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Author Topic: 2019-2020 NBA Prediction Thread  (Read 1217 times)

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ErieHog

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2019-2020 NBA Prediction Thread
« on: October 22, 2019, 07:19:13 pm »

Every year, I make my forecasts about the NBA season to come-- I miss a bunch, and sometimes I get it in the neighborhood.   I love seeing what I think at the beginning of the year, versus what turns out,  where and when my thinking on a thing turns on a dime, and  what big things I'm missing.

So, without further ado, here is this year's round of predictions:

Eastern Conference:

Atlantic Division

Boston Celtics:   A giant whiff for me last year, this year should be better from a chemistry standpoint.  The loss of Horford is going to really hurt their frontcourt defense.  Still, how much does the addition of a happy offense and handing the team to the Jalen Browns and Kemba Walkers offset it?   And how bad is the East?    The O/U is 48.5,  and I can see this team going the wrong way. but I'll put them at 49-33

Brooklyn Nets:  I underestimated their young core last year. Kyrie is going to be asked to do too much, though, and while Dinwiddie and LaVert are solid, they may not be enough in the firepower department.  Next year is the year.  44-38.

New York Knicks:  Last year, I said they didn't do as many obviously dumb things;  in order to prove me wrong, they signed a team full of power forwards.    Maybe RJ Barrett can make them more interesting than I think they are, but I'll peg them at 25-57.

Philadelphia 76ers:   Such a mixed lot.   I really really love the Horford signing, but the loss of Reddick is going to make them even more dependent on guys that may not have the offense to be on the floor.  That said, they should fine Joel Embiid $500 for every jump shot he takes.  The guy is an MVP candidate without his mediocre 3 point shooting.  Teams want him to shoot that ugly duck of a J.    He takes himself out of offensive rhythm all the time, and other than a Ben Simmons J, its the defense's favorite shot to concede to Philly.      That said, I think they're really good.  57-25.

Toronto Raptors:  They're a harder read, because they could quickly become a fire sale operation.   The Siakam resigning is going to be their cornerstone, but he's going to have to take the next step forward for them to be competitive, from a good second banana, to a guy who carries a roster.     I think they end up selling, but still come in at 41-41 because the East is still not good.


Central Division

Chicago Bulls:    I like some of their parts, but not so much as to pick them to make a leap.     Markken's progress is the upper limit on this roster, so I'm not super enthused that they're going to just be a great leap forward team.   They'll be reasonable bad team, instead of an exceptionally bad team.  32-50.

Cleveland Cavaliers:  I like Garland more than most people;  Sexton is going to eventually be a serviceable 2nd option.   Unfortunately, two young guards = turnovers and bad defense.   Kevin Love may get moved during the year, to somewhere like Portland, especially if their plans don't pan out early and they panic.   23-59

Detroit Pistons:  Blake deserves way more credit than he gets.  He should have been on an All-NBA team last year.   I worry about his health holding up like few others in the league.  His teammate Derrick Rose may be the rest of that entire list.   They have to stay healthy, for this team to be good enough to make a playoff run.  I think they fall short.  38-44

Indiana Pacers:  Always  tough team to play, and often a tough team to get a good read on, when it comes to their upside.   I love Brogdon, and the potential return of a great player like Oladipo could push them to near the 50 win mark, or even over.  I'll temper my enthusiasm, and set them at 49-33.

Milwaukee Bucks:   The best player in the league is a Buck.     I dislike the replacement of Brogdon with a Korver type.  They're good, but I do think they'll disappoint just a tiny bit.  55-27


Southeast Division:

Atlanta Hawks:    When it comes to a rebuild, I have to respect what Atlanta has done.  I think they're still a year away from a real playoff push, but would I be shocked if in March you were talking about them scrapping for the 8th seed in the East?  Not at all.   I think they fall a smidge short, at 37-45

Charlotte Hornets:  My pick for the worst team in the NBA. Terry Rozier is their biggest addition to an already...challenged shooting team.   I'll be shocked if they win 20.   I'll peg them at 18-54 and unwatchable basketball.

Miami Heat  :  They really do need to finish their makeover.  Jettisoning Whiteside was a nice start, and I really enjoyed the  Point Winslow experience.  I think Jimmy is a bad add, though, from a maturity and chemistry standpoint.  They'll defend well in the first unit, and will have to hope they score enough to have that hold up with the 2nd unit.     They're a muddled middle team, to me. 43-39

Orlando Magic:   They defend, defend, and defend some more.  They play hard.   They like each other.   They lack offensive firepower, though, and an injury or two could send them spiralling downward.  I'll put them at 40-42.

