2010-11 NBA Predictions

I know I'm just getting this in under the wire, but based on my track record, it really won't matter anyway, since I tend to be pretty bad at making predictions (and no, I'm not going to link to any of my past ones, since they're so comically bad -- if you browse the archives, you can find them).
Still, after the Summer of Discontent, I'm ready for the NBA to get back to playing meaningful basketball. I won't be in Boston tonight, but I might get my first in-person look at the revamped Heat as early as this weekend (and I'll definitely be seeing them plenty in March). 

On to the predictions, starting with regular season order of finish:

Eastern ConferenceWestern Conference
1. Heat
2. Magic
3. Celtics
4. Bulls
5. Bucks
6. Hawks
7. Cavaliers
8. Knicks
9. Wizards
10. Nets
11. Bobcats
12. 76ers
13. Pacers
14. Raptors
15. Pistons
1. Lakers
2. Blazers
3. Thunder
4. Spurs
5. Mavericks
6. Jazz
7. Rockets
8. Hornets
9. Suns
10. Grizzlies
11. Nuggets
12. Clippers
13. Kings
14. Timberwolves
15. Warriors

Obviously, I'm higher on the Cavaliers than most people, even in the post-LeBron era. I'm also really low on the Nuggets. I'm not sure they're a playoff team WITH Carmelo, and I think they're going to end up trading Carmelo at some point this season.

Making playoff predictions based on my likely-horrible regular season predictions is a pointless exercise, since at this point in the season, I'd see no reason to pick an upset. That said, I think the conference finals will be Heat-Celtics (not Heat-Magic) and Lakers-Thunder (not Lakers-Blazers), so maybe I don't have that much faith in my 2 seeds. I'm not willing to make a Finals prediction yet, mostly because I'm afraid of jinxing LeBron again. So, instead, check out Dwyane Wade's new Brand Jordan commercial.