With all the free agents left it’s going to be difficult to predict the upcoming season, but since I have a fond love of basketball I will do my best.
If Kevin Durant had stayed with the Oklahoma City Thunder they would have been able to make it far in the playoffs. Him and Westbrook had a true dynamic together and they just needed a little bit of help to become unstoppable. Now that he’s left Oklahoma City is in the middle of the pack.
The Golden State Warriors may have lost the championship and may have lost some of their free agents but expect them to be hungrier than ever. They added Durant to an already stacked starting roster and they seem to have the best chance to hoist the championship trophy at the end of the season. It’s no surprise that they are the favorites to win it all again. The site FreeNBABasketballPicks.com had them as the team with the highest projected win total at 66. This is going to be a tough team to beat, especially come playoff time when it’s more about stars than depth.
I think the Cavs may have their hands tied if LeBron ever decides to leave, but I think he’ll finish his career out in Cleveland. Either way he’s going to be there this season. While he’s probably slightly passed his peak, Kyrie Irvinig is budding into a superstar in his own right, plus he has Kevin Love to help shoulder some of the load.
The Celtics I think are going to be a little bit of a surprise and I expect great things from this team. They did pick up a solid draft pick, but most importantly they added Al Horford from the Atlanta Hawks. He’s one of those guys who did a little bit of everything, making every team he played for better. They will be going to the playoffs for sure, but just how far will they go? I wouldn’t be surprised if they made the conference finals.
The Toronto Raptors might have a shot of making it pretty far, and if the Raptors can keep stars DeMar DeRozen and Kyle Lowry healthy then I think they have a chance of clinching the east. Lowry gives them a nice point guard and experience in the backcourt.
One of my favorite sleeper teams in the west is the Los Angeles Clippers. When I say sleeper I mean that I think this team is going to go really far this season. I like what the team is doing. They have a great looking roster with Chris Paul, JJ Redick, DeAndre Jordan, and Blake Griffin. The key for this team is health. If they keep their core on the floor then it’s going to be a great season.
The San Antonio Spurs will make it to the postseason but how far will they go in the playoffs it depends on some other teams in the western conference. I think they will be one of the last teams standing in the west.
I think with Andre Drummond the Detroit Pistons may be a solid underdog team that no one wants to play. I think it’s possible for them to go to the conference finals. I like this team. They’re confident, they are growing together, and Stan Van Gundy is an excellent coach. It’s going to be a good season.
While the Miami Heat have a good shot of making it to the playoffs, I’d be surprised if they get to the second round. This team has some young stars, but after losing the Big Three it’s time to blow up and rebuild the roster.
I believe the Orlando Magic may actually make the playoffs in the 7th or 8th seed. They won’t trade their chances away like they usually do.
I’m going to go with the Portland Trailblazers to make it to the playoffs and I think they may even improve more than last year.
I know one thing. If Hield wins the Rookie of the Year and Anthony Davis stays healthy the New Orleans Pelicans could be a team that surprises this year.
Those are a couple of my predictions for how this year might turn out. I do know I’m excited to see what happens and can’t wait for opening night!