Washington Wizards  :  This team is so sad.  They have no present, they have no real future, and they're going to be anchored by John Wall's salary cap number forever.  Beal is too good of a player to let them truly tank though,  so they'll suffer through 35-47 in a weak Eastern Conference

Post Season:

Philly  (57-25) over Orlando (40-42) in 4
Milwaukee (55-27) over Toronto (41-41) in 4
Celtics  (49-33) over  Miami (43-39) in 6
Indiana(49-33) over Brooklyn (44-38) in 6

Bucks over Pacers in 5
Philly over Boston in 6

Philly over the Bucks in 7.


Western Conference


Pacific Division

Golden State Warriors:  I can't get on board with writing them off just yet.   They're going to suck defending.   They're going to rely on Greene not playing like a 130 year old man.    Their bench has evaporated.   They won't get Klay back, until, at best,  April.   That said, I really like D'Angelo Russell.  I love the idea of him and Curry taking turns playing off ball, and creating on the bounce.   Better than people think-  48-34

Los Angeles Clippers:  I underestimated them last year, because I still think Doc Rivers is a liability.   That said, I like their complete roster far better than anyone else in the game.   I think they do some load management things, and bring Paul George along as slow as humanly possible.   They may not have the best record in the league, but I would want no part of them at all.  55-27

Los Angeles Lakers:   LeBron has rest.  He has a teammate that you can pick out of a police lineup.  I have no faith in Davis' health, and LeBron is eventually going to be dunked on by Father Time like everyone else.    Still, that high P&R game is fierce when you have Davis moving to the rim.   I'll say they win 50.  50-32 and a disappointing playoff run.

Phoenix Suns:  Only the Suns would look around the league and think Ricky Rubio is an upgrade at PG.  Ayton was quietly pretty doggone good as a rookie.  I don't like Booker as much other than a rich man's Kris Dunn.   They're still terribad.  26-56

Sacramento Kings:  I liked the Kings last year, and love them this year.  Really a fun team to watch.  I think Fox makes a leap and becomes a second tier guard in the league. Bagley stays healthy, they win 45.   I think he'll be *mostly* healthy, and they win 43.  43-39

Southwest Division

Dallas Mavericks:  I really like, but don't love Luka-- people are expecting too much, too fast.  I actively do not think you can build around Porzingas, though, so I'm much lower on this team than some people seem to be.   I think they'll feast against bad teams, and get the hammer from the good ones.  39-42.

Houston Rockets:  This is going to be a tough one.  They added my favorite guy to play alongside my least favorite guy in the league.  They both eat possessions, but I think the way the rest of the roster is constructed, that actually won't be a long term problem.   There were times last year that the Rockets had to lean on Harden to carry so much of the burden that it truly ground them under heel, and made them worse at the end of the year.  51-31

Memphis Grizzlies:  I love Ja.   I like what they've done to rebuild around him.  I think the West is just too good for them to make a lot of noise,  but they are definitely a League Pass worthy watch team that's going to be pesky and bite a few bigger fish.   They'll be the best 27 win team you'll see this year, or in most other years.  27-55

New Orleans Pelicans:  This is how you rebuild from losing a Superstar.   The Zion injury kind of brings up that idea in the back of your head that they will have to perpetually ride him about his weight, but there is so much to really like about this roster.  Its filled with young guys, professionals, and talents.    I think missing Zion for a month is too much to overcome to be a playoff team, but they'll be competent night in and night out, even without him.  40-42, and still better than 5 EC playoff teams.

San Antonio Spurs:  Is this finally the year they don't make the playoffs?   Hard to say.  I like Murray returning for them,  I don't love still depending on so many 'that guy' types, and while it is a contract year for Aldridge.   DeMar is just a year older.  I don't think they get to Vegas' number of 45.5,  but I do think they're solid.  43-39

Northwest

Denver Nuggets:  I said I'd struggle with them last year, and I did.  I underpicked them by 6 games.  I do think they're deep, they have a star, and they're going to play some smart basketball.    I like their style, but I don't have confidence in them to close well.    They're not going to sneak up on anyone, and last year's 54 just feels a little too much.  53-29 feels pretty good for this team.


