Five Fearless Predictions For 2013-14





HANG TIME HEADQUARTERS – We can talk all we want about what we saw in the preseason, but it doesn’t mean a thing come Tuesday night. The real NBA season starts then, opening night of the 2013-14 campaign, flush with three matchups that we’ve all been waiting to see for months.

We get to see contenders in all three instances. The Pacers host the Magic in their opener at 7 p.m. ET (League Pass) as an appetizer for the Heat hosting the Bulls on banner night at 8 p.m. ET (TNT) and we finish things off with the Clippers and Lakers squaring off at Staples Center at 10:30 p.m. ET (TNT), capping a fine opening night with the LA upstarts trying once again to upset the establishment.

We don’t have to wait until opening night to unveil our five fearless predictions for the 2013-14 season. We can do that right now with all the certainty in the world that our crystal basketball will serve as our guiding force throughout this season.

Call me crazy (and believe me, you will after this) … but this is what these eyes see on the horizon:

1) The Heat’s Three-Peat Dream Will Not Be Realized
No one will dispute the fact that LeBron James, Dwyane Wade, Chris Bosh and the Miami Heat have been stellar champions in each of the past two seasons. What they’ve done, what they have overcome to hoist the last two Larry O’Brien trophies has been nothing short of remarkable, given that they’ve played with a giant bulls eye on their chests in each of the past three seasons. But fatigue and the competition catches up to the champs this season. They have worthy adversaries within the conference (Pacers, Bulls, Knicks, Nets) and a stacked crew from the Western Conference (Spurs, Clippers, Thunder, Warriors, Rockets and others) ready to tear each other apart to get a shot at the Heat. The Heat make it back to The Finals for a fourth straight time this season but are bruised and battered from a brutal Eastern Conference playoff road when they get there. Another seven-game conference final, this time against the Bulls, pushes them to the limit. They fail to seal the deal in The Finals, falling to an inspired Golden State Warriors team that shot the Houston Rockets out of the Western Conference finals in six games.

2) The Return Of Rose Is Real 
Derrick Rose was right and you were wrong. He did not need to rush back last season from ACL surgery and the Bulls will be better this season because of that decision. That also means Rose reclaims his spot among the top five players in the league and as the top (ahem, sorry Chris Paul) point guard in the game with his triumphant return. Go ahead and wipe your eyes and look at it again. The preseason show Rose put on in limited minutes (24 points, six assists, three rebounds plus 50 percent shooting from the floor and 42 percent from deep) will continue as the regular season goes on. The Bulls showed us last season that they were still be a problem in the East without Rose. Now that he’s back and they are healthy, with the ranks reinforced, Tom Thibodeau‘s team will resume its quest to knock off the Heat and earn a long-awaited trip back to The Finals. That’s a year off, but the conference finals is a stage Rose gets his chance to shine on this year. While Kobe BryantRajon Rondo, Russell Westbrook and others ponder their returns from significant injury, they’d be wise to pay attention to the way Rose handled his (his critics owe him the kind courtesy of admitting they were wrong) and adjust accordingly.

3) Say Hello To Your New MVP … Kevin Durant
One unintended side effect of Russell Westbrook’s lingering injury issue will be the appreciation gained by voters in the MVP race for just how unbelievably spectacular Kevin Durant has and continues to play during his climb to the top of the superstar food chain. Durant’s two-way game has improved with time and the 2013-14 season will offer him a chance to showcase those skills while Westbrook eases his way back into position as his partner in crime. Durant has sharpened his skills after each season in the league and with every postseason teaching point (you always learn more about yourself when you fail) he has rebounded with yet another quality piece to his growing arsenal of skills. He’ll be a better and more aggressive playmaker and rebounder with Westbrook on the mend. And the three-time scoring champ will continue to be the most dangerous scoring machine in the league with Kobe Bryant finding his way back into the mix in Los Angeles and Carmelo Anthony still the doing his thing in New York. Durant’s much improved all-around game and the load he’ll have to tote for the Thunder this season, however, is what earns him his first MVP trophy.

4) Dwight Howard Is The Best Big Man In Basketball … Again!
We’ve had our fun at his expense the past two seasons, and rightfully so. When you exit the premises in Orlando and Los Angeles, respectively, the way Dwight Howard did, you deserve whatever vitriol fans in those cities and elsewhere dish out. Lost in the madness, though, is the fact that Howard has maintained a reasonably high standard for a player dealing with all of that extracurricular drama, not to mention the back surgery and recovery he endured during the 2012-13 season he spent with the Lakers. With big man tutors in both Rockets great Hakeem Olajuwon and Celtics great and Rockets head coach Kevin McHale, Howard can’t help but improve his skill-set and take back the seat Marc Gasol kept warm for him last season. What sets Howard apart, and always has, is the fact that there is not another traditional big man in the league with his combination of size, athleticism and natural gifts from the basketball Gods. Howard swears Houston is the ideal situation for him to finally put it all together. He needed a fresh start, somewhere he could reintroduce himself to the basketball world without any of the excess baggage he’s accrued over the years following him. The Rockets and their championship-starved fan base offer just that and more.

5) Yes, The Warriors Shock The World And Win It All!
You thought I forgot about that Warriors prediction from No. 1? Sure, it’s a reach for a team whose fortunes depend on the continued good health of several key players (Steph Curry, David Lee, Andrew Bogut, etc.). But an injury to the wrong man can rearrange the short-term and long-term plans of any franchise, just ask the folks in Oklahoma City, Chicago and Los Angeles (Lakers) how that works. What I love about what Mark Jackson and the Warriors have going on right now is their absolute fearlessness in challenging the Western Conference establishment. They don’t care that the Spurs, Clippers, Thunder and Rockets all have what appears to be better chances of surviving a cutthroat playoff chase. They have the pieces in place, Andre Iguodala being the most noticeable new face, to challenge conventional wisdom this season. They also play a style that, if sustained, no other team in the West or the league will be able to match in the postseason. Of course, Bogut and Lee have to stay out of the training room as much as possible and Curry has to avoid the recurrence of the foot and ankle injuries that seem to plague him every season. But if ever there was a time to crash the Western Conference party and spice up the championship picture and shock the basketball world, that time is now for the upstart Warriors.

