Predictions for Every NBA Team for the 2011-2012 Season

Daniel AbelsonContributor IIIDecember 24, 2011

Predictions for Every NBA Team for the 2011-2012 Season

0 of 31

    Last year, the Dallas Mavericks shocked the league and knocked off the Miami Heat in six games to be crowned the 2011 NBA Champions. With a shortened season, who will come out on top in the East and the West?

    Click through to see my prediction for every team this season, followed by award and playoff predictions at the end.

Atlanta Hawks

1 of 31

    Key Addition: Tracy McGrady

    Key Loss: Jamal Crawford

    Projected Starting Lineup:

    PG: Jeff Teague

    SG: Joe Johnson

    SF: Marvin Williams

    PF: Josh Smith

    C: Al Horford

    Analysis: Losing a player like Jamal Crawford is going to really hurt the Hawks this season. In a conference where many teams have improved drastically, the Hawks have gotten worse. Over the past few seasons, Atlanta has kept the same core, which has not been able to get the team over the hump in the Eastern Conference.

    With other teams around them improving, I think this will be the year that the Hawks fall off.

    Prediction: 34-32, Second in Southeast Division, Eighth in Eastern Conference

Boston Celtics

2 of 31

    Key Addition: Brandon Bass

    Key Loss: Jeff Green (heart surgery; out for season)

    Projected Starting Lineup:

    PG: Rajon Rondo

    SG: Ray Allen

    SF: Paul Pierce,

    PF: Kevin Garnett

    C: Jermaine O'Neal

    Analysis: The Celtics aren't getting any younger, but that didn't stop them from being very aggressive in the offseason. Boston was able to bring in Brandon Bass in a trade with the Magic, which sent Glen Davis to Orlando, signed veterans Marquis Daniels, Chris Wilcox, Keyon Dooling and re-signed Sasha Pavlovic and Jeff Green.

    Unfortunately for the Celtics, Green will miss the entire season after undergoing heart surgery this month. Boston still has a great roster with a lot of talent, and will continue to be one of the best teams in the Eastern Conference as long as they can stay healthy. With an aging roster, I think it's safe to say that this will be the last year the Celtics hold off the Knicks in the Atlantic Division.

    Prediction: 44-22, First in Atlantic Division, Third in Eastern Conference

Charlotte Bobcats

3 of 31

    Key Addition: Kemba Walker

    Key Loss: Stephen Jackson

    Projected Starting Lineup:

    PG: D.J. Augustin

    SG: Gerald Henderson

    SF: Corey Maggette

    PF: Boris Diaw

    C: Tyrus Thomas

    Analysis: The Bobcats traded away their best player on draft night, but that enabled them to land two great picks in the top 10: Kemba Walker (pictured above) and Bismack Biyombo, who just reached an agreement to leave his team in Spain to play for the Bobcats this season.

    After seeing what Kemba was able to accomplish during his senior year at UConn, I fully expect him to be the starting point guard by the end of the season. For now, he'll take a back seat to D.J. Augustin and will be quite a scoring threat off the bench in Charlotte.

    Unfortunately, this team is very thin in the front court, and that will end up hurting them in the long run. The Bobcats have a bright future, but are still a few pieces away from competing in the Eastern Conference.

    Prediction: 22-44, Fourth in Southeast Division, 12th in Eastern Conference

Chicago Bulls

4 of 31

    Key Addition: Richard Hamilton

    Key Loss: Kurt Thomas

    Projected Starting Lineup:

    PG: Derrick Rose

    SG: Richard Hamilton

    SF: Luol Deng

    PF: Carlos Boozer

    C: Joakim Noah

    Analysis: The Bulls finished last season with the best record in the NBA, shocking many teams around the league. Third-year point guard Derrick Rose was crowned the league's MVP, but the team fell short in the Eastern Conference Finals to Miami.

    Last season, their biggest weakness was at shooting guard, where Keith Bogans held down the fort for the bulk of the year. Now, with Rip Hamilton on board, and the rest of the gang still intact, Chicago will again be one of the league's best teams.

    The Bulls were dominate defensively last year under new head coach Tom Thibodeau, and with the addition of Hamilton and continuity with the rest of the roster, they will be a bigger offensive threat in 2012.

