NBA Predictions

I wasn't planning on doing any fantasy basketball this year, but I went home early today because of a stomach bug and ended up drafting a couple teams on ESPN while curled up on the couch. It put me in mind that I should put pen to paper and make my very smart NBA predictions, which are all but certain to be proved correct by season's end.

I haven't done much research on all of this, but here's 10 predictions I'm making from the gut:

1. The Celtics, despite inner turmoil and a number of minor injuries, will finish the season with the best record in the Eastern Conference.

2. On the flip side, despite much hyping of their talents in the press, Washington will fail to make the playoffs entirely.

3. The Eastern conference will finish up like this

  1. Boston Celtics
  2. Orlando Magic
  3. Cleveland Cavaliers
  4. Atlanta Hawks
  5. Miami Heat
  6. Chicago Bulls
  7. Toronto Raptors
  8. Detroit Pistons
  9. Washington Wizards
  10. Philadelphia 76ers
  11. Indiana Pacers
  12. New York Knicks
  13. Charlotte Bobcats
  14. New Jersey Nets
  15. Milwaukee Bucks

4. The Spurs depth will prove too much of an advantage over the long haul, and they will finish first in the West, just ahead of the Lakers.

5. Early buzz about the new-look Clippers will collapse as the team completely falls apart. Playoff predictions by NBA insiders will look ridiculous come February.

6. Written-off-and-left-for-dead teams like the Thunder and the Rockets, and possibly even the Warriors, will be surprisingly competitive.

7. The Western Conference will finish like so:

  1. San Antonio Spurs
  2. Los Angeles Lakers
  3. Denver Nuggets
  4. Portland Trail Blazers
  5. Dallas Mavericks
  6. Utah Jazz
  7. New Orleans Hornets
  8. Phoenix Suns
  9. Houston Rockets
  10. Oklahoma City Thunder
  11. Los Angeles Clippers
  12. Golden State Warriors
  13. Memphis Grizzlies
  14. Minnesota Timberwolves
  15. Sacramento Kings

8. The following players will have much stronger seasons than expected: Jason Thompson, Allen Iverson, Baron Davis, Carmelo Anthony, Andrea Bargnani, Michael Beasley, anyone on the Thunder who's under 25, and everyone on the Rockets not named Yao or T-Mac.

9. The following players will be predicted to have step-back seasons, but will instead remain just as solid as they were the year before: Ray Allen, Dwayne Wade, Steve Nash, Jason Kidd, Nate Robinson.

10. Someone other than Blake Griffin will win the Rookie of the Year award.