My Predictions for Final Eastern Conference Standings (Positions 15-11)

  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 standings at the end of the season for the Eastern Conference. The new season is 19 days away. It’s never to early to predict the final standings! Let’s take a look at my predictions.

#15- Philadelphia 76ers (#14 last year): They dropped one position in my predictions. The 76ers are terrible. We know that. Jahlil Okafor is going to make them better. One guy can’t make the team though. It’s going to be difficult to see how Jahlil Okafor and Nerlens Noel play together on the court. The 76ers will once again be on the bottom. Not much more to talk about.

#14- New York Knicks (#15 last year): They gained one position in my NBA predictions. The New York Knicks were terrible as well as the 76ers. The Knicks were the laughingstock of the NBA last season. Many of jokes were made about them. Things should change this season. Carmelo Anthony is going to be healthy next season. Plus, they added shooting guard Arron Afflalo and center Robin Lopez, which makes them better. Afflalo averaged 14.5ppg while shooting .428% from the field and .337% from the 3pt line in 53 games before he was traded to the Portland Trail Blazers. He struggled to find his touch for Portland and only averaged 10.5ppg while shooting better with percentages of .414% from the field and .400% from the 3pt line. He is one season removed from averaging 18.2ppg with the Orlando Magic. Robin Lopez averaged 9.6ppg, 6.7rpg, and 1.4bpg while shooting .535% from the field as well. With Robin Lopez, you know what you get. You have a talented rebounder who can block shots. He is a guy that the New York Knicks needed. They added Kristaps Porzingis and Jerian Grant through the draft as well as veterans Kevin Seraphin and Derrick Williams. Seraphin averaged 6.6ppg and 3.6rpg in 15.6 minutes of action per night. Williams averaged 8.3ppg while shooting .447% from the field and .314% from the 3pt line. The Knicks should no longer be the laughing stock of the NBA anymore.

 #13- Orlando Magic (#13 last year): The future will be bright for this team. If their starting lineup is Elfrid Payton, Victor Oladipo, Tobias Harris, Aaron Gordon, Nikola Vucevic, their oldest starter is only 24. Nikola Vucevic, 24,  had a case to make the All-Star team last season after averaging 19.3ppg and 10.9rpg while shooting .523% from the field. Vucevic is not a rim protector by any means but his offense is a force to be reckoned with. Oladipo is an exciting player that came off a season where he averaged 17.9ppg, 4.2rpg, and 4.1apg while shooting .436% from the field and .339% from the 3pt line. Tobias Harris, 23, averaged 17.1ppg and 6.3rpg while shooting .466% from the field and .364% from the 3pt line. The Magic are not a pushover. Yes they will be towards the bottom but they are definitely a team on the rise. With sophmore’s Aaron Gordon and Elfrid Payton getting their first NBA season under their belt, they know a little bit more of what to expect in the NBA and work on it all season, improving their game. One, or even both, could have a breakout season this season and make this Magic squad even more dangerous. Like I said before, their future is bright.

#12 Charlotte Hornets (#11 last year):  The Charlotte Hornets realized their mistake in signing Lance Stephenson and shipped him away this offseason. Now he is the Clippers problem. They did get Spencer Hawes and Matt Barnes (shipped Barnes off to Memphis). They got a stretch center that struggled mightily in Clipperland. Maybe a change of scenery was all that he needed as Charlotte has no hopes of winning a championship so that pressure is off of him. Who knows? Michael Kidd-Gilchrist is going to have surgery and miss 6 MONTHS. That is going to be a rough loss for them. His defense is going to be miss greatly. At least they have Nicolas Batum, whom they traded Gerald Henderson and Noah Vonleh to Portland for. Kemba Walker and Al Jefferson are still both on the team which means their present isn’t bad. Mo Williams is gone and replaced with Jeremy Lin. This team has lost but gained as well. Did they gain enough? I don’t think so. That is why they dropped a position from last season in my predictions.

#11 Detroit Pistons (#12 last year): Greg Monroe is gone. Although he did not fit well next to Andre Drummond, he was still a very good and dangerous player that is hard to replace. I think their pickup of trading for Ersan Ilyasova was a very good move. Drummond does his work around the rim and so did Monroe. That was the problem. Now, Drummond can still do his dirty work by the rim and Ersan can do what he does best, and that is stretching the floor as a stretch 4. Reggie Jackson is still a Piston as well as he was re-signed (to a questionably large deal). I am curious to see how they handle having Reggie Jackson and Brandon Jennings on the team at once. Do they start them both? Reggie won’t come off the bench. That’s why he is no longer in Oklahoma City. I know Brandon Jennings said he is okay with coming off the bench, but does he really mean that? There’s some question marks there. This team has some work to do. That’s why they are still sitting low for me. Kentavious Caldwell-Pope could really break out this season and the addition of Stanley Johnson in the draft are making the Pistons organization excited. Maybe they will prove my rankings wrong.


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