Dec 26

As with many, I've decided to add my own predictions on the NBA season. Given the circumstances of the lockout, shortened free agency and training camp, and the condensed season. All, some or none could come true.


Western Conference:
1. Thunder (the clear favorite)
2. Mavericks (push in second half of season)
3. Blazers (depth; mix of experience & youth)
4. Lakers (league will want them to host in first round)
5. Clippers (improved, but still pieces short)
6. Spurs (aged, but still relevant)
7. Grizzlies (talented, but last year was fluky)
8. Nuggets (missing players in China)

Eastern Conference:
1. Bulls (Rose, Noah make them consistent)
2. Heat (streaky; still have little depth)
3. Knicks (full season for Carmelo & Amar'e)
4. Pacers (best combo of off-season adds)
5. Hawks (good pieces, but not there yet)
6. 76ers (young & talented)
7. Celtics (aged; no big man)
8. Bobcats (perhaps drafted better than anyone)


First Round:
Thunder over Nuggets (not much of a series)
Mavericks over Grizzlies (close, but Mavs will win)
Blazers over Spurs (Blazers have Spurs' number)
Clippers over Lakers (changing of the guard)
Bulls over Bobcats (Bulls fairly easily)
Heat over Celtics (James, D-Wade lead the way)
Knicks over 76ers (7-game series, Knicks prevail)
Hawks over Pacers (playoff inexperience hurts Pacers)

Conference Semifinals:
Thunder over Clippers (key matchup: Ibaka v. Blake)
Blazers over Mavericks (Blazers get some revenge)
Bulls over Hawks (Bulls just too strong)
Knicks over Heat (ugly series, Knicks steal it)

Conference Finals:
Thunder over Blazers (Thunder in 6)
Bulls over Knicks (Rose too much for Melo)

NBA Finals:
Bulls over Thunder (Noah's inside play boosts Bulls)


MVP: Durant, Thunder (finally his turn)
ROY: Biyambo, Bobcats (wins over teammate Walker)
DPOY: Ibaka, Thunder (takes title from Howard)
6th MAN: Crawford, Blazers (difference maker)
MIP: Favors, Jazz (takes the next step)
COY: McMillan, Blazers (west finals is key)

Blazers record: 43-23.

I'd like to know what you all think. Do you agree? Disagree? Am I off my rocker? Regardless, let me know.


In Kassandra's Words features regular blogs throughout the year. Comments and questions are welcome and encouraged. Seasons begin and end; players come and go; our Blazers are forever. Please follow on twitter: @PDXKass
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  1. i knwo your smart but have to disagree knicks over heat sorry no pacers got the experience now so no way hawks over them, to many wins for blazers 41 or 40 and hoah over kendrick perkins this year no way im sorry noah can score but rose vs nto only west brook but durant for allstar pushing and team chestry so yeah its thunder or someon in the east for champs no one looks strong enough except us and i dont think blazers have the ultimate team to do it one thing is missing and i dont think its oden i think its something else

    by jamie (guy) on 12/26/2011 3:41 PM
  2. i appreciate your opinion, and to note: the pacers have little playoff experience; Noah's rebounding and defense will be more important than his offense; Rose is better than Westbrook; blazers get 43 wins due to their depth, especially with the second unit; knicks will create matchup problems for the heat.

    ~ KMM

    by Kassandra on 12/26/2011 3:45 PM
  3. Nice blog as always Kass. I agree with most, especially in the West. HOWEVER, there is a few things I do disagree with.

    The first thing I disagree with is that the Blazers make it to the WCF, simply because they have the talent, but never seem to get it together in the playoffs. We need someone to push is over, and get a competitor that doesn't shock the world (the last 3 playoffs, we've had the Rockets, who pushed the Lakers to 7 w/o Yao. The Suns, who swept the Spurs and went to the WCF, and Dallas, who of course, won). I don't think we're ready to jump two steps to the conference finals. Second round over the Spurs? For sure. I don't think the Spurs have enough tank in the gas.

