2013-2014 NBA Season Projection: Awards

kiaperformanceawards

  • This took me a painstakingly long time to do. I, quite literally, predicted the result of every single NBA game this season and came to this projection. Enjoy. Tweet me (@FlyByKnite) if you want to discuss any of this or have any questions.

Most Valuable Player: Kevin Durant, SF, Oklahoma City Thunder
Projected Stats: 28.7 points, 8.4 rebounds, 5.6 assists, 1.5 steals, 1.5 blocks, 52% FG, 41% 3PT, 91% FT

Rookie of the Year: Victor Oladipo, SG, Orlando Magic
Projected Stats: 15.3 points, 6.2 rebounds, 5.4 assists, 1.6 steals, 0.3 blocks, 42% FG, 31% 3PT, 85% FT

Defensive Player of the Year: Dwight Howard, C, Houston Rockets
Projected Stats: 17.2 points, 11.4 rebounds, 1.7 assists, 2.1 blocks, 0.8 steals, 51% FG, 54% FT

Most Improved Player: Derrick Favors, PF, Utah Jazz
Projected Stats: 21.6 points, 10.8 rebounds, 1.5 assists, 1.5 blocks, 0.3 steals, 47% FG, 76% FT

Sixth Man of the Year: Harrison Barnes, SF, Golden State Warriors
Projected Stats: 10.2 points, 4.3 rebounds, 2.6 assists, 1.5 steals, 0.2 blocks, 41% FG, 38% 3PT, 79% FT

Advertisements

2013-2014 NBA Season Projection: NBA Finals

Image

  • This took me a painstakingly long time to do. I, quite literally, predicted the result of every single NBA game this season and came to this projection. Enjoy. Tweet me (@FlyByKnite) if you want to discuss any of this or have any questions.

Image (1) Oklahoma City Thunder versus (1) Miami Heat Image
Analysis: A rematch of two years ago, this seems like a logical place to end up at. We could have very likely seen this matchup back in June if Russell Westbrook didn’t get injured early on in the series against Houston. This series has so many interesting matchups, namely LeBron and Durant. However, the Ibaka and Bosh matchup is another huge one. Westbrook and Wade is an awesome matchup, as well. There’s just so many awesome parts to this series. Both coaches are solid, neither is spectacular. The benches are about even. The difference could likely come down to the veteran players rather than the young players. Oklahoma City has a lot of young players while Miami has the veterans. In the end, I like Miami to pull this out in a very close series that should see every game come down to the final few possessions. The three-peat will be complete and LeBron’s legacy will be further strengthened.
Projected Result: Miami Heat in 6 games
Finals MVP: LeBron James

2013-2014 NBA Season Projection: Western Conference Playoffs

Image

  • This took me a painstakingly long time to do. I, quite literally, predicted the result of every single NBA game this season and came to this projection. Enjoy. Tweet me (@FlyByKnite) if you want to discuss any of this or have any questions.

Image

Image (1) Oklahoma City Thunder versus (8) New Orleans Pelicans Image
Analysis: While the feel good story for me here is the fact that the Pelicans, in their first season under a new name, made the playoffs with their slightly revamped roster, the real story is that the Oklahoma City Thunder are just going to roll right into the next round. Whoever gets the top seed in the West this upcoming season will have, by far, the easiest matchup and that’s not a slight against the Pelicans one bit. Oklahoma City will have the two best players on the court and, quite possibly, the best three. Either way, the Pelicans flew as far as they can fly but eventually get shooed away by the oncoming Thunder.
Projected Result: Oklahoma City Thunder in 5 games

Image (4) Houston Rockets versus (5) Golden State Warriors Image
Analysis: This is probably the premier Western Conference matchup of the first round if things go the way I think they will. You have new faces, Dwight Howard and Andre Iguodala, squaring off for their new respective teams. The Warriors got hot in the playoffs last year against Denver and could certainly do so again but Houston’s got the same light-it-up potential and features the two best players in the series, although Stephen Curry isn’t that far behind at all. While Iguodala on Harden would be a treat to watch, I just think Howard is too much inside and too much of a difference maker in a long, tenuous series that comes down to whoever has homecourt.
Projected Result: Houston Rockets in 7 games

Image (3) San Antonio Spurs versus (6) Minnesota Timberwolves Image
Analysis: If the Pelicans are a feel good story then what are the Minnesota Timberwolves? If my projection is correct, this would be their first playoff berth since the 2003-2004 season. Yes, that’s ten years ago. They’ve been a terrible franchise during that entire period and now, barring injuries, look to be back on their way to reclaiming the fortune they had prior to this dry spell. The problem is they’re running into the machine that is the San Antonio Spurs. While they might be a little long in the tooth now, I still expect the Spurs to take over this series and get out before heading to a potential seventh game. Minnesota will present them with some problems but I expect the Spurs to handle it just fine.
Projected Result: San Antonio Spurs in 6 games

