My Projected NBA Standings
Bold move saying Bulls over the Heat.. many will disagree with you just because the Heat are back to back champs but I wont be surprised if the Bulls pulled it out since whenever the Bulls were healthy with Derrick Rose they have pulled out the #1 seed.
Heat will not put so much focus into the regular season next year. The streak took its toll on the Heat's players and was visible at the end of the season in the playoffs. I think they will take a number out of Pops book and gear up for the stretch run. Sadly, Thibs will still not receive that memo just yet in his head coaching career. Listening to recent interviews I believe the philosophy of resting, or at least not killing your players (Noah, Deng), is starting to make its way into Thib's head, but not quiet yet. With a healthy Rose the Bulls, behind Thibs will most likely put out more of an effort (not sure that is the best thing) on a nightly basis and should finish with the best record, over the Heat. Playoffs however, should be a different picture, yet again.....
Heat/Rocket Finals would be fun.
Wizards over Cavs?
The Wizards actually won some games last year when healthy, going 24-25 with John Wall. They also play good defense. I think the Cavs being only one seed behind the Wizards is a favorable seeding for them. And the addition of Otto Porter might help the Wizards than the Cavs addition of Anthony Bennett. If Bynum is reasonably productive, the Cavs should be a playoff team, but I doubt they overtake the Wizards, who could easily win 45 games or more next year.
Its definitely possible. After the all star break, the Wizards played better than the Cavs with Wall and Beal together. Now they add Otto Porter, and I think they may sneak into the playoffs. If the Cavaliers are all healthy including Varejao though, I would bet on Cleveland finishing with a better record.
I would move a couple teams around, but I think the same teams will make the playoffs as you do
Man the east bottom half of playoff contenders looks so weak. In a playoff setting i think the cavs would be the only bottom seed not to get swept in the first round.
People are overlooking the Nets..You add 2 competitive and emotional players like KG & Pierce to a team that is already talented..But lacked leadership..I think the Nets could be more of a challenge to the Heat than the Bulls or Pacers...
-In The West-
Lakers i feel are going to make the playoffs simply because kobe will fight his way through aches and injuries to help his team. They also have gasol who is still a top 5 center who will be healthy at the start of the season and nash who will be healthy. They got jordan Farmar back who is still young and was one of the best backup pgs when he was in the league along with kaman who has some game left coming off the bench. no better than 8th seed still i am thinking at the moment
In my opinion twolves are not good enough to make it over the trailblazers, nuggets, mavs, or lakers. I can understand the comprehension with the nuggets missing the playoffs as gallinari will miss a healthy portion of the beginning of the season, alongside the departure of iggy. Twolves lost a lot of their toughness with ak and luke ridnour leaving. Kmart is a scorer who doesnt add to the team in any other category. We still have to wait and see what shabazz and dieng will be until we see them against nba players. Brewer is back and better, but it comes down to how much had rubio's shooting has improved along with how healthy is love. Talented but not sure this team has the talent and intangibles to make the playoffs this year.
All i have have is hope for my mavs that all those provens vets can come together to push them into the playoffs
I am seriously starting to respect the make up of the pelicans. I thought in the next few years, maybe 2 or 3 as the lakers and spurs will retire a lot of their key players that the trailblazers and twolves would be guaranteed their spots in the playoffs. With the team the pelicans have created i am starting to believe they will leap frog the blazers and twolves. Then again the season hasnt played out yet and with all that young talent who knows how individuals will mesh with each other. Still think they should do something with gordon; whose mentality towards the team could be a detriment to the young players coming in and chemistry or not who knows, along with anderson in a trade to a get a legitimate small forward and center or picks to get those positions. Either way have to see how the new and finished product for this season will play together.
-In The East-
Well in the east i pretty much agree with it all, i think the bulls could finish with the better record than the heat but proving who is better will be decided in the playoffs. Towards the bottom I am not sure i am willing to agree both the hawks and celtics or atleast one for that matter will miss the playoffs. Green will be given more assurance to be aggressive along with rondo finally being the outright leader so i cant count the celtics out yet. The hawks still may have enough talent to get to the playoffs.
