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NBA 2021/22 Predictions

Well it’s that time of year again. Another NBA season is upon us and I feel about as ready for it as Ben Simmons. But let’s put on our best Nostradamus hats and predict this thing anyway.

Eastern Conference Standings

Jarrod Cotton:

1 Milwaukee Bucks
2 Brooklyn Nets
3 Atlanta Hawks
4 Miami Heat
5 Boston Celtics
6 Indiana Pacers

7 Philadelphia 76ers
8 Chicago Bulls
9 Charlotte Hornets
10 New York Knicks

11 Toronto Raptors
12 Cleveland Cavaliers
13 Detroit Pistons
14 Washington Wizards
15 Orlando Magic

Troy Goostrey:

1 Brooklyn Nets – Even without Kyrie, they look like #1 seed
2 Milwaukee Bucks – May start slow with a title hangover and target on their back, but clear #2 in the East IMO
3 Atlanta Hawks – Last season wasn’t a fluke. Another year into young legs, they’ll pounce if others falter
4 Miami Heat – Deep on paper, but will it all gel??
5 Philadelphia 76ers – Drama early will hurt, should have momentum as playoffs approach
6 New York Knicks – 6th based on last year then adding Kemba and Fournier

7 Indiana Pacers – As usual, on the playoff cusp. Too good for a high lottery, not good enough to contend
8 Charlotte Hornets – Wanted to put them higher, but it’s Charlotte. 8th seems an over-achievement
9 Boston Celtics – I’m off the Celts this season. Did nothing to improve, actually got worse!
10 Chicago Bulls – Made some moves to try and climb the ranks, but need things to go right

11 Toronto – Most likely to climb into the play-in. Depends on health and chemistry and blokes return
12 Washington Wizards – Dinwiddie and Beal show in DC. Beal needs a Wilt like average for them to get into the hunt
13 Detroit Pistons – Building something, get the season to gel and work out who stays and who is worth dealing
14 Cleveland Cavaliers – Get rid of the old blokes for some talent and they could move up. Garland, Sexton, Okoro, Mobley and Allen will be a good lineup in about 2026
15 Orlando Magic – Is Disneyland open yet? How long do we have to quarantine for when coming home? Nothing else to see here

Dan Kelly:

1 Milwaukee Bucks – Will be neck and neck with the Nets, not much in it for #1 seed
2 Brooklyn Nets – Will depend how many games KD misses and “IF” Kyrie comes back would expect them to go #1
3 Miami Heat – Big mover this year, nice addition with Mike Lowry
4 Atlanta Hawks – Build on last season and chance to go past first round in playoffs
5 Philadelphia 76ers – Bit of a slide this year, can they get close to a full season out of Embiid?
6 New York Knicks – Pretty similar to last season, could see them slipping out and a team like the Bulls surprising a little

7 Chicago Bulls – I like the additions and think they could be a sleeper for making the playoffs. Exit first round
8 Boston Celtics – Not seeing any major improvement and they are around the Knicks, Bulls type of team
9 Indiana Pacers – Usual Pacers, nobody notices them all season and they end up in playoffs
10 Toronto Raptors – Not sure what to make of them, thinking it is probably the time they finally start to go downhill

11 Charlotte Hornets
12 Washington Wizards
13 Orlando Magic
14 Detroit Pistons
15 Cleveland Cavaliers

David Ashman:

This is the Bucks year again, all healthy and looking impressive as they battle the Nets for the East
1 Milwaukee Bucks  
2 Brooklyn Nets
3 Miami Heat
4 Atlanta Hawks
5 Boston Celtics
6 Philadelphia 76ers

Toronto just missing out, a bit like the Spurs how they are consistent but this time injuries over run them and they miss out on playoffs
7 Toronto Raptors
8 Chicago Bulls
9 Indiana Pacers
10 New York Knicks

Lottery Pooms. Charlotte can improve but expect another year of not good enough from the Hornets. Time to suit MJ up again.
11 Charlotte Hornets
12 Washington Wizards
13 Orlando Magic
14 Cleveland Cavaliers
15 Detroit Pistons

Jesse Cotton:

