2012-13 NBA Season Preview: Breaking Down All 30 Teams
Well, I did this before. These are my seeding predictions for the season. Not the most analyzed piece you'll see but I'll give a few quick hits of all 30 teams in the league. At the end, I'll give my playoff predictions. Of course, if you checked out a certain team preview, you probably already know who I'm picking for the title. But knowing how I came about that conclusion should be just as fun! ROLL CALL.
1. MIAMI HEAT: They're the defending champions. Except for maybe Boston, they really don't have much competition in the East. And then they signed Ray Allen and Rashard Lewis to add more shooters for the Heat.
Sometimes, life just isn't fair.
2. BOSTON CELTICS: The Celtics made up with the loss of Ray Allen by getting Laker-hater Jason Terry and Courtney Lee, who sounds incredibly hot but I don't really fancy tall male basketball players. They also got Leandro Barbosa. Once Avery Bradley comes back, they're going to be 800-deep in the backcourt. But the Celtics' fortunes lie in the hands of the remaining three stars: Rajon Rondo, Paul Pierce, and Kevin Garnett. Can Rondo continue his stellar play? Does Pierce have enough left? Does Garnett's body hold up?
3. INDIANA PACERS: I just don't see them making that leap without a true superstar. They don't have it. Danny Granger is nice (who, apparently, is out indefinitely with knee soreness). So is Roy Hibbert. But Granger's is as good as he's going to get. Hibbert may have that chance to make that leap but I'm banking against it.
By the way, if Granger misses most of the season, I'd probably pencil them around 5 or 6.
4. BROOKLYN NETS: Well, Deron Williams finally has some company in Brooklyn. Joe Johnson, while super expensive, will be a very good backcourt mate. They made like a million moves this offseason that I can hardly keep up... but we know this is a way better team than the past few seasons.
5. ATLANTA HAWKS: Addition by subtraction? Possibly! Joe Johnson is in the Nets now but they can finally abandon the "Iso-Joe" philosophy. I don't think they get necessarily worse; they actually have a step in the right direction now that they have flexibility going forward.
Besides, they still have guys like Al Horford and Josh Smith. For now.
6. CHICAGO BULLS: They won't have Derrick Rose until late in the year. And they were admirably the #1 seed when he wasn't there for most of last year. However, they lost key guys like Kyle Korver and Omer Asik. The Bulls aren't going to take anyone by surprise but their hard-nosed defense will continue to keep them afloat until Rose comes back.
But, hey, as long as the Bulls have a good record, that's all that matters, yo. Right, Carlos Boozer?
7. NEW YORK KNICKS: Amar'e Stoudemire being out could be a blessing in disguise but it's really too bad that he's had a huge decline in the last season or so. Carmelo Anthony should really try playing at the 4 as he was at his most productive there.
But with that said, this continues to feel like a team that was thrown together. It's tough to believe in these Knicks. Yes, they'll make the postseason but I can hardly see them going to the next level.
8. PHILADELPHIA 76ERS: This all hinges on new acquisition Andrew Bynum. I love Bynum. He's hilarious. But I'm not sure if he can stay healthy this season. The Sixers look horrid without him.
9. CLEVELAND CAVALIERS: Kyrie Irving is for real. The jury is obviously out on Dion Waiters. But if Kyrie makes some kind of leap this year, it would be scary.
10. TORONTO RAPTORS: I love their pick-up of Kyle Lowry. And Dwane Casey will continue to preach defense. I think they're taking a step in the right direction.
I'm still questioning on whether DeMar DeRozan is really a star. I wanna see him succeed, obviously, but I just can't put my finger on how high his ceiling is.
11. DETROIT PISTONS: Andre Drummond and Greg Monroe as a future frontcourt duo is salivating. The Pistons will go through growing pains with Drummond but once he's polished, I like the potential. Hopefully, Brandon Knight can continue to improve as well.
But Detroit still has a long way to go. Charlie Villanueva is still there, too. What the heck?