Minnesota Timberwolves:  They played well when Covington was healthy.   Unfortunately, he was barely healthy last year.  The prospects of this team are dependent on 4 things;  Wiggins stopping his poor long 2 selection;  Towns taking Covington's defensive help  to heart;  Jarrett Culver's NBA transition going smoothly;   Okogie's growth as an all around player from a developmental talent.   All 4 happen, they can chase a playoff berth;  one of the four goes poorly, they're outside looking in;  all 4 go poorly, and they're a really bad team.
I split the difference, and say that they get modest improvements on one and two, and an eventual success on 3, with 4 coming along nicely.  35-47


Oklahoma City Thunder:   They got an absolute haul for their stars, and I really like the roster that's left behind as well.  Steven Adams is not what he used to be, but I like this team a lot if they jettison Chris Paul.  This may be a quick rebuild if they can draft another star. 37-45


Portland Trail Blazers:  Nurkic's injury sank their aspirations to challenge the best teams in the West;  to me, they could become a trade desperation candidate, especially if Love becomes available and Whiteside doesn't produce.   Their guards are great, but I think they underperform in the regular season.  43-39


Utah Jazz:  Smart organizations let liabilities walk.  Letting Rubio go to a Division opponent tells you what you need to know about the decision makers in Salt Lake.  I think they minutes manage Conley effectively, and don't put their foot all the way down in the regular season. 51-31.

Playoffs:

Clippers (55-27) over Kings (43-39)  in 5
Nuggets (53-29) over Spurs (43-39) in 6
Warriors (48-34) over Rockets (51-31) in 7
Lakers (50-32) over Jazz (51-31) in 6


Clippers over Warriors in 6.
Lakers over Nuggets in 7

Clippers over Lakers in 6.


NBA Finals:

Clippers over the 76ers in 5.
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Tai_Mai_Shu

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Re: 2019-2020 NBA Prediction Thread
« Reply #1 on: October 23, 2019, 12:37:33 pm »

I got the Rockets over the Bucks in 6.
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alohawg

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Re: 2019-2020 NBA Prediction Thread
« Reply #2 on: October 24, 2019, 02:37:26 am »

Good call, I like it. I'll go with it too, but Clippers over Philly in 7.
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1990sHogBallChild

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Re: 2019-2020 NBA Prediction Thread
« Reply #3 on: October 24, 2019, 02:47:05 pm »

Great stuff overall and I love the NBA talk. ... A few things I feel different are below

-I can't see OKC finishing even with 35. I see them at about 28 or so

-I see the Pelicans more like 33 wins especially now with Zion missing a little bit

-Maybe I am being ambitious on them, but I think the Mavericks get up to about 45 or 46 wins and barely make the playoffs

-In the East I think the Raptors will still win close to 50... Maybe like 48 cause even without Leonard they still have a roster of guys that play hard, smart, and good depth. That will bode well for them, but when they hit the postseason they will hit a buzzsaw. They kind of remind me of a poor mans Denver. Will play well in the regular season but come down to Earth in a 7 game series when teams play a little different.

-The playoffs are a total crapshoot once the conference semifinals start beyond that. I could still see the Warriors if they all stay healthy with the return of Thompson at the right time could shock some people in the postseason if it all clicked. But your number is about right in the regular season. In the West I could see them barely making the playoffs even by maybe 2 or 3 games safe but once they get there do some damage.


Again, great analysis on your part!
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ErieHog

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Re: 2019-2020 NBA Prediction Thread
« Reply #4 on: October 24, 2019, 05:49:25 pm »

Good call, I like it. I'll go with it too, but Clippers over Philly in 7.

If Philly had a coach, I'd pick them.  Unfortunately, they have a terrible coach who can't tell Joel to stop shooting 22 footers.
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ErieHog

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Re: 2019-2020 NBA Prediction Thread
« Reply #5 on: October 24, 2019, 06:01:23 pm »

Great stuff overall and I love the NBA talk. ... A few things I feel different are below

-I can't see OKC finishing even with 35. I see them at about 28 or so

They have a roster that's just packed with above average NBA players now.  Its weird.  You look at it and think  'they lost a star, they're going backwards',  but my gosh, they've revamped a roster with people who know what they are doing from top to bottom, and Shay Gilgeous Alexander is going to be *very* good.   He's my 2nd favorite player in the NBA to make a 'leap' this year, behind Fox.

Quote
-I see the Pelicans more like 33 wins especially now with Zion missing a little bit

Probably fair.  Zion's injury severity is going to matter a lot to that final number.  That said, I love their versatility.  Its just a smartly constructed roster from top to bottom.

