves; Mavericks over Hornets; Lakers over Grizzlies; and Thunder over Nuggets. Round Two: Clippers over Mavericks; Lakers over Thunder. Conference Finals: Lakers over Clippers.
NBA Finals: Bulls over Lakers in Six.
I hope that was enjoyable, and remember something about pre-season predictions: I’ve been wrong before, and I’ll be wrong again, so don’t take it too personal.
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