The NBA Mega-Preview You Didn't Know You Wanted
The 2014-15 NBA season begins 26 days from now, when the defending champion San Antonio Spurs host the Dallas Mavericks on 28 October.
Until that time, I’m going to attempt to preview every single team in the NBA, provide playoff predictions, project conference champions, and ultimately forecast the team most likely to become the new titlists.
But before we dive into this long, drawn out NBA preview that you didn’t even know you wanted, let’s rehash the preview I put out last year to see what I got right and where I made a fool of myself.
Let’s begin with the East. I actually predicted the East to bemarginally better than the West last year. I had Indiana, Miami, Chicago, and Brooklyn as my first four seeds. They were all playoff teams, but not in the correct order; Brooklyn and Chicago slid back further than I’d expected.
My next four were New York (ouch), Atlanta, Cleveland, and Washington. At times last year, the Knickerbockers flirted with complete irrelevancy, but due to the incredible weakness of the East's bottom-feeders, they ultimately finished ninth. The Cavalierss finished right behind them. I did correctly guess Atlanta and Washington, but basically flip-flopped their positions. I'd noted to watch out for Washington’s young guns and mentioned that Toronto was in the hunt -- the East’s impressive No 3 seed from last year -- but didn't anticipate how good either team would actually end up being.
In the West, I actually had seven of the eight playoff teams correct but completely underrated the Spurs -- as all members of the media constantly do -- as well as the Mavericks, who actually took the eventual-champion Spurs to seven games and gave them by far their toughest series of the playoffs. I had Oklahoma City taking the top seed, followed by Golden State, Houston, and the Clippers. They were all playoff teams, but Golden State ultimately finished sixth instead of second.
Then I had Memphis, San Antonio, Minnesota and Portland. The Spurs finished with the No 1 seed and yet another ring on their fingers. Portland started out extremely hot, then slowly faded but finished with the thrilling 'upset' of the Houston Rockets, where we were once again shown the complete incompetence of James Harden’s defense.
So, even though I hit on 7-of-8 Western playoff teams as opposed to 6-of-8 in the East, I generally feel better about my East predictions due to my disrespecting of the Spurs and Mavericks. I can tell you, I won’t be doing that again this year.
Tie down all the lawn furniture, because over the next 26 days I’ll evaluate every team, look at how they’ve changed, and make a prediction for the coming year. I’ll begin at the top of each conference, spend more time on some teams than others and probably end up saying lots of things I regret.
It’ll be fun!