Let’s get to it.
1. Orlando Magic (64-18)- They were the best team in the NBA over 82 games last year and have brought just about everyone back from last year. I believed that there loss to the Celtics last year was a closer series than most realized, and don’t see a reason why this team won’t put together another monster year.
2. Miami Heat (58-24)- They will be really good but are a weirdly constructed roster that might drop some games early.
3. Chicago Bulls (55-27)- The coaching upgrade this team has over last year is being overlooked.
4. Boston Celtics (51-31)- One of the best teams in the East but I can’t see how this team stays healthy enough to win a lot of regular season games. C’s get 4 seed by virtue of winning their division.
5. Atlanta Hawks (53-29)- A nice sleeper team. They were young and good last year and brought everyone back. Not sure I’m seeing the regression most analysts predict.
6. Milwaukee Bucks (47-35)- Solid Skiles coached team. Andrew Bogut’s health will be a constant concern.
7. New York Knicks (41-41)- Better but still not good. If they get Carmelo please disregard this prediction.
8. Detroit Pistons (38-44)- Not that bad of a roster and we do need 8 playoff teams.
Magic over Pistons in 4. Nothing to see here.
Heat over Knicks in 4. Prediction, lebron gets booed at MSG.
Bulls over Bucks in 6.
Celtics over Hawks in 7. Maybe the best series of the 1st round. Celtics depth and experience prevails, but Celtics are a little gassed for the next round.
Magic over Celtics in 5. Obviously this could go either way, but I think Orlando is one year better and Boston is one big year older. We’ll see how many of Boston’s bigs are actually playing at this point in the season.
Heat over Bulls 6. Let’s hope I’m wrong.
Magic over Heat in 7. Let’s hope I’m right. Magic have huge edge at PG and C but Miami has some guys named Wade and Lebron. Howard in the middle should hurt the ability of Miami’s wings to penetrate and they are known streaky shooters. I don’t think I’m going out on a limb here.
Stay tuned for Western Conference and finals predictions coming soon or never.