The NBA is coming back. Not all of it but 22 teams. There is a lot of questions that are still unanswered. How many cases do they need to get to have the NBA canceled? When will teams be allowed to leave if they do not make the playoffs.
If you are wondering how the NBA season is going to go for the rest of the year, click the link here
The players are at ESPN in Florida adjusting to life in the facilities and are going to start with scrimmages on July 22nd. I am going to go over the nine teams invited to Orlando out of the east. I am also going to give my prediction of what the final seven into the playoffs.
I won’t get into an analysis for every matchup for reading and time sake.
Here we go.
One of the top contenders in the east and very young balanced team. The lost of Big Al Horford I thought would have a greater effect them then it has but this is largely because Thesis and Kanter stepping up more than expected. Also they have stayed on top with the development of Brown, Smart and Tatum.
July 31st vs. Bucks
Tough team to start off against right out of the gate. I just believe Giannis is going to come out of the break with a full head of steam. I also think having more veterans on the Bucks gives them the edge in a different environment.
Lastly, Celtics easily make the playoffs and will probably finish either 3rd. Lets see if they can make a great run.
Aug 2nd vs. Trail Blazers
Last time they played it was many months ago and there was no Lillard and Walker. The Celtics won that one and they are going to win this one. Since this isn’t a home game, (blazers are better at home compared to on the road by a wide margin), and Celtics more complete team.
August 4th vs. Heat
Heat have been nearly unstoppable at home. Due to the virus, they have lost that advantage. Celtics take this one.
August 5th vs. Brooklyn Nets
No Kyrie, still no Durant. Dinwiddie, Wilson Chandler, DeAndre Jordan, Prince, will all not be playing. Do you need me to keep going? Yeah… Celtics take this easily.
Raptors August 7th
Okay this one is gonna be a tight one. I’m thinking less than 5 points. They are both very even teams and have had great battles this year. Even though they haven’t been always close at the finish, this one will be.
August 9th vs. Magic
August 11th vs Memphis
This is gonna be a fun one with two great offenses. I think Celtics win this one but I bet this one has th best highlights out of all their games.
August 13th vs. Wizards
No Beal and Bertans for the Wizards. If the Celtics don’t win by at least 20 I will be surprised. This is a nice easy game before the playoffs, where they can rest some players.
Lastly, Celtics easily make the playoffs and will have to face the Heat or 76ers starting off. Lets see if they can make a great run for the championship.
The Bucks are a special team and this would be a special year to win it. As Giannis said, “The 2020 NBA championship will be the toughest championship you could ever win.” Lets see their regular season road to do it.
July 31 vs. Celtics
August 2nd vs. Rockets
I think the Rockets win this one after the Bucks have a hard-fought win over the Celtics. Even with the best defense in the league, the Rockets are going to be hard from 3 and can be tough to guard their small lineup.
August 4th vs. Nets
Once again, they have like no players and regardless, they are the better team.
August 6th vs. Heat
People are going to be surprised by this prediction, but the Heat won both of their matches up against the Bucks. They also won one of them by double digits. They have many bodies to throw at Giannis and they defend him well.
August 8th vs. Mavericks
They have better matchups than the Mavericks. The 1 defense will beat out the 1 defense.
August 10th vs. Raptors
August 11th vs. Wizards
For rest purposes this will be a lost. Also Bucks already made the playoffs and number one contender out of the east for the NBA championship.
The Spoelstra lead Heat have a chance to make it to the Eastern Conference finals. A huge factor is how they play on neutral territory as they had such an amazing home record (first) and was a big reason why they are fourth in the east.
I am also going to condense this as it is starting to a lot longer than expected.
They start out with three loses to the Nuggets, Raptors and Celtics. All great games just can’t quite get over the hump of victory.
Then the heat finish off the season with five straight wins over the Bucks, Suns, Pacers (2), and Thunder. The best match up the world wants to see is T.J. Warren v. Jimmy Butler after their heated fight and Jimmy’s post on Instagram.
