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DAR Sports: 2018-2019 NBA Season Predictions



The NBA Season is underway and things are about ready to heat up. Training camp has passed. Preseason has passed and the opening night of the season is here. The first two games of the season could end up as possible playoff matchups, as the Oklahoma City Thunder will head into Oracle to take on the back to back champion Golden State Warriors, while the Philadelphia 76ers will take on the Eastern Conference favorite Boston Celtics. Those two games will kick off an odyssey that lasts 82 games, which is the regular season. While the regular season is irrelevant to many for various reasons, I figured it would be fun to gather up a few DAR associates and members to discuss the season outlook and what we think will come. Our predictions here are mostly just for the teams, their records, and potential playoff seeding. We also give our Conference Finals and NBA Finals predictions. We'll hold off on the player specific predictions, because we prefer to just give analysis down the road than to give predictions, but as far as the playoffs, how the regular season goes, and which teams will make it to the top levels of the playoffs, this is the place to look. Will the Warriors regain the top seed in the West? Will the Warriors win another title? Will the Rockets keep their pace from last year? Who will miss the playoffs in the West? Will the Lakers be a force in the Conference? Are the Celtics the team to beat in the East? Are the 76ers and the Wizards possible threats? Will the Raptors shine with Kawhi as their best player? There are so many questions about this season. What truly happens, we really can't say, but the fact remains, this season will be interesting. So what are our predictions? Let's get into it.


@ShokusApollo
The Eastern Conference is interesting this year. Giannis can be a force, and there is room for growth with Philly and of course Boston, among other teams. Here are my picks and choices for the playoffs.

1. Boston Celtics
2. Toronto Raptors
3. Milwaukee Bucks
4. Philadelphia 76ers
5  Washington Wizards
6  Miami Heat 
7  Indiana Pacers
8  Detroit Pistons


Eastern Conference Finals
The consensus top picks, Celtics and Raptors will meet in the Conference Finals. I believe Toronto will edge them out in 7 games, making their first Finals in franchise history. Some have the Celtics, but I think this is the year the Raptors finally break through. Kawhi still won't stay with them long term more than likely even with this IMO.

Western Conference
1. Golden State Warriors
2. Houston Rockets
3. Utah Jazz
4. Oklahoma City Thunder 
5. Los Angeles Lakers
6. Portland Trailblazers
7. Denver Nuggets
8. Dallas Mavericks


Western Conference Finals
The Warriors will look to go all out this year to establish themselves as the best team and best dynasty we ever seen. I don't see them staying intact after this season with several rumors of KD or Klay leaving, but they will make it to their 5th straight NBA Finals after they beat Utah in 5 games.

NBA Finals
Warriors vs Raptors
-Warriors win in 6 games


@Peagle05
The Eastern Conference picture is interesting. Here are my picks for both the East and the West.

East
Boston Celtics
Philadelphia 76ers 
Toronto Raptors
Miami Heat 
Washington Wizards 
Milwaukee Bucks 
Indiana Pacers
Detroit Pistons

West
Golden State Warriors
Houston Rockets
Utah Jazz
Oklahoma City Thunder 
Los Angeles Lakers
Portland Trailblazers 
New Orleans Pelicans 
Denver Nuggets


Eastern Conference Finals
Boston Celtics vs Philadelphia 76ers
-Boston in 6 Games

Western Conference Finals
Golden State vs Utah Jazz
-Golden State in 6 Games

2019 NBA Finals
Boston vs Golden State
Golden State in 5 Games


@ImJuwuan
It’s the mooooosssst wonderful time of the yeaaaarrrrrr!!! That’s right it’s opening night for the Golden State Warriors annual October through June basketball invitational better known as the NBA. Check out my predictions and then follow me on Twitter.

Eastern Conference
Boston Celtics
Philadelphia 76ers
Toronto Raptors
Indiana Pacers
Milwaukee Bucks
Washington Wizards
Miami Heat
Chicago Bulls*/Charlotte Hornets (*Depends on Lauri’s health)

Western Conference 
Golden State Warriors
Houston Rockets
Oklahoma City Thunder
Utah Jazz
New Orleans Pelicans
Denver Nuggets
Los Angeles Lakers
Portland Trailblazers

Conference Finals
Boston Celtics vs Philadelphia 76ers (Celtics win 4-2)
Golden State Warriors vs Houston Rockets (Warriors win 4-1)

NBA Finals
Boston Celtics vs Golden State Warriors(Warriors win 4-2)


You’re witnessing one of the greatest dynasties of all time, so you better enjoy it while you still can. Don’t forget to follow me on twitter and thanks for reading.