Image (2) Los Angeles Clippers versus (7) Memphis Grizzlies Image
Analysis: Wait. Stop me if you’ve seen this matchup before. For the third straight year, the Clippers and Grizzlies seem poised to face off against each other in the playoffs. But, out of all of this, they have something in common with each other. Despite making the playoffs each of the last two years and facing each other, the guy on the sideline for this series would be different for both teams. I think that’s where the advantage lies for the Clippers. Not only would they have the best player, Chris Paul, but they’d have the best coach, Doc Rivers. That makes all the difference in a series like this. That and I just don’t think Memphis has enough outside scoring to take down this revamped Clippers team. It’ll be a good series, though.
Projected Result: Los Angeles Clippers in 6 games

________________________________________________________________________

Image (1) Oklahoma City Thunder versus (4) Houston Rockets Image
Analysis: We already saw a semi-preview of what was to come last year when these two teams met in the first round. Now, we get to see them fight it out after Houston has added Dwight Howard to the mix. That’ll definitely change some things. However, one thing to remember, is that Oklahoma City would have a healthy Russell Westbrook in this series and he’s the straw that stirs the drink for the Thunder. As great as Kevin Durant is, and he is the second best player in the world, the Thunder will only go as far as Westbrook, and to a lesser degree Serge Ibaka, takes them. It’s that simple. I think he makes all the difference in this series and propels the Thunder into the Western Conference Finals. That is, as long as Scott Brooks doesn’t screw things up by playing Derek Fisher meaningful minutes.
Projected Result: Oklahoma City Thunder in 6 games

Image (2) Los Angeles Clippers versus (3) San Antonio Spurs Image
Analysis: A couple years ago these teams met in the Western Conference Semifinals and the Spurs swept a hobbled Clippers squad without too much trouble. Much has changed. Chris Paul and Blake Griffin are getting better, as is, at least it appears, DeAndre Jordan. Add in a coach who can actually match wits with Gregg Popovich and you have the makings of an awesome series between two Western Conference titans. Unfortunately for San Antonio, I do see their age finally catching up to them with another long season. They have to run out of steam sometime and I’m expecting it to come sooner rather than later. This takes nothing away from the Spurs. They’ve accomplished more than most franchises ever will. This is just a testament to the Clippers and their rise at this point.
Projected Result: Los Angeles Clippers in 7 games

Image

Image (1) Oklahoma City Thunder versus (2) Los Angeles Clippers Image
Analysis: Homecourt in the Western Conference is probably the difference in a lot of these super close matchups. It’s everything. It really is. And that’s where the Thunder have an advantage in this series. The secondary support for each team will have to step up and the Thunder have an edge in the big three with Serge Ibaka over DeAndre Jordan by a pretty good margin. The other players the Clippers have can close the gap but not overcome it. On top of that, there’s really no one on the Clippers that can contain Kevin Durant enough. Paul and Westbrook will battle it out, Griffin will get his, and both teams will be deadlocked going into a Game Seven that I expect Oklahoma City to pull out on their home floor. No matter who wins this series, the loser has nothing to be ashamed of. The West is just supremely stacked.
Projected Result: Oklahoma City Thunder in 7 games

2013-2014 NBA Season Projection: Eastern Conference Playoffs

Image

  • This took me a painstakingly long time to do. I, quite literally, predicted the result of every single NBA game this season and came to this projection. Enjoy. Tweet me (@FlyByKnite) if you want to discuss any of this or have any questions.

Image

Image (1) Miami Heat versus (8) Cleveland Cavaliers Image
Analysis: Well this would be an interesting playoff matchup, wouldn’t it? The return of LeBron James to Cleveland for a few playoff games but this time he’d be on the opposite side. As talented as the Cleveland Cavaliers are, they wouldn’t be able to hang with the Miami Heat. I think they could potentially take one game in this series if the Heat had an off night but I really don’t see that happening. I think Miami would roll in this series and easily progress into the next round.
Projected Result: Miami Heat in 4 games

Image (4) Indiana Pacers versus (5) Washington Wizards Image
Analysis: This is perhaps one of my most tricky matchups as far as the playoffs go. You have one team, Indiana, that has classified themselves as a really slug-it-out type of team that can hit the flash play here and there but they rely a ton on their interior scoring. Washington relies on John Wall to create and score for them. So this could be a really great series or a really boring, plodding series. I think it’ll be both at times. I’m trying to think of how Washington can win this series and I just can’t see it. It’ll be a good series, though.
Projected Result: Indiana Pacers in 6 games

