Monday, February 27, 2012

NBA Eastern Conference Regular Season Predictions

With the regular season approximately 0.5 complete DBSF decided to predict conference playoff rankings. Starting with the East . . .

1. Miami Heat (50-16)
After locking up the East with four or five games left Miami will rest their big three and drop a couple at the end of the season (otherwise they'd probably only lose 12-14). DBSF will say it again--LeBron James is the best human to ever play basketball. Jordan was the greatest winner and competitor but LeBron is the only player in the history of the NBA to regularly--like literally bi-quarterly--commit super-human feats. DBSF predicts this will be LeBron's first of three to four championships with the Heat.

2. Chicago Bulls (48-18)
DBSF sees this Bulls squad as perennial regular season champs-types. They consistently beat the glorified D-League teams of the NBA (i.e., Wizards, Kings, Bobcats, etc), which inflates their record, but the idea that they can go seven games with grown-men squads, like the Heat, Lakers or Thunder--or even the really, really grown-men, like age-wise Spurs--is suspicious.

3. New York Knicks (37-29)
Tim Tebow has Fred Durst but Jeremy Lin has Landry Fields, whose pocket protector, page-flipping, 'we went to Harvard/ Stanford' pre-game routine with Lin is already annoying DBSF. We get it--you have post-basketball employment opportunities. With a healthy Carmelo Anthony--who should have possession every time the play clock falls below ten seconds for the Knicks--and having time for everyone to mesh with Lin, the Knicks should take advantage of the 76ers' projected collapse. With Lin the Knicks become regular Eastern Conference contenders but the athleticism of the Heat's guards and of Derrick Rose precludes them from ever passing the Conference Finals.

4. Orlando Magic (42-24)
Not enough to beat the Heat and not enough to keep Dwight Howard. JJ Redick and Ryan Anderson's 2012-2013 fantasy value should begin skyrocketing in mid-May.

5. Indiana Pacers (40-26)
DBSF respects that Paul George grew two inches over the post-season, but there exists some NBA by-law which explicitly states that no team with Danny Granger and Lance Stephenson can ever finish the season higher than a five seed. They'll be a seven seed next year once all of the real teams have an off-season to practice together.

6. Atlanta Hawks (37-29)
Outside of Josh Smith the Hawks are the least entertaining, consistent-playoff team since the late 80's/ early 90's Milwaukee Bucks. Save obvious phenotypic differences you'd be hard pressed to convince DBSF that Al Horford, Marvin Williams, and Erick Dampier aren't closely related to Frank Brickowski, Brad Lohaus, and Jack Sikma.

7. Philadelphia 76ers (35-31) 
Will the 76ers' collapse continue into the second half of the season? The Philadelphia 76ers are the Washington Wizards with Andre Igoudala and Thaddeus Young in place of Nick Young and Andray Blatche. That is the difference two players can make.

8. Boston Celtics (34-32)
This is assuming Danny Ainge keeps the ol' Big Three intact for the rest of the season and doesn't start rebuilding before the trade deadline. If Allen and Garnett leave then enter some Bucs/ Cavs-caliber team that will participate in the playoffs merely as a formality and simply serve to allow Mike Miller to develop some post-season statistics.

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