    Prediction: 53-13, First in Central Division, First in Eastern Conference

Cleveland Cavaliers

5 of 31

    Key Addition: Kyrie Irving

    Key Loss: J.J. Hickson

    Projected Starting Lineup:

    PG: Kyrie Irving

    SG: Anthony Parker

    SF: Christian Eyenga

    PF: Antawn Jamison

    C: Anderson Varejao

    Analysis: The Cavs struck gold at the trade deadline last year when they traded Mo Williams to the Clippers in return for Baron Davis and LA's 2011 first-round pick. That ended up landing them Kyrie Irving, who will hope to turn this franchise around after losing LeBron James to the Miami Heat in 2010.

    The Cavs also selected Tristan Thompson with the fourth overall pick, and hope that he and Irving can form a great duo for years to come. Unfortunately for Cleveland fans, this team is still nowhere near competing for a playoff berth in the Eastern Conference.

    Prediction: 17-49, Fifth in Central Division, 14th in Eastern Conference

Dallas Mavericks

6 of 31

    Key Addition: Lamar Odom

    Key Loss: Tyson Chandler

    Projected Starting Lineup:

    PG: Jason Kidd

    SG: Vince Carter

    SF: Shawn Marion

    PF: Dirk Nowitzki

    C: Brendan Haywood

    Analysis: When the Mavs lost Tyson Chandler, I didn't think it would be possible for this team to improve on last year's championship roster. But somehow, Mark Cuban and the Mavericks front office worked their magic to sign Vince Carter (huge upgrade over DeShawn Stevenson), Delonte West (to replace J.J. Barea) and acquire Lamar Odom for a future first-round pick.

    Odom is an incredible addition to a great bench, and will also help ease the pain of losing Chandler in the front court. With the new additions, expect the Mavericks to remain at the top of the Western Conference in 2012.

    Prediction: 52-14, First in Southwest Division, First in Western Conference

Denver Nuggets

7 of 31

    Key Addition: Rudy Fernandez

    Key Loss: JR Smith

    Projected Starting Lineup:

    PG: Ty Lawson

    SG: Rudy Fernandez

    SF: Danilo Gallinari

    PF: Al Harrington

    C: Nene

    Analysis: The Denver Nuggets had potential to be one of the best teams in the Western Conference this season, but unfortunately, three of their key rotation players from last year signed contracts with teams in China and are locked into those deals until March, at the earliest.

    Without Kenyon Martin, J.R. Smith and Wilson Chandler, Denver will turn to newly-acquired players including Rudy Fernandez, Corey Brewer and first round pick Kenneth Faried to help lead the charge this year. Look for Danilo Gallinari to have a break-out season in Denver, and the Nuggets to compete for the eighth seed in the Western Conference.

    Prediction: 35-31, Fourth in Northwest Division, Ninth in Western Conference

Detroit Pistons

8 of 31

    Key Addition: Brandon Knight

    Key Loss: Richard Hamilton

    Projected Starting Lineup:

    PG: Rodney Stuckey

    SG: Ben Gordon

    SF: Tayshaun Prince

    PF: Charlie Villanueva 

    C: Greg Monroe

    Analysis: Last year, the Pistons had a lot of issues with head coach John Kuester, and therefore replaced him with Lawrence Frank in the off-season. Detroit also added rookie Brandon Knight, and brought back Tayshaun Prince and Rodney Stuckey. Losing Richard Hamilton and Tracy McGrady will hurt, but it will only open up more minutes for Ben Gordon, who looks to bounce back from the worst season in his NBA career.

    Expect the Pistons to be more competitive than last year, but fall short of making it to the playoffs again.

    Prediction: 24-42, Fourth in Central Division, 10th in Eastern Conference

Golden State Warriors

9 of 31

    Key Addition: Marc Jackson, Head Coach

    Key Loss: Vladimir Radmanovic

    Projected Starting Lineup:

    PG: Stephen Curry

    SG: Monta Ellis

    SF: Dorrell Wright

    PF: David Lee

    C: Andris Biedrins

    Analysis: The Warriors are back this year with a new head coach, Marc Jackson, and a virtually identical roster from last season. This team is young and exciting, but still a few pieces away from competing in the Western Conference.

    It will be interesting to see how Jackson, a former point guard, will work his two small combo guards, Stephen Curry and Monta Ellis. If he can find a more effective way of using them, which Don Nelson and Keith Smart were unable to do, the Warriors have a shot to compete for the last playoff spot.

    Golden State fans will see a better product on the floor this year, but don't expect them to make too much noise in the Western Conference this season.

