October 30, 2012

We’re in for a wild NBA campaign + other predictions

by Dan Bilicki In: Basketball

It was a pretty wild off-season for the NBA. We had LeBron James celebrate his first NBA title with another gold medal at the Olympics. We had the Lakers rebuild in the only way they know how — with superstars. We had the Nets move to Brooklyn. We even had the Thunder deal away one of their best players, James Harden, just two days before the season started.

If that’s any indication, we should be in for a wild 2012-13 season.

First of all, there’s no dreadful lockout — something that I’m sure most fans have forgotten about after the amazing playoffs this spring. Also, the NHL lockout looks like it has no end in sight, adding to the NBA’s exposure on TV to sports fans.

There is more talent in the league than ever and it’s getting deeper every year. Each team has at least two legitimate guys that should be fun to watch for a variety of reasons. That’s something you can’t say for every other sport.

So what do I think will happen this season? Well here are some predictions…

Atlantic division: Boston Celtics
Central division: Indiana Pacers
Southeast division: Miami Heat
Southwest division: San Antonio Spurs
Northwest division: Oklahoma City Thunder
Pacific division: L.A. Lakers
Most regular-season wins: Miami Heat, 62.
Eastern conference final: Heat over Celtics in 5.
Western conference final: Lakers over Thunder in 7.
NBA Finals: Heat over Lakers in 6.
Rookie of the year: Anthony Davis, NOH.
MVP: LeBron James, MIA.
Sixth man: Manu Ginobili, SAS.
Defensive player: Dwight Howard, LAL.
Coach of the year: George Karl, DEN.
Surprising teams: Atlanta Hawks, Denver Nuggets, Minnesota Timberwolves.
Disappointing teams: New York Knicks, Brooklyn Nets, L.A. Clippers, Dallas Mavericks.
Derrick Rose will play: 40 games.
Raptors wins and rank: 36, ninth in East.
Worst record in NBA: Charlotte Bobcats.

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