My Predictions for Final Eastern Conference Standings (Positions 10-6)

  1. Atlanta Hawks
  2. Cleveland Cavaliers
  3. Chicago Bulls
  4. Toronto Raptors
  5. Washington Wizards
  6. Milwaukee Bucks
  7. Boston Celtics
  8. Brooklyn Nets
  9. Indiana Pacers
  10. Miami Heat
  11. Charlotte Hornets
  12. Detroit Pistons
  13. Orlando Magic
  14. Philadelphia 76ers
  15. New York Knicks

Those were the final standings last season for the Eastern Conference. I predicted what teams I thought would finish 15-11 and now it is time to predict what teams will finish 10th through 6th so let’s get started.

#10- Brooklyn Nets (#8 last year): Deron Williams is gone and is replaced in the starting lineup by Jarrett Jack. In the long run, they might be better off. Thaddeus Young, Joe Johnson, and Brook Lopez are still on this team, making them competitive. The Nets have added a couple young guys like Chris McCullough and Rondae Hollis-Jefferson. The Nets added bust Andrea Bargnani as well as guard Wayne Ellington. With other teams improving more, I just do not think that they will make the playoffs.

#9- Boston Celtics (#7 last year): The Celtics finished ahead of the Brooklyn Nets last season and will do so again this season. They finished two wins better than the Nets last season and as the Nets didn’t do much to improve, the Celtics did. I like their roster. They have a bunch of talented and intriguing young guys that are getting better every season like Marcus Smart, Jae Crowder, Jared Sullinger, Kelly Olynyk, Isaiah Thomas, and Tyler Zeller. Then they added veterans David Lee and Amir Johnson to make them even better. Johnson averaged 9.3ppg and 6.1rpg while shooting .574% from the field in 75 games. Those numbers went up to 11.5ppg and 7.0rpg while shooting .690% from the field in 4 games. David Lee’s numbers aren’t the greatest as he began to fall out of favor for Golden State after he was injured and Draymond Green exploded. For his career, Lee averaged 14.7ppg and 9.5rpg. Lee will bring interior scoring and a veteran presence to this Celtics squad while Amir will bring rebounding and a veteran presence. Both of those were good acquisitions for the Boston Celtics. Unfortunately for them, they made the playoffs last year but sit right outside the bubble in my predictions.

#8 Indiana Pacers (#9 last year): The Pacers lost some people. David West, Luis Scola, and Roy Hibbert all have new jerseys. They also gained some people. Monta Ellis, Jordan Hill, and Chase Budinger are wearing Pacers jerseys. Losing West and Scola hurt but replacing that with Monta Ellis and Jordan Hill feels pretty good. Roy Hibbert fell out of favor in Indiana as they wanted to play small, which is the opposite of Hibbert at 7’0.” Jordan Hill is definitely better suited to play the small ball for the Pacers as he is more mobile than Hibbert ever was. Scola averaged 9.4ppg and 6.5rpg in 81 games and West averaged 11.7ppg, 6.8rpg, and 3.4apg while shooting .471% in 66 games. The Pacers signed Monta Ellis, who averaged 18.9ppg and 4.1apg while shooting .445% from the field. Those numbers went up to 26.0ppg and 5.2apg while shooting .468 in 5 games for the Mavericks in the postseason. Hill averaged 12.0ppg and 7.9rpg while shooting .459% from the field. Those are two very good players who get to play with George Hill and a fully healthy PG13.  I like the Pacers odds of making the playoffs this coming season.

#7 Miami Heat (#10 last year): Injuries to the Heat hurt them. Chris Bosh and Dwyane Wade missed a lot of time. Josh McRoberts missed the whole season. With no LeBron,  If healthy, things are changing. Goran Dragic, acquired before the trading deadline, is in his first full offseason as a Heat player. Hassan Whiteside blew up last season. The 7’0″ center averaged 11.8ppg, 10.0rpg, and 2.6bpg in 23.8mpg for the Heat. They added Amar’e Stoudemire who played for the Dallas Mavericks last season. In 21.1mpg, he averaged 11.5ppg and 5.6rpg. They also added veteran forward Gerald Green, who last played for the Phoenix Suns. Their potential starting lineup of Goran Dragic, Dwyane Wade, Luol Deng, Chris Bosh, and Hassan Whiteside is a dangerous one. Even at the age of 33, Wade is still putting up numbers. He averaged 21.5ppg, 4.8apg, and 3.5rpg while shooting .470% from the field. He appeared in 62 games. Wade does need rest. He needs to sit some games to rest those knees but this team is still a playoff contender. I like their chances this season if they can stay healthy.

#6 Milwaukee Bucks (#6 last year): Milwaukee Bucks signed Greg Monroe this season. That was a big time move for the Bucks. They went from center Zaza Pachulia, who averaged 8.3ppg and 6.8rpg in the regular season and 6.7ppg and 6.7rpg in the postseason as the starter for the Bucks, to Greg Monroe, who averaged 15.9ppg and 10.2rpg playing for a Detroit Pistons team that had Drummond as their center. Greg Monroe did not fit well in Detroit and that is why he is gone. He’s going to put up better numbers this season for this team. Jabari Parker is returning from an ACL injury. He played 25 games before suffering that injury and he was averaging 12.3ppg, 5.5rpg, and 1.2spg. He was starting to find his comfort zone right before he tore that ACL. Bucks will receive a big boost when he returns. This team, led by Jason Kidd, was a surprising team last season. They surprised many teams on how good they were. They won two games in a series against the Chicago Bulls. Khris Middleton is starting to get the recognition he deserves. He went on to average 13.4ppg, 4.4rpg, and 2.3apg while shooting .467% from the field and .407% from the 3pt line. His scoring increased in the postseason as his shooting percentages decreased. He averaged 15.8ppg, 3.7rpg, and 2.0apg while shooting .380% from the field and .324% from the 3pt line. He is the definition of a 3 and D player. The still have the young, good, and freakishly long Giannis Antetokounmpo as well as the young point guard they acquired from the Philadelphia 76ers. The future and the present is bright for this Milwaukee Bucks squad.


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