    Prediction: 30-36, Third in Pacific Division, 10th in Western Conference

Houston Rockets

10 of 31

    Key Addition: Samuel Dalembert

    Key Loss: Chuck Hayes

    Projected Starting Lineup:

    PG: Kyle Lowry

    SG: Kevin Martin

    SF: Chase Budinger

    PF: Luis Scola

    C: Samuel Dalembert

    Analysis: People seem to forget that the Rockets may have been screwed over the most by commissioner David Stern's decision to veto the three-team deal which would have sent Chris Paul to the Lakers and Pau Gasol to Houston.

    Now, new head coach Kevin McHale has to figure out a way to put the pieces together and help build a new Rockets team that is without Yao Ming, who was forced into retirement due to injuries over the summer.

    This week, the Rockets signed Samuel Dalembert, who will have big shoes to fill but has a lot of help and depth behind him, including Jordan Hill. Look for Kyle Lowry to have a big year, and for the Rockets to sneak into the playoff picture with Kevin Martin and Luis Scola leading the way. 

    Projection: 36-30, Fourth in Southwest Division, Eighth in Western Conference

Indiana Pacers

11 of 31

    Key Addition: David West

    Key Loss: Josh McRoberts

    Projected Starting Lineup:

    PG: Darren Collison

    SG: Paul George

    SF: Danny Granger

    PF: David West

    C: Roy Hibbert

    Analysis: Last year, the Pacers snagged the eighth seed in the Eastern Conference, only to be swept by the Chicago Bulls in the first round. After that tough loss, the Pacers went out and acquired George Hill from the San Antonio Spurs and signed David West to a two-year deal.

    These two acquisitions make the Pacers a bigger threat this season. Look for a great high-low game between West and Roy Hibbert this year to be a big part of the offense in Indiana. With head coach Frank Vogel, who served as the interim coach last year, this team should be one to watch in the Eastern Conference.

    Expect to see them back in the playoffs in 2012.

    Prediction: 35-31, Second in Central Division, Seventh in Eastern Conference

Los Angeles Clippers

12 of 31

    Key Addition: Chris Paul

    Key Loss: Eric Gordon

    Projected Starting Lineup:

    PG: Chris Paul

    SG: Chauncey Billups

    SF: Caron Butler

    PF: Blake Griffin

    C: DeAndre Jordan

    Analysis: The Clippers made the biggest splash of the offseason when they were able to acquire Chris Paul from the New Orleans Hornets. Now, for the first time ever, the spotlight in LA seems to have shifted to them, and they will have to live up to the hype.

    This team will be one of the most exciting to watch offensively, but defensively there are concerns with Chauncey Billups and Caron Butler. With that being said, this team is going to be tough to beat, but they're not ready to leap-frog the Lakers in the Pacific Division just yet.

    Prediction: 45-21, Second in Pacific Division, Fifth in Western Conference

Los Angeles Lakers

13 of 31

    Key Addition: Troy Murphy

    Key Loss: Lamar Odom

    Projected Starting Lineup:

    PG: Derek Fisher

    SG: Kobe Bryant

    SF: Devin Ebanks

    PF: Pau Gasol

    C: Andrew Bynum

    Analysis: Trading Lamar Odom away for a first round pick will come back to bite the Lakers, but this team still has a ton of talent. With new head coach Mike Brown, this team will be more focused defensively than they have been in the past, and despite the distractions off the court for Kobe Bryant, expect him to have an MVP-type season.

    With Barnes and Artest leading the way off the bench, the Lakers still have a formidable second unit, and will once again reign supreme in the Pacific Division. All-in-all, don't expect the Lakers to fall off in 2012.

    Prediction: 47-19, First in Pacific Division, Third in Western Conference

Memphis Grizzlies

14 of 31

    Key Addition: Josh Selby

    Key Loss: Shane Battier

    Projected Starting Lineup:

    PG: Mike Conley

    SG: Tony Allen

    SF: Rudy Gay

    PF: Zach Randolph

    C: Marc Gasol

    Analysis: The Grizzlies shocked a lot of teams last year when they upset the top-seeded San Antonio Spurs in the first round of the playoffs. This year, with a healthy Rudy Gay, expect for the Grizzlies to compete with the elite teams in the Western Conference.

    Even though they lost Shane Battier this offseason, Memphis is still in great shape with a lot of young, exciting talent. Look for the Grizzlies to make some noise in the playoffs again this season.

