After what promises to be a phenomenal regular season, I see the Pacers beating the Heat in a classic seven-game ECF and the back-at-full-strength Thunder topping the Clippers in a rough-and-tumble WCF. After that, I think Paul George will complete his ascension to the top tier of NBA players by winning a Finals MVP as the Pacers top the Thunder for their first-ever NBA Championship.
All of my predictions came off the top of my head. I’m truly curious how my method (know each team’s roster and then guess their win total in 30 seconds) compares to other places that have borderline astrophysicists compiling their season previews.
That said, out of respect for math and analytics, I asked SLAM Editorial Assistant Leo Sepkowitz to fact-check my W-L numbers and offer any rebuttals. He did the former with ease, and the latter is below.—BO
I guess we know who the driver of the Pacers bandwagon will be this year. I like Indy, too, but I don’t trust them yet. Not in a conference with LeBron, an out-for-revenge Bulls team and whatever the Knicks and Nets are. They had a very nice season a year ago, but Derrick Rose’s injury was a big reason why.
Out West, the Thunder are thin even when Russell Westbrook gets healthy. They’re weak at shooting guard and center, where Thabo Sefolosha and Kendrick Perkins shot 34 and 26 percent in the 2013 Playoffs, respectively. This just doesn’t smell like a title team to me.
Still, the West lacks a team I have faith in, so yet again it’ll be a crapshoot. Meanwhile, it’s really, really hard to threepeat. I love the Clippers with their unlimited depth at the wing. I love the Bulls with a chip on their shoulder. I really love the idea of the two best point guards in the League facing off with everything on the line. Clippers over Bulls for the Chip.—LS