Image (3) Chicago Bulls versus (6) Atlanta Hawks Image
Analysis: I’m just going to get this right out the way. I can’t see any way that the Atlanta Hawks can compete with the Chicago Bulls in a seven game series. That’s not to take anything away from the Hawks but Chicago is just that much better. With a returning Derrick Rose and the other pieces around him, I think Chicago steamrolls Atlanta in rather easy fashion and earn their place in the next round. I do think Atlanta can take a game, possibly two if they get everything to go their way, but that’s about it. Chicago is on the level that Atlanta has never been able to achieve in their recent history.
Projected Result: Chicago Bulls in 5 games

Image (2) Brooklyn Nets versus (7) New York Knicks Image
Analysis: Even though I have them projected for a pretty mediocre season, the New York Knicks can still provide some problems in the playoffs to teams in the Eastern Conference. The only negative side to that is they can’t do it against Brooklyn since the Nets are better all across the board mostly. It’s a series that the NBA would love to see but the Knicks would be roasted and toasted in quick and easy fashion. Only way this doesn’t happen is if Brooklyn is plagued by injuries and the Knicks get all-world play from more than two guys. So, in other words, Knicks would have no chance.
Projected Result: Brooklyn Nets in 5 games
________________________________________________________________________

Image (1) Miami Heat versus (4) Indiana Pacers Image
Analysis: We get the Heavyweight rematch that most want to see. After a fantastic Eastern Conference Finals last year, these two are set to meet again for me. You have the experience of the Miami Heat against the physical beat-you-up style of the Indiana Pacers. One of the rules of thumb in playoff basketball is that whoever has the best player in the series usually wins. Well, it could be argued that the Miami Heat have three of the top four players in this series and that, in my mind, is what propels them over Indiana in another razor thin series. It’ll be one hell of a series.
Projected Result: Miami Heat in 7 games

Image (2) Brooklyn Nets versus (3) Chicago Bulls Image
Analysis: This isn’t shock at all, as well. The four best teams meeting up in the East is something that should be expected this year. After all, these four are clearly the four best. Anyways, I’m expecting a fantastic series here, much like with Indiana and Miami. While Brooklyn has loaded up with all this veteran talent, there’s still just one ball on that team. And, in a playoff series, you need a guy that you can give the ball to that can give you whatever you want whenever you need it. That guy is Derrick Rose. Problem for Brooklyn is that he’s on Chicago. Chicago’s starting lineup is no slouch and their defensive intensity is basically second to none. In a tough series to call, I have the Bulls by a nose at the wire.
Projected Result: Chicago Bulls in 7 games

Image

Image (1) Miami Heat versus (3) Chicago Bulls Image
Analysis: If Derrick Rose were healthy and played last year, I have no doubt this would have been the Eastern Conference Finals matchup that we were treated to. However, a year later is fine. The Bulls have the defensive presence to mitigate some of the greatness of LeBron James but the Heat have the same type of defensive presence that can similarly mitigate some of the greatness of Derrick Rose. This series will come down to the roleplayers and the Heat’s roleplayers aren’t really true roleplayers. They’re stars that have been comfortable taking the backseat to LeBron and can still get the job done when called upon. It’ll be a close series, though, with a lot of games coming down to the final few minutes. That’s when I expect LeBron to draw the defensive assignment on Rose and close the game by being a defensive-to-offensive dynamo. This would be a great, great series. It’s the one we all want to see.
Projected Result: Miami Heat in 7 games

My Personal CFB Top 25 (after Week 9) + Other Various Info

  • Enjoy. Tweet me (@FlyByKnite) if you wanna discuss anything.

1.) Oregon Ducks | 8-0 Image (LW: 1)
2.) Florida State Seminoles | 7-0 Image (LW: 2)
3.) Alabama Crimson Tide | 8-0 Image (LW: 3)
4.) Ohio State Buckeyes | 8-0 Image (LW: 4)
5.) Stanford Cardinal | 7-1 Image (LW: 5)
6.) Baylor Bears | 7-0 Image (LW: 8)
7.) Miami Hurricanes | 7-0 Image (LW: 6)
8.) Fresno State Bulldogs | 7-0 Image (LW: 9)
9.) Northern Illinois Huskies | 8-0 Image (LW: 12)
10.) Louisville Cardinals | 7-1 Image (LW: 13)
11.) Oklahoma Sooners | 7-1 Image (LW: 17)
12.) Missouri Tigers | 7-1 Image (LW: 7)
13.) Oklahoma State Cowboys | 6-1 Image (LW: 14)
14.) Clemson Tigers | 7-1 Image (LW: 15)
15.) Wisconsin Badgers | 5-2 Image (LW: 16)
16.) LSU Tigers | 7-2 Image (LW: 18)
17.) Auburn Tigers | 7-1 Image (LW: 19)
18.) South Carolina Gamecocks | 6-2 Image (LW: 24)
19.) UCLA Bruins | 5-2 Image (LW: 11)
20.) Texas Tech Red Raiders | 7-1 Image (LW: 10)
21.) Texas A&M Aggies | 6-2 Image  (LW: 23)
22.) Michigan Wolverines | 6-1 Image  (LW: 20)
23.) Arizona State Sun Devils | 5-2 Image  (LW: 22)
24.) UCF Knights | 6-1 Image (LW: 25)
25.) Michigan State Spartans | 7-1 Image (LW: NR)

