Let’s start with some bold predictions.
1. The Miami Heat will not 3-peat.
2. Not good enough? The Heat will be knocked out in the Eastern Conference semifinals by Indiana.
3. Take it from someone who watched his beloved Lakers fail to 3-peat twice and pull it off once, it’s not easy, and it’s not just about your team, it’s about how the rest of the league responds. I like what the rest of the league has done.
4. The Bulls will have the best record in the NBA.
5. But the Thunder will beat the Bulls for the NBA title.
6. The Sixers will win less than 10 games.
7. The Magic will finish within 5 games of a playoff spot in the East.
8. Victor Oladipo, as favored, will win rookie of the year with an exciting, well-rounded season.
9. Anthony Davis will win the NBA’s most improved player and help the Pelicans to the 8th seed out West.
10. Mark Jackson will win the NBA Coach of the Year guiding Golden State to a surprising Pacific division title.
11. Rajon Rondo will not play a game for the Celtics this season because he’ll be traded prior to his return to the court.
12. Kobe Bryant will play this year before Russell Westbrook.
13. Kevin Durant will win his first MVP.
14. Players I am liking this year to take another big step forward: Paul George, Kawhi Leonard, Andre Drummond, Gordon Hayward, Kyrie Irving, Harrison Barnes, Brad Beal, John Wall, Reggie Jackson, and of course Anthony Davis.
15. Storyline that won’t go away: LeBron James free agency talk every time the Heat lose or struggle. And it will be like a cloud over the playoffs once the Heat are eliminated.
Predicted standings (* playoff teams)
1. Brooklyn *
2. New York *
1. Chicago *
2. Indiana *
3. Detroit *
4. Cleveland *
1. Miami *
2. Washington *
1. Golden State *
2. LA Clippers *
3. LA Lakers
1. Oklahoma City *
2. Portland *
1. San Antonio *
2. Memphis *
3. Houston *
4. New Orleans *