The Boston Celtics Are Now the Team To Beat

david kimContributor IMarch 25, 2017

With all the trades happening recently, I thought it would be a good idea to make a few predictions on how the season will end up.

Eastern Conference
Also known as the JV of the NBA, the east has improved this season, but other than the top three teams, the East is practically a joke.

Predicted standings
1) Celtics
2) Cavs
3) Magic
4) Raptors
5) Wizards
6) Bulls
7) Hawks
8) Heat

The Celtics will sail to the finals. There is no way any team in the East can contend with the Celtics despite the new additions of Shaq to the Cavs and VC to the Magic. The Magic just lost Hedo and Lee while Cleveland spent its money on a guy that will just get in Lebron's way when driving to the basket.
The Celtics on the other hand are improving their already great veteran lineup with the addition of Rasheed Wallace and are planning to sign grant hill. Not only do the Celtics have one of the best starting lineups in the league, they have THE BEST bench as well.
Powe, Big Baby, Eddie House, RASHEED, Hill coming off the bench is INSANE. Perkins and Rondo will only continue to develop as Perkins is a premier defender while Rondo almost averaged a triple double in last year's playoffs.

Western Conference: (a bit harder)
1) Lakers
2) Spurs
3) Mavs
4) Nuggets
5) Blazers
6) Jazz
7) Hornets
8) Clippers

So let me just start with the Clippers. This wasn't a very tough decision to be honest. With the Rockets losing both Yao and T-Mac, they are automatically out of contention, while the Suns are now facing rebuilding mode. Steve Kerr is either on drugs or completely out of his mind for trading Shaq for absolute trash.
He could have at least asked for Anderson Varejao. Yes, I know this is for the future, but seriously, this is just as lopsided as the Kwame Brown-Paul Gasol trade and we all know how Stephen A and the media reacted to that.
But at least the Grizzlies received Marc Gasol. Who are the Suns receiving other than an expiring contract in Ben Wallace and a scrub in Palvovic. This just makes no sense to me.

Anyways, back to the Clippers, yes I feel bad for you Blake Griffin. The fact of the matter is, you are going to a cursed franchise, but it's not as bad this year.
On paper, the Clippers have one of the best lineups in the league. Baron Davis, Eric Gordon, Al Thorton, Marcus Camby, Chris Kaman and now Blake Griffin. With some chemistry, this team can definitely make the eighth seed of the West.

The Spurs or the Lakers will head to the NBA Finals to match up against the Celtics. NO QUESTION ABOUT THAT. The Spurs are back in the title hunt with the addition of RJ to their lineup. However, their health comes into question. Can Duncan's knees hold up and can Manu play the whole season without getting injured?
Tony Parker has been phenomenal last season, carrying the load with Duncan and Manu out. They also have an incredible bench, despite the loss in Oberto and Bowen, as they still have Michael Finley, Roger Mason Jr., Drew Gooden, and Kurt Thomas.
The Spurs now have a reliable scorer in Richard Jefferson, and with Paps returning to coach them, the Spurs can definitely make some noise.

However, they would have to get through the defending champs. The Lakers look even stronger than last season, with the addition of Ron Artest. Yes, they lost a very important piece of their championship team in Trevor Ariza, but Ron Artest can make this team even better.
If the Lakers can sign Odom, they can possibly beat the Celtics in the Finals, but I still have my bet on the Celtics.

Thanks for reading,
NBA analyst and future commentator, Beaves