Hello once again, fellow Bleachers as well as fans and devout followers of the NBA. Deron Butler once again with another NBA post.
With opening day behind us and a lot of exciting matches including the rematch between the Heat and the Mavericks, NBA fans and followers alike have something to really look forward to after an incredible last season and 149 days of an NBA lockout (never forget).
Without further ado, here are my predictions on the teams who I think will win their respective divisions, conferences and most of all the NBA Championship.
The Miami Heat will no doubt take the Southeast Division by force. There isn't a team in that division other than Orlando or Atlanta that would give them a run for their money. This is a team on a mission of revenge to make people forget about the 2011 NBA Finals and how they lost to Dallas in six games.
1. Miami Heat
I would say the Boston Celtics would win the Atlantic Division but at this rate, Boston's Big Three are getting old and Rajon Rondo could be looking for an exit out of Boston.
With no other option for who I think will win the Atlantic Division, the New York Knicks will no doubt be the winners flat out. With Tyson Chandler along with Carmelo Anthony (pictured) and Amar'e Stoudemire, Knicks fans—including Spike Lee—have a lot to clamor about.
1. New York Knicks
2. Boston Celtics
No doubt the Chicago Bulls will take the Central Division for themselves. It's not like Cleveland, Detroit, Milwaukee or Indiana's going to stop them...okay, Indiana may take second but that's only because they have David West.
Other than that, D-Rose and Company will have Chicago cheering a lot more in the Madhouse on Madison.
1. Chicago Bulls
The Oklahoma City Thunder will have the Northwest Division for sure. Their only main goal is that they reach the Western Conference Finals, win there and reach the finals. Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook (pictured) have become the dynamic duo to watch for this season and will no doubt have a lot of people talking championship rings in their future.
1. Oklahoma City Thunder
4. Portland Trail Blazers
5. Utah Jazz
Los Angeles will remain at the top of the Pacific Division but it's not the team you were expecting. If you were thinking that you would see the Lakers on this slide, then guess again.
The Clippers have a rising star in Blake Griffin and an All-Star in Chris Paul. No longer are the Clippers the team we all laugh at and make jokes about; this time they're for real. Welcome to the new L.A., aka Lob City.
5. Phoenix Suns
The Southwest Division will be that one division in which you're not sure who will break out but then by midseason, you kind of get a feel for which team will be on top by the end of the season.
That being said, that team would be the defending NBA champion Dallas Mavericks. Dirk Nowitzki and crew will have a lot to brag about now that they raised the banner but they've also raised the stakes high against not only every team in the NBA but themselves also. How will the champions outdo themselves now that they no longer have Tyson Chandler, J.J. Barea and Peja Stojakovic in exchange for Vince Carter and Lamar Odom?
1. Dallas Mavericks
By playoff time, this is how the Eastern Conference will shape out:
1. Miami Heat
2. New York Knicks
3. Chicago Bulls
4. Boston Celtics
5. Atlanta Hawks
6. Orlando Magic
7. Indiana Pacers
8. New Jersey Nets
By playoff time, here's how the Western Conference will shape out:
1. Oklahoma City Thunder
2. Los Angeles Clippers
3. Dallas Mavericks
4. Los Angeles Lakers
5. San Antonio Spurs
6. Memphis Grizzlies
7. Golden State Warriors
8. Phoenix Suns
For the Western Conference, I have the Oklahoma City Thunder or the Los Angeles Clippers. The Miami Heat will storm through the Eastern Conference playoffs. As for this slide's picture, I was feeling really festive.
The picture alone is self-explanatory of a prediction that didn't happen last season but will come to fruition this season.