2013-2014 NBA Season Preview

254px-NBA_Logo.svg_Given that my Pittsburgh Steelers is stinking up the joint in the NFL this season, I have been longing for the NBA season to return.

And thank God it’s almost here.

I’ve lined up my predictions for y’all by division, along with analysis for all the divisions.  Enjoy, and feel free to rip me a new one (as most of you tend to do)…

Eastern Conference

Atlantic Division

  1. Brooklyn Nets*
  2. New York Knicks*
  3. Toronto Raptors
  4. Boston Celtics
  5. Philadelphia 76ers

Analysis: This is going to be a two-team race between the Nets and Knicks.  I’m afraid that my Knicks peaked last season, which led to a second round exit in the playoffs.  I also wasn’t happy to see Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce arrive in Brooklyn via trade from the Celtics.  That alone should add some spice to an already budding rivalry between Brooklyn and New York.  The rest of the division is irrelevant, though I will take perverse pleasure in watching the Celtics suck  during their rebuilding project.

Central Division

  1. Chicago Bulls*
  2. Indiana Pacers*
  3. Cleveland Cavaliers*
  4. Detroit Pistons*
  5. Milwaukee Bucks

Analysis: This will be easily the toughest division in the NBA.  While the Bulls and Pacers will fight it out for the Central, the Cavs and Pistons will make plenty of noise not only during division play, but also during playoffs.  You know the Bucks (and their fans) will be in the fetal position all season long.

Southeast Division

  1. Miami Heat*
  2. Washington Wizards*
  3. Charlotte Hornets (not calling them the “Bobcats” anymore)
  4. Atlanta Hawks
  5. Orlando Magic

Analysis:  This is easily the weakest division in the NBA.  The defending champion Heat could literally moonwalk their way to another division title.  I will say that this is the year that the Wizards will make the playoffs.  When John Wall was healthy near the end of the season, Washington played better.  I think a healthy Wall, Bradley Beal, Nene and newly acquired Marcin Gortat will get the Wiz (I wish they were called the “Bullets” again) over that playoff hump.

Western Conference

Southwest Division

  1. San Antonio Spurs*
  2. Houston Rockets*
  3. Memphis Grizzlies*
  4. New Orleans Pelicans
  5. Dallas Mavericks

Analysis: I will have the most fun paying attention to this division because each of the top three teams have a legit shot of winning this division.  While I am tempted to go with the Rockets (thanks to the free agent acquisition of Dwight Howard), I gotta roll with “Old Faithful” a.k.a the San Antonio Spurs.  Sure they may be older but I do not trust Howard with anything of importance on the line.

Northwest Division

  1. Oklahoma City Thunder*
  2. Denver Nuggets*
  3. Minnesota Timberwolves*
  4. Portland Trailblazers
  5. Utah Jazz

Analysis: I have a feeling that whenever Russell Westbrook comes back from injury, the Thunder will seek to avenge last year’s playoff failure.  It’s obvious that Kevin Durant missed the hell out of Westbrook after he injured his knee in the first round of last year’s playoff.  The Nuggets are playoff contenders, and the Wolves may a playoff run of their own, but OKC should easily win this division.  Meanwhile, Jazz fans are still longing for the next “Stockton to Malone”…

Pacific Division

  1. Los Angeles Clippers*
  2. Golden State Warriors*
  3. Los Angeles Lakers
  4. Sacramento Kings
  5. Phoenix Suns

Analysis: This is the Clippers’ division to lose.  They are not only a year better – especially after re-signing Chris Paul to a max deal – they have brought in former Celtics coach Doc Rivers to lead them.  Rivers is one of the two best coaches in the NBA (the other being the Spurs’ Gregg Popovich), and he will get the most out of Blake Griffin and the rest of the team not named Chris Paul.  I love what the Warriors are doing, and love their new downtown digs in San Francisco.  Meanwhile, the Lakers will be one interesting soap opera this season.  When will Kobe come back?  When will the Lakers fire coach Mike D’Antoni?  When will Phil Jackson stop picking on Jim Buss?

* – denotes playoff teams

Eastern Conference champs: Miami Heat

Western Conference champs: Los Angeles Clippers

2013-2014 NBA Champions: Miami Heat (what the hell do y’all think?)

Categories: NBA

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