Quote
-Maybe I am being ambitious on them, but I think the Mavericks get up to about 45 or 46 wins and barely make the playoffs

I really like Luka.  I think he's a borderline MVP candidate.   Then I look at the rest of that roster, and its below Western Conference average.    Even if you expect Kristaps to stay healthy,  productive, and to team well with him-- like Vegas and the conventional thinking seem to think-- their O/U win total is 40.5-    and I feel that's too ambitious.

Quote
-In the East I think the Raptors will still win close to 50... Maybe like 48 cause even without Leonard they still have a roster of guys that play hard, smart, and good depth. That will bode well for them, but when they hit the postseason they will hit a buzzsaw. They kind of remind me of a poor mans Denver. Will play well in the regular season but come down to Earth in a 7 game series when teams play a little different.

The Raptors are kind of a hard team to get a fix on, for two reasons;  its hard to know just how terrible the bottom of the Eastern Conference will be, which is where they will absolutely feast-- and how much of a seller they will be at the trade deadline.  I look for them to be one of the primary teams selling.  That will impact their season long number.

Quote
-The playoffs are a total crapshoot once the conference semifinals start beyond that. I could still see the Warriors if they all stay healthy with the return of Thompson at the right time could shock some people in the postseason if it all clicked. But your number is about right in the regular season. In the West I could see them barely making the playoffs even by maybe 2 or 3 games safe but once they get there do some damage.


Again, great analysis on your part!

I went with the idea in mind that Klay won't be Klay, even if he does return.  They're just too perimeter oriented to deal with the better teams in the WC that will be able to defend and score credibly in the front court.   I think they'll be better than advertised, because I really like D'Angelo,  but they're more that second tier, than that title contender to me.
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EastexHawg

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Re: 2019-2020 NBA Prediction Thread
« Reply #6 on: October 25, 2019, 01:05:19 pm »

The Warriors looked bad last night, but then again the Clippers shot lights out.  At one point they were 9 of 14 from three.  It's hard to beat one of the best teams in the league when they are making everything, but still Golden State looked terrible in the front court.
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ErieHog

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Re: 2019-2020 NBA Prediction Thread
« Reply #7 on: October 25, 2019, 04:12:59 pm »

The Warriors looked bad last night, but then again the Clippers shot lights out.  At one point they were 9 of 14 from three.  It's hard to beat one of the best teams in the league when they are making everything, but still Golden State looked terrible in the front court.

The Clippers are going to have a huge year.  They're head and shoulders better than everybody else right now.   There are a couple of teams that will have to sort things out, and they'll still have to figure out how to reallocate minutes once George is healthy, but not looking good against the Clippers is hardly a condemnation of any team.
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McKdaddy

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Re: 2019-2020 NBA Prediction Thread
« Reply #8 on: October 26, 2019, 07:41:14 am »

Iíve waffled the last 2 months on the Clips or Jazz coming out of the west. The Clips are the obvious choice. I really like what the Jazz have put together, just not sure it is enough.
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McKdaddy

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Re: 2019-2020 NBA Prediction Thread
« Reply #9 on: October 26, 2019, 07:41:29 am »

Thanks for the preseason analysis.
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ErieHog

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Re: 2019-2020 NBA Prediction Thread
« Reply #10 on: October 26, 2019, 07:46:06 pm »

Iíve waffled the last 2 months on the Clips or Jazz coming out of the west. The Clips are the obvious choice. I really like what the Jazz have put together, just not sure it is enough.

I just don't see them having enough shooting to win a 7 game series against the better teams in the West.   I don't think you can win anything if the very limited Rudy Gobert is the 3rd best guy on your roster, and you can't shoot as a team.
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alohawg

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Re: 2019-2020 NBA Prediction Thread
« Reply #11 on: October 31, 2019, 12:33:22 pm »

Iíve waffled the last 2 months on the Clips or Jazz coming out of the west. The Clips are the obvious choice. I really like what the Jazz have put together, just not sure it is enough.

Jazz are definitely improved and looked better at home last night vs the Clips.
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Gotdatwood

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Re: 2019-2020 NBA Prediction Thread
« Reply #12 on: October 31, 2019, 02:39:54 pm »

Jazz are definitely improved and looked better at home last night vs the Clips.

Last night showed what a Jazz team with Conley playing to his potential can look like.  The first few games he was not great by any means.  If he can continue to improve with his new teammates watch out for the Jazz come playoffs.   This is going to be an interesting NBA season and I'm all in for it. 

