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Old 04-12-2018, 06:28 PM   #81
Double Dragon
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Join Date: Nov 2011
Posts: 3,650
Wow. Been awhile since we've used this thread. This is probably going to be a super long post because there's a lot to talk about. The NBA season just ended and the playoff picture is set! Let's start by looking at my preseason predictions and see how they fared.

Originally Posted by phoopes View Post
Alright so here are my full predictions (which will probably turn out hella wrong but hey)

Eastern Conference:
Spoiler: show

1. Cavs - duh
2. Celtics - duh (unless Cavs mail it in in the regular season again and get 2-seed)
3. Bucks - I think they make the leap
4. Wizards - Pretty standard
5. Raptors - There's a drop-off but it's not too big IMO
6. Sixers - Homer bias probably, I trust the Process with my life
7. Hornets - I'm actually a big believer in Howard
8. Heat - They didn't get better but other teams got worse
9. Hawks - Losing Milsap hurts but it wouldn't shock me if they find a way
10. Pistons - I never have confidence in them, plus they lost KCP
11. Knicks - I don't think Pozingis has enough of a supporting cast for them to be good
12. Pacers - RIP mediocre Pacers, hello bad Pacers
13. Nets - They've been a dumpster fire for years. They have Russell though!
14. Magic - This is a team without direction in my opinion
15. Bulls - Injured Zach Levine is their best player lol

Western Conference:
Spoiler: show

1. Warriors - duh
2. Spurs - Honestly they shouldn't be this good but they always are
3. Rockets - Think it'll take some time for new players to mesh, but they'll be good
4. Thunder - See above
5. Timberwolves - See above
6. Nuggets - I have a lot of confidence in their players, and adding Milsap helps a ton
7. Clippers - This is still a solid team, they got some really good pieces out of the Paul deal
8. Blazers - This team doesn't actually miss the playoffs? Right?
9. Grizzlies - They got a little worse, and other teams got better
10. Pelicans - I don't see them meshing that well together, even though they're talented
11. Jazz - Feels like a crime to put them this low, but no Hayward or Hill and the West is stacked
12. Lakers - I feel like they're definitely building something, but the West is stacked
13. Kings - They have a motley crew that'll be entertaining to watch
14. Mavericks - I think they have the least talented roster in the West but...
15. Suns - I have no confidence in this franchise at the moment.
Eastern Conference:
1. Raptors

I thought I was pretty justified in having the Raptors as the fifth seed before the season started. They brought back essentially the exact same team as last year, and I thought that other teams would make the leap ahead of them. Instead, it was the Raptors that made the leap. They completely changed their game, increasing the pace and actually attempting three pointers, and it really worked. DeMar DeRozan was an actual All-NBA candidate this year, and their bench was so good that Kyle Lowry didn't have to burn himself out during the regular season. They definitely stumbled a bit near the the of the season, but still. They were thiiiiis close to winning 60 games for a reason. This is a solid team that we should watch out for.

2. Celtics

I was spot on with the Celtics as the two seed! However I think this has more to do with Brad Stevens' coaching than their talent as a team. They are quite literally limping into the playoffs this year. They have so many key players down, which is a shame considering if they were at full strength I think they could be the favorite to come out of the East. Alas, it is not so, and will make them vulnerable. Can Al Horford lead the team to the Eastern Conference Finals? Eh. Can Jayson Tatum or Jaylen Brown? Not yet. Can Kyrie Irving and Gordon Hayward? Yes. Watch out... next year.

3. 76ers

Who's next? Wait... could that be? THE PHILADELPHIA 76ERS ARE THE MOTHERFUCKING THREE SEED IN THE EAST AND ARE RIDING A 16 GAME WINNING STREAK COMING INTO THE PLAYOFFS. WHAT THE FUUUUUUCCCKK??? Coming into the season I said that the Sixers' best case scenario this year would be the six seed in the East. I would have been incredibly happy with that and a first round exit in the playoffs. But now. BUT NOW. This team has been looking soooooo good, even without Embiid over the past few games. Simmons has proven that he is a star right now. Redick and Dario have been lights out. Covington has been solid as always. Belinelli has become one of my favorite players right away. Oh and by the way... MARKELLE FULTZ IS BACK. He's not quite the same player that we were thinking he would be yet (where's the three point shot?) but his contributions have been so solid. Wow. This team can easily win their first round matchup without Embiid. And when he comes back... this is a dark horse pick for the finals ladies and gentlemen. Wow.