1 Brooklyn Nets – Even without Kyrie and if KD and Harden rest alternate games, they have enough to get the 1 seed
2 Milwaukee Bucks – Learnt last year to pace themselves for the playoffs, and with the 2 seed Kyrie will be out for game 7 in Brooklyn
3 Miami Heat – The best of the rest, Lowry and Tucker solid vet additions, Oladipo the wild card
4 Atlanta Hawks – I should be worried that everyone is ranking them so high, but they are legitimately the deepest they’ve been in my lifetime
5 Philadelphia 76ers – With Simmons not even practicing and Embiid inevitably missing games, how high can a Tobias Harris team go?
6 Indiana Pacers – Always overlooked, if they can keep away from injuries (looking at you LeVert) they’ll be right in the mix

7 New York Knicks – Bring back an old Knicks-Pacers rivalry for the 6 seed I reckon 
8 Chicago Bulls – Put a bunch of good players together in the offseason, but I might be able to score 20 on them 
9 Boston Celtics – Not convinced with anyone outside of Tatum and Brown, just feel they might be playing catchup all year
10 Toronto Raptors – Will be glad to be back in Canada, and have a stack of talent especially in their forwards. Could surprise

11 Charlotte Hornets – Another team that could surprise if they stay relatively healthy
12 Cleveland Cavaliers – Will be much improved, but still have some choices to make
13 Washington Wizards – As long as Beal is happy playing with a team of Joe Averages, then why shouldn’t he, right?
14 Detroit Pistons – Cade could become the new Grant Hill. Time to bring out the turquoise horse jerseys
15 Orlando Magic – Not even Scott Skiles could get 30 assists passing to the guys on this team

Jarrod CottonTroy GoostreyDan KellyDavid AshmanJesse Cotton
6IndianaNew YorkNew YorkPhiladelphiaIndiana6
7PhiladelphiaIndianaChicagoTorontoNew York7
10New YorkChicagoTorontoNew YorkToronto10

Western Conference Standings

Jarrod Cotton:

1 Los Angeles Lakers
2 Phoenix Suns
3 Utah Jazz
4 Golden State Warriors
5 Dallas Mavericks
6 Portland Trailblazers

7 Denver Nuggets
8 Los Angeles Clippers
9 Memphis Grizzlies
10 Minnesota Timberwolves

11 Sacramento Kings
12 San Antonio Spurs
13 New Orleans Pelicans
14 Houston Rockets
15 Oklahoma City Thunder

Troy Goostrey:

1 Utah Jazz – Unfinished business and will have a chip on the shoulder. Climb back to the top by April, then what??
2 Los Angeles Lakers – Half the roster is already collecting a pension, but they can still play
3 Phoenix Suns – Uphill battle to repeat from the West. Last roll of the dice for CP3 as the lead PG?
4 Denver Nuggets – Hold the fort until Murray returns, hopefully for a playoff run
5 Portland Trailblazers – Best of the rest if all goes to play – Lillard and CJ focus, Nurk doesn’t get injured, and other parts work
6 Dallas Mavericks – Luka to average the trip-dub, Dallas need a big Cuban move to climb though. Kristaps not enough to support him

7 Golden State Warriors – Cheat code Curry has to slow down soon? Klay can’t return to more than 70% his former self. GSW on the decline
8 Los Angeles Clippers – No Kawhi, no LAC. PG will spit the dummy during the season and it will all fall apart
9 Memphis Grizzlies – Dangerous if they can sneak in from the play-in. One to avoid as the scoring and defensive prowess looks dangerous
10 Minnesota Timberwolves – It just has to work eventually. Russell and KAT work, Edwards continues to climb and they fly….to 10th, which is basically a title for the Wolves

11 San Antonio Spurs – If they announce the Pop retirement tour, the team will get some jets and climb up. Otherwise this is a rebuild WIP
12 New Orleans Pelicans – Zion’s feet make me worried. The rest can’t carry them in the tough West
13 Sacramento Kings – Finally getting some D, backcourt looks loaded. Bigs need to show up (Yes you Mr Bagley, drop the III and just play hard!)
14 Houston Rockets – Rebuild, will be fun. More 50/5/10 games from KPJ, please!
15 Oklahoma City Thunder – How long with the NBA tolerate a G League roster in the association? Giddey fun to watch with SGA, but both might be shelved by January when the season is gone

Dan Kelly:

1 Phoenix Suns – Keeping the nucleus together from last season will help and they hit ground running for the first game
2 Los Angeles Lakers – Could fall somewhere between #1 and #4 depending how quickly they can gel. I could see this taking a bit of time to work out integrating Russ
3 Utah Jazz – Usual Jazz team, dominate regular season, out in the first round of playoffs
4 Dallas Mavericks – Luka to have MVP type season and freshen up with super coach Jared Dudley, along with supporting cast of Jason Kidd. Big things for Kristaps this season, well I am more hoping for my fantasy team
5 Denver Nuggets – Jokic to keep Nuggets around the mark this season but could see them dropping a little without Murray from the start
6 Portland Trailblazers – Dame will keep Blazers in the hunt regular season, giving em 60 when he pleases

