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THE NBA IS BACK!! MY 2013-2014 NBA PREDICTIONS!!

29 Oct

nba-logoWell kids, the NBA season is finally upon us…happy opening night!!  Last time we left the league, ‘Bron and company were hoisting Mr. O’brien’s trophy….again.  Well, what will this season bring.  For my predictions, I wanted to make it as simple as possible.  So, I am going to give you the teams that will make the playoffs, the conference winners and title winner….with only one reason why each will happen.  Enjoy this years picks and let me know who you think is taking home to title!!

EASTERN CONFERENCE

1.  MIAMI HEAT – Reason:  LeBron James.

2.  BROOKLYN NETS – Reason:  Added a more than serviceable Paul Pierce, KG, J. Terry and AK47 to a team already featuring Deron Williams, Brook Lopez, Joe Johnson, Reggie Evans, Andra Blatche and company…very deep, veteran squad.

3.  INDIANA PACERS – Reason:  Combining the now truly elite Paul George with the Roy Hibbert we saw in the playoffs = lots of wins and a deep playoff run.

4.  CHICAGO BULLS – Reason:  D Rose is back and this team might have been a D Rose away from winning the East last year.

5.  NEW YORK KNICKS – Reason:  If STAT is healthy, this team will challenge anyone in the conference.

6.  DETROIT PISTONS – Reason:  Josh Smith, Greg Monroe, Brandon Jennings and Andre Drummond make up a very nice top four…and the East really falls off after the top 5 teams.

7.  CLEVELAND CAVALIERS – Reason:  Well first, there will be no ping pong magic next year Mr. Gilbert!  But the real reason is that this team has a very nice combo of young talent and savvy vets to crack the top 8…and if Bynum comes up back…the Cavs will be back on the NBA map!

8.  WASHINGTON WIZARDS  – Reasons:  A healthy backcourt of John Wall and Brady Beal will carry this team into the playoffs…and a chance to be swept by Miami.

WESTERN CONFRENCE

1.  SAN ANTONIO SPURS – Reason:  Because they are the best run NBA franchise in the last 25 years, that’s why!

2.  L.A. CLIPPERS – Reason:  This team is absolutely loaded after signing Jared Dudley, JJ Redick, Darren Collison, Antwan Jamison and even Byron Mullens…oh and a certain Glenn Rivers will make sure this team is ready to win every single night.

3.  OKLAHOMA CITY THUNDER – Reason:  The emergence of Serge Ibaka will keep this team towards the top of the standing until Westbrook comes back from injury.

4.  HOUSTON ROCKETS – Reason:  They legitimately have 14 players that would be in anyone’s rotation…and the combination of Dwight Howard and James Harden will give this team the ability to finish anywhere between 1-4.

5. GOLDEN STATE WARRIORS – Reason:  A healthy Andrew Bogut adds a new dimension to Steph Curry’s team.

6.  MEMPHIS GRIZZLIES – Reason:   Z-Bo and company have the pieces to compete every single night…but they are just not getting passed the top 5 in the conference this season.

7.  PORTLAND TRAILBLAZERS – Reason:  Lilliard, Aldridge, Wesley Matthews and Batum are a very solid four that will get help from a very nice bench that feature rookie CJ McCollum.

8.  DALLAS MAVERICKS – Reason:  Monta Ellis and Dirk will be able to share enough shot to just squeak into the playoffs over the Denver Nuggets.

CONFERENCE FINALS

EAST:  INDIANA PACERS over MIAMI HEAT – Heat because they still have the big 3 and Indy because if Granger ever stays healthy, he is the missing piece.

WEST:  L.A. CLIPPERS over HOUSTON ROCKETS – Both teams are overloaded with talent…and will both get past the Thunder and Spurs…but Clippers have just a little more.

FINALS

L.A. CLIPPERS over INDIANA PACERS – Great coaching and inside/outside talent that can surround CP3.  Congrats Clipper Nation you are no longer L.A.’s second team!!!

Larry_obrien_championship

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TOP TEN BOLD PREDICTIONS FOR THE 2013 NBA PLAYOFFS

20 Apr

NBA playoffs-logoYes, I do realize that it’s not Tuesday.  But with the NBA Playoffs set to begin, I figured I would put together a special edition of my Tuesday Top Ten list.

jordan shrugged shouldersAh, the NBA Playoffs.  Some would argue that this is the only time of year to actually watch the NBA.  A time where legends are born.  A time where Havlicek stole ball, Jordan shrugged his shoulders, Willis Reed limped on the court, and Robert Horry became “Big Shot Rob”.  Its a time to gather ’round the old television set with Ernie, Chuck and Kenny (and Shaq) for 40 games in 40 nights.  Time to hear Marv Albert give us his patented “for the win….yes!”.  Its playoff time baby!!  And to set it off right, as I’m sure you are all just bursting with anticipation, here is a special edition Tuesday Top 10:  Top 10 Bold Predictions for the 2013 NBA Playoffs!

piercegarnett1.  THE CELTICS RUN IS OVER – I know, I know…every year we count these guys out…you would think I might have learned my lesson by now.  As long as they still have Pierce, KG and Doc this Celtics team does not lay down for anyone.  Yes, they will compete.  Yes, if Jeff Green shows up on a consistent basis, he and Rondo will be a nice combo for many years to come.  But the core of this team is old and past their prime.  They can no longer compete with the Miamis, Thunders and even Knicks of the league.  So, although we are sure to at least see one more KG snarl and another Pierce clutch shot from the elbow, the Knicks will defeat the C’s and a rebuild can fully begin in New England.