176 Comments

  1. REALBASKETBALLFANS says:

    Knicks 2013-2014 champs

  2. brains! says:

    t-wolves anyone?

  3. Charles says:

    GOLDEN STATE are the dark horse this year. They have such a balanced team with a unqiue system.. it might actually work. Raining 3′s errrrr day

  4. Goofing says:

    You All forget, d rose will take MVP. He is much more valuable to his team it’s not a popularity contest. East finals will prob be bulls heat and west will be rockets thunder

  5. Chris says:

    I agree with every point except for the fact Heat beat the Bulls in the east finals. Bulls will have the Heat this year. Purlely because Tibs is a genius. Bulls beat Warriors in 6 games

  6. pekku le tip says:

    My predictions for the regular season! Check out my blog at http://www.nbabettingtips.net for more info!

    East

    1.Chicago
    2.Miami
    3.Brooklyn
    4.Indiana
    5.New York
    6.Cleveland
    7.Detroit
    8.Toronto(or Atlanta)

    West

    1.Clippers
    2.Rockets
    3.Thunder
    4.San Antonio
    5.Dallas
    6.Memphis
    7.Golden State
    8.New Orleans

    And one prediction you can bet a fortune on:

    Javale McGee to be Shaqtin’ A fool MVP!!

  7. freal says:

    Sekou didn’t you write that MEMPHIS would win the championship last spring? in the middle of the SECOND ROUND OF THE PLAYOFFS?? hmmmmmm….I know these predictions can’t be nothing but to stir up some controversy and get some conversation!! I hope so for your sake Sekou…

  8. Dubs says:

    Sekou, I’m with you on all of those. But keep it down, we want to GSW to be sleepers. Apparently none of these chumps know how good they are.

  9. HangtimeBlogTroll2013 says:

    Thanks David Stern..!!

  10. HangtimeBlogTroll2013 says:

    Miami is the most stacked team in NBA history. They can win championships from now on.

  11. kenny says:

    I agree the Rocketts won’t be near as good as everybody thinks Howard will screw everything up just like he does everywhere he goes

  12. mikevintage says:

    best predictions ever!!! D ROSE IS BACK, HEAT WILL NOT WIN ANOTHER CHAMP, WARRIORS ARE A TRUE CONTENDER
    AGREE IN ALL OF THAT

  13. OKC2014 says:

    Go Kevin Durant!

  14. mortished says:

    fearless prediction ? nah … here’s one the knicks to win the whole thing at last !

  15. Darren says:

    All you people are hating on Sekou just because he has the balls to not ride Miami like the bunch of pseudo-intellectual bangdwagoners. There is no way the Heat are going to win again this year with all the championship contenders there are after struggling against a significantly weaker Pacers team and a Spurs squad that frankly on paper, was western conference trash. As for the Warriors winning it, I could seriously see it happening. Many people brought up the fact that Igoudala could only guard Lebron and D Wade would be allowed to roam free, but those people are obviously forgetting about Harrison Barnes. Not unlike Kawhi Leonard or Paul George, Barnes is a long armed, athletic 2 or 3 who has great rebounding ability as well as the quickness to guard on the perimeter. Combined with Andre Igoudala and a healthy Andrew Bogut, they would pose a serious defensive threat to any team facing them. As for their offensive game… I think you guys know what they can do.

    Thank you for the great predictions Sekou, you are one of the few people who proves to think independently rather than just relaying the opinion of the general demographic. The comments in this article have proven so very well.

    • John says:

      This is true. People also forget that Klay Thompson guarded Wade pretty well last year. In fact, Draymond Green got under Lebron’s skin last year and made it difficult for Lebron, so Iguodala could actually guard Wade too.The Warriors actually match up very well against the Heat. They have the speed to keep up with the Heat. They have a lot of 3 point shooters, and the Heat struggle to defend the 3 point shot. The Warriors also have Bogut and Lee down low that the Heat will have to deal with. I think the biggest obstacle to the Warriors in the postseason is not the Heat, OKC, Clippers or Rockets. It’s actually the Spurs, or some sort of injury to either Curry or Bogut.

  16. Benjie says:

    I think wade will play it smart and miami will win its 3 peat. They always wanted miami to fail and so far they manage to live and win it all . So to all you miami haters be prepare to get upset again on June 21.

  17. Kenny says:

    Never Count out the Spurs! Year of Redemption! Spurs win Finals this year!

  18. Brice 15 says:

    I AGREE!!! BULLS GONNA WIIN IT

  19. Mr Rose says:

    Bulls win win it all, and D Rose will end up as MVP
    Go Bulls!

  20. Marcus says:

    Sekou’s favorite song is ‘Mary Jane’. Google it if you don’t know what that song is about.

  21. LS says:

    #1 –AGREE. The Heat worked extremely hard to get out of the East the last two playoff seasons against teams that were extremely hampered by injuries (Celtics, Indiana, Bulls). Basically they struggled against injured opponents that still managed to take them to 7 games. This season, there are several teams in the East that can give the Heat a true run for their money and I think the outcome will be completely different.

    #2 – Derrick Rose is no joke – for real.

    #3 – Kevin Durant – I hope he finally gets his props. He’s been overlooked far too long.

