Bill Simmons had a great column today on “What ifs” from the last decade in the NBA. Everything ranging from “what if the Wolves didn’t trade KG this summer” to “what if LeBron had ended up with the Grizzlies”. Well, there’s one “what if” he didn’t address in his column... “What if Adam’s preseason NBA predictions hadn’t sucked so bad.”
Well, we’ll never know, but we can at least take this time, with about 20 games left in the season, to look back at some of my most horrid predictions (and I’ll throw in a couple of my good ones too).
[Aside] Oh, and the picture has nothing to do with what ifs... it’s just really cool that I was able to capture the exact moment when LeBron threw the powder in the air from all the way across the arena. [/Aside]
Oh, and I’m trying to focus on teams I had out of the playoffs who are clearly in and vice versa. If I messed up a seeding, it’s not as big a deal to me (though I probably owe the Pistons an apology).
Orlando Magic: I had them 10th in the East. Whoops. I just didn’t think Hedo Turkoglu was that good (to be fair, neither did the rest of the people in my fantasy league, since he went undrafted. I picked him up off waivers right after the draft, and have been happy with him ever since). Will they get beyond the 2nd round of the playoffs? Probably not, but there definitely aren’t 9 better teams in the East.
Miami Heat: I had them 5th in the East, then said they’d win the conference in the postseason. Ummm... yeah... don’t believe any prediction I ever make again.
Chicago Bulls: I had them 2nd in the East. Ditto on the not-believing-me thing.
New Orleans Hornets: To be fair, I did call Chris Paul “the NBA’s most unknown superstar” and expressed a desire for that to change. Yet for some reason, I still picked them 9th in the West.
Los Angeles Lakers: I did have them in the playoffs, but as the 8 seed. Kinda hard not to classify that as a screw-up, when they’re one of the top 2 teams in the conference. I really thought the Kobe drama would mess them up at the beginning of the season, and then he’d be traded. Well, that didn’t happen.
Memphis Grizzlies: I had them 7th. Chris Wallace had other ideas. Let’s move on.
Washington Wizards: I’m calling this one an incomplete. I said they’d be third in the conference, assuming a season of health from them. Well, since they’ve been the exact opposite of healthy, I can’t be blamed that they’re sixth (and really, that’s not a huge dropoff).
I did get some teams right on... for example:
Cleveland Cavaliers: I picked them 4th in the regular season and said it shouldn’t even be considered a step back. I also said they wouldn’t miss Sasha Pavlovic and Anderson Varejao as much as people think, and they didn’t (and in fact, both guys came back). I also said LeBron would play motivated all year, and he has -- another triple-double Monday night against Portland once again proves he’s the MVP.
Boston Celtics: I said they’d win the East in the regular season, and questioned their depth at point guard. Well, they already have 50 wins, and they went out and signed Sam Cassell. Right on both fronts.
San Antonio Spurs: My quote from my preview said they were “damn good.” Sometimes these things don’t really take much guesswork.