7 Golden State Warriors – No surprise if Steph can stay on the court that they challenge higher up standings. On any given night they can beat anyone
8 Los Angeles Clippers – Sliding without Kawhi and relying on PG, although for my fantasy I hope he has a good season. Funny the team that was plugging in Kawhi and PG are no longer there, players and coach included!
9 Memphis Grizzlies – Thinking similar run to last season, fun to watch
10 Sacramento Kings – Toss of the coin with them and Wolves. Big slider this year is Pelicans, with Zion already thinking about free agency they are on the way out

11 Minnesota Timberwolves
12 New Orleans Pelicans
13 San Antonio Spurs
14 Houston Rockets
15 Oklahoma City Thunder (at least I assume so. Dan didn’t even have them on the list, already relegated to the NBL!)

David Ashman:

The Suns will battle it out with the teams from LA and Jazz and Nuggets will keep plugging away. Another interesting year in the west.

1 Phoenix Suns
2 Los Angeles Clippers
3 Utah Jazz
4 Denver Nuggets
5 Los Angeles Lakers
6 Golden State Warriors

Dallas to just miss out on play-offs due to GSW resurgence with a full healthy team. Memphis to just miss out and Portland to get dismantled after this year
7 Dallas Mavericks
8 Memphis Grizzlies
9 Portland Trailblazers
10 Minnesota Timberwolves

Lottery Pooms. Houston we still have a problem. San Antonio has a lean year and New Orleans looks for answers.
11 San Antonio Spurs
12 New Orleans Pelicans
13 Sacramento Kings
14 Houston Rockets
15 Oklahoma City Thunder

Jesse Cotton:

1 Phoenix Suns – #1 by default really. Have no need to rest anyone outside of CP3, so will be a strong regular season team
2 Denver Nuggets – Showed last season they could still be good without Murray. Jamal, not Space Jam Bill
3 Los Angeles Lakers – Will take a while to get going, and will probably be dealing with AD and LeBron injuries again, but this time Russ will not let them slip to 7th
4 Utah Jazz – Show us what you’ve got in the playoffs, that’s my message to you Rudy
5 Dallas Mavericks – Hiring Jason Kidd, and Luka looking increasingly pouty, both have me a little worried for this team
6 Golden State Warriors – Don’t see how they should be much different than last year

7 Memphis Grizzlies – Strange offseason, but they always do better than predicted, even with a lack of big names outside of Ja
8 Portland Trailblazers – Similar story every year. Good guards, iffy forwards, hope the C can stay injury free
9 Los Angeles Clippers – Without Kawhi the roster looks average, and adding Bledsoe alone is worth dropping a few places
10 Minnesota Timberwolves – Kind of here only because I couldn’t find it in me to put any of the below teams here

11 Sacramento Kings – They should be higher based on their players, but lower based on their management
12 San Antonio Spurs – One of the worst rosters on paper, stability and coaching will get them just missing the play-in
13 New Orleans Pelicans – The secretive nature around Zion’s injury and status so early in the season is a big red flag
14 Houston Rockets – Will score a lot, at least
15 Oklahoma City Thunder – Is it too early to start selling Chet Holmgren jerseys?

Jarrod CottonTroy GoostreyDan KellyDavid AshmanJesse Cotton
1LA LakersUtahPhoenixPhoenixPhoenix1
2PhoenixLA LakersLA LakersLA ClippersDenver2
3UtahPhoenixUtahUtahLA Lakers3
4Golden StateDenverDallasDenverUtah4
5DallasPortlandDenverLA LakersDallas5
6PortlandDallasPortlandGolden StateGolden State6
7DenverGolden StateGolden StateDallasMemphis7
8LA ClippersLA ClippersLA ClippersMemphisPortland8
9MemphisMemphisMemphisPortlandLA Clippers9
11SacramentoSan AntonioMinnesotaSan AntonioSacramento11
12San AntonioNew OrleansNew OrleansNew OrleansSan Antonio12
13New OrleansSacramentoSan AntonioSacramentoNew Orleans13
15Oklahoma CityOklahoma CityOklahoma CityOklahoma CityOklahoma City15



