Having fans of the NBA involved is very important to me, since the fans are the ones who we try to please day in, and day out. With that being said, I asked five good friends of mine, all from Boston, Massachusetts, to write down what teams they expect to make the playoffs this upcoming season from both NBA Conferences. Keep in mind, most of my friends are not hardcore Celtic fans. Their fandom ranges from the Cleveland Cavaliers, to the Los Angeles Clippers, and also the Oklahoma City Thunder. The following is their results:
We all have our opinions, and every opinion is valid since not a single minute of the NBA regular season has been played. All five of these friends of mine would kill me if I wrote the flaws of each of their brackets, so I will only point out my beliefs on what really sticks out the most in terms of changes from last year’s standings, to their thoughts on the upcoming year.
Skipp is a big Los Angeles Clippers fan if you have not guessed that already. The Clippers taking the West is a very realistic possibility. This is a completely different team from last year, with the exceptions of their core of Chris Paul, Blake Griffin, and DeAndre Jordan. The Clippers added nine new players this off-season, something that hasn’t been talked about much. They have not played extremely well during the preseason, but it is only a matter of time until this fully-loaded Clippers team will start to come together.
Mark’s bold move of including the Minnesota Timberwolves, and excluding the Dallas Mavericks is something that I may agree with. With Dallas missing out on arguably the biggest off-season free-agent of this past summer (DeAndre Jordan), and also not re-signing Tyson Chandler, I believe that the Mavericks will take a major dip in the stacked Western Conference. On the other hand, Mark has the Wolves climbing the West rapidly. I can not say they will make the playoffs, but with a rising star in Andrew Wiggins going into his second year in the league, and the #1 overall pick Karl-Anthony Towns being as mature as he is, they may have a chance? Alot needs to go right for this team to make the playoffs.
The New York Knicks make one 8th seed appearance, thanks to Gerry. The Knicks have played well during the preseason, where their opponents have only averaged 92 points per-game over the first four games. The chemistry is much higher than last year’s team. This will affect their win total in a positive manner, since the triangle offense must not only have players who can hit shots, but also good chemistry. The triangle requires frequent off-ball movement, so good chemistry will help the players know where their teammates will be while on the court. Again, many things need to go right if we want to watch the blue and orange return to the playoffs.
Mike’s bracket seems to be what is expected. One would think that the Indiana Pacers is a bold prediction slotted in at 7th. The Pacers have a one-time MVP candidate in Paul George being healthy, the addition of Monta Ellis this summer, and the Pacers drafting a great young shot blocker in Myles Turner who I believe will be an All-Rookie player, this is very realistic in a weak Eastern Conference. Mike’s prediction of no Raptors is bold. I believe they will take a dip from being the 4th seed last year, but I believe they make sure to be there, even if they do not have home court in the first round.
Jay’s predictions are believable. Other than with the talent Miami has they should be higher than 8th seed. My editor (C.L. Anthony) would most-definitely have something to say to Jay about that, but this is why we have our opinions. To completely shatter each-others opinions to bits and pieces, until the other person has nothing left to say.
We can come up with brackets all we want, but injuries occur, trades happen, and players break-out into more than just role-players every year. This is what makes the NBA, and the game of basketball so exciting. Stay tuned for more exciting facts and predictions from the writers of The Hardwood Nation all year-round.
Editors Note: Jay, we need to talk!