NBA fans are buzzing before the season tips off, and Josh Hess is predicting which teams will finish at top when the regular season ends.
The NBA season is just around the corner. That means that it’s time to predict which team is going to win the championship and which teams will make the playoffs. Here are my locks for the top three teams from each conference.
The team that will finish third in the Western Conference will be the Portland Trailblazers. The Trailblazers have a young team with their average age being 24.6 years old, and they are led by superstar Damien Lillard. The Trailblazers are coming off a strong 2015 season with a 51 wins and 31 losses, finishing fourth in the Western Conference, and with the team having more experience together and the team getting older, I expect them to finish with a record of 55 wins and 27 losses.
San Antonio Spurs
The Spurs will take the second seed in the Western Conference. The Spurs have always been a consistent team, always making the playoffs through the 18 years of Tim Duncan’s career, but after the end of last season Tim Duncan retired, handing over the team’s leadership to young star Kawhi Leonard. If the team’s veterans stay healthy and their stars play at a high level, they will finish with a record of 59 wins and 23 losses.
Golden State Warriors
The team that will have home court advantage in the Playoffs getting the number one seed will be the Golden State Warriors. The team is coming off a historic season, winning an NBA record 73 games and ending with a devastating loss to the Cleveland Cavaliers in the NBA Finals. In the off-season the Warriors improved their roster by signing star small forward Kevin Durant, which means the Warriors now have four all-stars in their starting roster as well as the last two MVP award winners. This year I expect the Warriors to fall back a little bit because of team chemistry, but I still think they will finish with the best record in the NBA at 70 wins and 12 losses.
Now moving onto the Eastern Conference, the team that will be the third seed will be the Toronto Raptors. The Raptors have a playoff caliber team that just can’t make it to the NBA Finals. Last year in the Eastern Conference finals the Raptors lost to the Cavaliers four games to two games. This year the Raptors are back with their two superstar guards Kyle Lowery and DeMar DeRozen, and they are looking to make it back to the Eastern Conference finals. I think that the Raptors will finish with a record of 50 wins and 32.
The second seed in the Eastern Conference is also in the same division with the Raptors and they are the Boston Celtics. The Celtics are looking forward to a big season after two straight seasons of losing in the first round of the playoffs. Boston’s roster has been improved with the signing of star big man Al Horford and drafting Jaylen Brown with the third pick. The Celtics are looking forward to a big season and if everybody stays healthy I think they will finish with a record of 56 wins and 26 losses.
The number one seed in the Eastern Conference is the Cleveland Cavaliers. The Cavaliers last year won their first NBA Championship, ending a 46 year drought, and this year they are looking to win the team’s second championship. The teams star LeBron James kept his promise to the city of Cleveland when he signed with them in 2014 that he would bring them a title, and he finally kept his promise to the city. This year I think the Cavaliers will improve and finish with a record of 64 wins and 18 losses.
My prediction for the two teams to be playing in finals will be the Cleveland Cavaliers against the Golden State Warriors for the third straight season. I think that the Warriors will win in 5 games and the reason for that is they signed Kevin Durant. They were missing a good big man to guard LeBron James, and that will be the reason the Warriors win the NBA championship this year.
Photo: “Cleveland Cavaliers vs Atlanta Hawks” by Dan Fornal on Flickr