Jarrod Cotton: Damian Lillard

Troy Goostrey: Luka Doncic

Dan Kelly: Giannis Antetokounmpo

David Ashman: Giannis Antetokounmpo, he gets it back

Jesse Cotton: Kevin Durant


Rookie of the Year

Jarrod Cotton: Jalen Green

Troy Goostrey: Jalen Green

Dan Kelly: Jalen Green

David Ashman: Cade Cunningham’s Warehouse

Jesse Cotton: Cade Cunningham

Defensive Player of the Year

Jarrod Cotton: Jrue Holiday

Troy Goostrey: Rudy Gobert

Dan Kelly: AD

David Ashman: Clint Capela Big Fella

Jesse Cotton: Matisse Thybulle

6th Man of the Year

Jarrod Cotton: Victor Oladipo

Troy Goostrey: Terance Mann

Dan Kelly: Caruuuuuusooooo

David Ashman: Slo Mo Joe Ingles (finally)

Jesse Cotton: Patty Mills

Most Improved Player

Jarrod Cotton: Lonzo Ball

Troy Goostrey: Jaren Jackson Jr

Dan Kelly: Ben Simmons learns to shoot, from 3 feet

David Ashman: Mo Bamba No 5

Jesse Cotton: Kevin Porter Jr

Coach of the Year

Jarrod Cotton: Monty Williams

Troy Goostrey: Quin Snyder

Dan Kelly: Mike Budenholzer

David Ashman: Atlanta’s Nate Sonic McMillan

Jesse Cotton: Steve Nash



Points Per Game

Jarrod Cotton: Damian Lillard

Troy Goostrey: Bradley Beal

Dan Kelly: Steph Curry

David Ashman: Dame Edna Lillard as Blazers will trade CJ McCollum because nothing is working with this Portland team, so he’ll go off.

Jesse Cotton: Bradley Beal

Rebounds Per Game

Jarrod Cotton: Jonas Valanciunas

Troy Goostrey: Clint Capela

Dan Kelly: Clint Capela

David Ashman: DeAndre Ayton so he finally get his $100 million contract and proves he’s worth it. Time to go to next level

Jesse Cotton: Michael Cage? Let’s go Gobert

Assists Per Game

Jarrod Cotton: Lonzo Ball

Troy Goostrey: James Harden

Dan Kelly: Russell Westbrook (also leading turnovers)

David Ashman: Trae Young, break out year passing the ball in Atlanta’s high octane offense. Dimes aplenty

Jesse Cotton: Trae Young, mainly on lobs to Joan Collins and Clint Eastwood

Steals Per Game

Jarrod Cotton: Matisse Thybulle

Troy Goostrey: LaMelo Ball

Dan Kelly: Jimmy Butler

David Ashman: Ben Simmons when he is finally traded and then plays for a west coast team after his sooky offseason.

Jesse Cotton: Jrue Holiday

Blocks Per Game

Jarrod Cotton: Robert Williams

Troy Goostrey: Rudy Gobert

Dan Kelly: Rudy Gobert

David Ashman: Mo Bamba No 5 for finally starting and showing off his huge Boeing 747 wingspan.

Jesse Cotton: Jarrett Allen



East All-Star Starters

Jarrod Cotton: Embiid, Durant, Antetokounmpo, Tatum, Young

Troy Goostrey: Antetokounmpo, Durant, Harden, Beal, Tatum

Dan Kelly: Harden, Tatum, Antetokounmpo, Durant, Embiid

David Ashman: Antetokounmpo, Butler, Durant, Tatum, Embiid

Jesse Cotton: Antetokounmpo, Durant, Harden, Tatum, Young

West All-Star Starters

Jarrod Cotton: Jokic, James, George, Doncic, Curry

Troy Goostrey: Jokic, Doncic, Curry, James, Mitchell

Dan Kelly: Curry, Doncic, James, Davis, Jokic

David Ashman: James, Davis, Jokic, Curry, Booker

Jesse Cotton: James, Jokic, Curry, Doncic, Lillard

All-NBA First Team

Jarrod Cotton: Jokic, Durant, Antetokounmpo, Doncic, Lillard

Troy Goostrey: Doncic, Jokic, Durant, Antetokounmo, Beal

Dan Kelly: Harden, Doncic, James, Durant, Antetokounmpo

David Ashman: Antetokounmpo, Jokic, Booker, Durant, James

Jesse Cotton: Doncic, Curry, Durant, Antetokounmpo, Jokic

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