@KingVaughnJr720
Let's take a look at how this season will end up going.

East
1. Celtics
2. Raptors
3. 76ers
4. Bucks
5. Pacers
6. Wizards
7. Heat
8. Cavaliers

1. Boston Celtics
The Celtics are my team to look at to take the Crown for the East because of the momentum that they created last season with the acquisition of Kyrie Irving along with the rise of Jayson Tatum, Jaylen Brown and Terry Rozier along with Gordon Haywood added to the mix. Boston took the LeBron James led Cleveland Cavaliers to the very brink as they were within ONE GAME of making it to the NBA Finals. Even though Kyrie was not part of the series, the Celtics showed what their collective nucleus was made of even without a high profile name. Not saying that Irving was expendable, but Boston was certainly a surprise to make it that far. With LeBron going to Hollywood, I expect Boston to build from where they left off.

2. Toronto Raptors
The Toronto Raptors made a huge power move to raise their stock in the East by landing former San Antonio Spurs franchise star and Finals MVP Kawhi Leonard. Things were heading south between Kawhi and the Spurs during the offseason because he felt a lack of support from the Organization while he was injured. Leonard initially wanted to join the Lakers because he is from that area. However, Gregg Popovich shut that down like Mutombo because he did not want to do business with them. As a result, the only option left was to move to the East and up North. Leonard came in a packaged deal along with Danny Green in exchange for DeMar DeRozan. Leonard adds some needed star power to a team that did very well by winning 59 games while not having a marquee name. The expectations have been raised even higher.

3. Philadelphia 76ers
The Philadelphia 76ers have a very strong nucleus that they are building piece by piece. With the likes of Ben Simmons, Joel Embiid and the return of Markelle Fultz, the Sixers look to make an even greater leap. Philly already closed the season with 52 wins, so I expect them to raise the bar to at least 56-57 Games. With Simmons and Embiid continuing to build their repertoire, the Sixers look to be a serious threat and well within the mix of the Top 3 powerhouses in the East.

4. Milwaukee Bucks
With the Greek Freak Giannis as the centerpiece, the Milwaukee Bucks will continue to be a dark horse within the Top 5 of the East. However, losing Jabari Parker could create a ripple effect leaving Giannis to carry even more of the weight. Milwaukee's lack of activity in the offseason could very well prove detrimental moving forward.

5. Indiana Pacers
The rise of Victor Oladipo proved to be a very pleasant surprise in the post-Paul George era for the Pacers. Indy overachieved in some ways by winning 48 games as I expect them to hover around that same mark. However, Oladipo's shooting touch started to disappear during the crucial second half of the season (January-March) as it nosedived to 30.2 percent. The Pacers supporting cast would have to rally even harder to cover those deficiencies.

6. Washington Wizards
During an offseason with a limited budget, the Washington Wizards made the most with what they were given. The Wizards upgraded their athleticism at Center by replacing Marcin Gortat with perennial All-Star Dwight Howard. The Wizards also added Austin Rivers and Jeff Green to provide what they believe could be some extra depth. However, the only concern with this is a matter of chemistry.

7. Miami Heat
With Heat legend and future Hall of Famer Dwyane Wade making this season his curtain call, Miami is well into their rebuilding phase as a franchise. The Heat will be entering this season with a 14 player roster, which is one player under the league's average. It's not surprising as the team wants to save around $4 million including salary and tax. With Hassan Whiteside as their centerpiece, Miami looks to float as a contender around 7th place.

8. Cleveland Cavaliers
No other place for the Cavs to go at this point with the departure once again of their crown jewel LeBron James. With King LBJ going to Hollywood, the Cavs are back in the cellar for the Eastern Conference Playoffs. The tables have turned significantly for the Cavs, but at least they are not out of the playoffs altogether with Kevin Love as their new primary option.


West
1. Warriors
2. Rockets
3. Jazz
4. Thunder
5. Lakers
6. Timberwolves
7. Pelicans
8. Blazers


1. Golden State Warriors
The Golden State Warriors have a stranglehold on the Western Conference with the Infinity Gauntlet as they have added perennial All-Star and former Pelicans Center, DeMarcus Cousins. Boogie is going to be Golden State's latest Infinity Stone as the starting lineup looks like a regular season All-Star Team. I look to see them continue their reign in the West by going 65-17.