4. Cavaliers

Who could blame me for putting the Cavs at number one? LeBron will do that to you. And he's arguably had the best statistical season of his career, playing in all 82 games for the first time ever and putting up insane numbers. His help has been... inconsistent. Just look at the roster at the beginning of the year until now. Lots of new faces. And they haven't all been great. Between his supporting cast being kind of lacking and I think just general regular season apathy, it's weird to see the Cavs coming in as the 4 seed. I'm not too worried about them because I think they flip the switch in the playoffs like LeBron's teams always do, but coming in as low as the four seed is unfamiliar territory.

5. Pacers

What. No one expected this, not even Indiana fans I think. The Pacers traded away Paul George... and got better? Victor Oladipo became an All-NBA talent out of nowhere and carried this team way past anyone's expectations. This team one of, if not the biggest surprise in the NBA this year, and I never saw it coming.

6. Heat

I guess they made the playoffs like I predicted they would? Kind of surprised they're as high as the six seed with their forgettable roster, but here they are. I think this is a team whose record is much better than they actually are. Bam Adebayo has looked good but he's too young and raw. Same goes for Justice Winslow. And I don't think any team is afraid of Old!D-Wade or Goran Dragic really. Hassan Whiteside is a solid player, but it seems like he wants out. That's bad news for a team headed into the playoffs.

7. Bucks
8. Wizards

The Bucks and the Wizards are interesting cases for me. I expected much more out of them, with both of them getting home court advantage in the first round under my predictions. However, the Bucks never made the leap like I thought they would, and the Wizards seem to be off their game. Giannis is still one hell of a player, but I don't think he's quite at the level yet where he can put the team on his back and carry them to the finals like young LeBron could. As for the Wizards, I honestly think they played their best basketball of the season when John Wall was out, which is so weird. Maybe it's a chemistry thing but I'm surprised that these teams are the last two seeds in the East. Of course, I think either of teams could've gotten the six seed but it appeared they may have sort of tanked a little bit at the end to avoid playing the team in the three spot. But maybe that's just a conspiracy theory. ;)

9. Pistons

They were about as good as I expected them to be in the end. There were was that weird stretch at the beginning of the season where they looked really good. Good enough that they might have ended up where the Pacers are now. But they fell off and ended up being a sub-.500 team. Possibly due to Reggie Jackson missing a bunch of games with injury. Andre Drummond got better this season, especially at the free throw line. But other than those two, idk where this roster is going. They seem stuck just outside the playoffs, which is a terrible, middle-of-the-road situation to be in.

10. Hornets

I was really a big believer in the Hornets before the season. I've always been a big Kemba Walker fan, and I got baited into believing that this is the year that Dwight Howard would finally get back to his old, dominant form. Eh. He averaged a double double again (I didn't look that up but... probably) but he's definitely on the decline. And they have so much money tied up in average/mediocre players that I don't really see them making a jump any time soon either. My diagnosis: time to blow it up.

11. Knicks
12. Nets

Teams that were just about as bad as I was expecting them to be. Porzingis is the only good player on the Knicks, full stop. He's a player you can build around, they just don't have anyone for that job. Frank Ntilikina could be good, but he's still young. Other than those guys it's not looking good. As for the Nets, here's the issue: I'm a pretty big NBA fan and I have a hard time naming players on their roster. In fact, I would bet the casual NBA fan probably couldn't name anyone on the roster except for Jeremy Lin, and he was hurt all season. The NBA is a league of stars. You need to get yourself a star in order to be good. And they STILL don't have their first round draft pick from the Paul Pierce/KG trade. Yikes.

13. Bulls

They weren't the worst team in the league like I thought they would be! That's something!

14. Magic

I think I correctly diagnosed the Magic as a franchise without direction. It just came out that Aaron Gordon wants a max deal. But would that help them? Not a chance. And I still don't think they've given Mario Hezonja a fair shake even after a few years. That's the least of the worries though. They need an influx of actual talent, and fast. Because if Aaron Gordon thinks he can demand a max contract, that's how you know your standards for greatness are low.

15. Hawks

lol. I definitely overrated these guys. My thought was that the Hawks would be better than the sum of their parts, like in previous years. I forgot that in previous years, however, that the Hawks had actual talent. I guess they have Dennis Schroder! And Taurean Prince has looked pretty good! But it wasn't enough to keep them out of the basement. At least this year has a deep draft class.


Alright I said this was going to be a long post and it definitely was. It was going to be a lot longer but I've spent a good deal of time typing this and I haven't even made it to the West yet lol. Expect a part two with the Western Conference teams, and a part three with playoff picks/end of season awards.

Trust the Process!
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