Projecting How Every NBA Team's Season Ends

Bradlee Ross@rossbeCorrespondent IIMarch 30, 2012

Projecting How Every NBA Team's Season Ends

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    The NBA season is a marathon, not a sprint, but it's always fun to jump ahead and predict where each team will finish in the race.

    The Oklahoma City Thunder, Miami Heat and Chicago Bulls are all looking to come out on top. The Minnesota Timberwolves, New York Knicks and Milwaukee Bucks are all just trying to stay in the race as along as possible. The New Orleans Hornets, Charlotte Bobcats and Washington Wizards have already stopped running.

    Here are predictions on where each NBA team will end up at the end.

Charlotte Bobcats

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    Worst Record in the League

    The Charlotte Bobcats will finish with the worst record in the NBA. They are using the "be as bad as possible now so you can be good later" plan that worked to perfection for the Oklahoma City Thunder. Let's hope it pays—It sure is ugly.

Washington Wizards

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    Top 5 Pick

    The Washington Wizards will have yet another lottery pick to add a young player to their already-young and immature core. The addition of Nene will make very little difference down the stretch as far as wins and losses go.

New Orleans Hornets

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    Top 5 Draft Pick

    Having a bunch of guys that no one has ever heard of before isn't a good sign for the New Orleans Hornets. The June draft will begin a long rebuilding road for this franchise.

New Jersey Nets

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    Top 5 Pick

    Hopefully, the addition of Gerald Wallace will help convince Deron Williams to stay in New Jersey. However, it won't be enough to win more games, and the Nets will be in the lottery once again. The bad part is that the pick goes to Portland if it isn't in the first three picks.

Toronto Raptors

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    Top 5 Pick

    Toronto is clearly in rebuilding mode, despite the fact that they have some talented pieces in Jose Calderon and Andrea Bargnani. They'll get a top 5 pick in June's draft.

Sacramento Kings

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    Top 10 Pick

    The Sacramento Kings probably waste more talent than any other team in the NBA. They'll continue wasting it this season.

Cleveland Cavaliers

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    Top 10 Pick

    Kyrie Irving has greatly improved the Cavaliers, even in his first season, answering any doubts about whether he could be a franchise point guard. He can't do it alone though, and the Cavaliers will still have a very sub-par record.

Detroit Pistons

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    Top 10 Pick

    The Detroit Pistons are hovering between the veteran team they once were and a young team rebuilding. They need to fully commit to rebuilding with young talent because they aren't getting any better.

Golden State Warriors

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    Top 10 Pick

    This team has the talent to win more than they do. The injuries of Stephen Curry hurt, but the acquisition of Andrew Bogut proves that the team is ready to win the right way and stop jacking around.

Portland Trail Blazers

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    Top 10 Pick

    The recent additions of Raymond Felton, Jamal Crawford and Gerald Wallace didn't make the team better. Instead, it just made it a big, dysfunctional mess. Maybe a nice pick will help.

Milwaukee Bucks

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    Narrowly Misses Out on Playoffs

    The Milwaukee Bucks' experiment of pairing Monta Ellis and Brandon Jennings will fail to equate to more wins, and the loss of Andrew Bogut will hurt more than most realize. This team will miss the playoffs as the ninth team in the East.

Minnesota Timberwolves

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    Narrowly Misses Out on Playoffs

    The loss of Ricky Rubio is the single-biggest reason why the Timberwolves are still a year away from a playoff berth. They have a legit superstar in Kevin Love and some solid young players around him. Keeping Michael Beasley will be an issue in the offseason, but they don't appear to want him much anyway.

Phoenix Suns

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    Narrowly Misses the Playoffs

    Steve Nash is proving that he is still a legit, top-notch point guard at age 38. He and Marcin Gortat are the only things keeping the Suns as high in the standings as they are.

