The NBA tips off in less than a week, with that being said, let's take an inside look at where every team will finish come season's end.
1. Cleveland Cavaliers (66-16)
Cleveland will dominate again this year but, we already knew that. LeBron James, Kyrie Irving, and Kevin Love will be at the forefront but, look for rising stars like Tristan Thompson to come into a more prominent role in the Cavs offense.
2. Chicago Bulls (60-22)
If Derrick Rose can stay on the court this season, he has the potential to once again become the MVP but, he needs to take care of his body, and the basketball. Pau Gasol needs to pretend like it's 2010 again and be the beast on the glass we know he can be. Jimmy butler, just needs to be Jimmy Butler and provide the leadership the Bulls need.
3. Atlanta Hawks (58-24)
Now that we know what Dennis Schroder can do on the court, he needs to pick up right where he left off last season and help the Hawks win basketball games, they won't be as good as last year but, don't take these young Hawks lightly.
4. Miami Heat (57-25)
The Heat have what you could call a new "big three". Trading for former Suns PG Goran Dragic last season and acquiring Justice Winslow via the draft. Those two which will go alongside the cornerstone of the franchise, Dwayne Wade, will make a formidable team on paper. If they can gel and play well together, this is not a team to overlook in the east.
5. Washington Wizards (54-28)
After suffering a heartbreaking playoff loss to the Hawks last season when a Paul Pierce three that would have tied the game proved to be too late, Washington looks to rebound with a strong season yet again. The Wizards backcourt will look to have a all-star caliber year, along with rookie forward Kelly Oubre. These three will have to carry the Wizards back into the playoffs as they look to avenge last season's heartbreak.
6. Indiana Pacers (52-30)
PG13 is back and better than ever. After a horrific leg injury that kept him out for almost all of the 2014-15 season, Paul George is back to prove that he indeed is the same player he was before he left. Monta Ellis will be George's wingman this season as they carry the Pacers back to the playoffs.
7. Boston Celtics (48-34)
After going 24-12 to finish the season, and a surprise playoff appearance, Boston has the pieces in place to be a strong team for years to come. Boston is the definition of playing s a team. They don't have one superstar player they rely on night after night, someone new is stepping up every day. Instead, Boston rallies behind their basketball mastermind head coach, Brad Stevens. Stevens is still looking for his first playoff win and this year, he most likely will achieve that.
8. Milwaukee Bucks (45-37)
Milwaukee is definitely trending in the right direction with a lot of young players with superstar potential. The most notable is Giannis Antetokounmpo. The others are, Michael Carter-Williams, Jabari Parker, who missed all of last season with a torn ACL, and O.J Mayo. They will try and prove to head coach Jason Kidd they are a worthy playoff team.
Eastern Conference playoffs:
(1) Cleveland Cavaliers VS (8) Milwaukee Bucks
Cleveland will prove to be too powerful and experienced for the young Bucks to handle. Cleveland gets an easy sweep 4-0.
(2) Chicago Bulls VS (7) Boston Celtics
The Celtics will put up a good fight but, in the end it will be Chicago pulling out the series on the back of Derrick Rose. Chicago wins 4-3.
(3) Atlanta Hawks VS (6) Indiana Pacers
This would certainly be a very good series to watch but, the Hawks pull it out as the Pacers lack of depth will catch up to them. Atlanta wins 4-2.
(4) Miami Heat VS (5) Washington Wizards
Miami always seems to step up their game in the playoffs as they will win this on their home floor in a thrilling game seven. Miami wins 4-3.
(1) Cleveland Cavaliers VS (4) Miami Heat
LeBron James is a different animal in the playoffs, and against his former team, he'll certainly be fired up. This will make for a great series but, Cleveland will get the edge. Cleveland wins 4-3.
(2) Chicago Bulls VS (3) Atlanta Hawks
Derrick Rose and Jimmy butler is a formidable combination but, the young Hawks are certainly not a team to overlook, however, Chicago's experience puts them ahead. Chicago wins 4-2.
(1) Cleveland Cavaliers VS (2) Chicago Bulls
LeBron carried the Cavs past the Bulls in the second round of last years playoffs. This year will be no different. Cleveland wins 4-2.
1. Golden State Warriors (70-12)
The defending NBA champions will dominate all season and find themselves right back where they were last season, in position for a title run.
2. San Antonio Spurs (67-15)
Basically, the whole Spurs starting five could be their own all-star team, the rekindled Spurs roster with the addition of LaMarcus Aldridge has given them lots of hope in raising a championship once again under Greg Popovich.
3. Oklahoma City Thunder (62-20)
Kevin Durant will be back and at 100% with MVP candidate last year, Russell Westbrook and ready to finally take the Thunder over the hump and to the promise land.
4. Los Angeles Clippers (60-22)
Lob City is back. Blake Griffin and CP3 will do what they do and lead the Clips back into the playoffs.
5. Houston Rockets (58-24)
James Harden will put up MVP type numbers once again this season and put the Rockets on his back.
6. Portland Trail Blazers (56-26
Damien Lillard will have his breakout year he's been looking for along with Meyers Leonard who will seek to tear up the paint this season.
7. Memphis Grizzlies (54-28)
Mike Conley and Marc Gasol will most likely carry the load with swingman Jeff Green as a reliable scoring option if necessary.
8. New Orleans Pelicans (50-32)
Fear the brow. Anthony Davis will propel the Pelicans back into the playoffs with an MVP type season.
Western Conference Playoffs:
(1) Golden State Warriors VS (8) New Orleans Pelicans
You just can't stop Steph Curry. Warriors win this first round rematch easily. Golden State wins 4-1.
(2) San Antonio Spurs VS (7) Memphis Grizzlies
Memphis always steps up in the playoffs, when it counts. The experience and leadership of Duncan, Parker and coach Pop will overpower the Grizz. San Antonio wins 4-1.
(3) Oklahoma City Thunder VS (6) Portland Trail Blazers
Durant is hungry for a title and the Trail Blazers won't have any defensive combination that can stop him. But, Westbrook/Lillard will be a good show. Oklahoma City wins 4-2.
(4) Los Angeles Clippers VS (5) Houston Rockets
James Harden will dominate the Clippers on the perimeter with CP3 being occupied with Patrick Beverly. Houston pulls off an upset in one of the best series of the playoffs. Houston wins 4-3.
(1) Golden State warriors VS (5) Houston Rockets
Harden/Thompson will be a great matchup on both ends. But, you can never forget about the reigning MVP Steph Curry. The Warriors depth off the bench is incredible, and that will catch up with the Rockets in this series. Golden State wins 4-2.
(2) San Antonio VS (3) Oklahoma City Thunder
What a series this will be. Two absolute offensive powerhouses, both with superstars. This will be a fight to the finish. Oklahoma City wins 4-3.
(1) Golden State Warriors VS (3) Oklahoma City Thunder
Westbrook/Curry. Durant/Thompson. Does it get any better than this? This will be a series much like a boxing match. One team throws a punch, the other responds with another right back. Oklahoma City wins 4-3.
(1) Cleveland Cavaliers VS (3) Oklahoma City Thunder
Another series that will be dominated by offense. 5 all-stars. 5 potential hall of famers. If Oklahoma City can provide offense while Durant and Westbrook are off the floor they win.
However, I don't think that'll be the case. Cleveland wins 4-2.News Now - Sport News