    #4 – Howard – is a joke. It’s just a matter of time before he turns into the drama queen that he really is and the Rockets will question what the heck they were thinking.

    #5 – Warriors? Not so sure this is the year but they’re definitely up and comers.

  22. Jose Chavez says:

    clippers vs bulls in the finals

  23. boom baby says:

    wow sleepin on the pacers again…………really

  24. fds says:

    And maybe the Pacers as a silent but deadly surprise? (well maybe not surprise, since they had a close series for conference title)

  25. RAMON says:

    I believe the lakers could be better than people think, if Kobe comes back strong, and Gasol plays better than last year, i think they could be a better team than people are giving credit, im not trying to say that there making the finals, but scare some teams in the west, and make it at least to the second round of the playoffs, is like rudy tomjanovich, said, dont underestimate the heart of a champion, and alot of times people seem to underestimate a team, cause they didnt do to well the year before.

  26. Trey A says:

    3 PEAT

  27. RAMON says:

    to that person that said KD wont win a title in his carrer i disagree 100%. i think sooner or later he would be able to win at least one ring, maybe late in his career. i dont see him winning one now, but later in his career even maybe with a different team, but hopefully he will stay in OKC his entire career, cause i would like to see some of these superstars stay with the same team, there entire careers.

  28. RAMON says:

    to that person that said KD wont win a title in his carrer i disagree 100%. i think sooner or later he would be able to win at least one ring, maybe late in his career. i dont see him winning one now, but later in his career, i could see him winning one, even maybe with a different team, but hopefully he will stay in OKC his entire career, cause i would like to see some of these superstars stay with the same team, there entire careers.

  29. RAMON says:

    The only thing i say, is that i hope miami doesnt win it again, but i wouldnt bet against them, cause until another team beats them there still the team to beat in the nba.

  30. Joe A says:

    Hey SS,
    This is Joesmoove, remember me? Your prediction of the Warriors winning it all is quite amusing. So a team with relatively NO experience in the post season is supposed to be the 2 time reigning champions in the Finals? A Heat team that has proven again and again how resilient they are? Nukka please!. The Warriors won’t even make the WCF. Aint nobody beating the Heat, not the Bulls, not the Pacers, not the Spurs or anybody for that matter. They will 3Peat and shut all you doubter up once again….DWade is healthy and the sky is the limit.

    Your OKC boys will again get bounced and KD will NEVER get a ring..don’t care how much he sweats in practice and talks smack…he will be another Dan Marino..wont even smell the Finals again.

    Wrtie that down my friend.

    Boogie Down Bronx BBall Enthusiast..

  31. mike23jordan says:

    you guys are all dumb! bobcats is the team to beat this year!!!!!! everybody else is no match!!!!!!! BOBCATS 2014 CHAMPS!

  32. Estabi says:

    Everyone here is sleeping on the Warriors. They have seven players that could start on most teams. As a Warriors fan I never would imagine predicting them to win it all. This year is the first year since ’75 that they have a chance.

  33. romelu says:

    d rose for za winińuniang

  34. Louie says:

    LOL, I want some of what he is smoking!

  35. Rizzy says:

    Besides the golden state one none of those are really “fearless predictions”. There r legitimate chances of the other ones happening.

  36. Jack says:

    The warriors backup point guard is….
    Is…..
    When the warriors starting PG Curry goes down with leg , ankle or foot injuries, the backup point guard, who will then lead them to the title isssss…..

    NEXT…
    What’s your plan “B”?

  37. Henrik Jensen says:

    you are all so smart, lets see how it goes, and then we can comment on sekou smith

  38. J says:

    1 I think the heat will win it but it will not be easy

    2 rose will dominate

    3 no its lebron james

    4 of course he will

  39. justsayin says:

    These prognostcations dont seem that farfetched to me – but if you dont tell these fanboys what they want they want to hear they sure get rude and uptight. GS is a legit threat when healthy and you can bet the real professsionals arent underestimating them come game time. That said, any prediction this year is bold with what looks like a wide open race. I’d go so far as to say that the expected top four seeds in both conferences have a shot this year. Stay cool, Sekou.

    Cant wait for Tipoff Tuesday!

  40. Houston says:

    You guys underestimate the warriors. but hey that’s what everyone did last year.

  41. cristian says:

    Bulls will win it all against the spurs or rockets

  42. Seekwho.. i mean seek help! says:

    Sekou whatever you’re smoking.. I want it!

  43. jake s. says:

    It wouldn’t surprise me if golden state made it to the finals. then again, it wouldn’t surprise me if half of the teams in the west made it to the finals. :o

  44. wooderson says:

    if the warriors believe they can win it then they should win it. they have the best starting lineup and with Harrison barnes or iguodala as a sixth man they have the most complete side with the best front court and the best shooting backcourt. nedovic will be an excellent rookie and hopefully everyone stays fit and healthy.

