NBA Predictions 2012-13: Projecting End-of-Year Standings for Each Conference

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NBA Predictions 2012-13: Projecting End-of-Year Standings for Each Conference
Stephen Dunn/Getty Images

If the beginning of the 2012-13 NBA season has taught us anything, it has been one simple lesson: expect the unexpected.

Who expected that the reigning Western Conference champions (Oklahoma City) would trade away a vital piece (James Harden) less than a week before the season started? And who had that piece becoming the first player to score 80-plus points (82 to be exact) in the first two games of the season since Michael Jordan in 1986-87?

On second thought, maybe this has actually been a lot of what we have seen before.

Danny Granger and Eric Gordon are both sidelined indefinitely with knee injuries. Stephen Jackson has two technical fouls in three games. A superteam (in this case, the Los Angeles Lakers) has stumbled out of the opening gate, and its coach (Mike Brown) has already drawn the ire of his fanbase.

Perhaps the lessons taught by this young NBA season are two-fold.

For starters, it's far too early to draw any major conclusions. Teams have outperformed and underperformed their talent level in terms of wins and losses, but 82 games is often a long enough time for order to be restored.

And secondly, we've been taught the value of investing a piece of our lives into the NBA's regular season. These are the greatest athletes competing with one another in the world's greatest game, and the resulting drama (both old and new) is better than anything Hollywood could imagine.

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