With the NBA regular season set to begin tomorrow, the landscape of the league has changed very little. The Lakers, who are always a threat to win the title, actually got better with the additions of Steve Nash and Dwight Howard. The defending world-champion Miami Heat followed suit with the additions of Ray Allen and Rashard Lewis.
Will teaming Kobe Bryant with Steve Nash and Dwight Howard make the Lakers NBA Champions?
The Knicks also added some veterans with the additions of Rasheed Wallace and Jason Kidd. Boston went out and added Jason Terry and Courtney Lee.
Other than that, almost nothing has changed. Miami and Boston are still two of the top teams in the East. The Lakers, Thunder, and Spurs still rule in the West.
With that, I give you my predictions for the 2012-13 season, starting with the divisions.
In the Atlantic Division:
- Boston Celtics – Pierce, Garnett and Rondo know how it’s done.
- New York Knicks – Amare’ is the key. He must play well.
In the Pacific Division:
- Los Angeles Lakers – With Dwight and Nash, they’re dominant.
- Los Angeles Clippers – The Clippers are good, but their depth doesn’t match Lakers.
In the Central Division:
- Chicago Bulls- Even without Rose, the Bulls will be good enough.
- Indiana Pacers- Granger will need more help from the Pacers‘ bench.
In the Southwest Division:
- San Antonio Spurs- Ginobli, Parker and Duncan have been there before.
- Dallas Mavericks- Dallas has good starters, but no bench.
In the Southeast Division:
- Miami Heat- Lebron, Wade and Bosh with Ray Allen make the Heat seemingly unbeatable.
- Atlanta Hawks – The Hawks will not be close to the Heat, even with Devin Harris.
In the Northwest Division:
- Oklahoma City Thunder- Durant and Westbrook will create a new Harden in Oklahoma City.
- Utah Jazz- Milsap and Jefferson are the Jazz’s X-Factors.
Now for the Conference Standings:
- Miami Heat
- Boston Celtics
- Chicago Bulls
- Los Angeles Lakers
- San Antonio Spurs
- Oklahoma City Thunder
Eastern Final: Heat over Celtics.
Western Final: Lakers over Spurs.
The Finals: Lakers over Heat- Nash and Howard will help Lakers overpower Lebron & Co.