Tuesday, October 31, 2006

NBA 06-07 Preview: Playoff Picks
Who Will Win West, East?

Running all day: My NBA season preview.
More: MVP | Coach | Rookie | Storylines

How will the conferences play out?
I'd say there are five Finals contenders (Spurs, Suns, Mavs, Heat, Bulls), and the rest of it is up in the air for the right to not make the Conference Finals. For many teams, that's progress. Here's how I have it:

WEST
1. Spurs
2. Suns
3. Mavs
4. Clippers
5. Kings
6. Nuggets
7. Jazz
8. Warriors
West Champs: Suns

EAST
1. Bulls
2. Nets
3. Wizards
4. Heat
5. Pistons
6. Cavs
7. Raptors
8. Magic
East Champs: Heat

CHAMPS
Heat over Suns

Comments Question: What is YOUR prediction for how the conferences will shake out? Who will be in contention? Who will be this year's surprise? How will the NBA Finals play out?

-- D.S.

26 comments:

jkadis said...

I would really like to hear your reasoning behind the Cavs getting the 6th seed. Especially since you have LeBron winning MVP.

The Cavs had 50 wins last year without anything from their new free agent signings. If they get anything from any of them they should improve by a few wins. Remember the Cavs were 18-10 before Hughes went down, prorate that over 82 games and the Cavs win 52.7.

Word out of Cleveland is that Jones and Marshall are in the best shape of their respective careers. Though he was a dud in the playoffs, Z is one of the better centers in the league.

The Cavs have had loads of players and coaches the past few years. This is the first offseason in which the team didn't make any dramatic changes. Continuity is what helped make teams like the Spurs and Pistons improve themselves.

One might look at the fact we don't have much of a point guard, but it still seemed to work out somehow last year.

LeBron has realized it is his turn to take the reins and lead this team and I would be surprised if the Cavs don't finish first in the central.

roboninja said...

I think you are over-rating Ben Wallace. The Bulls 1st, and the Pistons 5th? Not a chance. I expect Detroit to win it this year, and I cannot stand them.

Geoff-Detroit said...

The current Piston team will benefit from the rules that allow you to get to the basket anytime you want to. They won't win as many games as last year but they will still be a top team in the east.

TBender said...

Did you forget about the Rockets?

Anonymous said...

Atlantic

1. Celtics (4th seed)
2. Nets (7th seed)
3. Knicks (8th seed)
4. Raptors
5. Sixers

Central

1. Bulls (1st seed)
2. Cavs (5th seed)
3. Pistons (6th seed)
4. Bucks
5. Pacers

Southeast

1. Heat (2nd seed)
2. Wizards (3rd seed)
3. Magic
4. Bobcats
5. Hawks

Bulls over Knicks
Heat over Nets
Wizards over Pistons
Cavs over Celtics

Bulls over Cavs
Heat over Wizards

Heat over Bulls

Northwest

1. Nuggets (4th seed)
2. Jazz
3. Wolves
4. Blazers
5. Sonics

Southwest

1. Spurs (1st seed)
2. Mavs (2nd seed)
3. Rockets (7th seed)
4. Hornets
5. Grizzlies

Pacific

1. Clippers (3rd seed)
2. Suns (5th seed)
3. Lakers (6th seed)
4. Warriors (8th seed)
5. Kings

Spurs over Warriors
Mavs over Rockets
Clippers over Lakers
Suns over Nuggets

Spurs over Suns
Clippers over Mavs

Spurs over Clippers

Spurs over Heat...

jkadis said...

Cavs win totals have increased every year...

http://i11.tinypic.com/42jfb7b.jpg

Let me know if link doesn't work.

nyc-steelers fan said...

Obviously all your picks are educated, or not-so-educated, guesses. But the Nets as No. 2 in the East? Even if they win their division, which I doubt, since I believe the 76ers are bouncing back enough this year to take the division, in part because the Nets are about to be played out, Rivers can't coach his way out of a paper bag, and the Knicks, well, I ain't going to talk about the Knicks until they get rid of their IT dept.

But say I'm wrong, and the Nets do win their sorry division; there is just absolutely no way they finish 3rd. None of the Atl division teams will win 50, although, in the East, maybe the second place team will get the 8th seed.

Heat/Pistons (maybe Cavs, maybe bulls, maybe wizards, maybe even the magic, definitely noone from the atlantic) in the East finals again, to take on whoever makes it out of the West alive...

JeterIs#1 said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
JeterIs#1 said...

You can't have to teams from the same division in the Top 3 Dan! Spurs and Mavs have to be 1 and 4. Besides that not to bad

ChrTh said...


You can't have to teams from the same division in the Top 3 Dan! Spurs and Mavs have to be 1 and 4. Besides that not to bad


Didn't the NBA change that rule, and now the seeding is done by record irrespective of division?

TF said...

I'll say it now, watch for the Magic (homer, yes...but also legit)

Joe (Dayton

Todd Ching said...

I'm all for wishful thinking Dan, but even as much as I hate the Lakers, they'll make the playoffs as long as Kobe can play on that knee.

Ben said...

They did change the rule this year. They rank the top 4 teams regardless of division standings.

Nomaan said...

Suns over Bulls...read it all here:
http://www.northbynorthwestern.com/?cat=44

Unsilent Majority said...

The Wiz at number 3?

I love you Mr. Shanoff

Greg Voll said...

Lot of strange stuff in there, Dan. The strangest, though, is the Heat repeating? By that time, D-Wade's back will barely let him stand up, as he'll be playing his 245,362th game in 365 days. Considering that he is basically the sole reason they won it all last year, I wouldn't count on a repeat performance since he'll be so overworked. Not saying he won't be great, just more than completely exhausted to outgun everyone else that's gunning directly for him (and the Heat).

JeterIs#1 said...

Oops...didn't know they actually changed that. Good thing they did becauuse I always thought it was stupid. My apologies

Boomhauertjs said...

Who's going to score in the paint for the Bulls? The Bulls are going to lose a lot of 80-68 games this year because they rely on a bunch of jump shooters.

Jason said...

Though I have Chicago doing well (2 seed), I have the Pistons with a 3 seed.

I have the Knicks as the one seed on the strength of an ROY and MVP level performance from Mr. Ronaldo Balkman.

Anonymous said...

Hey DAN! How's this for instant history: after the Bull's game, the Heat should start looking ahead to the lottery.

Troy (Gainesville, FL) said...

I'm not sure why everyone's underrating the Magic? Is it the youth? The reheated coach? The Darko? The Grant Hill's broken down body? Whatever it is, the Magic are feeling like the definite sleeper this season.

Dan Mega said...

Bulls win by 42?

I like it.

FuckingBrian said...

What the hell? Where's the Rockets? We are returning T-Mac and Yao (who will become the best center in the Association) and added Battier and Vassilis Spanoulis (who both played well in the World Basketball Championships) and Bozi Wells. If We play Skip, Bonzi, T-Mac, Battier and Yao and rotate in Snyder and V-Span (and if Head and HAyes develope like they have been) the Rockets could get to the Western Conference Finals.

Ma4tt (the 4 is silent) said...

I... uh... I predict that the Heat will lose by 40+ to the Bulls in their opener. Uh, yeah.

Jake C said...

boom, care to rephrase after last night? they won't ONLY score 68, and they actually would have won with that last night

Twa & Ry Guy said...

the cavs...really that low??? 50 wins w/out hughes and anderson last year/..dude you have lost it