    You're also probably right about Denver, because I always seem to underestimate them, but I think Golden State will take the 8th spot over them. I like Golden State, and last night was a lot closer than the final score showed, especially with Curry, Ellis, and Wright - their top players, being completely off and going, I think it was 1-17 from downtown between the 3.

    I also don't have the Thunder winning the West, especially if it was against Portland in 6 games. I think Portland is a better team than OKC, who is just highly overrated, but because of that, the NBA will make sure the favorites get the victory. In reality, Portland would win, but in the NBA, OKC would. I do not think that OKC can beat Dallas though if Dallas was to beat us (I do have OKC, Dallas, and Portland in the conference Semi finals in the same place you do).

    I don't pay much attention to the East, but both realistically and in the NBA, I don't see the Bulls beating the Heat, let alone the Knicks. Knicks play no defense, and people overrate Chandler who they forget was basically money thrown around until he landed in the perfect spot in Dallas. Players look better than they are when they have a perfect match, or look better than they are when they have no one on their team (as we can see with some All-Stars being bad role players). I don't think Chandler will have the impact he had in Dallas. Also, Melo and Amar'e just don't know how to play defense. They beat the Celtics by playing fast. They almost lost when it slowed down and defense relied on them. Also, was that really a foul that sent Melo to the line? Some think it wasn't... and they could have a point.

    The fact of the matter is the NBA is rigged, and I think you agree that the refs are very bad. So, this year, I don't think of what teams can do, but what the NBA wants. I would be surprised if it wasn't OKC vs Clippers in the conference finals if the NBA can get them to set up that way simply because that would have EVERYBODY watching. Also, fans watch the Heat to watch them lose, so they'll continue to watch the Heat. The NBA knows this, so they'll get all the help they need to get to the finals again. Bulls have no chance in my book.

    Other than that, your predictions are intelligent, and much more clear than a lot I've been seeing thrown around... like Shaq and Kenny Smith.

    by Herr on 12/26/2011 3:48 PM
  4. i screwed up i ment loul deng and rose vs westbrook and durant i knwo you can throw boozer at me but i think hes more of an anchor then a huge help in the season help play offs not really, too many wild shots while in the season can help the pressure of no mistakes boozer hurts you

    by jamie (guy) on 12/26/2011 3:50 PM
  5. Stephen, i don't necessarily think we're not as good as the thunder; the problem is that of late, we haven't matched up too well with them. the interesting thing to watch when we go up with them is how Durant will defend Crash. GW could be a huge factor in making Durant work on defense. i certainly think we have the potential to make the west finals. maybe that's a tall order, but i stand by it. the heat have the superstars, but the bulls have the third largest market. the knicks have the second-largest. in a rigged league, that puts it up for grabs. i also felt that was the most likely shocker in the east. i didn't list contenders, but i think the warriors and rockets are the biggest challengers to break into the top eight. yes, i do feel that the league is much less than honest, especially in regards to using its officials to dictate some games in the name of profit (the reason i listed the lakers higher than i usually would). hey, i took a stab at it!

    ~ KMM

    by Kassandra on 12/26/2011 4:00 PM
  6. but hey guys, did you like the picture of Crash?!

    ~ KMM

    by Kassandra on 12/26/2011 4:01 PM
  7. nice but i woudl have used a defensive pic of wallace

    by jamie (guy) on 12/26/2011 4:40 PM
  8. Crash is on offense; that's why the defender is trying to block his shot.

    ~ KMM

    by Kassandra on 12/26/2011 5:12 PM
  9. i guess im just in the mood to argue with you lol

    by jamie (guy) on 12/26/2011 5:15 PM
  10. i noticed that. i'm not in that such a mood.