    Prediction: 44-22, Second in Southwest Division, Sixth in Western Conference

Miami Heat

15 of 31

    Key Addition: Shane Battier

    Key Loss: Mike Bibby

    Projected Starting Lineup:

    PG: Mario Chalmers

    SG: Dwyane Wade

    SF: LeBron James

    PF: Chris Bosh

    C: Joel Anthony

    Analysis: In their first season together, LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh led the Heat to the NBA Finals, only to come up short to the Dallas Mavericks. Now, with a very similar roster, plus Shane Battier, this team looks to get back to the Finals and win this year.

    With the players all accustomed to the hype and the spotlight, expect to see better basketball from the Heat this year. If this team falls short again this year, I think it's safe to say that Erik Spoelstra will be fired.

    Prediction: 51-15, First in Southeast Division, Second in Eastern Conference

Milwaukee Bucks

16 of 31

    Key Addition: Stephen Jackson

    Key Loss: John Salmons

    Projected Starting Lineup:

    PG: Brandon Jennings

    SG: Stephen Jackson

    SF: Mike Dunleavy

    PF: Drew Gooden

    C: Andrew Bogut

    Analysis: The Bucks quietly improved on draft night when they acquired Stephen Jackson in a three-team deal. Jackson will add a big-time scoring threat this team hasn't had on the wing since Michael Redd was healthy a few years ago.

    The Bucks are hoping Brandon Jennings can bounce back from his sophomore season slump and return to the electrifying point guard he was two years ago. If he can do that, expect Milwaukee to compete for the last playoff spot in the Eastern Conference this season.

    Projection: 33-33, Third in Central Division, Ninth in Eastern Conference

Minnesota Timberwolves

17 of 31

    Key Addition: Ricky Rubio

    Key Loss: None

    Projected Starting Lineup:

    PG: Luke Ridnour

    SG: Wesley Johnson

    SF: Michael Beasley

    PF: Kevin Love

    C: Darko Milicic

    Analysis: The Timberwolves are loaded with talent this season and brought in a great, veteran head coach—Rick Adelman—to lead the way. With Ricky Rubio and Derrick Williams coming in as rookies this season, Minnesota should have one of the most explosive benches in the NBA.

    With all of these young, exciting players, the Timberwolves will be a much-improved team this year, but are still a few years away from competing in the Western Conference.

    Prediction: 24-42, Fifth in Northwest Division, 14th in Western Conference

New Jersey Nets

18 of 31

    Key Addition: Mehmet Okur

    Key Loss: Kim Kardashian

    Projected Starting Lineup:

    PG: Deron Williams

    SG: Anthony Morrow

    SF: Damion James

    PF: Kris Humphries

    C: Memhet Okur

    Analysis: With Brook Lopez set to miss the first 6-8 weeks of the season, this team is in serious trouble. The Nets have struggled mightily to put their own superstar-led team together. After failing to land any big-time free agents in 2010, the Nets were able to acquire Deron Williams last season.

    Now, Deron is alone in New Jersey, with little to no help. Since the Magic pulled Dwight Howard out of trade talks, the Nets will have to hope to land him in free agency next summer. For now, expect this team to remain towards the bottom of the Eastern Conference.

    Prediction: 23-43, Fourth in Atlantic Division, 11th in Eastern Conference

New Orleans Hornets

19 of 31

    Key Addition: Eric Gordon

    Key Loss: Chris Paul

    Projected Starting Lineup:

    PG: Jarrett Jack

    SG: Eric Gordon

    SF: Trevor Ariza

    PF: Carl Landry

    C: Emeka Okafor

    Analysis: This was a rough offseason for the Hornets. First, they traded away Chris Paul and got a much-worse deal than the original proposed trade with the Lakers. Then, they lost David West to the Pacers, and are now left with a depleted roster.

    Eric Gordon is now the face of the franchise, but won't have much scoring help around him this season. Hopefully for Hornets fans, this team will have two high first-round picks in June, after acquiring Minnesota's unprotected pick in the deal with the Clippers. For now, don't expect to see the Hornets back in the playoffs any time soon.

    Prediction: 21-45, Fifth in Southwest Division, 15th in Western Conference

New York Knicks

20 of 31

    Key Addition: Tyson Chandler

    Key Loss: Chauncey Billups

    Projected Starting Lineup:

    PG: Toney Douglas

    SG: Landry Fields

    SF: Carmelo Anthony

    PF: Amare Stoudemire

    C: Tyson Chandler

    Analysis: When the Knicks acquired Tyson Chandler in a sign-and-trade with the Dallas Mavericks, they formed the best front court in the NBA. Now, they have high expectations and a realistic chance at winning the Atlantic Division for the first time since 1994.

