Every year the NBA is littered with surprises. This comes in many forms, such as teams and players doing way better than expected, a projected top team massively under-performing, trades, etc. Not many people can correctly guess these things will happen, but some bold predictions do come true. Here are my three bold predictions.
Prediction No. 1: Neither L.A. Team Will Get The 1st Seed In The Western Conference
The Western Conference has two heavy favorites to win the 1st seed, the Lakers and the Clippers. And while these two teams are certainly in contention to easily win it, I believe that we will see the rise of a surprise team win home court advantage throughout the playoffs. I can only realistically see two teams accomplish this: The Rockets and The Jazz. This may seem like a stretch to some, and understandably so, but hear me out. The lakers are one superstar injury away from dropping out of the top four seed contention, and it seems likely that an injury will occur since Anthony Davis and LeBron James have had recent injury history. The Clippers are the same way, but are a much more respectable team without a superstar. If injuries occur or if a team in the West rises up more than we think, this prediction can come true.
Prediction No. 2: The Pacers Make The Eastern Conference Finals
While the competition in the East isn’t that deep, it is very top heavy. The Bucks and the 76ers are the two heavy favorites to make the Finals out of the Eastern Conference. Due to this, the Pacers don’t seem likely to make it past the second round, especially since the Celtics, Nets, and arguably the Raptors without Kawhi, seem better on paper than the Pacers right now. But the Pacers have a top 5 coach in the NBA in Nate McMillan, who got the Pacers to the 5th seed last year with their best player, Victor Oladipo, who was gone for a lot of the year. McMillan will make this heavily improved Pacers team, who have back Oladipo, a lot better. I think that his coaching and the Pacers roster can make for a Cinderella story in the East this year.
Prediction No. 3: Derrick Rose Becomes An All-Star Again
This is a prediction that doesn’t seem likely whatsoever. And it isn’t. This is my boldest prediction by far, but the conditions for Derrick Rose to be selected as an All-Star this year are perfect. Rose is one of the most popular players in the NBA, and will receive a lot of fan votes for him to be an All-Star. Rose only has three guards who will 100 percent make it over him (Kyrie Irving, Victor Oladipo, and Kemba Walker), if they’re not injured. That leaves Rose with one guard spot to get in and two wildcard spots to potentially make the All-Star team. All he has to do is perform and stay healthy and he can end up on the roster.
Do you think any of these predictions will happen?
By Hugo Vazquez, Senior, Brooks College Prep
Instagram: @sadbullsfan14 / Snapchat: hugovbrooks