Start of the NBA Season Predictions
This NBA season I don’t see being much different than many others, but I must preface this by saying I have not done much research other than what happens to pop up on social media so I do not know or remember all the offseason changes. Having said that, the Lakers, Nets, Sixers, Bucks, and Clippers will all be in the conversation throughout the year of teams that could win the whole thing. With Klay and Steph both back in the lineup, the Warriors are looking strong and are almost sure to be a playoff team, barring Klay not being who we all still think he can be which would be a shock to everyone. The Suns wouldn’t surprise me if they didn’t do as well but also could be sneakily a top 3 team in the West again.
Best in the West:
As I already mentioned, Phoenix had the 2 seed and had a good chance to win it all before Giannis flipped a switch in the Finals, they kept all their big names and will still be a playoff team in 2022. Nuggets aren’t going to be flashy insane highlight reel team, but they win games, coming off an MVP season Jokic will still be a beast with his sneaky good passes, that’s really all I have to say about them, not that exciting most of the time in my opinion, just a solid basketball club. Kawhi and Paul George are going to dominate again and very well could carry the Clippers to the top seed in the conference and definitely have the skill to go all the way finally, but we all know that’s not a unique thought and they will somehow f it up and lose before their first WCF. Again.
Still Playoff Caliber:
Even though the average age is approximately 49 years old, Lebron and the Lakers are without a doubt going to always be in contention for a ring, it is what it is, and I think everyone wants to see Melo get his chip. The Jazz I think many people forgot were dominant last year and had the number 1 seed last season, I don’t see much change this year, should be a top 4 seeded team. Mavs will win games and are always going to make the playoffs as long as Luka (my pick for this year’s MVP) is healthy, simple as that.
I know Dame Time is insane and always somehow underrated, but the Trail Blazers are a very forgettable team and because this is my own opinion I am putting them in the maybe category. Do I think they’ll make the playoffs? Yes. Will they go far? I doubt it, no higher than 6th seed again. I am putting the Warriors in the Maybe category too simply because if something happens to Klay or Steph again, they could crumble back down into the 11-15 seed and its not preposterous to foresee that happening. BUT they are still Steph Curry and Klay Thompson so on the flip side they could easily return to a top 4 seeded team and dominate in the playoffs next year, it is what it is. If I had to pick my 8 it would be everyone I’ve mentioned but with 82 games in a season and the play-in tournament there’s always possibility for drastic changes. And the fact I love Ja Morant and I think he is a superstar in this league and with a teeny bit of help he could be the leader of the Grizzlies and take them to a 7th or 8th seed this year. To finish, I’ll say the Pelicans will grab the last play-in spot and lose to the 7th seed, Zion is a beast, just can’t do it solo.
The East Will Repeat as Kings:
Despite how their drama plays out with Ben Simmons and Kyrie, the Nets and 76ers will be seeded in the top 4 again by the end of the regular season. All basketball fans can agree that KD and Embiid make the league more fun and are very good for basketball, can only pray they don’t face any injuries or fall backs this season, either one of them might be MVP. I’m not gonna get political but I want Kyrie to play this year, I don’t care how. With or without though, as long as Harden isn’t ass and plays more the Nets easily can be top 2 in the East. As for Ben Simmons, I would be fine with him playing anywhere but a playoff team so we can forget about him or mock him even more, rooting for either option. Milwaukee is next on my list, I think they are my pick to be back with the overall best record in the league but also they might coast to a 4th seed and then make it back to the ECF or Finals this year. I typically only want my favorite teams to repeat as champs but even I would love to see Giannis win back to back rings, he’s too loveable. I do now realize that these are the same that were the top 3 in 2021 but I just don’t see how that changes.
Could Be Sick:
I also forgot until writing this that the Hawks went off in the playoffs last season. Could easily creep into the top 3 this season and I would bet they make the 4 seed. Trae Young should be First Team All Pro and will keep getting better, future MVP. The Heat and the Celtics, to me, measure up similarly and Jayson Tatum is will also be a future MVP and keep Boston in the conversation for however long his tenure is. Miami added Kyle Lowry who I felt was a little hyped up, he is old, I still love him but he isn’t an absolute game changer, they will probably be a mix of the last two seasons: exciting to watch, playoff lock, but a first or second round exit.
Rounding Out the Conference:
The Knicks I do know added Kemba Walker which is another player who is very good but I don’t see their playoff stock rising, a 4th seed last year was Cinderella-esque. Julius Randle is good finally and they will make the playoffs but it would be surprising to see them not in the play-in tournament, whether that means they are above 7 seed or below 10 seed. 2 of the last 3 spots should be taken by Chicago and Indiana and I really don’t have a clue who is gonna get the 10th spot, maybe Washington? The Bulls could even be in the Could Be Sick category because of their offseason additions of Derozan and Lonzo to compliment Zach Lavine, should be fun to watch.
I would like to point out I thought the NHL and NBA seasons started on the same day for some reason this year and I wrote this a week early, adjustments may be made, may not be, who knows?
Moving to my gambling corner… the Lakers always find a way to lose on opening night and this year shouldn’t be any different. Hammer Warriors > Lakers moneyline game 1. I did parlay them and Bucks > Nets opening night but I am less confident about Milwaukee beating Brooklyn, both teams are so good that it could easily go either way and a last second shot will probably decide this game. Other than that as of this moment my only other predictions include Luka for MVP and someone at work told me Herro for Most Improved so I am prepared to die on that hill now.