Now that the All-Star game is over, it’s a good time to look back at the NBA season so far, and also ahead at what’s to come.
I’ve made a bunch of predictions on this site, and voiced multiple opinions, and now is as good a time as any to see whether the season is shaping up consistent with my predictions and opinions.
Starting with the Eastern Conference overall, I predicted the following playoff teams:
Just about everyone expected Boston, Cleveland, Orlando and Atlanta to be the top-4, and it looks like they will be. I don’t deserve any credit for getting that group right, nor do I think I deserve to be knocked for the fact they will apparently finish in a different order. If the playoffs ended right now, the only one of the teams I picked to be in that would not be in is Washington. I’ll give myself a pass on that one because of everything that has happened in Washington, but I seem to have underestimated the Raptors, who, at 29-23, are currently the #5 team in the East.
Out West, I predicted the following:
I’ll give myself a pass for picking the Hornets (who, if the season ended today, would not be in), because my pick was motivated by the man-crush I have on Chris Paul, and he has been injured for a significant part of the season. I’ll give myself credit for picking the Suns and Thunder, both of whom were not in the playoffs last year, and would be in if the season ended today. And I’ll beat myself up for sleeping on the Jazz, who, at the moment, are the #3 seed.
Looking at some of my opinions more specifically, I was a big supporter of the Sixers’ decision to sign Allen Iverson. Before Iverson’s first game, Philly was 5-15. Right now, they are 20-32, which means that they’ve been 15-17 since the signing. Where I come from, that’s called an improvement. Granted, Iverson has missed a bunch of games since he came back, so it wouldn’t be fair to say that he turned the team around. But, it also wouldn’t be fair to say that the Sixers made a mistake by signing him. I’ll give myself credit for that opinion. (It’s fun to grade yourself, by the way… you can give yourself credit for just about anything, as long as you can come up with some justification that makes sense to yourself.)
Another opinion that has, so far, stood the test of time, was the opinion I expressed, on November 29th, that people were getting a bit too carried away about Brandon Jennings. At that time, the Bucks had a winning record, Jennings had recently put up a 55-point game, and people were in a tizzy about this rookie who dropped in the draft. I said that people were getting carried away. Right now, the Bucks no longer have a winning record, so I’ll give myself credit for that opinion, as well.
Then there’s the ranting I did about the Jazz. On January 28, I asked who on the Jazz was overrated: Williams, Boozer, or Sloan. I said that one of them had to be, because each was highly regarded, and, yet, the Jazz were nothing special.
Well… Ummm… Huh.
The Jazz, if the season ended today, would be the #3 seed out West. They’re 9-1 in their last 10 games. I think it’s safe to say that I was wrong about that one.
In fact, that one leaves me with so much egg on my face that it almost wipes out any credibility I developed otherwise.
So… now that my predictions seem to be right only slightly more often than they are wrong, it seems that I’m not particularly good at making predictions. Therefore, of course, I’ll make some more predictions:
Cleveland, currently the #1 seed in the East, will not be in the Finals. (NOTE: They might make a major trade, which could obviously change things.) When they are not, the conventional wisdom will be that LeBron has no teammates who know how to play the game, even though those teammates are all good enough to contribute to a 43-11 team.
Utah, currently the #3 seed out West, will finish lower than #3.
San Antonio, currently the #5 seed out West, will win at least one playoff series.
The Nets will win at least 9 games, but only barely.