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50 NBA Predictions, Revisited (Part 2)
Posted By Joel Brigham On June 25, 2013 @ 12:00 pm In NBA | No Comments
Yesterday, we took a look at the first 25 of my 50 predictions from the start of this NBA season. During the preseason, I attempted to nail down what would happen over the course of the 2012-13 campaign, with questionable results.
Still, I’m one to hold myself accountable, so here are how those predictions panned out. If you missed part one, you can check that out here. Otherwise, were go with part two:
26. The Toronto Raptors will be the best Eastern Conference team not to make the postseason.
RIGHT: Tied with Philadelphia at 34-48, the Raptors were the first team out of the postseason in the Eastern Conference.
27. Utah will be back in the playoffs as a higher seeding than last year’s No. 8 seed.
WRONG: They didn’t even make the playoffs this year, though they were very close. A couple more wins, and the No. 7 seed wouldn’t have been completely impossible.
28. Even without Derrick Rose for most of the season, the Chicago Bulls will be good enough defensively to still make the playoffs.
RIGHT: And they even won a series, to boot. Thank God for Nate Robinson.
29. The Brooklyn Nets will have home court advantage in the first round of the playoffs.
RIGHT: Too bad that didn’t translate to a playoff series win.
30. The L.A. Clippers will also end up with home court advantage in the first round of the playoffs.
RIGHT: Believe it or not, I recall thinking this was one of my riskier predictions back in the fall, and I seriously considered taking it out in favor of something else. I needed some wins here, so I’m glad I left it alone.
31. The L.A. Lakers will face the Miami HEAT in the NBA Finals.
WRONG: But I wasn’t alone in thinking this way.
32. The Miami HEAT will win their second consecutive NBA championship.
RIGHT: I wish it wasn’t true, but it is. What a series!
33. Damian Lillard will win the Rookie of the Year award.
RIGHT: He sure did. One of only a handful of players in the history of the game to be made a unanimous selection for the award.
34. Anthony Davis will finish top five in the league in blocks per game and the top ten in rebounds per game.
WRONG: He finished 11th in the league in blocks (1.75 per game) and 21st in the league in rebounds (8.2 per game). Not bad for a rookie, but not as good as I thought, either.
35. Dion Waiters will show flashes of brilliance, but by the end of his rookie season pretty much everyone will be in agreement that he is not, in fact, anything even close to approaching The Next Dwyane Wade.
RIGHT: This one’s hard to quantify because “The Next Dwyane Wade” doesn’t really have any measurable parameters. Waiters did average 14.7 points in his rookie season, which is good, but not quite as good as Wade’s 16.2 points during his own first year in the league. Wade also shot 46.5 percent from the field his rookie year vs. Waiters’ 41.2 percent. Oddly, though, both played in exactly 61 games as rookies. Despite that coincidence, Waiters has been solid, but no one is really projecting him to be the perennial All-Star we had the sense Wade would be very early on. I’ll say I’m right, for now.
36. Brad Beal is going to have a rough first season and will not make the All-Rookie first team.
WRONG: Minus the injuries, Beal had himself a pretty respectable rookie campaign, and did in fact make the All-Rookie first team.
37. Toronto’s Jonas Valanciunas, however, will be named to the All-Rookie first team.
WRONG: Nope. He made the All-Rookie second team, though.
38. Thomas Robinson will average at least 7.5 rebounds per game.
WRONG: Man, was this one ever painfully incorrect. No, 4.5 boards a game is not even close. I really thought Robinson would be a much more effective rookie than he was, especially after the trade to Houston.
39. No rookie will average a double-double, but Andre Drummond will come the closest.
RIGHT: No rookies did it, but Drummond was 2.1 points and 2.4 boards a game away from getting it done. Technically, Anthony Davis was closer with 13.5 points and 8.2 rebounds, but let’s give me this one because the first part was right and because I was one of the few people lauding Drummond before he actually proved to be good.
40. Brooklyn’s Tyshawn Taylor will generally be considered the best second-rounder from the ’12 draft.
WRONG: Taylor wasn’t awful by any means, but Golden State’s Draymond Green looks like the big gem from this particular second round.
41. Anderson Varejao will not finish the season a member of the Cleveland Cavaliers.
WRONG: Had he stayed healthy to the trade deadline, chances are he would’ve gotten dealt, but he did not, and he did not.
42. Despite their apparent logjam at point guard, the Toronto Raptors will not trade Jose Calderon this season.
WRONG: Calderon was shipped to Detroit at the deadline.
43. The Sacramento Kings, who love Tyreke Evans more than people realize, will not trade him before the deadline.
RIGHT: Loads of fans still constantly ask whether Evans could be had in trade, but the Kings just haven’t been interested in making that deal yet. He made it through the season a King, remarkably.
44. Rudy Gay will be traded, but not until at least half of the Memphis Grizzlies’ regular season games have been played.
RIGHT: Gay played in 42 games for Memphis, just over half the season, and then was shipped to Toronto at the deadline.
45. Josh Smith, though a gorgeous $13+ million expiring contract with loads of talent, will not be traded this season.
RIGHT: Atlanta just couldn’t find the right deal for the guy, so they held onto him and will, at the very least, enjoy the cap space his departure will create.
46. At some point, the Milwaukee Bucks will trade either Brandon Jennings or Monta Ellis, as two potential free agents will prove to be too much for the Bucks to try and deal with.
WRONG: Instead, they brought in a third three free agent scoring guard in J.J. Redick. Looks like I underestimated the Bucks.
47. Utah will find themselves forced to move either Paul Millsap or Al Jefferson to make more minutes available for Derrick Favors and Enes Kanter.
WRONG: Both Millsap and Jefferson are free agents this summer, so long-term I’m probably right that they won’t keep everybody, but it didn’t happen at the trade deadline as I’d expected.
48. Seattle will not be awarded a franchise before the end of the 2012-13 regular season.
RIGHT: They were so close, weren’t they? Happy for Sacramento, but poor, poor Seattle.
49. The Chicago Bulls, like they always do, will once again lead the league in attendance this season.
RIGHT: With an average attendance of 21,876, the Bulls averaged over 1,800 more fans per game than the second-place team, the Dallas Mavericks.
50. The Orlando Magic will luck out on the No. 1 pick in the 2013 NBA Draft, because that’s what always happens when the Orlando Magic really need a No. 1 pick.
WRONG: What I meant to say is that Cleveland will luck into the No. 1 pick because that’s what always happens when they really need a No. 1 pick. Orlando had the worst record and the best opportunity to land that top selection, but they ended up with pick No. 2. One of these years, I’m going to nail the lottery prediction. Just not this year. Again.
So 22 out of 50 isn’t a great score, and in fact is one of my lowest scores ever (I usually range between 27-33), but these things are out of my control. I’ll have no choice but to try it all over again come November.
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