The Water Cooler

NBA Predictions: So Far, So Good

1 month ago I posted 25 predictions for the NBA season and one month in, most of my predictions are looking pretty good…that is those predictions not involving Steph Curry. Here’s an update on my predictions and how they are looking 1 month later.

 

1-It will take 64 wins to secure the top seed in the West this year.

The Warriors are currently on pace to win 82 games. But they have to cool down at some point…right?

2-It will take 56 wins to secure the top seed in the East this year.

The Bulls and Cavs are both sitting at 8-3 a pace that would land them with 59.5 wins.

3-After missing the playoffs last year, the Miami Heat will make the playoffs and have home court advantage in the first round.

The Heat sit at 6-4 and if the playoffs started today, they would host the Pacers in the first round.

4-After losing DeMarre Carroll in free agency this off-season, the Hawks will win 10 fewer games this year than their 60 wins last year.

The Hawks are 9-5 and on pace to win 52.7 games.

5-DeAndre Jordan will lead the league in Rebounds again this year.

I’m not sure that anyone thought Drummond would come out and average 18.9 boards like he has, but Jordan does sit 2nd at 12.9. 

6-DeMarcus Cousins will finish in the Top 10 in the league in PPG, RPG, and BPG.

Cousins has played in only 6 games, but is averaging 27.5, 11.1, and 1.0. He’ll need to pick on the pace on Blocks, but he’s sitting pretty in the other two categories.

7-Lebron James’s scoring average will be lower than his 25.6 PPG last year, his lowest since his rookie year.

Lebron is averaging 27.3 PPG and some experts are asking if Lebron is carrying too much of the load. I wonder if he’ll keep this up or if the average will dip when Kyrie returns to the lineup.

8-Kobe Bryant will shoot less than 42% from the floor this season and average over 20 PPG.

Kobe is shooting a career low 33.6% from the floor, but averaging only 16.9 PPG.

9-The 76ers will finish with the worst record in the NBA this season.

The Sixers are the league’s only winless team at 0-12. 

10-Paul George will make the All-Star Team and take the Pacers back to the Playoffs.

He’s scored more than 25 points in each of his last 8 games, he’s efficiently pacing 6th in the NBA in scoring and averaging and a career-best 8.9 rebounds per game. The Pacers are currently 7-5 as the 5th seed in the East. 

11-Jahlil Okafor will lead all rookies in scoring and win Rookie of the Year.

Okafor leads all rookies in scoring at 18.8 PPG, but Towns or Porzingis looks like he could derail this prediction and win ROY despite not leading all rookies in scoring.

12-Derrick Rose will play more than 70 games this season.

Played in 10 of 11 so far, but just missed his first with a sprained ankle.

13-Chris Bosh will be the Miami Heat’s top scorer.

Bosh is averaging 18.1 PPG, leading Wade by 1.0 PPG.

14-Steph Curry will not break his own record for 3 pointers in a season this year…but he will still lead the league by a large margin.

OK, so I was a little bit off on this one. Curry is on pace to shatter his own record by 140 makes. He is however, leading the league by a large margin, 62 to Lillard’s next-best 38.

15-Chris Paul will have a career year in assists, exceeding his career-best 11.6 APG.

Paul has not gotten off to the start I anticipated. He is averaging only 8.0 APG, 4th best in the league.

16-Kevin Durant will lead the league in scoring average and will shoot lights out with a 40-50-90 season.

Durant is currently 3rd in scoring at 28.1 PPG and shooting 44.7-50.3-89.3. If we scratched Kevin Durant and replaced his name with Steph Curry’s I would feel better about this prediction.

17-Russell Westbrook will break a bone in his body and will not miss more than 1 game because of it.

This has not happened yet…so far as we know.

18-The Utah Jazz will have a top 3 defense and will make the playoffs.

The Jazz currently rank tied for 2nd in scoring defense, 6th in opponent shooting percentage, and holding their opponents to a league low 31.7% on defended shots. The Jazz are currently 6-5 and would be the 6th seed in the West if the Playoffs started today.

19-Damian Lillard will have career highs in PPG, APG, FTA, FT%, and turnovers per game, while also setting a career low in FG%.

Lillard is averaging career highs in PPG (25.1), APG (6.7), FTA (5.4), and TO per game (3.8), but his FT% is not a career high (85.7%- high is 87.1%) and he is not quite shooting a career low FG% (43.2% low if 42.4%).

20-After losing 4 starters, Portland will go best-to-worst in the Northwest Division.

After a surprising start the Blazers have settled into a 7 game losing streak and currently sit last in the NorthWest at 4-9. 

21-Dallas’s Deron Williams will not play more than 65 games and will shoot less than 42% from the floor this season.

Deron is shooting 42.1% from the floor, but has played in 11 of the 12 games for the Mavs.

22-Houston’s Team 3PA record of 2680 set last season, will be broken this season.

The Rockets are shooting 33.0 3’s per game, on pace to shoot 2,706 this season.

23-At least one player will average at least 30 points per game this season.

Steph Curry is averaging 33.7 PPG, Harden is at 28.8, and Durant and Westbrook are both at 28.1. At least one of them will finish above the 30 PPG mark, something that has happened only once in the past five seasons.

24-Carmelo Anthony will stay healthy this year and finish in the Top 5 in scoring average and the Knicks will not win more than 25 games.

Carmelo has stayed healthy and is finally hitting his stride after shaking off some of the rust. He is currently 8th in the league in scoring, but has scored 25 or more in 4 of his last 5. 

25-Anthony Davis will not win the MVP this season.

The pre-season hype machine had many experts picking Davis for MVP. Not only has Davis missed time for injuries, but his numbers are down across the board–scoring, rebounds, blocks, steals, and shooting numbers are all down from last year. This prediction looks as safe as any of them at this stage of the season. 

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