There are still a couple of weeks until the start of the new NBA season, but it’s close enough for us to dust off the old crystal ball and start to look ahead at each of the conferences. The betting odds favorites for the season are already in place, and it’s no real surprise to see that the bookies think that we are going to see the Cavaliers and Warriors hook up in the NBA Finals for the third straight year.
Here’s A Closer Look At The NBA Eastern Conference Winning Predictions
There are a lot of games that have to be played before we get to that point, though, which I why I am going to break down each conference to see which 8 teams will represent each in the postseason. Let’s start things off with my NBA Eastern Conference predictions:
The defending champions are far and away the class of this conference, and I see no way that Cleveland Cavaliers don’t finish on top. Even if they get the occasional injury here and there, they are still deep enough to cover.
There was talk of DeMar DeRozan moving on in the offseason, but some additions to the squad appear to have tempted him to stay. Should be a pretty solid year for the Raptors.
I think the race for second place in the East is going to be pretty tight, as there are a lot of teams who are all pretty close in terms of talent. I think the Celtics will just miss out on second behind Toronto, although injuries to either team could see that change.
After winning the East a couple of seasons ago, the Hawks took a bit of a step back last year. They have moved Al Horford and Jeff Teague, and brought in Dwight Howard, as well as a couple of great draft picks. Should be a good year in the ATL.
The Pacers have brought in a lot of new faces to support Paul George, and this team could be a solid threat if they can gel quickly. That always tends to be a big ask, though, so look for them to get better and pick up the pace in the second half of the season.
Here are where things start to get a little tricky, as the battle for the final 3 playoff spots in the East could be very fierce. I like the Wizards to settle into the number 6 spot, and really don’t see them going any higher.
This is a young team with an awful lot of promise, and they could potentially finish higher up the standings if all those young guys come together and deliver. They could be a dark horse in the East.
The Miami Heat have relied heavily on Dwayne Wade since the departure of LeBron James, and now that Wade has gone too, a bunch of guys need to step up. I was between the Heat and the Bulls for the 8-spot, but see Miami just sneaking in.