Oct 28, 2013, 4:08 PM EDT
The last couple years, it has felt going into the season that the road to an NBA title went through Miami. And it wasn’t going any farther.
This year it feels far more wide open. Make no mistake, the road goes through Miami and they are saying all the right things about defending their title, but the last team to even make it to four straight finals was the Larry Bird Boston Celtics in 1987. It’s a hard road, no matter how many times you’ve been down it, no matter how good you are.
Which is why you see a lot of teams other than Miami in tables below when myself and the PBT staff sat down to make our predictions for the coming NBA season.
Let’s start with the fun stuff, some of the awards:
|Name||MVP||Rookie of Year||Defensive player of year|
|Kurt Helin||Kevin Durant||Victor Oladipo||Dwight Howard|
|Brett Pollakoff||Chris Paul||Victor Oladipo||LeBron James|
|Dan Feldman||LeBron James||Victor Oladipo||Dwight Howard|
|D.J. Foster||LeBron James||Cody Zeller||Roy Hibbert|
|Darius Soriano||Kevin Durant||Victor Oladipo||Roy Hibbert|
|Rhett Anderson||Dwight Howard||Victor Oladipo||LeBron James|
Of note here, both Darius and myself had picked Trey Burke to win the NBA Rookie of the Year in an earlier PBT Roundtable, but that was before the finger injury which required surgery and will have him out at the start of the season.
As for LeBron James getting a fifth MVP, it could well happen, but I think we’ll see voter fatigue as they look for someone else to honor.
Let’s move on to the division winners.
Sorry Knicks fans, I know most of you don’t get the Nets thing, but the fact is they finished just five games back of you last season then went out and got Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce, Jason Terry and Andrei Kirilenko. We think they leapfrog you.
But not a huge leap in the playoffs. Here’s our predictions on who wins it all:
|Name||Eastern Conference Finals||Western Converence Finals||NBA Finals||Champion|
|Kurt Helin||Pacers vs. Heat||Clippers vs. Thunder||Clippers vs. Pacers||Pacers|
|Brett Pollakoff||Pacers vs. Nets||Clippers vs. Spurs||Clippers vs. Pacers||Pacers|
|Dan Feldman||Heat vs. Bulls||Clippers vs. Thunder||Heat vs. Clippers||Heat|
|D.J. Foster||Heat vs. Bulls||Clippers vs. Spurs||Heat vs. Spurs||Spurs|
|Darius Soriano||Pacers vs. Bulls||Clippers vs. Thunder||Thunder vs Bulls||Bulls|
|Rhett Anderson||Pacers vs. Heat||Clippers vs. Thunder||Heat vs. Thunder||Heat|
Yes, I’m taking the Pacers over the Clippers in the Finals. I’m buying the Clippers hype that they can defend for Doc Rivers. The Pacers were a very good team last year with their core — Paul George, Roy Hibbert, George Hill — still improving every year. Then the front office went out and stocked up what had been the worst bench in the league. I think they probably end up the three seed in the regular season but they are a roster built for the grinding game of the playoffs.
Make your predictions in the comments, or just tell us why we’re so wrong.
Jul 31, 2014, 12:04 AM EDT
A LeBron James-Kevin Love combo seems increasingly inevitable
Jul 30, 2014, 10:30 PM EDT
“His unique skill set makes him one of the best players in the game today.” —Pat Riley on Chris Bosh, who still is overpaid.
Jul 30, 2014, 8:59 PM EDT
Pat Riley got beat in free agency, and he doesn’t take losing well.
Jul 30, 2014, 8:00 PM EDT
Scott, not Mike Brown, would have followed Phil Jackson
Jul 30, 2014, 6:59 PM EDT
“He’s playing out of his mind. He’s being Derrick Rose.” —Anthony Davis on Rose.
Jul 30, 2014, 6:05 PM EDT
NBA reportedly wanted Bavetta to retire four years ago
Jul 30, 2014, 5:17 PM EDT
The elicits a shrug of the shoulders. Not much else.
Jul 30, 2014, 4:29 PM EDT
Thunder star texted Davis after winning the award last season: ‘You on your way to get it’
Tony Parker says skipping FIBA World Championships this summer was a way for him to ‘give back to the Spurs’
Jul 30, 2014, 3:41 PM EDT
Parker has played 91 extra games since his last summer break three seasons ago.
Jul 30, 2014, 2:59 PM EDT
“Guys that don’t have a reputation for playing hard defense are picking up full court.” —Damian Lillard on the level of play at Team USA training camp.
Jul 30, 2014, 2:19 PM EDT
Dallas originally signed Lewis, but voided his contract once it was discovered he would require knee surgery.
Jul 30, 2014, 1:34 PM EDT
Cleveland, Chicago, Indiana, Miami, Toronto and Washington all simply shake their heads.
Jul 30, 2014, 12:47 PM EDT
World Peace hasn’t drawn legitimate interest from NBA teams, so he’s considering playing overseas.
Jul 30, 2014, 12:01 PM EDT
Silly idea anyway.
Report: Anthony Bennett pulled from pro-am by agent, possibly due to his inclusion in Kevin Love trade talks
Jul 30, 2014, 11:14 AM EDT
Just like Love, Bennett is not going to be playing in any games this summer until a deal is done.
Jul 30, 2014, 10:32 AM EDT
Sixers put a multi-year plan together based on current rules, which would be adversely affected with a quick change to the system.
Jul 30, 2014, 9:55 AM EDT
This was 100 percent guaranteed.
Jul 30, 2014, 9:18 AM EDT
Hayward set to earn $62,965,420 over next four years
Jul 30, 2014, 8:40 AM EDT
“Everyone talks about match-ups (with big teams such as Spain), people have to match-up against us, too.” — USA Basketball coach Mike Krzyzewski
Jul 30, 2014, 8:00 AM EDT
LeBron still not as popular as prior to The Decision, though. It’s only a matter of time until he is.
- Report: Cavaliers last team standing in Kevin Love trade talks 0
- Pat Riley says he didn’t think LeBron was leaving, Heat can turn around quickly 28
- Coach K on Rose: “Derrick’s played great, not good, and hasn’t held anything back” 17
- Report: Anthony Bennett pulled from pro-am by agent, possibly due to his inclusion in Kevin Love trade talks 42
- Report: Sixers fighting against immediate changes to NBA Draft Lottery system 56
- Team USA going small ball, but how many bigs do they keep on the bench? 4
- Report: LeBron James more popular than he ever was with the Heat 15
- Durant says 2014 USA team better than 2010 version that won gold 6