  45. Carl says:

    Well, first off I think that Kevin Durant is an absolutely remarkable player, but he relies heavily on Westbrook to be as effective as he has been. Unless he learned an awful lot from the playoffs last year, his game is going to be a bit off. I actually look for Durant to struggle a bit until Westbrook is 100%. Therefore, no MVP for Durant. The Warrior/Heat final will not happen. Let’s talk about the West for a moment. The Western Conference is strong from top to bottom with no clear cut favorite to win it this year. That being said, San Antonio will have another awesome regular season run with the Clippers, the Thunder, the Rockets, the Grizzlies, and the Warriors (in that order) lurking behind. Talent wins in the NBA and the Warriors are just not talented enough from top to bottom to win it all. I like Curry a lot, but he is a very weak defender and he requires the ball a bit too much in order to be effective. I think he is actually a better off guard than point guard although he spreads the ball around well from the point. David Lee, although an All-Star has to play down low against people that are bigger and last year it took it’s toll. I would play him more at the 3 position and accept the liability that he has on defense at that position. Now with that being said, the Warriors two best players have glaring defensive weaknesses which does not translate into a championship. The Warriors have to get bigger in the low post and they have to get deeper. That is why I pick the Clippers to win the Western Conference finals against the Spurs.. And those of you who are Chris Paul haters, watch how he plays with this particular team. Now to the East; The top six teams in the East are just as strong as the teams out West, but the difference is there is a clear cut favorite. The Heat are awesome and if they can get 20 quality minutes a night from Greg Oden, they are going to be tough. But I think the Heat have a bigger issue and that is Dwayne Wade. Wade did NOT play like an All-Star last year because I think he was hurt. He played in spells and if he does that this year, the Heat are in trouble. The Heat won last year because of their defensive prowess and Wade is the catalyst to the defense. If he is subpar, they don’t have any comparable weapon to step up. Lebron is enough of a player to offset some of that, but the minutes that he logs will get to be an issue late in the season which will make the Heat vulnerable this year. The Pacers look primed and ready to go to the Finals this year and they are hungry. Ironically, the Pacers biggest concern will probably be the Bulls whose style will confound the Pacers and make their All-Star cast work very hard this year. The trump card for the Pacers will be if Hibbert can outplay the other centers in the East on a consistent basis. If he does that, the Pacers are going to be tough to beat. The Bulls with Rose look good, but I think that when Rose plays they look to him too much to allow Deng and company to be as effective as they can be. And I’m sorry Chicago, if Noah is my center, I am skeptical about my long term chances of winning. The Knicks and Nets have too many issues to be finalists this year, although I think that the pedigree of the Nets might make them better as the season progresses than most think. My pick out of the East is the Pacers and the matchup between them and the Clippers will be one for the ages. The Pacers are too deep and the Clippers front line will have trouble defending them. This matchup will be difficult for the Pacer guards however and what will determine the outcome will be whether or not Chris Paul is effective in pushing the ball up the court. A half court game favors the Pacers, while the up tempo game favors the Clippers. My pick as NBA champion; The Indiana Pacers!!!

  46. ShawnJam says:

    Finally, some well thought out predictions for the upcoming season…

    Said nobody.

  47. Kevin says:

    If you don’t think the Warriors have the talent to make it to the Finals, then you don’t know much about the Warriors. That team is very deep, very good, and with the roster they have, they will play very well on both sides of the ball.

    They have as good a chance as anybody.

  48. Rosesrred says:

    the Chicago Bulls will be the team to dethrone the Miami Heat……for it is written so shall it be done that a son of Chicago shall bring forth a rose and proclaim…..”vengeance is mine”. Warning…there will be hell to pay and there will be blood.

  49. Jeeck says:

    im sorry did you see ma boys portland in the pre season? domination with an actual bench they can go deep in the playoffs this year

  50. TP says:

    Its safe to say you people are crazy… Golden State winning it all wow!!! these NBA teams are subpar beside the Heat and maybe 2 other team non of these team would even be above 500 in the Jordan ERa!!! And I mean that give a damn if no one agrees I KNOW THE FACTS!

  51. just think about it says:

    Lets say if they do win regardless of all your comments.. i would love to see your faces lol

  52. mouba3 says:

    what are u smoking sekouuu?

  53. the balle life says:

    the d rose and d howard thing were the only things that made sense the rest he might have well have made JAVALE MCGEE the MVP and said the BOBCATS ARE going to be the champs.

  54. MB says:

    I totally agree that KD will win MVP

  55. smj says:

    I like sekou but this is yhe most stupid prediction…totally disagree….

  56. Agudo says:

    You’re entitled to your opinion just like I am mine. Smoke another one Sekou LOL.

  57. Basketball Fan says:

    It would be amazing to see the warriors do so well but its just not going to happen. A bigger and more realistic shot would be The Rockets to take the title. The west is now such a tough conference – Thunder, spurs, clippers, Grizzlies, Rockets, Warriors, Lakers(even now), a new look Dallas and Lillards Trail blazers. I can see the balance tip slightly towards the rockets and the warriors with westbrook injured and the spurs aging. Cant see the clippers winning anything, i think they are just slightly over rated. With Monta Ellis in the mix with the mavs, lillard leading the blazers, rubio love and martin with the timberwolves, curry and co with GSW, harden, howard with the rockets…so much more competition in the west. In the east we have basically the heat and the bulls. The nets, pacers, knicks and celtics are all a step behind. Here is what we will see:

    West Finals: Thunder v Rockets (Thunder in 7)
    East Finals: Heat v Bulls ( Heat in 6)
    Finals: Heat v Thunder ( Thunder in 7)

    Top scorer: Kevin Durant
    MVP: Derrick Rose

  58. Jacob Stewart says:

    You guys are all RIDERS! Heat & Warriors are a good matchup if Lee didnt get injured they would’ve made the finals! plus with Iggy he can finally teach Curry on ball D I dont’t know who would win it although I wouldnt put it past the Warriors, Heat have a lot of wildcards but if the East stay healthy they gonna have hell. Idk who’s even going to make it to the finals this year!

  59. King says:

    Unrealistic, but what can I say, WE BELIEVE. LET’S GO WARRIORS WIN IT ALL THIS YEAR!

