Predicting the Final 2012-13 NBA League Standings

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Predicting the Final 2012-13 NBA League Standings
Brett Deering/Getty Images

After a surprisingly enjoyable 2011-12 season, even with the lockout-condensed schedule that forced players to claw their way through some of the most grueling basketball they've ever played, the 2012-13 NBA season has all the makings of a classic campaign.

The NBA just released the schedule for next season, and talk of how this coming year will play out has already begun. From the resurgence of several veteran teams like the Boston Celtics and Los Angeles Lakers to the growth of exciting young clubs like the L.A. Clippers and Oklahoma City Thunder, and of course the title defense of the Miami Heat, this season of basketball is riddled with burning questions and compelling storylines.

Although there is still the potential for some major changes, particularly if the Dwight Howard saga finally is resolved, the bulk of offseason activity is over, and it appears as if most rosters are set for tipoff this October.

It may seem like Game 5 of the NBA Finals just happened yesterday, but it's never too early to take a look into the future. With that in mind, here are my predictions for how the coming NBA season will play out in the regular season and the playoffs, as well as who will be holding up the Larry O'Brien Trophy in June.

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