by Fox Doucette
The 2017-18 NBA season’s about to tip off as I write this, and Pace and Space Year 3 begins in earnest. We’ve got a new server (maybe I’ll take the time to tell the story of how and why we parted ways with SportsBlog after the Great Redesign Fiasco last March, but the short version is we lost about 95 percent of our search traffic overnight when their redesign left us with nothing but deadlinks on our Year 1 content), the stuff’s slowly being migrated over and patched together from where it’s sitting on old computers, and of course new content’s coming out on a nearly daily basis.
So let’s get right to the big predictions. I considered predicting exact win totals, but I don’t want to futz around with the math. How much of this lines up with my “Busted/Plausible/Confirmed” Mythbusters-style predictions during the past 30 articles is an open question.
EASTERN CONFERENCE PLAYOFFS
WESTERN CONFERENCE PLAYOFFS
PLAYOFF SERIES (winners in CAPS)
Round 1 East: CLE/Det, WAS/Cha, BOS/Mia, MIL/Tor
Round 1 West: GSW/Lac, SAS/Nop, HOU/Por, MIN/Okc
Round 2 East: CLE/Mil, WAS/Bos
Round 2 West: GSW/Min, HOU/Sas
Conference Finals: CLE/Was, GSW/Hou
NBA Finals: GSW/Cle.
MVP: Kevin Durant
Scoring: James Harden
Assists: Russell Westbrook
Rebounds: DeAndre Jordan
Most Improved: Myles Turner
Coach of the Year: Scott Brooks
Defensive Player of the Year: Kawhi Leonard
Sixth Man: Andre Iguodala
Rookie of the Year: Lonzo Ball
Executive of the Year: John Hammond (Milwaukee)
The Kings are better than anyone thinks and make a serious challenge for the Western Conference 8 seed. De’Aaron Fox places second behind Ball in the Rookie of the Year voting
The Celtics crash out in Round 2 as it becomes evident that the team’s paper-thin behind their Big 3 and they just don’t have the depth to grind out games during the playoffs.
BIGGEST DRAFT WIN
Ball turns out to be everything the Lakers hoped he would be and wins Rookie of the Year
BIGGEST DRAFT BUST
Danny Ainge looks like a genius for trading the No. 1 pick as Markelle Fultz, who starts the season on the bench in Philadelphia, turns out to be nowhere near the equal of the likes of Wall, Irving, or Iverson, other first-overall-pick point guards.