Out: Virginia Tech (LW: 21)

Heisman Frontrunner: Marcus Mariota (ORE QB) – 144 of 225 for 2281 yards, 20 TD + 511 rushing yards, 9 TD

Offensive Performance of the Week: David Fales (SJSU QB) – 27 of 37 for 482 yards, 5 TD + -8 rushing yards, 1 TD

Defensive Performance of the Week: Trent Murphy (STAN LB) – 8 tackles (4 solo), 3.5 TFL, 2.5 sacks, 1 pass breakup, 1 blocked kick

Heisman Race
1.) Marcus Mariota, QB, Oregon
2.) Jameis Winston, QB, Florida State
3.) Bryce Petty, QB, Baylor
4.) Derek Carr, QB, Fresno State
5.) A.J. McCarron, QB, Alabama

Top 5 Games for Week 10
1.) (7) Miami at (2) Florida State
2.) (13) Oklahoma State at (20) Texas Tech
3.) (22) Michigan at (25) Michigan State
4.) Georgia vs Florida
5.) (17) Auburn at Arkansas

Upset Pick of the Week: USC over Oregon State
Season Record: 1-1

2013-2014 NBA Season Projection: Western Conference

Image

  • This took me a painstakingly long time to do. I, quite literally, predicted the result of every single NBA game this season and came to this projection. Enjoy. Tweet me (@FlyByKnite) if you want to discuss any of this or have any questions. If you want me to post the Excel data, let me know as well. One thing to remember is that I don’t expect any team to hit their actual projection because of the sheer randomness of the NBA. What I am going for, however, is a +/- of 5 games. So, if a team hits within 5 wins of my projections then I will consider that a win for myself.

Image Dallas Mavericks
Analysis: On an individual talent level, the Dallas Mavericks look pretty good. The problem is that they actually have to learn how to play together and share the basketball. I really liked their signing of Jose Calderon but wasn’t a fan of acquiring Monta Ellis. It just seemed very impractical. Dirk Nowitzki is now 35 years old and has to find the fountain of youth one last time. I think they’ll be a solid team and this record in the Western Conference this year is pretty much a winning record. In my honest opinion, Dallas should have started the rebuilding but chose to try to make one final push to the playoffs. I think they fall short.
Projected Record: 39-43, 10th in Western Conference

Image Denver Nuggets
Analysis: The fact that they didn’t re-sign Andre Iguodala will affect them this season but that’s fine. I didn’t like them bringing in Randy Foye but I still expect the younger guys for Denver to get a lot of playing time. I like the progression that Ty Lawson has made recently and I expect the other young players to step up. They still have one of the best homecourt advantages in the entire NBA, which is highlighted by the fact that 12 of their 41 home games this season will be against teams on the second night of a back-to-back. They also only have 14 back-to-backs themselves. So Denver could have a really solid season. I don’t expect the playoffs but I do expect some high quality basketball from Denver and new coach Brian Shaw.
Projected Record: 39-43, 11th in Western Conference

Image Golden State Warriors
Analysis: We go from the team that had Andre Iguodala to the team that now has Andre Iguodala. I like what Golden State is going to do this year by going more to a small ball type of lineup that’ll space their shooters even more. The key to their season is a healthy Andrew Bogut and, of course, a healthy Stephen Curry. Interesting fact about Golden State this upcoming season: they only have two players that are 30 or older. One is David Lee and the other is Jermaine O’Neal. So this is a young, energetic squad that can run-and-gun and also get it done in the half-court game. They’ll be a tough matchup for whoever plays them on any given night. Barring injuries, a near mortal lock for a top six seed in the conference.
Projected Record: 55-27, 5th in Western Conference

Image Houston Rockets
Analysis: Let’s just get this right out of the way. Dwight Howard is going to make an impact. He’s going to make an impact more than people realize. The defensive prowess he’ll bring is nearly second to none. They then have a really young, exciting group around in him in the likes of James Harden, Patrick Beverely, Omer Asik, Jeremy Lin, Chandler Parsons, Terrence Jones, Greg Smith, and Donatas Motiejunas. This is a really scary team. Much like Golden State, they can play up-and-down or structured. They can play small ball and they can go big with an Asik-Howard tandem. This is a really diverse and tactical squad. I’m expecting big things from Houston this season.
Projected Record: 57-25, 4th in Western Conference

