Welcome to the 2019-2020 NBA Season where the entire landscape of the NBA has been completely altered due to this year’s free agency. With Kevin Durant and Klay Thompson both slated to miss a substantial amount of games as well, this season could be one of the most unique seasons we’ve had in recent memory.
Below will be my predictions of the possible end of the year standings for each conference, as well as my choice for Western Conference and Eastern Conference Championships plus the NBA Finals. Obviously, this is barring any unforeseen injury or the length of time LeBron James can play before finally slowing down. This is also in anticipation of Russell Westbrook being traded to the Miami Heat. Are you sitting down? Do you have your coffee? Alright, let’s do this thing:
1. Boston Celtics (58-24)
2. Philadelphia 76ers (54-28)
3. Milwaukee Bucks (54-28)
4. Indiana Pacers (50-32)
5. Miami Heat (48-34)
6. Orlando Magic (45-37)
7. Detroit Pistons (41-41)
8. Atlanta Hawks (41-41)
9. Toronto Raptors (38-44)
10. Washington Wizards (32-50)
11. Brooklyn Nets (32-50)
12. Chicago Bulls (28-54)
13. Cleveland Cavaliers (27-55)
14. Charlotte Hornets (23-59)
15. New York Knicks (21-61)
1. Denver Nuggets (60-22)
2. Los Angeles Clippers (58-24)
3. Golden State Warriors (57-25)
4. Portland Trailblazers (55-27)
5. Houston Rockets (52-30)
6. Los Angeles Lakers (50-32)
7. Utah Jazz (50-32)
8. San Antonio Spurs (48-34)
9. New Orleans Pelicans (47-33)
10. Dallas Mavericks (44-38)
11. Sacramento Kings (41-41)
12. Minnesota Timberwolves (41-41)
13. Memphis Grizzlies (30-52)
14. Oklahoma City Thunder (25-57)
15. Phoenix Suns (22-60)
Eastern Conference Finals: Milwaukee Bucks 4 – 2 Philadelphia 76ers
Western Conference Finals: Los Angeles Clippers 4 – 3 Denver Nuggets
NBA Finals: Los Angeles Clippers 4 – 1 Milwaukee Bucks
So, before everyone loses their mind and tells me I am hopping on the bandwagon, can we actually look at the Los Angeles Clippers roster? Last year, they went 48-34 and gave the Warriors a run for their money. They just added two of the best two-way players in the NBA right now, and both of them happen to be in their prime.
I understand that New Orleans has a much-improved roster, but they didn’t draft Jesus Christ; Zion has potential to be incredible, but he is only 19 and he is surrounded by a bunch of other young cats, so it’ll take them a season or two to figure themselves and their chemistry out. The Los Angeles Lakers are also improved, yes, but Anthony Davis is susceptible to injuries and LeBron James will be turning 35 in December. Even the best of them slow down with age.
The Eastern Conference is anyone’s conference and though I chose Milwaukee I wouldn’t be shocked to see either of the top-5 teams make it to the Finals. The Miami Heat, once again, were placed based upon the potential of getting Westbrook. I believe with Miami being his preferred destination, and his commitment to Oklahoma City these past 11 years, they’ll honor his request by sending him to his preferred destination.
Houston is with Chris Paul and he is another year older. If I have learned anything about Chris Paul these past couple of seasons it’s that he is unable to control his emotions and often lashes out in the incorrect ways. In addition, it will be difficult for James Harden to repeat the same numbers he did last season. Not to mention the Denver Nuggets are the same team as last year, just another year older and more experienced. Michael Porter Jr. is going to be playing, and I feel with the addition of Jerami Grant and Bol Bol (who, with time, will surely evolve into someone who will impact the game in some way), they’ve only improved. However, they’re still a young core of players so the more experienced teams will advance.
Obviously, I place these predictions out there knowing when Klay comes back to the Warriors, their playoff run could be what brings them back to their sixth straight NBA Final. In a conference that has been dominate for the better part of a decade, six times in a row would be no small feat.
Featured Photo Credit – Tim Reynolds/AP
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