  60. Kamaal Stewart says:

    If Chicago or Indiana gets the #1 spot i dont thimk the heat will make it back. Think about it you get past one physical team that has been known to throw you off your game and have to deal with another team that is just as physical

  61. andrew says:

    1. Heat I dont think heat pull it off. Any team with lebron is obviously the favorite. But wadeis breaking ddown whether you want to believe it or not. I think the x factor will be bosh n whether he can change his game yet again to become the second option. Oden will not hold up unfortunately.
    2. Rose is a phenominal player, I think he’s back.
    3. It depends on a lot of things. Lots of players are set to break out, lots of superstars are trying to make a comeback. MVP has very little to do with who’s actually the most valuable player for their organization n.more so a popularity contest.
    4. Howard maybe, but if hibbert can push the pacers over the hump or bynum returns and hits his all-star form he may see his standing in the best big man list fall.
    5. Warriors won’t win it due to lack of experience. They very well might make it to the finals, but considering who they would need to go through to get there, they won’t have anything left against a team like the heat, pacers, bulls or nets.

  62. Me says:

    lol the warriors they can’t even beat Blazers

  63. HoopDreams says:

    People listen to this man.! Lets be honest why can’t the warriors win against a Houston or OKC or san Antonio or the Clippers? They have the pieces in place….
    I think the heat have a great chance at getting out of the east either them or the pacers that’s a 50/50 match up
    KD as MVP is likely but what about the feel good story of D.rose battling back from injury and possibly reclaiming his spot as number one point guard and MVP

  64. Sekou Smith says:

    time to look for another job.

  65. no says:

    Durant is not a better defender nice try Sekou

  66. FunkyPiston says:

    I’m not sure why people keep saying Chris Paul is the best point guard in the league. The man has done nothing in his career to warrant the top spot. He is a good floor general but I would take the likes of Rose (MVP), Westbrook (Finals Trip) and Rondo(Championship) over him.
    –The two teams I think who are going to give fits in EC Playoffs to the Heat are Nets and Pacers since they have better play makers.
    – Chicago wins only if Rose plays lights out and Deng outplays Lebron. Not gonna happen.
    – Only two Western conference teams who are worth mentioning to make it to Finals are San Antonio and OKC Thunder.
    – Rockets have Harden and Howard and who else ? Parsons and Lin ? Come on now.
    – Golden State is fun to watch but they ain’t SA or OKC.
    – Lastly I think half of the people who are commenting can replace Sekou on nba.com. David Stern should ask Sekou to retire with him.

  67. Darius27 says:

    Miami will win it in the East conference finals
    Houston take it all in the west.
    It is Houston-Miami Folks. =)
    Bulls are too hyped that they will not live to expectations.
    Shutdown rose and everybody falls apart. Boozer, Deng cannot live up
    when their leader shuts down.
    Crucial to Miami’s win is not letting rose penetrate and stopping 3point shooters from knocking down shots.
    Miami has learned to withstand the rough play of bulls.
    Miami will turn on beast mode on Bulls.

    Houston will live up to expectations. Even Thunder will not make it.
    Against Memphis, Memphis will run short of scorers.
    Warriors are just too fragile. Weak preseason.
    Spurs can be in Semifinals.
    Phoenix, Sacramento and New Orleans can be shockers to enter playoffs. =)

  68. CMeezy says:

    This isn’t baseball, the best/most talented team usually wins. That team is NOT the Warriors!!! smh lol

  69. bhunter1995 says:

    The Heat can beat any western team in the finals except for the Rockets, that being said, I’m not sure the Rockets will make the finals. Where the Heat will have the most trouble is the eastern conference finals where they will probably face the Pacers. The Pacers now have a bench that can score and they will have Granger back, which are the two things that stopped them from winning ECF last year. Scola is a gifted low post finisher, Watson can score and dish and Copeland is a glue guy who can defend three positions well. Granger should start, sliding the emerging Lance Stephenson to the bench giving them a bench five of C.J – Lance – Copeland – Scola – Mahimni which is one of the most well rounded benches in the NBA. Their size will continue to beat down the Heat and Miami will probably not be able to overcome that, especially because of Wade’s decline which will be more apparent by spring.

  70. Boydee says:

    Remember, Bogut can give Dwindle Howard a really hard time, LOOK at the past match ups. Igi can shut down “The Rocketbeard” and Lin will be on the bench and Curry will just drop 3′s on them again and again and again. Warriors 4 to 1 in finals.

  71. wes says:

    nets vs rockets on the finals

  72. my two cents says:

    West favorites:
    Houston Rockets (not just because of Howard–break out year for Lin and Aaron Brooks)
    LA Clippers (this team is different this team–very different–i believe they are going to the finals)
    maybe Warriors–but maybe Dallas — believe they are most under-rated and will be a sleeper
    East favorites:
    Miami (yes, Beasley and Oden are huge X-factors–plus what if Rashard Lewis wakes up and remember his days with Ray Allen???)
    Indiana (this team is scary tough–as long as West is healthy)
    Knicks (if by-chance everyone here got healthy at the right time…they will be an all-around solid team–if they can get focused)–
    Lastly, the East is the better conference this year! That Cleveland team could be a problem. If all of a sudden the Brown/Bickerstaff connection got the Bynum/Varejo connection working — they will be the toughest pair to handle on any NBA team. Both young and when healthy very unpredictably-talented.

  73. Franz says:

    You are just going against all the predictions people are already saying and then making some “out there” predictions. You say the Warriors are going to shake things up in the NBA? I think you are just trying to shake things up on a discussion board… If you blog, blog what you believe. I doubt you actually stand by or trust your statements.

  74. phillip says:

    you must have been punch drrunk from dinking mikey air hatoradee, the Heat will win and Melo will join them and they will win again afterr this year for four in a row somehting his hot airness has never done. only the prediction of rose is true and that means at playoff time he will blow another leg lol, the warriors rotflmmfao

  75. Vanessa says:

    Wrong predictions! Heat win again although it will be tougher! Golden State???? Not this year…………..MVP-Lebron!!!!