Image Los Angeles Clippers
Analysis: Doc Rivers made his way west and returned to an old stomping ground when he was traded to the Los Angeles Clippers a few months ago. The Clippers have a very interesting core. Chris Paul and Blake Griffin are the top two guys and both are franchise level players. They need a third guy to step up and DeAndre Jordan seems to be the guy who can do it although that remains to be seen. They made smart moves this offseason when they traded for JJ Redick and Jared Dudley, as well as signing Darren Collison and bringing Matt Barnes back. Clippers have a great chance to be an elite team this year but will need to honker down defensively to do so. This is where the growth of DeAndre Jordan must be felt. They’ll go as far as his defense allows them to.
Projected Record: 59-23, 2nd in Western Conference

Image Los Angeles Lakers
Analysis: Where do I even begin with this team? If this were five years ago, I’d be fully confident in saying Steve Nash and Pau Gasol could do enough to keep this team afloat until Kobe Bryant came back. But now? Not a chance. This team is doomed and that’s actually okay since it’ll get their rebuilding process started. Not having Dwight Howard come back was a kick in the teeth, especially after Kobe Bryant tore his Achilles. They’re going to rely on a soon-to-be 40-year old Steve Nash and Pau Gasol to lead them while quintessential roleplayers like Steve Blake, Jordan Farmar, Jordan Hill, Chris Kaman, and Nick Young try their best to not screw up. If this were any other team but the Lakers, people would be pointing in laughing. Instead, people have false hope. I’m here to end it. It’s going to be a terrible season even if a 35-year old Kobe Bryant comes back from tearing the most important tendon in the human body and plays well.
Projected Record: 25-57, 13th in Western Conference

Image Memphis Grizzlies
Analysis: Not much changed for the Grizzlies this offseason. Nick Calathes came over and they signed Mike Miller but that was it. They still feature a very veteran heavy lineup that can’t do anything but play a slow-and-plodding style, outside of maybe Quincy Pondexter who should breakout this year. Memphis will be a good team and will wear teams out over the long haul of the season. Their main issues come from the fact that Zach Randolph is 32 years old and didn’t look that good last season. On top of that they have an aging Tayshaun Prince and an aging Tony Allen on the perimeter that aren’t really shot-creators nor playmakers. Their defense, which is elite, will keep them in nearly every game. It’ll be interesting to see if they can make the playoffs in the deep Western Conference.
Projected Record: 46-36, 7th in Western Conference

Image Minnesota Timberwolves
Analysis: I fully expect a lot of people to be shocked by this projection since most people just view Minnesota as the Little Engine That Couldn’t Ever Stay Healthy. Well, I understand that but I am expecting them to stay pretty healthy this year. They were a pretty solid team last year before injuries kicked in and took their toll. The best move Minnesota made in the offseason was bringing Nikola Pekovic back. Their other moves, like drafting Shabazz Muhammad and Gorgui Dieng, were also good. I love their depth, their talent, their coach, and their potential. Injuries certainly can derail their season, yet again, but I don’t expect it to. No team can be that unlucky. At least you’d think not. I should also mention that I expect Chase Budinger to be a major contributor and reason they’re good this year.
Projected Record: 48-34, 6th in Western Conference

Image New Orleans Pelicans
Analysis: No longer the Hornets, the Pelicans have a bright future and tried to fast-track their road to success by trading away a very valuable 2014 first round pick in order to acquire Jrue Holiday. The health of Eric Gordon will be a major driving force in their play this year since he is a great two-way shooting guard and will be needed to provide an outside scoring punch. I anticipate Anthony Davis taking the next step, Tyreke Evans to play well under a new system and new coach, Jrue Holiday to take a refined leadership role on a team like this, and Austin Rivers to get better since he certainly cannot get any worse. With rebranding comes a sense of taking that next step in order to get better as an organization. I think New Orleans will.
Projected Record: 46-36, 8th in Western Conference

Image Oklahoma City Thunder
Analysis: The payoff from that James Harden trade should be felt this season when Jeremy Lamb sees a more elevated role on the team and Steven Adams, their promising young center, gets onto the court. I still hate the idea of starting Kendrick Perkins on a team that expects to compete for an NBA Championship but that’s what you can expect when your head coach is Scott Brooks. Even though Russell Westbrook will be out for the first few weeks of the season, Oklahoma City should tread enough water to keep pace in the West and then slowly emerge from the pack as the season trudges along. It also doesn’t hurt when you have the second best player in the game, Kevin Durant. As long as Derek Fisher doesn’t see meaningful minutes in the playoffs, the Thunder should be destined to traverse far.
Projected Record: 61-21, 1st in Western Conference

Image Phoenix Suns
Analysis: If the Philadelphia 76ers are, by far, the worst team in the NBA then the Phoenix Suns won’t be too far behind because they have a roster that is devoid of anything that’ll win them more than 25 games this season. Goran Dragic is a good player, Eric Bledsoe is a promising player, and Alex Len is a potentially good big man but there’s nothing else after that. The Morris twins are decent but not good. Archie Goodwin is someone people get excited about but I don’t see it. He’ll do some good things this year but he’ll also make you slam your head against the wall. The real prize of this upcoming season for Phoenix is the 2014 NBA Draft, where they could have up to four first round picks which is something I fully expect them to have. So, help is on the way. Just not this year.
Projected Record: 19-63, 15th in Western Conference

