Friday, October 29th, 2010 at 12:10 pm  |  31 responses

Links: Predictions

Plus, chatting with David Stern…

by Lang Whitaker | @langwhitaker

Well, I’m back. I squeezed in a quick vacation last week, returning the day before the season tipped off. The most exciting moment of my vacation came when I was attacked by a school of jellyfish. I survived, obviously. But man can those dudes sting!

Random aside: Our managing editor Susan Price went to a Spring preview for New Balance, and for some reason, while there Susan ran into a sumo wrestler. So of course she asked him to take a photo while holding our NBA Preview issue:


But anyway, I ended up telling the story of the jellyfish attack on this week’s Hang Time Podcast, where Sekou and I forecasted the NBA season, and then chatted with our special guest, an NBA executive by the name of David Stern. You can download it via the link above or listen to it here…

And speaking of NBA Digital, just like last season, I’m going to be appearing each week on NBA TV’s “The Beat,” with my main men Marc Fein and David Aldridge. Our first show airs this Tuesday on NBA TV at 6:00 PM EST.

Real quick, before the season gets rolling in earnest, I wanted to post some predictions. I wrote an NBA preview about four weeks ago, so it would be finished in time to run in SLAM 143, our NBA preview issue (on stands now!) As always, I didn’t use any concrete calculations to divine the standings. Instead, I just guessed, like I always do. If you want to read the entire preview, go buy the mag, you cheapskates. Here I’m going to run my eight playoff teams in each division…

Some comments and explanations at the end…


1. Orlando
2. Miami
3. Boston
4. Chicago
5. Atlanta
6. Milwaukee
7. Philly
8. New York

And I have Charlotte ninth and Detroit tenth, if you were curious. I picked Orlando to win the whole thing because I thought they were so close last year, and from what I’d read this summer, everyone was making a concerted effort to improve, including Stan Van and Dwight. I think Miami and Boston are almost interchangeable, because Miami is going to need time to come together, and Boston’s going to need time to rest. I figured Philly has a shot at making the postseason, because, well, why not. And I picked New York because I always pick New York and they never make it. One of these years I’m going to be correct!

1. Los Angeles Lakers
2. Oklahoma City Thunder
3. Dallas Mavericks
4. Phoenix Suns
5. San Antonio Spurs
6. Utah Jazz
7. Denver Nuggets
8. Portland Trailblazers

And I have Houston and New Orleans nine and ten. I’m convicted that the Lakers are going to win it all, and I think they’re going to run over everyone this season. Maybe it’s too soon to promote the Thunder to such a high spot, but it’s always better to be early than late. I think Phoenix is going to surprise some people even without Amar’e. The one team I really have zero feel for is Denver — they did win their division last season. But this Melo melodrama makes forecasting their chances cloudy.

Anyway, there’s that. More stuff next week. Have a great weekend everyone…catch you next week.

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  • add

    i think the sixers will either be the 8th or 7th seed

  • http://www.gswsolutions.blogspot.com Andrew

    Portland at 8, Phoenix at 4? Denver still making it after they trade Melo? I am going to have to buy that preview issue.

  • http://www.bulls.com Enigmatic

    Damn, Lang, I know it had to hurt to put your Hawks in 5th below Chicago. Good choice though :)

  • http://slamonline.com Lang Whitaker

    @Andrew: No, I mean Denver making it if they keep Melo (which I note in the mag).

  • Sparty’s Law

    If Yao stays healthy I’d say Houston is in and Denver is out.

  • http://www.boogiewilliams.com Boing Dynasty

    ^So basically you mean Denver is in, Houston is out…

  • thalilbigkahuna

    “But this Melo melodrama makes forecasting their chances cloudy.” Nice.

  • http://www.need4sheed.com Tarzan Cooper

    Phx does not make playoffs, and if they do itll be as 8 seed

  • Jb

    Don’t sleep on GSW sneaking up to 8-9

  • http://aspov.blogspot.com Cheryl

    I think you’re right about the Lakers, if they can keep young Andrew healthy through the playoffs. If not and he’s hurt come May, the NBA champs are coming out of the East.

  • http://slamonline.com Matt Lawyue

    SP, for the win.

  • http://www.chicagonow.com/blogs/chicago-bulls-confidential/ Diesel

    Am I the only one that caught the “main man” thrown in there? Lang has been doing so much tv that he’s slowly morphing into Ahmad Rashad.

  • http://www.chicagonow.com/blogs/chicago-bulls-confidential/ Diesel

    PS – Go Bulls

  • Fat Lever

    Lang, you’re convicted the Lakers will win? Freudian slip? Stop snitchin!

  • David

    can you re-post your predictions from last year and see how accurate you were? and maybe the ‘rookies most likely to…’ predictions, too?

  • Chris C

    Portland at 8?..Come on Lang they won 50 games last year in a much tougher western conference with half their team injured..they are gonna be at least a 4 seed if not higher

  • http://sports.espn.go.com/oly/olybb/news/story?id=5493184 Jackie Moon

    That pic is freaky, like my lady pyramid …

  • http://www.chicagonow.com/blogs/chicago-bulls-confidential/ Diesel

    I second that. Too much thigh rash for my liking. I can handle a little, just not that much.

  • http://www.twitter.com/hurstySYD Hursty

    Nah Rockets are making the playoffs this year.

  • http://thetroyblog.com Teddy-the-Bear

    ^ This.

  • http://www.youtube.com/officerbarbrady what

    @Enigmatic — under NBA seeding rules the Hawks can’t crack the top 4 unless they finish ahead of Miami or Orlando.

  • http://www.twitter.com/hurstySYD Hursty

    What Teddy said.

  • http://www.slamonline.com Eboy

    Keep hate alive!!!!!

  • http://www.triplejunearthed.com/dacre Dacre

    try and win some more games…

  • dma

    i’m used to the media never respecting my blazers. and everybody is up on the thunder’s junk

  • http://slam Kid Canada

    Phoenix 4th NO WAY!

  • http://thetroyblog.com Teddy-the-Bear


  • http://www.yamahyouth.com Gerwin

    Co-sign Diesel. I was thinking the same! Don’t be no Ahmad, Lang. Like the predictions. Go PHX!

  • http://www.bulls.com Enigmatic

    Oh yeah….forgot about that.

  • http://www.stonesthrow.com Michael NZ

    Superfast Jellyfish.

  • Mollywood

    i know you’re well-occupied, lang, but we’re 5 days into the new month and we haven’t heard from you. i’m craving my links fix! holla