  76. the warriors have as much of chance as the knicks do…so technically speaking ur saying the knicks can win it all and neither of them will…possibly the worst predictions ever

  77. Miami Heat will do it again

  78. Jt says:

    @Ames did you really just say the East is a LOT LESS competitive???? Pacers who pushed the Heat to 7 have gotten better. The Bulls who won a playoff series and took the Heat to 5 games with NO Luol Deng, No Kirk Hinrich and No Derrick Rose are all back. The Nets have improved the Knicks have improved LOL what are you talking about? Maybe I just read it wrong

  79. rrobinso says:

    tell me who’s the thrird scorer on the thunder? durant cant score a 100 points. pacers and nets real deep a lot of scroring on any giving night and a lot off players to step up and even jorden had a bad day. it takes a bench and more then one player to win a chaimpionship. spurs or rockets in west heat pacer or nets in east bulls no bench love rose for mvp

  80. tanibanana says:

    None of the fearless prediction would come true..
    But if ever one does, I hope it will be Durant’s winning
    MVP title..

    My 2-fearless prediction would be:
    1- Heat-Rockets in Finals
    2- Mavs gets back in West Finals

  81. DutchNBAfan says:

    1 Fearless prediction for 2013-2014 The Timberwolves will reach the Western Conference finals

  82. Shin Dung Fha says:

    if thunder core is intact and healthy, and get past the Spurs heat dream of 3 is gone. Memphis is gone..different attitude for a different coach. Spurs will have a better chance of beating them because of experience but health and age will pull them backwards, like last year. My wild predictions are Houston and Thunder, only if they stay healthy, otherwise it will still be heat.

  83. THEKING says:

    There’s something you forgot to say: How they’re going to Win the Championship? & How are the Warriors capable of beating the Heat in a Final Series? Oh please ! Those predictions make NO SENSE ! ! !

  84. Master says:

    Chicago v. Miami. In the East
    houston v. oklahoma in the West

    Final: Rocket v. chicago

  85. sleeplessbull says:

    lets get readyyyy to rumbleeee….
    just cant wait!!!! there will be blood!!!

    GO BULLS!!!!! still i believe the bulls go to the finals… cant do else-wise.. i^m a die hard bulls fan… still not sure the win the title.. but i strongly believe they are gonna be in the finals.. but beat up … cause this year.. the east seems much more difficult than the west..!!!

  86. Carlos says:

    This artical is a joke

  87. Great predictions. But I say the Spurs win the finals this year. They never get any love!

  88. John says:

    Worst prediction ever. Warriors have no shot at winning the West, much less beating whichever team comes out of the east. I do respect the Warriors, but they would be demolished by MIA, CHI, and IND. Those teams all play defense that is hard to find in the Western Conference. That is if they somehow managed to beat SAS, OKC, LAC, MEM, or HOU.

  89. howard says:

    The heat will not win the finals. MAYBE they might win the eastern, but that is unlikely as well. The bulls have a good chance at stopping the heat besides the pacers. i think the bulls will beat the heat in game 7 of the eastern conference finals and advance to the NBA Finals

  90. lol says:

    lol warriors to win it all? guarantee they won’t be healthy this season/playoffs so the furthest they might make it is the western conference finals

  91. Jordon says:

    Aboslutely with GS winning the West…not beating Miami…but if you look at OKC without Westbrook…average…..Clippers I am not sold on…BG is entertaining but a seemingly only slightly better than average player thus far in his career…Chris Paul remains great but the only player on that team consistently being so…Spures are old..if you think the Heat will be burnt out the Spurs will absolutely be….Rockets lack depth but that can always change

  92. WhereWinningHappens says:

    I stopped taking the predictions seriously after I saw that the Warriors would reach the Finals (win it all?). They are a talented team no doubt, but lack a veteran leader or a killer talent (durant) to reach the finals this year.

  93. ravc says:

    The Heat have enough player to rest the regulars in the season

  94. If the warriors win the NBA Finals.... says:

    It will be in a 7 game final against the Raptors….
    I am a raptors fan but if we are all about completely improbable predictions, why not this one……… I too can dream Sekou…

  95. kobeisthebest says:

    i can see kd being the mvp with all the help lebron has, but the finals is still goon be heat thunder cuz steph and klay and lee barely have playoff experience

  96. K@libug@n says:

    Royce White is the best! Woo Woo!

  97. TheAll-Star136 says:

    My bold predictions:

    East:
    1. Miami- Will win title
    2. Chicago- lose to Heat in East Finals in 6
    3. Pacers- lose to Bulls in 7
    4. Nets- lose to Heat in 5
    5. Knicks- lose to Nets in 6
    6. Cavaliers- lose to Pacers in 5
    7. Pistons- lose to Bulls in 5
    8. Wizards- lose to Heat in 4

    West:
    1. Clippers- lose to Warriors in 7
    2. Thunder- lose to Rockets in 7
    3. Rockets- lose to Heat in 5
    4. Spurs- lose to Warriors in 6
    5. Warriors- lose to Rockets in 5
    6. Grizzlies- lose to Rockets in 5
    7. Wolves- lose to Thunder in 4
    8. Nuggets- lose to Clippers in 5

    MVP: LeBron James

  98. what the says:

    ha ha good one sekou. Nice to read another stupid thing today

  99. Thomas says:

    I stopped reading after the first prediction… Golden State winning it all… LOL. Too funny!

    • JAY says:

      Youve stopped reading after the first Prediction?? and why did you comment about the Warriors and it was the Last Prediction. LOL

  100. TG says:

    Well Sekou, I really dunno what you smoked before typing that but your predictions are really bold, but at the same time really unthinkable. Cmon man, you know better than that.