    Chandler will anchor this team on the defensive end, where they struggled often last season. With Carmelo Anthony and Amare Stoudemire more familiar playing together, expect the Knicks to take big strides this season into the top-half of the Eastern Conference playoff picture.

    Prediction: 42-24, Second in Atlantic Division, Fourth in Eastern Conference

Oklahoma City Thunder

21 of 31

    Key Addition: A Skinnier Kendrick Perkins

    Key Loss: None

    Projected Starting Lineup:

    PG: Russell Westbrook

    SG: Thabo Sefolosha

    SF: Kevin Durant

    PF: Serge Ibaka

    C: Kendrick Perkins

    Analysis: The Thunder made it to the Western Conference Finals last year for the first time in franchise history, and continue to take big steps forward each season. With Durant playing at an MVP level, and Russell Westbrook continuing to improve, the Thunder will finish at the top of the Western Conference again in 2012.

    After a mid-season trade, Kendrick Perkins made a huge impact on the Thunder's defense. Now, after losing a lot of weight, expect Perkins to flourish in Oklahoma City this season. This could be the year the Thunder get to the NBA Finals.

    Prediction: 51-15, First in Northwest Division, Second in Western Conference

Orlando Magic

22 of 31

    Key Addition: Glen Davis

    Key Loss: Gilbert Arenas

    Projected Starting Lineup:

    PG: Jameer Nelson

    SG: Jason Richardson

    SF: Hedo Turkoglu

    PF: Glen Davis

    C: Dwight Howard

    Analysis: The Magic are going to have the spotlight on them all season until they trade Dwight Howard. Assuming they keep him, they should still be one of the better teams in the Eastern Conference. With Howard as the centerpiece, Orlando has almost all of their key players returning, and have added Glen "Big Baby" Davis, who should flourish alongside Dwight.

    If the Magic do decide to trade Dwight Howard this season, it's possible this team won't make the playoffs. 

    Prediction: 38-28, Second in Southeast Division, Fifth in Eastern Conference

Philadelphia 76ers

23 of 31

    Key Addition: Nikola Vucevic

    Key Loss: None

    Projected Starting Lineup:

    PG: Jrue Holiday

    SG: Jodie Meeks

    SF: Andre Iguodala

    PF: Elton Brand

    C: Spencer Hawes

    Analysis: This offseason, the Sixers were able to lock up Thaddeus Young for five years, and bring back Spencer Hawes with their one-year qualifying offer.

    With the same roster back from last year, the Sixers look to replicate the final 66 games last season, when they went 38-28 after a 3-13 start. Elton Brand led the way last year, and looks to be in great shape again in 2012.

    If Evan Turner is able to improve after a disappointing rookie season, the Sixers will be one of the toughest teams in the Eastern Conference.

    Prediction: 36-30, Third in Atlantic Division, Sixth in Eastern Conference

Phoenix Suns

24 of 31

    Key Addition: Shannon Brown

    Key Loss: Vince Carter

    Projected Starting Lineup:

    PG: Steve Nash

    SG: Jared Dudley 

    SF: Grant Hill

    PF: Marcin Gortat

    C: Robin Lopez

    Analysis: This season looks no more promising for the Suns than last year. After failing to make the playoffs in 2011, the Suns lost Vince Carter and Aaron Brooks, Grant Hill and Steve Nash got a year older and the team made no big moves to continue to compete with the playoff teams in the Western Conference.

    Last season, Marcin Gortat came to Phoenix and shined in Alvin Gentry's offense. If he can continue to play at a high level, it will help the Suns maintain some sort of relevance in an exciting Pacific Division.

    Prediction: 28-38, Fourth in Pacific Division, 11th in Western Conference

Portland Trailblazers

25 of 31

    Key Addition: Jamal Crawford

    Key Loss: Brandon Roy (retirement)

    Projected Starting Lineup:

    PG: Raymond Felton

    SG: Wesley Matthews

    SF: Nicolas Batum

    PF: Gerald Wallace

    C: LaMarcus Aldridge

    Analysis: Despite losing Brandon Roy to an early retirement, the Blazers are going to be one of the best teams in the Western Conference in 2012. With the additions of Raymond Felton and Jamal Crawford, this team added great depth to their back court.

    Wesley Matthews shined while Roy missed time last year, and now will be the starting shooting guard in his second year with the Blazers. This team will be very tough defensively, and much improved offensively with Jamal Crawford fueling a deep bench. Watch out for Portland in 2012.

