NBA Second Half Predictions

Playoff Predictions:

Eastern Conference

1. Indiana

2. Miami

3. Brooklyn

4. Toronto

5. Chicago

6. Atlanta

7. Washington

8. Charlotte

Western Conference

1. Oklahoma City

2. San Antonio

3. LA Clippers

4. Houston

5. Portland

6. Golden State

7. Memphis

8. Minnesota

Most Valuable Player

Kevin Durant, SF, Oklahoma City Thunder

Most Improved Player

DeMarcus Cousins, C, Sacramento Kings

Coach of the Year

Jeff Hornacek, Phoenix Suns

Defensive Player of the Year

Roy Hibbert, C, Indiana Pacers

Sixth Man of the Year

Reggie Jackson, PG, Oklahoma City Thunder

Rookie of the Year

Michael Carter-Williams, PG, Philadelphia 76ers

Five Things to Watch For the Rest of the Year

1. Action at the trade deadline

Despite the recent blowback, this year’s NBA draft is going to be a great one. The trade deadline will be the last time this season where teams can cement their status as a lottery team. Expect the bad teams to have fire sales and the good ones to reap the benefits during a busy trade season.

2. Second Half Turnarounds

Every year there are teams that underperform to start the year but finish strong. Watch out for the Minnesota Timberwolves to be one of those teams this year. Normally a team with plus five point differential would be expected to have a 27-14 record, instead the Wolves are a game under 500. Most stat guys would tell you this means Minnesota has been very unlucky so far this year, expect that luck to even out.

3. Coaches Fired

Underperforming teams need someone to blame and since this is a player’s league it is usually the coaches. Expect Mike Woodson to be the first to go, especially after Tyson Chandler openly questioned his defensive scheme.

4. Pierre the Pelican will no longer haunt your dreams

The Pelicans have decided that they will rework their mascots face in order to make it look less like a homicidal clown/bird from hell. Just wanted to give Pierre a shout out before they make him more family friendly.

5. David Stern Retires

Regardless of your view on David Stern, you have to admit the NBA went through its most prosperous years under his watch. Now Adam Silver is taking over and for the first time in a long time things will change in the league. Expect rumors of changes to playoff format, divisions and the draft all to circulate as soon as Silver fully takes over.

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