Happy first day of the NBA season everyone!
In recent years, by this time of the year I’ve been counting down the days until the Bulls started the season, because the Bears would already be a disappointment by this time of their season.
Thankfully that’s not the case this year (knock on wood), but nonetheless I’m still hyped up for the start of the ’18-19 season.
Before games tip off tonight though, I thought I’d go ahead and make my predictions on this year’s playoff seedings. Last year, my predictions weren’t terrible, but there were definitely some teams that were both better or worse than I expected.
This time around, I’ll focus more on the teams that I think won’t make the top 16 and why, and save that discussion on the playoff teams for a later time.
In the meantime, my fellow “Bench Rider” Derek wrote on his thoughts of how the season will play out.
Lets start with the new look Eastern Conference:
1.) Boston Celtics
2.) Toronto Raptors
3.) Philedelphia 76ers
4.) Indiana Pacers
5.) Milwaukee bucks
6.) Washington Wizards
7.) Miami Heat
8.) Detroit Pistons
Notice the defending eastern champion Cavs didn’t make my prediction. But let’s be real once they lost LBJ they were doomed, regardless of what Tristan Thompson has to say about it.
“The Unicorn” aka Kristaps Porzingis will likely miss most of, if not the entire season recovering from a knee injury, so sorry Knicks fans. Maybe the Giants or Jets can win win. Or, maybe the Rangers or Islanders will be good this year?
The Bulls look like they could win some games they probably shouldn’t against the top teams of the conference, but they’re just too young and inexperienced to make any real impact this season. Taking a chance on hometown product Jabari Parker could end up being a crucial decision if he stays healthy.
The Hornets have some great veteran players that you always root for like Kemba Walker, free agent signee Tony Parker, & rookie Miles Bridges. But they just don’t have enough to get over the hump into the playoffs.
When it comes to everyone else, well, they are who we think they are.
Now for the wild, wild Western Conference:
1.) Golden State Warriors
2. ) Houston Rockets
3.) San Antonio Spurs
4.) Los Angeles Lakers
5. ) Utah Jazz
6.) Oklahoma City thunder
7.) New Orleans Pelicans
8.) Denver Nuggets
As always, the 6-8th seeds will most likely be constantly changing and swapping up until the last day of the season. The west is so competitive that any of the top 11 of 15 teams could fall anywhere.
A few teams from last year missing out of the standings, most notably the Portland Trailblazers. They’ve been the same team for so long relying on Dame and CJ, but with the way the west has shaped now, that will not be enough. Look for them to be a surprise player in a possible Jimmy Butler trade.
Speaking of Butler, the Minnesota Timberwolves are also off the list. Regardless of a trade and get lesser value in return or keep him and continue this circus of attention and distraction, both outcomes lead to them going home early in April. They barely snuck into the 8th seed last year anyway.
Unlike the lacking Eastern Conference teams at the bottom of the list, the Suns, Mavericks, & Kings all have great potential with their mix young talent and vets. Expect for each team to catch some of the higher squads sleeping and steal some games.