    Prediction: 46-20, Second in Northwest Division, Fourth in Western Conference

Sacramento Kings

26 of 31

    Key Addition: J.J. Hickson

    Key Loss: Beno Udrih

    Projected Starting Lineup:

    PG: Tyreke Evans

    SG: Marcus Thornton

    SF: John Salmons

    PF: J.J. Hickson

    C: DeMarcus Cousins

    Analysis: The Kings have a lot of exciting talent on their roster, and with the additions of J.J. Hickson and Jimmer Fredette, they got even better. While they are still a young team, they are building up a lot of great pieces around Tyreke Evans and DeMarcus Cousins.

    Jimmer will be an electrifying scorer off the bench during his rookie season, and will be one of the top candidates for Rookie of the Year in 2012. The Kings were able to bring back Marcus Thornton this offseason to sure up their back court for years to come. The Kings should be much more competitive in the Western Conference this season.

    Prediction: 25-41, Fifth in Pacific Division, 13th in Western Conference

San Antonio Spurs

27 of 31

    Key Addition: Kawhi Leonard

    Key Loss: Antonio McDyess (retirement)

    Projected Starting Lineup:

    PG: Tony Parker

    SG: Manu Ginobili

    SF: Richard Jefferson

    PF: Tim Duncan

    C: DeJuan Blair

    Analysis: The Spurs are getting old, there's no way around it. With the rest of the Western Conference improving around them, expect them to slip up this year after getting embarrassed by the Memphis Grizzlies in the first round of the playoffs last year.

    If the Spurs can stay healthy, they'll still be one of the best in the conference, but don't expect to see the same team in San Antonio that NBA fans have gotten used to over the past decade.

    Prediction: 43-23, Third in Southwest Division, Seventh in Western Conference

Toronto Raptors

28 of 31

    Key Addition: Gary Forbes

    Key Loss: Sonny Weems

    Projected Starting Lineup:

    PG: Jose Calderon

    SG: DeMar DeRozan

    SF: James Johnson

    PF: Ed Davis

    C: Andrea Bargnani

    Analysis: The Raptors are going to be the worst team in the NBA this season. They have some young talent, but are overly-congested with wing players. This offseason, Toronto hired Dwane Casey, who will be entering his second stint as a head coach in the NBA after winning a title with the Dallas Mavericks.

    He'll look to Andrea Bargnani and DeMar DeRozan to lead the Raptors this season, but don't expect great results from Canada's only NBA team in 2012.

    Prediction: 13-53, Fifth in Atlantic Division, 15th in Eastern Conference

Utah Jazz

29 of 31

    Key Addition: Enes Kanter

    Key Loss: Andrei Kirilenko

    Projected Starting Lineup:

    PG: Devin Harris

    SG: Raja Bell

    SF: C.J. Miles

    PF: Paul Millsap

    C: Al Jefferson

    Analysis: After the Jazz traded away Deron Williams last season, this team set themselves up to begin the rebuilding process. Unfortunately, Devin Harris didn't live up to expectations, and the team struggled greatly after the trade.

    Now, they enter the first full season without legendary coach Jerry Sloan, and a great front court featuring Paul Millsap, Al Jefferson, Derrick Favors and rookie Enes Kanter. If the offense runs through the big men, the Jazz will be tough to stop in the paint this season.

    Prediction: 29-37, Fourth in Northwest Division, 12th in Western Conference

Washington Wizards

30 of 31

    Key Addition: Ronny Turiaf

    Key Loss: Josh Howard

    Projected Starting Lineup:

    PG: John Wall

    SG: Jordan Crawford

    SF: Rashard Lewis

    PF: Andray Blatche

    C: JaVale McGee

    Analysis: The Wizards are building an exciting team in Washington, centered around John Wall, who had a phenomenal rookie season last year. In year two, he and JaVale McGee will likely hook up for more exciting plays.

    Washington is hoping that their new uniforms will improve the team's culture, but they're not ready to compete in the Eastern Conference yet.

    Prediction: 20-46, Fifth in Southeast Division, 13th in Eastern Conference

Season Predictions

31 of 31

    Most Valuable Player: Kevin Durant, Oklahoma City Thunder

    Most Improved Player: Ty Lawson, Denver Nuggets

    Sixth Man of the Year: Thaddeus Young, Philadelphia 76ers

    Rookie of the Year: Kemba Walker, Charlotte Bobcats

    Coach of the Year: Nate McMillan, Portland Trailblazers

    Eastern Conference Champions: Chicago Bulls

    Western Conference Champions: Dallas Mavericks

    NBA Champions: Chicago Bulls