The Heat will make the playoffs and try to make the best run they can.
Wizards will be traveling with no Bradley Beal and no Bertans, which are arguably their two best players. Especially Beal who has been amazing this season and deserves a big max contract coming up.
They will win their first two games behind Rui Hachimura and because they are easier opponents in the Suns and the Nets.
Then they lose the rest against the Pacers, 76ers, Pelicans, Thunder, Bucks and Celtics. All of those teams are clearly better.
The Wizards will not make it and will have to figure out this summer how to keep their superstar, Bradley Beal.
The 76ers before the break were not getting along and practices were becoming chippy. Though that was many months ago and things seem to be looking up for them. They will need to assess their 3 point shooting as it is lacking, and they need to set up a game plan to coup with the lack of shooting.
Thankfully for the 76ers they have an easier schedule to do it. They will win their first six games against the Suns, Spurs, Pacers, Wizards, Magic and Trail Blazers.
Then they will cool off with losses to the Rockets and Raptors to end out the season.
76ers make the playoffs and with their easier schedule could give them good momentum going into the playoffs.
The Raptors were supposed to be good. But not THIS good.
When they lost Kwahi Leonard, a lot of people thought the defending champs would take a step back. They stayed right where they are with the growth of Siakam into a superstar, development of Fred Vanvleet and many others.
They start off with a lost against the Lakers as they don’t really have a direct answer for Lebron and then get scrappy win over the Heat.
Raptors then get wins against Magic, Celtics but taking a surprising lose against the Grizzles. Hey, I mean some upsets have to happen and they never play each other so more possibilities of things can happen.
They then lose to the Bucks and beat the 76ers.
Then lastly, it’s a nail biting lose against the Nuggets, who will be fighting for a top playoff spot.
Raptors are in the playoffs and are making a run for back to back championships.
Magic will beat the Nets (2), Kings and Pelicans. I know people will be surprised on the Pelicans game, but the Pelicans are not the best defensively and I think the Magic will use that to win in a high scoring affair.
They will lose though to Pacers, 76ers, Raptors, and Celtics. Though the wins over the Nets will push them into the final seventh spot in the playoffs.
Magic will make the playoffs just over the Nets. I think it will be a quick elimination as they are just not quite on the other level as the other teams. They need a superstar and could potentially have one in Fultz or Johnathan Isaac.
As you can tell from this post, I have counted the Nets out after a lot of players of theirs will not be there ex: (Prince, Dinwiddie). There have also been articles if the Nets should just pull out all together, given the circumstances. Though maybe they will surprise me and others and make the playoffs.
This is going to be tough to say as the chances they lose all their games is low, but I think it might happen. I am going to give them a win over the Kings because with no Bagley and I think Levert will have a huge game to propel them to victory.
Though all the other games they will lose. They will not make the playoffs but can look forward to next season having Durant and Kyrie back.
I hope Nets fans aren’t too upset but they do have to understand all the missing key players from their team going in the bubble.
The Pacers have had a very interesting season with no Oladipo for most of it and the additions of Lamb and Brogdon coming in very well. Additionally, with Sabonis stepping up into a star role on the team.
They might not have Oladipo or Brogdon because of the virus and injuries. Brogdon will be a big blow as he has been very productive this season.
Oladipo on the other hand will not be.
He has done terrible shooting percentage and his stats are way down from normal numbers. Although, this break could have given him more time to recover, but the Pacers were better off when he was not playing.
Pacers lose to the 76ers then beat the Wizards and Magic. The Magic game will be a good one but Sabonis will be a matchup nightmare for the Magic.
They then beat the Suns but lost four straight to the Lakers, Heat (2), and the Rockets.
Pacers make the playoffs and can potentially turn some heads if Brogdon and Oladipo play and they play well. Time will tell though.
I’m excited for the rest of the season and the playoffs. Hope everyone stays safe and grabs some popcorn for these awesome games!