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NBA 2018-19 Regular Season Predictions

Michael Zhu, Staff Writer

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Western Conference Standings 

  1. Golden State Warriors – The Warriors aren’t going anywhere, especially with the recent acquisition of Demarcus Cousins, a top 3 center in the league, even coming off an injury. The Splash Brothers, Durant, and Green will continue to wreak havoc on other teams, and Cousins will fill in the final position once he recovers.

Record: 62-20

  1. Houston Rockets – Although The Beard continues to put up tremendous numbers and remains as a potential MVP candidate, Carmelo Anthony has been infamous for bringing a negative impact to teams, both offensively with his low efficiency and defensively with his lackluster effort. With Chris Paul getting older as well, the Rockets won’t have the production needed to remain as the top seed.

Record: 58-24

  1. Utah Jazz – The Utah Jazz will have a breakout season, with Donovan Mitchell and Rudy Gobert leading the charge. The Jazz proved themselves very capable in the playoffs last year, beating the Thunder 4-2 and giving the Rockets a good fight. Mitchell will only get better in his sophomore season, Gobert will continue to be a defensive presence, and the team’s chemistry will continue to prove the league wrong.

Record: 50-32

  1. Los Angeles Lakers – The Lakers’ will have a solid first season in the Lebron era, improving from 35 wins to 49. The acquisition of Rondo, Stephenson, and Mcgee will give the Lakers extra firepower. At 34 years old, Lebron will continue to carry his team and put up remarkable stats, while mentoring the Lakers’ young core (Ball, Ingram, Kuzma), who will develop into the Lakers’ franchise players in the foreseeable future.

Record: 49-33

  1. Oklahoma City Thunder – The Thunder have lost Carmelo Anthony, which will allow Westbrook and George to get a considerably higher amount of touches. In return, they received Dennis Schroder, a great backup point guard to Westbrook who will provide the Thunder with playmaking ability and defensive tenacity. Despite these changes, the Thunder are not likely to go deep in the playoffs.

Record: 49-33

  1. Denver Nuggets – The Nuggets will be also have a breakout season, making the playoffs for the first time in recent years at the 6th seed. The Nuggets will have a load of offensive talent, with Nikola Jokic manning the middle, Isaiah Thomas as a crafty scorer, and the rising stars in Gary Harris and Jamal Murray.

Record: 48-34

  1. New Orleans Pelicans – Anthony Davis and Jrue Holiday proved to be very capable in carrying the Pelicans to victory in last year’s playoffs, where they swept the Blazers without Demarcus Cousins. Losing Cousins this season will definitely be rough, and the insufficient help from the bench will leave the Pelicans fighting for a playoff spot.

Record: 47-35

  1. Minnesota Timberwolves – It’s obvious that Jimmy Butler wants out of Minnesota, but losing Butler can do more good than harm for the T-Wolves. Losing Butler will allow Karl-Anthony Towns to take over as the star player, and Wiggins, Rose, and Teague extra ball time to help the team offensively. The T-Wolves will finally make the playoffs this year, with Towns asserting his place as a top 3 center in the league.

Record: 46-36

 

Eastern Conference Standings

  1. Boston Celtics – Kyrie Irving and Gordon Hayward will both be making a return to the Celtics, leading their offense to an all-time high. Boston’s young core and raw potential will make the C’s a powerhouse in the Eastern Conference.  

Record: 60-22

  1. Toronto Raptors – With the loss of Demar Derozan comes The Klaw. Kawhi Leonard will pair up with Lowry to lead the North into the 2nd seed, although they will probably have a mediocre playoff run.

Record: 54-28

  1. Philadelphia 76ers – The Process has almost come to full fruition, with Simmons, Embiid, and co. leading the 76er into the 3rd seed.

Record: 51-31

  1. Milwaukee Bucks – Giannis Antetokounmpo will have the best season of his career, and potentially win MVP. The Bucks’ lengthy players will run a fast-paced offense paired with smothering defense.

Record: 49-33

  1. Indiana Pacers – The Pacers will make a name for themselves this season, with Oladipo establishing himself as an offensive superstar. In addition, Tyreke Evans’ talents will be unleashed in Indiana, providing the Pacers with a strong two-guard front.

Record: 48-34

  1. Washington Wizards – The Wizards will slightly improve their record, with Dwight Howard providing much needed help to Beal and Wall. It will take some time for the Wizards to build chemistry, but they will be heading into the playoffs with a full head of steam.

Record: 46-38

  1. Miami Heat – Rallying behind Dwyane Wade’s last season, the Heat will make a push into the 7th seed. Dragic and Waiters offer playmaking abilities, and Whiteside will provide an interior presence.

Record: 42-40

  1. Detroit Pistons – With the weaker Eastern Conference, the Pistons are finally able to make a playoff appearance, even with a losing record. Reggie Jackson will be able to make plays for the twin towers (Griffin and Drummond).

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NBA 2018-19 Regular Season Predictions