Some part of me actually feels bad for the Warriors as an organization.  Which is weird because I have no allegiances to them at all.  But I disliked them because I disliked the way Durant ended up there.  And I'm not a fan of Draymond at all!  But they're going to go from one of the most dominant teams in NBA history to a possible #1 draft pick in a very short period of time and I can't say I've seen that in my lifetime.
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311Hog

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Re: 2019-2020 NBA Prediction Thread
« Reply #13 on: October 31, 2019, 02:45:46 pm »

Last night showed what a Jazz team with Conley playing to his potential can look like.  The first few games he was not great by any means.  If he can continue to improve with his new teammates watch out for the Jazz come playoffs.   This is going to be an interesting NBA season and I'm all in for it. 

Some part of me actually feels bad for the Warriors as an organization.  Which is weird because I have no allegiances to them at all.  But I disliked them because I disliked the way Durant ended up there.  And I'm not a fan of Draymond at all!  But they're going to go from one of the most dominant teams in NBA history to a possible #1 draft pick in a very short period of time and I can't say I've seen that in my lifetime.

i agree on the warriors though part of me realizes what you just mentioned.  maybe they will fall all the way to the number 1 pick, then Steph and Klay return....
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Gotdatwood

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Re: 2019-2020 NBA Prediction Thread
« Reply #14 on: October 31, 2019, 04:24:58 pm »

i agree on the warriors though part of me realizes what you just mentioned.  maybe they will fall all the way to the number 1 pick, then Steph and Klay return....

It will be interesting to see how they handle the roster up until the start of next year.  Cauley-Stein can fit really well in that offense once everyone is healthy.  I think the key will be what they do with Russell.  I don't see him fitting in well once Klay returns, so if they decide to deal him and handle it well they could be right back to a title contender next season.
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ErieHog

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Re: 2019-2020 NBA Prediction Thread
« Reply #15 on: November 01, 2019, 05:39:29 pm »

It will be interesting to see how they handle the roster up until the start of next year.  Cauley-Stein can fit really well in that offense once everyone is healthy.  I think the key will be what they do with Russell.  I don't see him fitting in well once Klay returns, so if they decide to deal him and handle it well they could be right back to a title contender next season.

Cauley-Stein is a liability to have on the floor, and its a shame that Green is past his prime.   The injuries mean they're going to struggle mightily in the deep West, but I think they're in a decent spot to bounce back if they can figure out how to unclutter themselves from a bad contract like Dray's, and sort their bench out.
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1990sHogBallChild

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Re: 2019-2020 NBA Prediction Thread
« Reply #16 on: November 20, 2019, 08:34:44 pm »

My word the Warriors are getting beat down right now in Dallas. Everybody but Draymond is hurt right now and the Warriors look destined for last place  :o

Also, how about the Suns with those offseason additions making them a decent team actually. I am not sure they hold on to a playoff spot by the end, but I think 36 to 40 wins seems minimum now. And they have been horrendous in recent years. I am not sure anyone saw them being a decent, little team.
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1990sHogBallChild

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Re: 2019-2020 NBA Prediction Thread
« Reply #17 on: November 20, 2019, 08:37:42 pm »

-Miami Heat overachieving early

-Raptors doing the same

-after about the 5 or 6 seed in the East it falls off a cliff. The bottom of the East is horrendous


-Lakers and Rockets hot early

-The West will be a battle of playoff seeding all season long it appears
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ErieHog

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Re: 2019-2020 NBA Prediction Thread
« Reply #18 on: November 20, 2019, 10:02:20 pm »

-Miami Heat overachieving early

-Raptors doing the same

-after about the 5 or 6 seed in the East it falls off a cliff. The bottom of the East is horrendous


-Lakers and Rockets hot early

-The West will be a battle of playoff seeding all season long it appears


Pascal and FVF have done very well for them early this year.   If it holds, they might not be trade deadline sellers, which would bump them up a notch in my book.
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311Hog

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Re: 2019-2020 NBA Prediction Thread
« Reply #19 on: November 21, 2019, 09:17:59 am »

Luka ! ballin outa control right now.
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Wisco Pig

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Re: 2019-2020 NBA Prediction Thread
« Reply #20 on: December 15, 2019, 09:05:00 am »

Just stopping in to give a shout-out to my Bucks.  With wins at home next week against the Mavs and Lakers, Milwaukee would match its longest winning streak (20) in franchise history.
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