I do think maybe the wiz and cavs should be switched. kyrie and wall toss up between what they bring to their teams. Beal and waiters are even. I am thinking porter and bennet will be pretty much even. The varejao even with okafor. Nene, webster,ariza, seraphin, booker not enough to match up with the rest of the talent and depth for the cavs. Jack automatically gives the cavs the edge at pg. Cavs depth gives them the edge at the wings position, and if bynum is healthy with improvement from thompson and clark they maybe could get the 5th spot. I really think that 5th spot is a toss up between them and the knicks if(big if) bynum is healthy and can play healthy for atleast 50-60 games.
The Cav could be a huge surprise if Bynum comes back healthy.....
I think the Hawks will actually improve this year. Now they won't have Josh Smith taking loads of ill advised jump shots, and Millsap is a true PF. I also like that they'll have Schroeder and Nogueira developing on the bench with not a huge amount of pressure. However, they will miss Jsmoove's defensive abilities.
Damn that list is pretty much perfect. The Heat are saving for playoffs most likely. I think the Nets could have a better record than the Pacers though.
I would pay to see a Heat/Cavs playoff series.
Everything looks good to me except the Nuggets missing the playoffs in favor of the Pelicans or the Twolves. Denver won more than twice as many games as NOLA last season and I although they made some nice moves adding Holiday and Evans I am not convinced they will be a playoff team just yet. It will take them a while to get used to playing with one another while. If they do make the playoffs I think it will be over Minnesota not Denver.
Denver won 57 games last year and is near unbeatable at home. They lost George Karl but they still have a very deep and talented team. They are lacking the star power to compete for a title but their style is conducive to winning a ton of regular season games. They will miss Iggy a little bit as well especially defensively but they are still very solid on the Wing with Gallo, Fournier, Chandler, and adding Foye is an underrated move. MgGee and Faried should have no problem getting it done in the paint and controlling the boards. If they get enough outside shooting they will certainly be back in the playoffs this yeat.
My top 4 in the east
4. Cleveland (barely edging Indiana)
I'm giving them the benefit of the doubt and assuming Bynum comes in healthy, also except huge strides from Kyrie. I think they claim home court advantage in the first round mainly based off their young players developing and the addition of a potential top 2 center in the league.
I also love KG.. Under his leadership and toughness, that talented team will take a big step upward
For Cleveland to make the 4 seed they would require a ton of internal improvement as well as for all their main guy to avoid serious injuries. As of right now, 4 of their best 4 or 5 players are severely injury prone (Irving, Andy, Bennet and Bynum)
Even if Andrew Bynum is healthy, he's a guy who missed an entire season with knees so bad, he really couldn't even workout.
There's no chance they finish better than the Pacers, a team who's only negative was it's bench and I think they've made upgrades with CJ Watson and Chris Copeland. Danny Granger also returns and the reports are he's healthy and will participate in all of training camp, etc. Even if he's not healthy, this is a team that was one game away from the Finals without him.
I think the Pistons will suprise people. Sure the Josh Smith move is very questionable and means they lack a lot of spacing, but with Knight, KCP, and Billups can still stretch the floor very well. Even if Billups gets injured, he is a great player coach-type and will really help with being a mentor to Knight. Defensively, they have some top-notch defenders in Smith and Drummond, and I see teams really stuggling to score on the inside against this team, basically if you don't have 3 point shooters you'll have a tough time trying to beat the Pistons. This team has more talent(and skill) at the moment than the Cavs and Wizards in my opinion.
I don't think the Pelicans are even close to being as good as the Nuggets. The Nuggets have 3 double digit rebounders on their team with Hickson, Faried, and Mcgee, Mcgee especially will be a rim-protector down low that they were missing a bit last year. I think Shaw understands that he needs to make Lawson the star finally in comparison to Karl who tried to make everyone the star. Foye adds a nice bit of scoring and range at the 2, and they're still pretty stacked on their bench despite losing Gallo. Gallo moves them from probably a 5 seed to a 7, but I don't see them being bad enough to lose out to the Pelicans and Wolves.
I like your projection, particularly Washington. 6th-8th seed sounds about right for them as they take their next step forward.