Image Portland Trail Blazers
Analysis: Last year, Damian Lillard solidified a point guard spot that had long haunted the Blazers. When you look at this team, they had a very good starting lineup last year but their bench was one of the worst ones seen in recent memory. That’ll all change this year. They added the likes of Dorell Wright, Mo Williams, Thomas Robinson, Allen Crabbe and will also have guys like Will Barton and C.J. McCollum, when he gets healthy, off the bench. I like Terry Stotts as a head coach and think he’ll get the most out of this team. LaMarcus Aldridge guaranteed the seventh seed in the West and while that isn’t too far of a stretch, I don’t see it just yet. Next year they’ll have a real chance. This’ll still be a very exciting team to watch regardless.
Projected Record: 46-36, 9th in Western Conference

Image Sacramento Kings
Analysis: The real question surrounding this year’s Sacramento Kings is who will become their leader? That’s my problem with this team. They don’t have one guy you can look at and see leadership qualities in. In basketball, that is pretty important. DeMarcus Cousins, while being their most talented and important player, isn’t a leader. Ben McLemore was described as not being vocal enough in college so I don’t see his leadership qualities just yet. They have good talent elsewhere but I can’t see this team competing. I recently saw some people claiming this team could make a playoff push and win more than 40 games. That’s not happening. It’d take a minor miracle, or a major miracle even, for the Sacramento Kings to do any of that. The West is too stacked above them for Sacramento to make an impact.
Projected Record: 31-51, 12th in Western Conference

Image San Antonio Spurs
Analysis: Is there a more consistent team in basketball than the San Antonio Spurs? Every year they’re a force and every year they just keep on keeping on. Their dominant trio is back – Tim Duncan, Manu Ginobili, and Tony Parker – again and they also still have the greatness that is Kawhi Leonard, a budding star. They brought back Tiago Splitter, still have Danny Green, and basically everyone else from last year. Not much has really changed. You know what you’re going to get with this team and, in a way, it makes them boring. There’s no drama, no attention, and no flash. They go about their business, they make the playoffs as a high seed, and they do what they do. The only thing that could hamper them is potential injuries to their older players, namely Duncan and Ginobili, or down play from them since they are getting a little long in the tooth. They’ll still be a top team regardless.
Projected Record: 59-23, 3rd in Western Conference

Image Utah Jazz
Analysis: The race for worst record in the West will be a tight one between Phoenix and the Utah Jazz. That’s not to say that Utah doesn’t have anything promising to look forward to. They do. Trey Burke was their top pick and should be a good one but he’s injured right now. They feature a great young frontcourt duo in Derrick Favors and Enes Kanter, who both should take a massive step this season. I expect huge things from Favors and I think Kanter makes people see his greatness. They also have a great rotational young big in the super long Rudy Gobert. There’s also Gordon Hayward and Alec Burks. So, there is talent. There’s just no way they have a good year. The one good thing for Utah is they will have two first round picks next year, so there is that. Otherwise, this is a learning year for them.
Projected Record: 21-61, 14th in Western Conference

2013-2014 NBA Season Projection: Eastern Conference

Image

  • This took me a painstakingly long time to do. I, quite literally, predicted the result of every single NBA game this season and came to this projection. Enjoy. Tweet me (@FlyByKnite) if you want to discuss any of this or have any questions. If you want me to post the Excel data, let me know as well. One thing to remember is that I don’t expect any team to hit their actual projection because of the sheer randomness of the NBA. What I am going for, however, is a +/- of 5 games. So, if a team hits within 5 wins of my projections then I will consider that a win for myself.

Image Atlanta Hawks
Analysis: The Atlanta Hawks have not been without an interesting offseason to say the least. They decided to let Josh Smith go, which in my opinion was absolutely the right move, and went into the draft needing more dynamic playmakers. So they settled on German point guard Dennis Schroder. After that, they worked out free agent deals with Paul Millsap, Elton Brand, and DeMarre Carroll. All in all, Atlanta has built a nice little foundation here. Gone are the high-flying days of Josh Smith and now entering are the hardworking days of Al Horford, Paul Millsap, DeMarre Carroll, and Jeff Teague. I don’t expect much out of Schroder in his first season but he will have moments that make you believe he has the potential to be a very good player down the line.
Projected Record: 43-39, 6th in Eastern Conference