    ~ KMM

    by Kassandra on 12/26/2011 6:14 PM
  11. Kassandra: I worked right up to game time and then the game, your predictions sound good but you know I will have to get one out. Maybe tomorrow.

    by Hg on 12/26/2011 9:48 PM
  12. Gotta love the Bobcats bias you now have! I don't disagree with your finals teams or results, I think Dallas will struggle more because they are just that much older. NY will fade like Miami did last year, and this is the year one of Miami's big 3 has a significant injury. I do agree with Herr about Chandler..he'll fizzle in NY (he's a contract player, now he'll rest on his laurels). Great blog...nice to have it in writing so early.

    by BlockParty aka Teamship on 12/27/2011 8:11 AM
  13. Miss Kassandra:
    Your predictions are too good to debate much.
    I think the Knicks will vastly improve, but so will Miami so I predict Miami over the Knicks and then the Bulls over the Heat, their revenge.

    As Rumored that Howard and Williams goes to Dallas with Dirk, would give OKC at least a run for a repeat. As it stands right now, I think Orlando and Mavs are going to slip big time.

    I haven't studied the schedule or btbtb or how much that will factor in. But just to be different, I am going between you and Sarah and say 41 wins.

    by Hg on 12/27/2011 8:37 AM
  14. Off your rocker on Bismarck Biyombo, the dude is like a Hasheem Thabust

    by Roland on 12/27/2011 11:31 AM
  15. Also NBA isn't rigged. I mean remember when Orlando got Penny and Shaq in consecutive yrs. Or when Por and Sea got Oden and Durant, respectively. The Spurs winning multiple championships. The development of OKC. LBJ landing in CLE. Also last yr no one portend that the Mavs would win it all (Laker/Heat would have been the biggest draw). Big market teams will always have an inherent advantage due to attraction of free agents, TV and stadium revenue, etc etc.

    by Roland on 12/27/2011 11:37 AM
  16. True parody exist only in NFL where there is a hard salary cap and optimal revenue sharing.

    by Roland on 12/27/2011 11:45 AM
  17. @Hg: i don't fully expect a whole lot of these to come true, except for the majority of the playoff matchups. i think there are some which just may come true. i like something Sarah said in her blog about one of the heat''s big three probably missing some major time due to injury. i have a feeling that will happen. dallas has looked horrid their first two games, but what they need is a chance to gel and get used to playing together. i expect them to top the spurs in that division. 41 wins was my original, but i just think we're a couple games better than that.

    @BlockParty: Bobcats bias? how's that? i think they're an exciting young team and are going to only build on their finish from last season. the youth should help you guys this season. i picked Biyambo over Walker for ROY because i think he'll have more opportunities. i know that may sound strange, especially as Walker had a great game last night, bias or not, i just think the ROY will come out of charlotte this season.

    ~ KMM

    by Kassandra on 12/27/2011 11:48 AM
  18. Miss Kassandra;
    I know you are speculating, I am just not that good at predicting. This btbtb is going to be the down fall of many teams. I think Portland is going to be OK in that department because of all the time LMA spent on the floor last year. Plus with not debate intended, increasing his protein and fat intake will give him long term energy, use carbs for fast energy and let the protein kick in for a long burn, I believe once he gets his BB legs he will be great to go the distance.

    There may be many teams that end up with big injuries, Just think where OKC would be if Westbrook or Durant was injured for a long period of time.

    The Lakers are already down 0-2 and that may take a toll. OBTW, Is Bynum serving his 7 game suspension. Kobe knee is bothering him.

    I am just glad we started off 2-0 with a good chance to improve.
    I get some time off tomorrow so will try to make some predictions then.

    by Hg on 12/27/2011 10:24 PM
  19. Hey Kass, I'm with you on the Blazers making it to the WCF, repeating what they did last time the NBA had a lockout back in 99. I have to say, though, that the Heat seem to be on a mission to redeem themselves. I see Miami taking it over OKC for all the marbles. Chicago, to me, is my dark horse.

    by blazerdarren77 on 12/27/2011 10:57 PM
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