As the start of the NBA season approaches, many teams, at this point, have gone through notable changes within their respective organizations. I will showcase my predictions on how each team will do during the season. I will also cover some NBA teams I believe will do well this season.
The tables below include my predictions on how each team will do throughout the 22′-23’ NBA season. I simulated the entire season and created my predictions on playoffpredictors.com. These are the results that I ended up having.
Prediction: Phoenix Suns remain as the 1-seed in the Western Conference:
As the 1-seed in the Western Conference last year, I believe the Suns will repeat their standings and stay as the 1-seed. With Chris Paul leading the offense and Devin Booker having proven to be an excellent regular-season player, I am confident they will remain at the top of the Western Conference.
Prediction: Milwaukee Bucks move up to the 1-seed in the Eastern Conference:
With 6’11” PF Giannis Antetokounpo having been a dominant presence in the league, along with the help of Jrue Holiday and Khris Middleton last season, they had quite a good year. I believe they will be the best team in the Eastern Conference by quite a sizable margin this upcoming season.
As for the playoffs, I believe that the Warriors will win another championship this season with the help of superstars Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson. It would be Curry’s 5th ring, adding to his already prestigious career and increasing his case for being a top-10 or even top-5 all-time player. I have the Bucks making it to the NBA Finals for the same reason why I have them winning the 1-seed. But I believe that in the end, the Warriors will outperform the Bucks with the help of key players like Andrew Wiggins and Jordan Poole.
LOS ANGELES LAKERS OUTLOOK:
Now onto our local coverage, let’s take a look at the Lakers. While I have them as the 5-seed, this is under the condition that the Lakers can stay healthy for at least 4/5ths of the whole 82-game NBA season. However, if this is not the case, then I believe they might stay around the 7th or 8th seed, if not lower.
My main qualm with the Lakers is that they are just old. LeBron James, as great a player as he is, is not getting any younger. LeBron is entering his 20th season, and I do not doubt that he will start showing his age, especially toward the end of the season. My worry about Anthony Davis is he will be the same injury-prone player he was last season. People have even started to call him Anthony “day-to-day” Davis, which shows how bad it got.
And we cannot forget about Russell Westbrook, yikes. Look, I like Russ; he once was one of my favorite players to watch back when he played with the Oklahoma City Thunder. He even had a pretty good stint with the Washington Wizards during the ‘20-21 season. But I was irritated with how he played this last season. I was expecting so much more from him. I would argue that he worsened in every aspect of his game. His free throw shooting was terrible, with a 66.7% free throw shooting percentage. He averaged only 18.5 points per game last season as well. The last time he averaged less than 20 points per game was back in 2009-10 during his 2nd season, when he averaged 16.1 points per game.
Some may argue that since playing with LeBron, he has had to take a step back and become more of a role player. I understand the logic behind this, but I only somewhat agree. For the amount of money that Westbrook earned last season ($41,358,814) and the amount that he will make this upcoming season ($47,063,478), he should be playing at a much higher level. I will say that I disagreed with the decision last season to have him play alongside LeBron. But if he is willing to come off the bench to go against second units, then I am sure we will see his stats go up again while also contributing to the team. If the Lakers can figure all this out, then they just might have a chance to make it far this season.