2. Houston Rockets
After taking the Western Conference Heavyweight Champs to 7 games last season, the Houston Rockets will continue to be the biggest threat to the Warriors. With the addition of future Hall of Famer Carmelo Anthony, the Rockets look to open the floor when it comes to their isolation scoring. Houston has a triple threat of their own with the mix of CP3-Harden-Anthony to make some noise, but it won't hold the Champs down completely. The only concern for them is a matter of chemistry, but I don't see that holding them back any further than 2nd place. I see them going at least 59-23.

3. Utah Jazz
The Utah Jazz are the silent assassins of the West because they aren't treated as the powerhouse that they are. Utah made a surprisingly impressive run even without Gordon Haywood. With the rise of Donovan Mitchell, the Jazz look to duplicate that success while also implementing Jae Crowder and a returning Rudy Gobert.

4. Oklahoma City Thunder
With the nucleus of Russell Westbrook and Paul George, the Thunder will look to continue to be among the Top 5 Teams to look for in the West. With the exit of Carmelo Anthony, OKC could become more flexible defensively with the addition of Nerlens Noel.

5. Los Angeles Lakers
This is going to be very fascinating. The Lakers got a shark in the Free Agency pool with the acquisition of LeBron James to add much-needed depth and marquee value to a rebuilding Lakers roster filled with youth. LeBron's scoring, playmaking, and experience would prove as very valuable assets for the likes of Lonzo Ball to learn from. However, the Lakers' biggest achilles heel is their shooting. With Michael Beasley, Lance Stephenson and Rajon Rondo, the Lakers have their share of weaknesses in the shooting department. As history has proven time and time again, LeBron can turn lemons into lemonade.

6. Minnesota Timberwolves
The Minnesota Timberwolves are in quite the spot. They have a promising nucleus but are in need to win now. With Karl Anthony Towns and Andrew Wiggins at the forefront of the future, things seem bright. However, they are facing chemistry issues with Jimmy Butler and an injury prone Derrick Rose. Minnesota would at best finish at the 6th seed.

7. New Orleans Pelicans
I see the Pelicans finishing 7th place at best. Nothing more, nothing less with Anthony Davis keeping things steady in the wake of losing Boogie Cousins.

8. Portland Trailblazers
The Blazers rely heavily on their one-two punch of Damian Lillard and CJ McCollum in the backcourt with Evan Turner as a complimentary piece. With that said, I see them finishing the season winning at least 48 games to secure the 8th spot.


Conference Finals:
Celtics vs. Raptors (Celtics 4-3)
This series would be a tough battle on the road to the Finals, but I see Boston capturing the crown in the East as they capitalize on what they did last season by finishing what they started.

Warriors vs. Lakers (Warriors 4-1)
As great as LeBron James is at making others around him better, the Warriors just have too much strength at all positions as they continue to be his Kryptonite. I see LeBron's Finals streak coming to an end in the West.



NBA Finals
Warriors vs Celtics (Warriors 4-2)
This is the marquee matchup that I look forward to the most in the Finals. Two very stacked teams giving it everything, but Golden State will continue to keep their grip on the NBA Finals Trophy with Kevin Durant or Stephen Curry winning Finals MVP.




@TrueGodImmortal
So, I'll end off the predictions with my take on the East and West, along with my take on the ECF, WCF, and the NBA Finals. Deciding which teams do what, and how these matchups will go is never easy, but let's get into it.

Eastern Conference
1. Boston Celtics (62-20)
2. Philadelphia 76ers (58-24)
3. Toronto Raptors (56-26)
4. Indiana Pacers (52-30)
5. Washington Wizards (50-32)
6. Milwaukee Bucks (48-34)
7. Miami Heat (45-37)
8. Detroit Pistons (42-40)

Eastern Conference Finals
Boston Celtics vs Philadelphia 76ers (Celtics in 6)  

Western Conference Finals
Golden State Warriors vs Oklahoma City Thunder (Warriors in 5)

NBA Finals
Golden State Warriors vs Boston Celtics (Warriors in 5)


So, for the most part, we all have the Warriors winning the title against the Celtics. One selected the Raptors to play the Warriors, but for the most part, it seems likely the Warriors will complete their threepeat and their fourth title in 5 years. Is this the best dynasty ever? That remains to be seen but it certainly is one of the greatest and the best of this era. How will the season play out? Only time will tell, but our predictions are now locked in.

-DAR

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