Image Boston Celtics
Analysis: Speaking of entertaining offseasons, the Boston Celtics have decided to start the rebuilding plan a year earlier than expected and did so by trading off the last remnants of their Big Three, Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett. They shipped them out to Brooklyn and got back several first round picks but also had to take back a terrible contract in the form of Gerald Wallace. They also were able to trade coach Doc Rivers to the Los Angeles Clippers for a 2015 first round pick. Boston definitely won’t be good this season, especially since Rajon Rondo is trying to come back from a terrible injury but they should be able to salvage some games and keep their fans coming back. It won’t be pretty but the future is on the horizon.
Projected Record: 22-60, 14th in Eastern Conference

Image Brooklyn Nets
Analysis: The main beneficiary of the Boston Celtics firesale happened to be the Brooklyn Nets, as previously mentioned. This now gives Brooklyn one of the most experienced and deadly starting lineups in the entire NBA. The problem is that their bench isn’t that well constructed. While they do have some talent in Jason Terry, Reggie Evans, and Andray Blatche, they all come with their own brand of weaknesses. Namely, Terry’s inability to play defense, Evans’ inability to play offense, and Blatche’s inability to be smart. Despite that, Brooklyn will be a tough team for anyone to play this season. My main concern is with newly minted head coach Jason Kidd. This will be an interesting season.
Projected Record: 56-26, 2nd in Eastern Conference

Image Charlotte Bobcats
Analysis: When you think of a team that was in desperate need of the first overall pick this past year, you think of the Charlotte Bobcats. Despite the fact that they had great talent in the likes of Kemba Walker and Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, they still needed that first overall pick. Instead they slipped all the way to fourth. However, they did nab Cody Zeller, who I believe will be a better player than a lot of other people think. They also retained Gerald Henderson and brought in Al Jefferson. While they will be improved this season, they still won’t be a good team. Their true next step will probably come in the following season.
Projected Record: 25-57, 13th in Eastern Conference

Image Chicago Bulls
Analysis: First off, as we all know, the big news is that Derrick Rose is now back and it looks like, based on preseason, that he’s actually gotten better, which is a supremely scary thing to even think about. We’re talking about a former MVP coming back better after destroying his knee about 18 months ago. The emergence of Jimmy Butler proved that the Bulls do have solid talent surrounding Rose once he was going to return and their starting five is about as good in any of basketball. Their problem is that they’re not an explosive scoring team and can get bogged down at times but thankfully their defense can save them. They’re going to have a great season. I just don’t see them overtaking Miami for the best record. It’ll be a close race the whole way, though.
Projected Record: 56-26, 3rd in Eastern Conference

Image Cleveland Cavaliers
Analysis: Not only did the Cleveland Cavaliers win the draft lottery this past April but they also signed Andrew Bynum and are going to get Anderson Varejao back. If Dion Waiters can take the next step, which’ll be him becoming a solid 16 points per game scorer with good defense, then I really do like Cleveland to make the playoffs. I also really love the progress that Tristan Thompson made last season and loved the selection of Anthony Bennett with the top pick. I’m not a big believer in Earl Clark so I do feel they’re weak at small forward but they should be able to deal with that. Health is a major issue for them. If they’re healthy, they have a great shot of making it in.
Projected Record: 38-44, 8th in Eastern Conference

Image Detroit Pistons
Analysis: This team has all the makings of the most dysfunctional group in the history of the NBA. I mean, it doesn’t get much crazier than this. They not only signed Josh Smith away from Atlanta by overpaying him but they also went out and traded for Brandon Jennings for no good reason. I’m not going to lie, I actually like Brandon Jennings but this was a dumb move for the Pistons considering they already acquired Josh Smith and didn’t need an equally maddening player. There’s only one ball on this team and I doubt it ever finds Greg Monroe or Andre Drummond now. And if that’s not enough, they also signed Chauncey Billups after taking promising shooting guard Kentavious Caldwell-Pope in the draft. I can now imagine final game possessions for Detroit ending with Smith and Jennings reenacting that Fresh Price of Bel Air episode where Carlton steals the ball from Will and heaves the final shot.
Projected Record: 37-45, 9th in Eastern Conference

Image Indiana Pacers
Analysis: I didn’t really agree with what the Indiana Pacers did during the draft, selecting Solomon Hill, but every move they’ve made after that has been a sound one. They signed Paul George to a contract extension and have begun reinforcing their team more by getting guys like Luis Scola and Chris Copeland. Their starting lineup is very good and their bench, which was a massive weakness for them last year, got strengthened. A part of me wonders what they’ll get for Danny Granger if they decide to trade him this year but that’s neither here nor there. The Pacers have a very bright future, anchored by a two-way star in Paul George and a defensive monstrosity in Roy Hibbert.
Projected Record: 53-29, 4th in Eastern Conference

