The NBA season is a week old, which makes it time to state some bold predictions. Keep in mind, what I list below are extreme bold predictions. Meaning that while I believe they are plausible, it does not necessarily mean you should run to Vegas and place your life savings on them. Readers may argue that these predictions are too absurd to fathom. However, from what I have viewed, they are worth mentioning and certainly should not be overlooked.
If you are like me, you have at least had a chance to watch every team play and have had the opportunity to create your own opinion of them. Teams like the Brooklyn Nets have been a mystery and teams like the 76ers have been a surprise. It is still too early to tell what is real, but we have seen enough games to make some assumptions.
Bold Predictions For The Rest of the Season
Chris Bosh Will Not Be In A Heat Uniform At The End Of The Season
I know this sounds crazy, but just think logically about it. So far, Miami’s rebounding has been horrific. They are being out rebounded by 1.8 rebounds per game – the worst in the NBA. It showed as a major problem too in their loss to the Nets. There were way too many easy offensive rebounds which ultimately cost them a road win.
Most of this is not Bosh’s fault. While Bosh should be averaging 10 rebounds a game, he is not built to be a center and is being asked to play out of his comfort zone. When he does play his game, the Heat find themselves running a ‘shell’ offense with four players hanging by the perimeter. This will not work in the playoffs and it is only a matter of time until Pat Riley deals with this issue.
Bosh is the only real trade bargaining chip that Miami has. Centers like Dwight Howard and Brook Lopez are obviously off limits, but what is stopping the Heat from going after Marc Gasol or Omer Asik? Asik is developing into one of the top centers in the league and is still agile enough to clear the lane for LeBron and Wade to penetrate. Gasol has similar attributes that would fit nicely in Miami.
Maybe trading Chris Bosh is a bit of a stretch, but Miami needs to do something. They will not win the championship with their current roster and if they get eliminated, what is stopping LeBron from going back to an intriguing Cleveland team? I would look for Pat Riley to make a major trade at some point this season to help his squad.
New York Knicks Will Miss The Playoffs
The New York Knicks look bad.
Before the season, they were a questionable playoff team. They clearly have the talent, but never seemed to put it all together. It sounds crazy to think that for as much money as they spent, the New York Knicks may still miss the playoffs.
The Knicks did everything they could this offseason to build upon their roster. They traded for Bargnani and re-signed J.R. Smith. Despite being a defensive liability, Bargnani is a great addition on the offensive end. Once Tyson Chandler returns from his injury, Bargnani will be able to focus on his shooting and play the role he was brought in to do.
For the Knicks to miss the playoffs, there would have to be eight other teams to take their place. The Knicks have a good roster, so these teams would have to execute better down the stretch to sneak in. The Heat, Pacers, Bulls, Pistons, Cavaliers, and Nets are the top six teams in the East. We can almost sharpie them in now. That leaves two playoff spots left for the Knicks to capture. So far this season, the Magic, Wizards, and Hawks have surfaced as teams that could steal those spots away.
It is not for certain, but the Knicks will need to wake up if they want to find themselves in a favorable position. Their terrible start is not helping their cause.
Chris Paul Will Win MVP
Chris Paul is arguably the best point guard in the game. He has the unique ability to alter his game to fit the players around him. His talent has always been good enough to win MVP too. Unfortunately, players like LeBron James, Derrick Rose, and Kevin Durant are also playing in the same league.
This season, the Clippers have the athletes to allow Paul to be better than he has ever been. Their excellent outside shooting combined with their improvements under the rim give Paul the playground he has always wanted. Chris Paul has the potential to be better this season than Steve Nash was during his two year reign as the league’s most valuable player. Through 5 games, Paul is averaging 24.8 ppg, 4.0 rpg, and 3.0 spg. He is also averaging an astonishing 12.6 apg with only 3.2 tov. That is a 4 to 1 assists per turnover ratio. If Paul can keep this up and the Clippers finish as a top seed in the Western Conference, there is no reason why he will not be the MVP.
The Warriors Win The Western Conference
I know I am not the only one thinking it.
They are a year older and have an added year of experience. Do not forget, that the Warriors showed a lot of poise during the playoffs last year. Now they are back and have added a defensive threat in Andre Iguodola. Just think how good they would have been if they signed Dwight Howard.
I had my suspicions about the Warriors entering opening night. Klay Thompson quickly quieted my doubts as he dominated with a 38 point shooting performance against the Lakers. Stephen Curry is no slouch to shooting to ball either. Through his first four seasons, Curry has made over 150 more three pointers than Reggie Miller and Ray Allen had at that point. He could be the best pure shooter we have ever seen.
The Warriors also have a true rebounder and defender in both David Lee and Andrew Bogut. The addition of Iguodola moved future All-Star Harrison Barnes to the bench. A sixth man that will eventually be the steal of the 2012 draft. All of these pieces seem to be coming into place at the right time. If they can avoid major injury, look out for them during playoffs.
The Warriors can be as good as anyone in the Western Conference. Since the West is a bit of a mystery, it remains to be seen who will emerge as the best team. We may not be expecting the Warriors to be #1, but they do have a legitimate shot to win it all. Do not be surprised when they make a run and find themselves a few wins away from the finals.
Celtics and Lakers End Up in the 2014 NBA Lottery
I have seen into the future and saw the Lakers and Celtics making a push in the Andrew Wiggins Sweepstakes.
It only seems fitting that a powerhouse franchise would get the next big star. The San Antonio Spurs lucked out when they drafted Tim Duncan in 1997, the Miami Heat found a gem in Dwayne Wade in 2003, and the Chicago Bulls landed Derrick Rose in 2008. Could we possibly see two historic teams select 1 and 2 overall in 2014?
The Lakers have lost too many key players to be able to contend this year. Gasol is aging and we do not know how Kobe will be when he returns. We could see the Lakers repeat what the Miami Heat did in 2008 when they let Dwayne Wade heal all season and won the second overall pick in the lottery. If the Lakers do not get a top five draft pick then look for them to make major moves during Free Agency next summer.
The Celtics are completely rebuilding. They cleared house and even traded their coach away for draft picks. Boston will be one of the worst teams in the NBA this season, but have the potential to bounce back within the next few years. Rondo is still young and they have invested in a smart coach. If they draft properly, we will see a quick turnaround. I wish Brad Stevens the best of luck as a head coach in the NBA. He is a great guy and an impactful coach. Despite how Boston finishes, I hope they stick with him for the next few years.
Well there you have it. Five bold predictions for the rest of the 2013-2014 NBA season. Love them or hate them, you cannot deny that there is a chance they happen. The NBA season is still young though, everything is debatable at this point.