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2023-2024 NBA Predictions

Eastern Conference

1 Boston CelticsWith the “big 4” there is enough to cover injuries (looking at you KP) and keep racking up the wins.
2 Milwaukee Bucks – Too old to go all out for the #1 seed. Obviously have a great duo but a lost rests on what they can get out of Middleton.
3 Cleveland Cavaliers – Should be pissed off losing in the first round last season and want to go at least one step further.
4 New York Knicks – Feels too high, but I can’t put them below the next two teams. Are we getting Jekyll or Hyde out of Julius Randle?
5 Philadelphia 76ers – You know the drill. Embiid playing with a guy who may or may not ever show up, and who may or may not get traded at some point during the season.
6 Miami Heat – Could go higher, but I don’t like the idea of Lowry starting at PG. 
7 Atlanta Hawks – Biggest change is a full season of Quin Snyder. He said he’s going to sit guys who don’t play defense, so I guess that’s you Trae. Either way, they’ll hover around 500 again.
8 Indiana Pacers – They were a good team before Haliburton was shut down, and he should be better than ever. Still a bit young to be higher, but they’re on the way up.
9 Chicago Bulls – Could easily blow it up and party like it’s 1999. 
10 Orlando Magic – Will take the next step in their development by making the play-in.
11 Toronto Raptors – I picked them high last season and they disappointed me, so this time I’m preparing for the disappointment.
12 Brooklyn Nets – Mikal Bridges is good, but they are relying on Ben Simmons to make the play-in, so they won’t.
13 Detroit Pistons – A lot of PGs and a lot of Cs. Still not sure what to expect from Cade. Too many questions.
14 Charlotte Hornets – LaMelo and who exactly? Miles Bridges? Kai Jones? Seems too chaotic in Charlotte.
15 Washington Wizards – We might see opposition teams score in the 160s on a regular basis against this team.

Western Conference

1 Phoenix Suns – Will be next to unstoppable on offense and therefore rack up a lot of high scoring wins, but if 2 of their stars are out at the same time, things could get ugly.
2 Denver Nuggets – Lost a bit of depth which could hurt their regular season record. I don’t think they care though.
3 Golden State Warriors – Losing Poole is good for team chemistry, but Draymond is just as likely to punch CP3 in the face at some point.
4 Memphis Grizzlies – Already without Adams, Clarke and Ja for 25 games, they will drop a few wins on last year, but will still be competitive.
5 LA Clippers – Kawhi will play 40 games, PG13 will play the other 40. They’ll say all season “just wait until we get our full team on the court together” and they never will. (Copied from last season)
6 LA Lakers – I don’t get the hype with this team. All other years talk is about how many games LeBron and AD will play, and now suddenly this season LeBron and AD are leading them into title contention? 
7 Minnesota Timberwolves – The greatest shooter of all time who achieved a bigger feat than winning the title by winning a play-in game, needs to learn this is not his team anymore. Otherwise play-in at best.
8 OKC Thunder – Will be better with Chet, but not as big of a leap as most are predicting. Other teams won’t take them lightly.
9 Sacramento Kings – Were one of the least injured teams in history last season. They won’t replicate that again, and will drop to a more expected seed.
10 New Orleans Pelicans – Who knows.
11 Houston Rockets – A lot of good young talent on this team. If Ime Udoka can get through to half of them, they will surprise.
12 Utah Jazz – They bolted out the gate last season, then traded some guys and fell back to earth. They’re still on earth. 
13 Dallas Mavericks – I keep hearing about how they tanked at the end of last season. My memory tells me they were in the 4-5 range, traded for Kyrie, slipped to 11th, and THEN tanked! This will be the most drama filled team this season.
14 San Antonio Spurs – All eyes on Wemby. That’s because there’s not a great deal else around him.
15 Portland Trailblazers – Will be fun to watch while they rack up the losses.

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