12. MILWAUKEE BUCKS: This Monta Ellis/Brandon Jennings experiment just isn't going to work. I like Ersan Ilyasova but other than that, this team seems doomed for mediocrity.
13. ORLANDO MAGIC: Rebuilding can be really ugly.
14. WASHINGTON WIZARDS: They've been rebuilding for what seems like forever.
15. CHARLOTTE BOBCATS: I will go out on a limb here and say that... they'll win more than 7 games. #PrayForCardboardGerald
1. LOS ANGELES LAKERS: You guys saw my preview, right? Good.
2. OKLAHOMA CITY THUNDER: Even without James Harden, this is STILL a really, really good team. But he could be the difference between a title or not. We'll find out in the spring.
3. SAN ANTONIO SPURS: They'll always be there. You're sick of them. You try to flush them and they keep coming back. Get a plunger.
4. LOS ANGELES CLIPPERS: This team is stupid deep. They're probably the deepest team in the NBA. And with a year together under their belt, Blake Griffin and Chris Paul will be even more devastating. Also, watch out for Paul at the end of games. He's arguably the best closer in the game today. Sorry, Kobe.
5. MEMPHIS GRIZZLIES: Once again, Memphis is coming in as a wild card. I LOVE their physical style. But they have one problem. They don't have shooters that can space the floor. And one of their few floor-spacers, O.J. Mayo, went to Dallas.
I put them in the middle of the pack. But Memphis will scare me everyday until they get eliminated in the playoffs. It's that simple.
6. DENVER NUGGETS: They did get Andre Iguodala. But will he really change the culture that much? I don't think so.
And that's why I don't get it when we have all these pundits mention that they could go as high as being the #2 seed. Maybe I'm underestimating Iguodala. But I just don't see them being better than the five teams above them. ESPECIALLY in this tough Western Conference.
7. DALLAS MAVERICKS: After losing the two Jasons AFTER losing Tyson Chandler the year before, this hardly looks like the team that won the championship in 2011. But they recovered nicely with acquisitions such as Chris Kaman, O.J. Mayo, Elton Brand, and Darren Collison after whiffing on both Deron Williams and Dwight Howard. Still good enough to float in the playoff picture but they're not going anywhere above that.
8. MINNESOTA TIMBERWOLVES: Getting tickets to this game feels like going to a One Direction or BackStreet Boys charity game.
9. HOUSTON ROCKETS: The acquisition of Harden suddenly makes this team better. Jeremy Lin can breathe a sigh of relief now that the beard is there to take the pressure away.
I'm excited for this team simply because I feel they're the biggest unknowns in the league.
10. UTAH JAZZ: I really didn't know where to put them. I just felt like other teams made enough moves that they leapfrogged over Utah. I won't be surprised if Utah makes the postseason but, right now, I'm just not feeling too confident about them.
11. GOLDEN STATE WARRIORS: I just wanna see Andrew Bogut be completely healthy.
Otherwise, in the world of these Warriors, we don't know what day it is over there.
12. PORTLAND TRAILBLAZERS: Damian Lillard will be nice. I love LaMarcus Aldridge as a player. But in the meantime, they are rebuilding slowly but surely. And how dare the Blazers cut Adam Morrison!
13. PHOENIX SUNS: Michael Beasley as possibly the #1 option could be really, really fun.
14. NEW ORLEANS HORNETS: Unibrows, yo.
15. SACRAMENTO KINGS: Where will they be playing next season? That will loom over them the entire year.
Miami over Philadelphia
Brooklyn over Atlanta
Boston over New York
Indiana over Chicago
Miami over Brooklyn
Boston over Indiana
Miami over Boston
L.A. Lakers over Minnesota
L.A. Clippers over Memphis
Oklahoma City over Dallas
San Antonio over Denver
L.A. Lakers over L.A. Clippers
Oklahoma City over San Antonio
L.A. Lakers over Oklahoma City
L.A. Lakers over Miami