NBA Standings Predictions 2012-2013

i’m going to start my predictions for the new season, and i will start with the west.  i’m going to break it down by division, try to drag this out a bit haha.  i won’t do the predictions of how many wins specifically because i don’t wanna do the math for it in accordance with the other teams.  so we’ll start with the northwest.

1. Oklahoma City Thunder (62 wins)

Things might be looking up for the Thunder

the thunder made it to the NBA finals last year, only to win just one game and be defeated by lebron james and the miami heat.  they are all young guns, with kevin durant and russell westrbook being 23.  they have a really bright future ahead of them, and there are only certain things that can derail them.  one issue they will have offcourt this year is the resigning of james harden and serge ibaka.  according to some sources, they have reached an agreement with ibaka.  i think it’s a good signing, he definitely deserves it after leading the league in blocks, but that causes a problem for james harden.  i don’t know how that will affect his play, but hopefully it doesn’t.  they have a great bench, which starts with harden, and ends with hasheem thabeet.  if your bench ends with thabeet, and you can turn him into the player he’s supposed to be, you’re in a pretty good position.  they also have more playoff experience with this last run, and durant, westbrook, ibaka, and harden are coming off olympic runs.

their starting 5 remains unchanged, i think the reason why the thunder do so well is because they are a balanced squad.  durant and westbrook take care of the offense, and ibaka, perkins, and sefolosha take care of the defense.  when you have scorers like durant and westbrook, you could afford to do that.  and then harden comes in to give relief.  he had a pretty bad finals run, but he should bounce back.  i think the sooner he signs a contract with OKC, the better.  i don’t know if that will happen though.  but they should be at least in the western conference finals, if not the finals again.  they’re just too deep for almost all of the western conference teams.

starting 5- perkins, ibaka, durant, sefolosha, westbrook

2. Denver Nuggets (58 wins)

Denver’s new star

through the andrew bynum trade, the nuggets upgraded at the shooting guard position and got andre iguodala, the star of the 76ers for the last 9 years or so.  he is one of the best defenders in the league no named lebron james, and he is an all around great player.  he adds to an already strong team, and if you thought that OKC was balanced, the denver nuggets are even more balanced.  they have one of the best benches in the league, with andre miller and wilson chandler, who would probably start for most teams in the league.  you put their bench with any bench in the NBA, and i guarantee you that 95% of the time, the nuggets bench would win.  kenneth faried was a pleasant surprise last year, as he was a beast.  mcgee also matured quickly after coming from DC.  and ty lawson has been taking the league a storm also, and he’s blazingly fast.  i’m actually surprised that he does so well.  but he’s a really good point guard and has a balance in andre miller as a pass-first point guard.

one of the main concerns last season was that they didn’t have a go-to guy at the end of games.  i think they have that in iguodala now.  he might not shoot it everything, but he’ll be a lebron type where he will make the best play available.  they will be one of the most exciting teams to watch, as they’ll be even faster this year.  and they have a good coach in coach karl.  they can do a lot of damage in the west.

starting 5-mcgee, faried, gallinari, iguodala, lawson

3. Minnesota Timberwolves (40 wins)

the t’wolves had the potential to make the playoffs last year.  that was until ricky rubio got injured.  kevin love this past summer (kinda) expressed his displeasure with the team and where it’s at, stating that he wants to make the playoffs this year.  i think he said those remarks a bit prematurely, since rubio got injured.  the whole team needs to improve a bit, and kevin love is doing all that he can (26ppg, 13rpg), but he needs to be a little more patient.  they have a good young core, with derrick williams and alexey shved.  i think they’re a couple of pieces away from contending, but there’s a possibility that they will make the playoffs, even though the west got stronger.  the best i see them going is the 8th seed in the west.  their future looked brigher last year, this year is a little more bleaker.  kirilenko is a nice addition, but he’s past his prime.  i have no idea what he could do at this stage, although during the summer they said that he was running better than ever.  and we have to see what brandon roy could do, as he’s bouncing back from knee surgery and coming out of retirement.  so we’ll see what happens this year with minnesota, and i hope for kevin love’s sake (or the t’wolves’), they make the playoffs.

starting 5- pekovic, love, kirilenko, shved, rubio

4. Utah Jazz

They’ll go as far as he can take them

to be honest, the utah jazz aren’t a team i usually watch, especially after the dwill trade.  they got nice pieces, but they’re just too quiet.  i’ll admit, they have some nice players, like al jefferson, paul millsap, derrick favors, gordan hayward, and marvin williams, but it won’t really amount to anything this season.  they’re probably in a really bad position because they’re not bad enough to be in the lottery, but not good enough to be in the playoffs.  when you’re leader is jefferson, you can’t compete again teams with duncan, durant, gasol and howard, blake, and all these other teams with good big men.  and the supporting cast isn’t that great.  yes, they picked up marvin williams and mo williams, but that’s not saying much.  they’re still better than the trail blazers, who have absolutely no one except LA, but they have enough to compete in the west.  they made the playoffs last year, but they probably won’t this year.

starting 5- jefferson, millsap, ma. williams, hayward, mo williams

5. Portland Trail Blazers

And then there was one…

i really feel bad for lamarcus aldridge.  he was supposed to be a part of this great team, the big 3 before miami’s big 3 came about.  portland’s future looked almost blindingly bright, as they had greg oden, LA, brandon roy, and even nicolas batum.  heck, i’m on the blazers in nba2k12, where they have all those guys.  now they only have LA and batum, and batum doesn’t even want to be there.  it must be frustrating for LA, and things are pretty bleak there.  and there were also rumors that it was the blazers’ medical staff who misdiagnosed both roy and oden, and who caused their departure.  i’m sure that’s not comforting for any player.  they are not in a position to do anything this year, and they still have to pay roy since he’s able to play for the t’wolves now.  i think LA will make the all-star team, but aside from that, there won’t be much to cheer for in portland.

starting 5- leonard, aldridge, batum, matthews, lillard

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