  101. Mark says:

    I like the first 4 but the last one’s a bit too fearless haha. I’m hoping Indy, Chicago, OKC, and of course Philly!

  102. sports fan says:

    My original prediction months ago was Clippers & Pacers in the finals. I think that’s still a possibility but throughout the season I might change that to Clippers & Bulls.

  103. Laker fan 2012 says:

    All of those predictions might actually happen except for the warriors one and maybe the heat one also

  104. elias says:

    warriors use unicorn as team bus…. check your temperature… you have a high fever

  105. Laker fan 2012 says:

    Whenever I want to laugh I read something sekou smith writes

  106. Rjkc says:

    Sekou, you talk some real rubbish. What a complete and utter load of nonsense.

    Heat are still clear favorites, Chicago do have a chance but their team doesn’t have the depth required to defeat a healthy Heat team. If Oden becomes healthy then Heat will win it all, if not then I think OKC will be in the finals and it’ll be a tough series but the heat taking it 4-3.

    Warriors wont win anything, I see them as a first round playoff exit.

  107. RG says:

    the Warriors winning the West (and even winning it all)? I get the fact that it’s a fearless prediction and they’re a great team, but I’m sorry, I still think either the Spurs, Thunder (if Westbrook’s 100% healthy), or Clippers will win the West over the Warriors.

  108. I Think says:

    - I just Think D-Rose will win this MVP

    Look. You cannot put Durant to compete against LeBron they are very much a like but Durant is just a better shooter while LeBron is the better athlete

    D Rose is a rare point guard that does it all, a killer in the 4th quarter, and he already beat LeBron in an MVP he can doit again and better if he is healthy

  109. e says:

    One thing is a bold statement and another very different is an incoherent Statement.

    LeBron MVP
    Heat three-peat
    Bulls go all the way to the conference Finals thanks to an almost MVP season by Rose

    These are just three actually coherent, but still bold predictions.

  110. exiled says:

    Chicago v. Miami. In the East
    houston v. oklahoma in the West

    Final: Rocket v. chicago

  111. jmo says:

    Look what Dwight did with Orlando. Now that has actual good players around him and great trade bait in Asik, Rockets are going to take it. F Miami

  112. Eaham says:

    If goldenstate actually wins it all I will lose it. It would be the same as the Pistons winning it all in 04 when the stacked lakers were favoured to win. Its gonna be a tough road for the Warriors but if that a bonafied prediction, then i am all for it. Just imagine G-state winning it all over teams like Heat, Pacers, Bulls, Knicks, etc. Man that would be crazy

    • troy says:

      Are you serious,the Warriors?Wow,the Blazers are a better team from top to bottom..Lillard,La and company are a better younger team…Give me a break.Look at the teams in the West.Portland got bigger and more talent and sorry Memphis is tough.Warriors are small and soft.

      • you crazy? says:

        LOL! blazers a better team than warriors? really? is that why the blazers are projected to be one of the teams that’ll fight for the last playoff spot and BEHIND the top teams in the west are SPURS, CLIPS, THUNDER, WARRIORS, ROCKETS, MEMPHIS? man you’re crazy. aldridge is better than lee, yes. but lillard better than curry? c’mon! that inefficient PG has a lot to learn plus their bench is way deeper than of the blazers. try checking the stats dude or better yet, wake up. man, WOLVES and NUGGETS are even better than your team.

      • CAVS!!!! says:

        Wow.. You don’t know anything about basketball if you think the trailblazers are better than the Warriors…

  113. Gustavo says:

    You are insane if you think the Warriors will win it all. C’mon Sekou is this even real?

    • Big Al says:

      you are insane if you do not think that the warriors will get somewhere this year. They just added new people, got rid of the old ones that do not do anything, and they have the 2 best shooters in the NBA. The warriors have a realistic shot at the playoffs. Do not under estimate them.

  114. John says:

    Ha, I would like to see one of these come true. I do hope Miami comes up short this season to keep things exciting. I hope Steph Curry lights it up again in the playoffs. Hopefully injuries don’t bother the league too much this season. Go, Lakers! (I know, I know…)

  115. Shawn Kemp No. 1 says:

    1. that’s not a bold prediction, it’s going to be the most competitive season in years, and a 3 peat is not easy. still the Heat are favorites again.
    2. he’s healthy and looking good, but people are gonna go at him every night for 82 games at least, who knows how his knee will handle it
    3. this one isn’t too bold either. he’s been up there with a couple other guys for some time now. i don’t see it though.
    4. best rebounder and a good defender and that’s it, but there’s not too many centers putting up numbers these days. still he’s a horrible free throw shooter and there’s no way he can improve his post moves in such a short time. houston can really space the floor so he may benefit a lot from that, especially against weaker teams.
    5. they have all the pieces and i like them a lot, but i still think Spurs Clippers and OKC are favorites to win west, followed by Warriors, Rockets and Memphis…

    extremely competitive season, lets hope for no injuries

  116. The Warriors?? Hmm…
    An overly optimistic and fanciful prediction, in my view, simply because Bogut is “an injury waiting to happen” and Curry is likewise fragile.
    Plus, there are 4 or 5 other ‘powerhouses’ in the West.
    But, a pleasant thought…

  117. jesusjr says:

    The top (ahem, sorry Chris Paul) point guard in the game… LOL…

    There’s no need for the “AHEM” D-Rose has been the leagues top point guard since his MVP season, no question!

