Just For Fun: My 2017-2018 NBA Predictions

I know, I know – I’m probably eight months away from seeing* Golden State play Cleveland for the fourth year in a row, so why even bother making any other predictions? (Using the word “seeing” probably isn’t fair, because I can’t pretend like I actually watched any of those games last year).

But let’s pretend that this season is a bigger mystery than it appears to be on the eve of the regular season. What if?

What if Paul George isn’t a better player than Kevin Durant, but is a better fit alongside Russell Westbrook, and the two partner with Carmelo Anthony to raise this team’s ceiling to new heights?

What if Chris Paul and James Harden find a way to click and they become the best backcourt in the NBA, playing alongside a supporting cast that grew stronger this past offseason? 

What if the Spurs surprise us all and figure out how to win 55 games again? Spoiler alert: They’re the Spurs, so they probably will.

What if Isaiah Thomas returns to the court in December and has another top-five type season, leading somebody to dare to ask the question: did Cleveland get better when they traded Kyrie?

What if the future is now in Boston, who brought in four new starters to play on last year’s #1 seed in the East? 

What if the new-look Timberwolves – with a new superstar in Jimmy Butler, a new max-contract player in Andrew Wiggins, and a budding all-star in Karl-Anthony Towns – are the NBA’s next big thing?

What if the Raptors and Wizards – two talented teams from last year that bring back similar core units – take the next step and give Cleveland and Boston a run for their money?

What if Giannis Antetokoumpo has a usage rating that resembles ’16-’17 Russell Westbrook -plus a few triple-doubles of his own – and steals an MVP trophy for himself?

What if Anthony Davis and DeMarcus Cousins prove that big men still have a place in this league and turn the Pelicans into a true two-headed monster?

What if Lavar was right and the Lakers somehow make the playoffs? (Don’t hold your breath on this one)

As you can see, there’s still plenty to watch in the upcoming NBA season, even if the Golden State/Cleveland four-peat seems like a sure thing. There’s plenty of mystery and no shortage of interesting storylines to follow.

The NBA is back. And I couldn’t be more excited.

I can’t wait to tune in tomorrow night and watch Kyrie’s return to Cleveland. I’m even more excited to sit in the cheap seats at the ‘Peake on Thursday night with my brother, Keaton, and hear Paul George and Carmelo Anthony’s names called with Russell Westbrook’s and Steven Adams’ for the first time. Honestly, I may even be excited to show the newest Knick, Enes Kanter, a little love as well.

As I try to survive the last day until next summer with no NBA basketball, I thought I would share my division and conference predictions with you. Some may agree. Many may disagree. Whatever you choose is fine, because like I said – basketball is back, and we can all agree that it’s good news.

*Note: I haven’t done the math on my win/loss totals to find out if each prediction is literally possible. So, my chances of going 30/30 have likely already gone by the wayside. But I’ll strap in and enjoy the ride anyways.

Northwest

  1. OKC Thunder – 58-24
  2. Minnesota Timberwolves – 48-34
  3. Denver Nuggets – 46-36
  4. Portland Trailblazers – 43-39
  5. Utah Jazz – 37-45

Pacific

  1. Golden State Warriors – 70-12
  2. LA Clippers – 44-38
  3. LA Lakers – 34-48
  4. Phoenix Suns – 28-54
  5. Sacramento Kings – 23-59

Southwest

  1. Houston – 56-26
  2. San Antonio – 54-28
  3. New Orleans – 42-40
  4. Memphis – 38-53
  5. Dallas –  35-47

Atlantic

  1. Boston Celtics – 56-26
  2. Toronto Raptors – 51-31
  3. Philadelphia 76ers – 44-40
  4. NY Knicks – 31-51
  5. Brooklyn Nets – 13-69

Central

  1. Cleveland – 53-29
  2. Milwaukee – 47-35
  3. Detroit – 36-46
  4. Indiana – 28-54
  5. Chicago – 21-61

Southeast

  1. Washington – 49-33
  2. Miami – 46-36
  3. Charlotte – 38-44
  4. Atlanta – 30-52
  5. Orlando – 24-58

West

  1. Golden State – 70-12
  2. OKC – 58-24
  3. Houston – 56-26
  4. San Antonio – 54-28
  5. Minnesota Timberwolves – 48-34
  6. Denver Nuggets – 46-36
  7. LA Clippers – 44-38
  8. Portland Trailblazers – 43-39

East

  1. Boston – 56-26
  2. Cleveland – 53-29
  3. Toronto – 51-31
  4. Washington – 49-33
  5. Milwaukee – 47-35
  6. Miami – 46-36
  7. Philadelphia – 44-40
  8. Charlotte – 38-44

First Round – West

GS beats Portland in Five

OKC beats LAC in Six

Houston beats Denver in Six

Minnesota beats SA in Six

First Round – East

Boston beats Charlotte in Four

Cleveland beats Philly in Six

Toronto beats Miami in Seven

Washington beats Milwaukee in Six

Second Round

GS beats Minnesota in Six

OKC beats Denver in Six

Boston beats Washington in Five

Cleveland beats Toronto in Five

Conference Finals

GS beats OKC in Six

Boston beats Cleveland in Seven

NBA Finals – Golden State beats Boston in Six (Final Score of Game Six – GS 112, Boston 104)

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