2013-2014 NBA Preview: Season and Playoff Predictions

10/28/13 in NBA   |   BlakeLovell   |   81 respect

Oct 18, 2013; Los Angeles, CA, USA;  Images of Los Angeles Clippers players hang in the rafters covering all banners belonging to the Los Angeles Lakers. Los Angeles Clippers play the Portland Trail Blazers tonight at the Staples Center. Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports
WESTERN CONFERENCE

Predicted Order of Finish

1. Los Angeles Clippers - This is the year for the Clippers to finally end years and years of misery. They have a star point guard, two beasts in the paint, and couple of solid shooters. That's a pretty nice combo, and it'll prove to be too much for the rest of the West.

2. San Antonio Spurs - Every year, we say that it's the last year the Spurs can compete. I'll say it again this season, which means the Spurs will indeed be in position to compete for a title. As with most veteran teams, health is always the key though.

3. Golden State Warriors - The addition of Andre Iguodala is going to make this team a contender rather quickly. Like the Clippers, this team is built for a deep post-season run. Andrew Bogut not missing significant time will certainly help.

4. Oklahoma City Thunder - Russell Westbrook's absence for the first month or so might set the Thunder back just a bit. Without Westbrook in the lineup, expect Durant to go into super serious beast mode. When Westbrook returns, the Thunder should begin their rise to the top half of the conference.

5. Houston Rockets - We may all be selling the Rockets short. Houston now has Dwight Howard manning the paint, and they will shoot the ball ridiculously well. It wouldn't surprise me if they sneak up a spot or two if Howard returns to his Magic form.

6. Memphis Grizzlies - I wonder about how the departure of head coach Lionel Hollins will affect this team. The Mike Conley/Zach Randolph/Marc Gasol trio is outstanding, but look for the Grizzlies to take a step back this season.

7. New Orleans Pelicans - Adding Jrue Holiday and Tyreke Evans makes the Pelicans must-watch. Anthony Davis is going to have a monster season, and if New Orleans can get consistency from their guards, Monty Williams' team could be one of the biggest surprises in the league.


8. Los Angeles Lakers - No one expects the Lakers to go absolutely anywhere this season. I still have a hard time believing that a team with Kobe Bryant, Steve Nash, and Pau Gasol will miss the playoffs. Yes, I know this isn't five years ago. When Bryant returns though, he's going to make the Lakers competitive. Ultimately, they find a way to steal the final playoff spot.

THE REST: 9. T'Wolves, 10. Blazers, 11. Mavericks, 12. Nuggets, 13. Jazz, 14. Kings, 15. Suns  


Playoff Predictions
First Round: Clippers over Lakers, Rockets over Thunder, Warriors over Grizzlies, Spurs over Pelicans
Conference Semis: Clippers over Rockets, Warriors over Spurs
Conference Finals: Clippers over Warriors

NBA FINALS PREDICTION: Clippers over Pacers in six games

What are your predictions for the 2013-2014 NBA season? Let us know by commenting below! For more NBA talk, follow @FanIQ or myself on Twitter!
 
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