knicks2.  THE KNICKS WILL BATTLE THE HEAT IN THE EASTERN CONFERENCE FINALS – Are they ready?  Are they too old?  Are they good enough?  Which Carmelo will show up?  All the questions that surround this team make it tough to really gauge how good they can really be.  However, the Knicks are the 2nd best team in the east, will defeat Boston, and the winner of the Indy/ATL series, and then give the Heat a run for the Finals.  This is the year that Carmelo finally shows the world that he can carry a team on his back (Syracuse not included).

james harden3.  JAMES HARDEN WILL ACTUALLY LOOK LIKE JAMES HARDEN – Harden had a nice run in the playoffs last season with OKC, but he really fizzled out in the Finals.  Harden’s scoring average of 12.4ppg was close to four points under his season average.  Combined with his 37% shooting from the floor and 32% shooting from downtown, his Finlas’ performance was definitely one to forget.  However, Harden will definitely give his old OKC teammates a glimpse into what could have been had he remained with the Thunder.  Houston will not win this series, but Jimmy Jr. will show why he is one of the top young players in the league.

brooklyn and heat4.  BROOKLYN WILL PUSH THE HEAT TO AT LEAST SIX GAMES – The Nets will definitely struggle to get past the scrappy, Rose-less Bulls, but that series is in the bag….so bring on the Heat!  With D Will looking like…well, looking like D Will again, and Brook Lopez playing some of the best ball of his career, Brooklyn is poised to make their series with Heat an actual series.  Sure the Heat have the best player on the planet, and D Wade has recently looked rejuvenated; but the Nets are deep, well coached, and seem to be thriving at the right time.  Enjoy this great series, its just what the NBA Playoffs are all about :  superstars (Bron, Bosh, Wade, Williams, Lopez, Joe J) leaving everything they have right on the floor!

steph curry5.  THE FIRST ROUND WILL BRING THREE GAME 7’S – Clips/Memphis, Denver/Dubs, and Pacers/Hawks will all go seven games.  The Clippers and Grizzlies will give us a matchup of the two of the league’s hottest teams.  The Clips won a cool seven in a row to close out the season, while the Grizz won 9 of 11 to wrap it up.  And since trading Rudy Gay to the Raptors, the Grizzlies posted a 27-11 record; better than the 22-13 record for L.A. in that same span.  The Pacers and Hawks represent two teams that have struggled to find their identity the whole year.  ATL looked great with a 19-9 start, but they have played below .500 ball since.  Indy looked like the East’s 2nd best team for most of the season, but finished with a mediocre 13-11 record over their last 26 games.  Combine that with the unsteady play of Roy Hibbert and major fatigue setting in for Paul George, and this series has 7 written all over it.  Finally, the Nuggets and the Warriors should provided NBA fans with one of the most entertaining series in this year’s playoffs.  Two deep, high energy teams playing great basketball.  The world will finally get to see how good Steph Curry really is!

dwight howard6.  THE LAKERS WILL LOSE IN THE FIRST ROUND – Ok, so this isn’t really a bold prediction, but I have a little left-over animosity for D12 that I need to get out…so here it is:  Congrats Dwight!  You craved a title so much that you just had to leave Orlando.  Well, great job my man.  You caused more drama than a Justin Beiber shirtless sighting with your exit to L.A., and all you did was finish in 8th place and now you have a nice first round exit in your near future.  Was it worth it???

tmac7.  T-MAC WILL CONTRIBUTE – If you have not heard, Tracy McGrady has signed with the Spurs.  Yes, that Tracy McGrady.  Back from dominating the Chinese league and tossing elbows in the process (look up the video!).  They say he won’t be ready until at least the 2nd round, but I can see him jumping off the bench for 10-12mpg and hitting a few crucial jumpers.  TMAC, the former high flyer, now being featured as the old vet off the Spurs bench…a ring for McGrady….maybe….but probably not.

lindsey lohan8.  LINDSEY LOHAN WILL FINISH REHAB – Sorry, I have no stats to back this up…but come on, can’t she make something as good as Mean Girls???  (Oh, like you didn’t enjoy that movie?!)

durant westbrook9.  KEVIN DURANT WILL LEAD THE LEAGUE IN PPG, BUT WESTBROOK WILL ACTUALLY TAKE MORE SHOTS – I love Russell, I mean my love for him is bordering on the inappropriate side.  But dude, you have arguable the most talented pure scorer in the league right beside you.  If you want your team to take home the title, how about you play Robin to KD35’s batman…just saying.

pat williams10.  THE ORLANDO MAGIC WILL WIN….THE DRAFT LOTTERY – I mean the worst team in the league can’t really win a playoff game, and I realize this has nothing to do with the playoffs…but it will take place during…and they can win their 4th draft lottery….and they will.  Pat Williams better make his reservations for Seacaucus, because he is the lucky charm that has done it three times before.  Shaq, CWebb into Penny and D12…who will be next.  Noel, Burke, or does Orlando trade the pick??  I think that is a another blog post altogether.

What are your gold predictions for the playoffs??

Enjoy that next two months…the NBA Playoffs are back baby!!!