Warriors preseason game against the Lakers, first game back at Chase as NBA champions.

Let’s get this out of the way first, I’ll probably get a bunch of these wrong but the model that’s been deployed has spoken and we’re going to roll with it for better or worse. If anything it will be fun to figure out what went wrong and how physical reality played out in the end. I’ve picked the Milwaukee Bucks as the team with the most wins and defeating the defending NBA champion Golden State Warriors in the NBA Finals. The general thesis out there is that there will be an unprecedented level of tanking due to the Victor Wembanyama sweepstakes which is valid, however I’m taking a much different angle because I think we’ll actually see a smoothing in the lower tier. We’ll see that it’s actually hard for more than 6-7 teams to all out-tank each other due to diminishing returns and ultimately there will be wins to be had at the bottom. My projection for the Mavericks is probably too low but I think this team is heavily overvalued and flat out bad, just ask the question who their second best player is behind Luka and then take a look at the cast supporting him. I think that Boston actually played a bit out of their shoes last year and are going to see a heavy regression. Two teams that I believe will take a big step forward this year will be the New Orleans Pelicans and New York Knicks, and we’ll see good playoff bound teams like the Phoenix Suns and LA Clippers start sliding while underperforming expectations.

TEAM RANKINGS

  1. Milwaukee Bucks (Over 52.5 wins)
  2. Brooklyn Nets (Under 50.5 wins)
  3. Philadelphia 76ers (Under 50.5 wins)
  4. Golden State Warriors (Under 51.5 wins)
  5. New Orleans Pelicans (Over 44.5 wins)
  6. Denver Nuggets (Under 49.5 wins)
  7. New York Knicks (Over 38.5 wins)
  8. Memphis Grizzlies (Under 48.5 wins)
  9. Los Angeles Clippers (Under 52.5 wins)
  10. Phoenix Suns (Under 52.5 wins)
  11. Cleveland Cavaliers (Under 47.5 wins)
  12. Los Angeles Lakers (Under 45.5 wins)
  13. Miami Heat (Under 48.5 wins)
  14. Boston Celtics (Under 53.5 wins)
  15. Portland Trailblazers (Over 39.5 wins)
  16. Atlanta Hawks (Under 45.5 wins)
  17. Toronto Raptors (Under 45.5 wins)
  18. Minnesota T-Wolves (Under 48.5 wins)
  19. Washington Wizards (Over 35.5 wins)
  20. Utah Jazz (Over 24.5 wins)
  21. Charlotte Hornets (Over 35.5 wins)
  22. Chicago Bulls (Under 41.5 wins)
  23. Orlando Magic (Over 26.5 wins)
  24. Indiana Pacers (Over 23.5 wins)
  25. San Antonio Spurs (Over 22.5 wins)
  26. Oklahoma City Thunder (Over 23.5 wins)
  27. Sacramento Kings (Under 33.5 wins)
  28. Detroit Pistons (Under 29.5 wins)
  29. Dallas Mavericks (Under 48.5 wins)
  30. Houston Rockets (Under 23.5 wins)

PLAYOFF SCENARIOS

Play-in West: Minnesota over Utah
Play-in East: Toronto over Washington

7th Seed West: Lakers over Portland
7th Seed East: Boston over Atlanta

8th Seed West: Minnesota over Portland
8th Seed East: Atlanta over Toronto

First Round West 1-8: Golden State over Minnesota
First Round East 1-8: Milwaukee over Atlanta

First Round West 2-7: New Orleans over Lakers
First Round East 2-7: Brooklyn over Boston

First Round West 3-6: Denver over Phoenix
First Round East 3-6: Philadelphia over Miami

First Round West 4-5: Clippers over Memphis
First Round East 4-5: Cleveland over New York

West Semifinals 1: Golden State over Clippers
West Semifinals 2: Denver over New Orleans

East Semifinals 1: Milwaukee over Cleveland
East Semifinals 2: Brooklyn over Philadelphia

Western Conference Finals: Golden State over Denver
Eastern Conference Finals: Milwaukee over Brooklyn

NBA Finals: Milwaukee over Golden State

WINNER OF THE WEMBANYAMA SWEEPSTAKES

Houston Rockets

ROOKIE OF THE YEAR

Paolo Banchero

MOST VALUABLE PLAYER

Giannis Antetokounmpo

DEFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE YEAR

Andrew Wiggins