  118. Bob Jones says:

    Warriors do not have enough size to win it all. Bogut is too fragile and Curry isn’t exactly a guy who stays on the court either. I’ll take the team with the 6’10 superstar who plays like he’s 6’5. (Thunder)

  119. Cooler says:

    This is stupid

  120. My Name Is... says:

    1. Heat 3peat
    2. LeBron wins MVP
    3. Rockets are the runner up
    4. John Wall is an all-star
    5. Sixers get Wiggins

  121. fuertiben says:

    1) agreed: Wade won´t stay healthy, LBJ can´t do all by himself.
    2) hopefully: a healthy Rose is simply fun to watch and the Bulls with him leading them = powerhouse in the east!
    3) If the mvp voters will be bored enough! Otherwise sameoldsameold…
    4) agreed: Only, if Bogut (and Bynam) CAN stay healthy, they coud have a shot at best center also! Very unlikly though..
    5) disagreed: Too unexperienced! Even, if they made the Conference Finals or even the Finals, they would, like the Thunder did in 2012, fail! But anyway, liked the boldness of this last one and wish GS all the best for a deep playoff run!!

  122. goldinboye says:

    and sekou smith will be the new coach of the lakers

  123. goldinboye says:

    my predictions :

    -lebron will flop again all the year (the little fragile girl syndrome when there is a contact), what is really bad because he is the best player actually and he really doesnt’t need the flop and look stupid when he does.
    -the floppers will steal call, games, they will change the season standings, eventually will win a few critical playoffs games, and will be fined 5000 (or no fined at all).
    -referees will review randomly critical plays again (today we review guys !! but tomorrow for the same exact situation, we will not review it, just because)
    -carmelo anthony will shoot and shoot and shoot and shooooooot more, for nothing
    -bkn is a really expensive joke.
    -spurs or heat for the title, again
    lebron mvp, if no injury or very unprobable first round playoff crash for miami

    however, it will be a great season, everybody want the heats, they have their chance to 3peat but it won’t be easy. most of the big injuries are recovered, the stars are ready, the teams updated

  124. abc123 says:

    @Sekou go home, you drunk

    not saying that the heat are definitly three-peating, but the warriors wont have a chance at the trophy.

  125. Ames says:

    Miami will not be fatigued: the Eastern Conference is a lot less competitive, and provided they earn the #1 or even #2 seed in the East the Heat will have their strength still in them even after the Conference Finals. That includes Wade, whose knees won’t collapse as so many are predicting. The West, though, is another story, where even the #1 and #2 seeds will have to sweat to advance. OKC and San Antonio will face off in the West, and the winner of that series will defeat the Heat in 7.

  126. Bogart says:

    Sekou! You’re crazy! Heat is the best team in the nba and will make three-peat and lebron will get 5th mvp award…

    Nba.com fire sekou because he is idiot! Pls…. All of nba fans were begging you!

  127. Edgar says:

    I like the Warriors-Heat finals matchup

  128. KunJayMaster says:

    Lol fearless? Or Improbable predictions?

  129. Mark says:

    Warriors won’t win the championship. Nice try, Sekou.

  130. okeeeey says:

    Warriors winning it all? C’mon man, worst prediction ever. There’s no way a run-n-gun team will ever beat either the Clippers nor the Spurs or even the Thunder (if Westbrook and Durant are both healthy) in a 7 game series. Never. I say Heat, Bulls or Pacers are top contenders in the east while Clips, Spurs and Thunder fights for the spot in the west. Also, Rose, James or CP3 for mvp this season.

  131. LMAO says:

    I LOL’d when I saw that the Golden states would make it to the finals this year and knocking the HEATS out, nice joke mate

    • alp says:

      why can’t they? heat have trouble defending skilled bigs, golden state has 2 in bogut and lee, and the heat have trouble defending point gaurds, and steph curry is a PROBLEM.

      • Troy says:

        Roy is the only center gave hard time to Miami Heat while we tried to guard him with 4″-6″ shorter players like, Chris, UD, CB and Joel. Miami Heat did not have enough size to match with him, but more speed to beat them. If Miami can use either Greg Oden, or Justin Hamilton even limited minutes that will help them not to have the same problem they had last year. My X factor is Michael Beasley or a healthy Greg Oden for Miami Heat..Let’s Go Heat

      • chigchig says:

        who on that team stops LBJ.. who on that team stops wade?
        LBJ is a problem.. Curry is a threat on O, but mario would give it back to him, thats how bad he is on D

      • Mauricio says:

        Super Mario can defend curry but Norris D cole…. he is a great pg defender

  132. hog says:

    sorry, but Warriors won’t win it all, they’re a scary team but won’t win it all. even more delusional to predict Warriors/Rockets western finals? (Spurs, Clippers, and Thunder will have something to say about that) and while yes people are still expecting a fourth straight trip for the Heat, it’s about time that someone else from the east gets a shot to the Finals. (Bulls, Pacers)

  133. yup says:

    Thanks Sekou, for giving me a good laugh before I go to bed.

    • HEATFANSINCEWADE says:

      Agreed! Sekou you predictions are soo outrageous! You are always wrong anyways so this year will only prove you know nothing LOL.

  134. HENS says:

    Warriors? Winning it all? they have pieces but their far from champions LOL

    • AM says:

      I totally agree. Maybe Miami doesn’t win it all, but one thing is certain, they are not going to lose at the hands of the Warriors. There are too many talented and experienced teams for them to win it all out of the blue. They need at least one more year of advancing in the playoffs and getting some experience in the biggest stages

  135. Southern says:

    There is one big thing wrong with your golden state prediction…when they face a superstar team like the thunder or the heat maybe even the pacers and the bulls who guards the 2nd best players, westbrook and dwade are way too quick to put anyone but iggy on them but he will be occupied by durant and lbj

  136. mark says:

    Close, but no cigar. Rockets beat Warriors in 4 games (they dominated them last year with a less experienced team without Howard) and Chicago in 5 games.