2015 NBA Predictions
- Atlanta Hawks
- Cleveland Cavaliers
- Chicago Bulls
- Toronto Raptors (as division winner)
- Washington Wizards
- Milwaukee Bucks
- Miami Heat
- Brooklyn Nets
I hope I’m wrong about the Hornets, but I’ve been a fan of Carolina sports too long to expect much from anything other than college teams. Sure, the Panthers made the Super Bowl and the Hurricanes won the Stanley Cup, but too many years they are on the cusp, rather than actually getting much done. Even if the Hornets do make the playoffs, they aren’t going far.
- Golden State Warriors
- Memphis Grizzlies
- L.A. Clippers
- Portland Trail Blazers (as division winner)
- Dallas Mavericks
- Houston Rockets
- San Antonio Spurs
- Phoenix Suns
For those thinking the Hawks have no playoff experience, they actually have made the playoffs every year since 2007. That said, they haven’t made it out of the first round since 2011, and only made it to the second round then. The Hawks haven’t changed a lot of pieces since last year, so there should be some cohesion. Also, they haven’t had any bad injuries. Shelvin Mack is still out, which costs them almost 14 minutes a game, but he’s started zero games this year. Basically, I don’t see them winning the NBA Finals.
- Atlanta Hawks vs. Nets – Hawks
- Cleveland Cavaliers vs. Heat – Cavs –
- Chicago Bulls vs. Bucks – Bulls
- Washington Wizards vs. Raptors – Wizards
Hawks v Wizards – Hawks
Cavs v Bulls – Bulls
Bulls v Hawks – Bulls
The Bulls have made it to the conference finals 2 of the last four years. With Miami broken up, they make it back after a long drought. Basically, this is going to come down to the Cavs not having experience together and the Hawks having a lack of playoff success. Either the Cavs or the Hawks could end up taking this spot though – particularly if Rose can’t stay healthy.
- Golden State Warriors vs. Suns – Warriors
- Memphis Grizzlies vs. Spurs – Spurs — One last hurrah for Duncan.
- L.A. Clippers vs. Rockets – Clippers
- Dallas Mavericks vs. Blazers – Mavericks
Warriors v Mavericks – Warriors
Spurs v Clippers – Clippers
Warriors v Clippers – Clippers
The Warriors don’t have a ton of post-season experience, but they did make the conference finals in 2013. Kerr has had an impressive first season, and obviously has gotten the team to gel. I don’t know that he translates his post-season success as a player into that of a coach – yet. The West is wide open. I don’t think the Thunder are going to get it together enough to even make the playoffs, but they have the post-season experience to make waves if they do and their record at the end of the season is not going to indicate how good they are when healthy.
Clippers vs. Bulls – Bulls
Pippen never got it done without Jordan (nor Jordan without Pippen), but Gasol gets it done without Kobe, just like Shaq did. This is not a dig at Kobe, just a reality.