Image Miami Heat
Analysis: Say hello to the best team in the Eastern Conference, yet again. It should be no shock that any team with LeBron James is at the top of a conference standings list. The Heat are coming off their second straight championship and third straight Finals appearance. It’ll be tough for them to win a third title in a row and reach an astounding fourth straight Finals appearance, but the possibility is there. Not much has changed for them outside of Mike Miller leaving and the arrival of both Greg Oden and Michael Beasley. The Heat still feature the premier Big Three in the NBA – Bosh, LeBron, Wade – and that’ll be good enough to keep them in every game this season. The road in the Eastern Conference must go through Miami. Good luck to all other teams.
Projected Record: 58-24, 1st in Eastern Conference

Image Milwaukee Bucks
Analysis:The Milwaukee Bucks were on the path to a true and proper tank job but then did things like signing O.J. Mayo, Gary Neal, and Zaza Pachulia while also trading for Caron Butler and Brandon Knight. They have no clue what they’re doing. So, in other words, they’re the same old Milwaukee Bucks. Gotta give it up to consistency. Anyways, they still have Larry SANDERS! and John Henson, who are two great young big men. And, before I forget, they also drafted the greatest name in the history of the NBA: Giannis Antetokounmpo. He’s going to see a lot of action in his first year and he’s going to make people wonder how so many teams could pass on him. It’s going to be a painful year for Milwaukee but there is some hope. Some. A little bit.
Projected Record: 32-50, 11th in Eastern Conference

Image New York Knicks
Analysis: I’m sure this projection is going to piss some people off and make them wonder what I’m smoking. But, let me explain. They have an awkwardly tough schedule and they don’t have a roster that can sustain them over an entire year. Yes, they do have Carmelo Anthony but trading for Andrea Bargnani was a panic move. Tim Hardaway was a good pick but they also have an aging Kenyon Martin, Amar’e Stoudemire, and Metta World Peace that’ll get a lot of minutes. Not to mention that Iman Shumpert likely won’t get enough minutes because Mike Woodson hates him and thinks J.R. Smith is the greatest thing since condoms were invented. I just don’t see it in New York this year. Plus, the Carmelo saga will sap their drive a little bit.
Projected Record: 40-42, 7th in Eastern Conference

Image Orlando Magic
Analysis: Orlando is a surprisingly talented team but lacks a direction. For them, that’s fine. They’re in the talent acquisition business right now rather than the win every game possible business. That’s what smart teams are supposed to do when building a winner. Get as much talent as possible. They did just that in this past draft when they took Victor Oladipo, the best two-way player in the draft, with the second pick. Combine him with Arron Afflalo, Mo Harkless, Tobias Harris, Jameer Nelson, Andrew Nicholson, and Nikola Vucevic. You can see the talent already forming there. However, Orlando’s best bet of competing isn’t for at least another two years. And that’s fine. They’ll be an exciting team to watch, though, and will be better than what their final record indicates. They’ll compete.
Projected Record: 29-53, 12th in Eastern Conference

Image Philadelphia 76ers
Analysis: Anyone who follows me on Twitter knows how I feel about Philadelphia already. This is quite honestly the worst collection of talent I’ve seen in the history of the NBA. This is bad. All bad. Their most talented player, Nerlens Noel, won’t play this year. Which, in all honesty, is smart. Their other first round pick, Michael Carter-Williams, can’t make a shot outside of five feet. They have other solid talented players on the roster but that doesn’t matter. This team sucks. It’s trash. It’s an abomination and it should be taken out back, shot, and then lit on fire to get rid of any evidence that it ever existed. Finding wins on the schedule for this team was such a stretch that I almost killed myself. God bless their fans.
Projected Record: 8-74, 15th in Eastern Conference

Image Toronto Raptors
Analysis: On the surface, the Toronto Raptors look like they have all the talent in the world to make the playoffs. They have a good starting lineup, talent wise, but then you dig a little deeper and realize that this team is severely flawed. They’re not going to be a good defensive squad, at least individually, and their offense is heavily predicated upon isolation from their top two wing players, DeMar DeRozan and Rudy Gay. That’s not a viable way to survive in the NBA right now. They lack an interior scoring punch, although Jonas Valanciunas looks to be taking the proper steps to get there. They’ll be competitive in games but they won’t finish a lot of them on the positive side. It’s going to be a mind-numbing year north of the border.
Projected Record: 33-49, 10th in Eastern Conference

Image Washington Wizards
Analysis: I know for a fact that I’m going to catch some hell from people for this one. Yes, this is a very aggressive projection for the Washington Wizards, a team who just picked third overall in the NBA draft this past April. However, look at it from a different perspective. John Wall improved during the second half of last year, as did Bradley Beal. They’re adding another versatile wing scoring option in Otto Porter. They already have a good inside game with Nene and a good mid-range big man in Kevin Seraphin. On top of that, they just traded for Marcin Gortat. This is a team that has all the makings of a very versatile offensive and defensive squad. I think they’ll surprise some people this year and vault themselves into the top six seeds in the Eastern Conference. I have them fifth and I actually feel really confident about that.
Projected Record: 48-34, 5th in Eastern Conference