New York Knicks

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    First Round Playoff Exit

    The New York Knicks are playing better basketball since Mike Woodson took over as interim head coach. However, they won't rise in the standings. They are the No. 8 seed right now, they'll stay there and they'll be bounced in the first round by the Chicago Bulls.

Denver Nuggets

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    First Round Playoff Exit

    As of right now, the Denver Nuggets would be outside-looking as far as the playoff picture goes. They'll get in because they are incredibly balanced and have a great head coach in George Karl. However, they will lose to either San Antonio or Oklahoma City.

Utah Jazz

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    Narrowly Misses the Playoffs

    The Utah Jazz are a mediocre team with quite a bit of talent. They've played well as of late, but they'll get caught in the stretch run and end up not making the playoffs.

Houston Rockets

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    First Round Playoff Exit

    The Houston Rockets will make the playoffs. They don't have a superstar, but they do have a stable of solid players. It won't be enough to get out of the first round, but they'll be there.

Boston Celtics

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    First Round Playoff Exit

    The oldest team in the NBA hasn't gotten any younger. The Celtics will probably stay at the No. 7 seed, where they will be beaten by the Miami Heat in no more than five games.

Memphis Grizzlies

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    Second Round Playoff Exit

    Last postseason, the Grizzlies made an impressive playoff run as the No. 8 seed. They'll make a similar, though much less surprising run this season. They'll beat their first-round opponent, probably as an underdog, and then lose in a tough series to their second.

Dallas Mavericks

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    Second Round Playoff Exit

    The Dallas Mavericks were a different team when they won the championship last year. They're still a top-notch team but not championship-caliber. They'll lose out in the Western semi-finals.

Atlanta Hawks

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    First Round Playoff Exit

    The Hawks aren't a bad team, but they aren't as good as any of the teams they will have to play in the first round. Joe Johnson isn't the leader that his contract dictates he should be.

Indiana Pacers

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    Second Round Playoff Exit

    The Pacers are one of the best young teams in the league. They have a great center in Roy Hibbert, a solid scorer in Danny Granger and a good, young point guard in Darren Collison. This will be another step in their progression.

Los Angeles Clippers

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    First Round Playoff Exit

    The Clippers are a good team, but they haven't been together long enough to win consistently. Their defense must improve as well. They'll push whoever they play in the first round, but it won't be enough.

Philadelphia 76ers

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    First Round Playoff Exit

    The Philadelphia 76ers are a very balanced team that wins games with defense and sharing the ball. However, their offensive formula does not work well in the playoffs. Without a legit star to go to in crunch time, they'll fall.

Los Angeles Lakers

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    First Round Playoff Exit

    The addition of Ramon Sessions was a great pickup for the Lakers, but it won't be enough to help this dysfunctional squad in the playoffs. Kobe Bryant will take too many shots, and a younger, more athletic team will defeat the Lakers.

Orlando Magic

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    Second Round Playoff Exit

    The Magic will be carried by Dwight Howard in the playoffs. He'll get them past their first round opponent, but it won't be enough to carry them much farther than that.

Miami Heat

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    NBA Finals

    The Miami Heat will lose, once again, in the NBA Finals. Much like last year, they'll be beaten with defense and offensive balance, and LeBron James will come up small.

Oklahoma City Thunder

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    Loss in Western Conference Finals

    The Oklahoma City Thunder will once again lose in the Western Conference Finals. It won't be because of Russell Westbrook, either. It will simply be because they are bested by a more veteran team.

Chicago Bulls

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    Loss in Eastern Conference Finals

    The Chicago Bulls are a great defensive team, and they'll push the Miami Heat in a seven-game series. However, they'll ultimately fall short once again. A lack of offensive balance will be to blame.

San Antonio Spurs

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    NBA Championship

    The San Antonio Spurs will finally reach the summit once again and claim a fifth title for their aging core. Tim Duncan will improve his hall of fame resume with a balanced team around him. Tony Parker will win Finals MVP.