Blog of Justin Cheuk, home to writing on London, Hong Kong, Studying Abroad, Trains and Travels.

NBA Predictions: Results

Justin Cheuk: When HK Meets UK

The NBA 2012-13 season has finally ended with the Miami Heat repeating as champions. (Not exactly my favourite result, but they did show they were the best team through the playoffs).

I have drawn up a list of predictions at the start of the season, and has reviewed them at the half way stage. Things did not start well as I have predicted Harden to stay with the Thunder A DAY BEFORE HE WAS TRADED. However, how did I do at the end?

And how far away am I from even getting half of them right?

Prediction 1: James Harden to remain a Thunder

Result: Failed.

This has ruined it. Be it my predictions, or the Thunder season. James Harden will forever be the (in)famous ‘What If’ question concerning the Thunder. Reality has proven to us that he is an all-NBA talent; and the players/picks we have received are, at least up to now, far inferior.

However, do not blame the Thunder’s demise in the playoffs on his absence. The problem was NOT that we were without Harden, but without Westbrook.

Prediction 2: Jeremy Lin to average 17ppg and 6apg

Result: (half-)Failed, in fact 13.4ppg and 6.1apg

Harden took the ball off him, it’s as simple as that. I still believe that Jeremy Lin can average 17+6, when, to quote myself, he is ‘the undisputed star of the lineup’.

Due to this, Lin was definitely not all-star material. But hey Houston made the playoff and managed to destroy one championship-calibre team. Not bad for them, eh?

Since I am being really soft and bias on myself, I am going to call this a half-point: I did get the 6 assists bit correct.

Prediction 3: Steve Novak to win the 3-point contest

Result: Failed.

Kyrie Erving won the 3-point shootout. Steve, you have one job…

Prediction 4: Ricky Rubio to have 10+ assists

Result: Failed.

Rubio ended the season with 7.3 assists. This is actually worse than the 8.2 mark he posted during his rookie season, but considering he has just returned from a major surgery (and so it seems, most of his teammates), this has to be an acceptable accomplishment.

Losing Kevin Love for most of the season certainly hampered the Wolves’ offensive output, and Rubio’s ability to provide him open threes. Similarly losing Chase Budinger (and Roy) that early in the season did not help.

Not too bad though: Rubio clearly has a bright future.

Prediction 5: Speolstra to be Coach of the Year

Result: Failed

This honour went to George Karl for coaching the Denver Nuggets. If I can call it an honour: When’s the last time the Coach of the Year got sacked in the same season?

The Warriors sort of faded towards the end of the regular season and Mark Jackson, who I have previously strongly tipped as well, did not make it either.

This one puzzles me though: Speolstra did coach the Heat to the best overall record in the league, and their 27-game win streak was certainly very, very impressive. I suppose it is more difficult than we think to coach the Heat: the stars receive all the praise when the team excels, and blames the coach when it doesn’t. Tough job.

Prediction 6: Pacers to finish second in the East

Result: Failed

At the end it was New York who took the second spot in the East with a sizeable margin. Yet in the playoffs the Knicks lost to the Pacers, who came within one game of dumping the Heat out of the playoffs. I think the Pacers will take that.

The Hawks, Magic and Celtics did not become relevant contender as I have expected. Andrew Bynum’s injury derailed the Sixers. And the Nets? The most expensive and untradable roster. Now apparently with Pierce, Garnett and Terry as well?

Prediction 7: Neither the Thunder or the Lakers win the Western Conference

Result: (half-)Failed

The Thunder did win it, or shall we say somehow the Spurs lost/ handed it over. They might have been trying to avoid playing the Rockets, one of the best 8th seed ever statistically. Or it was just Pop being Pop. And the Spurs very nearly won it all: if not for that Ray Allen 3.

Alternatively, the Spurs swept the Lakers. I must admit I was just like everyone else and thought the Lakers team would definitely be contending. They did not, in fact they struggled just to advance into the playoffs. If Dwight Howard does leave this summer, the Lakers are in a very bad shape- or maybe the best opportunity to tank for the 2014 draft?

Again, I am being nice to myself and I am gonna get a half-point here.

Prediction 8: Warriors and Raptors make the playoffs

Result: Warriors: Success, Raptors: Failed

The Golden State Warriors into the playoffs. The only proper prediction that I got it right. In fact they made it to the second round under Curry’s scarily good shooting.

As to the Raptors: it’s great that I got it wrong, as the Thunder received what become Steve Adams (12th pick) from them. However, watching them win the last 7 of 8 was frustrating: we could have had a 7th pick.

Prediction 9: Bobcats to finish with the worst record, but better than last year

Result: (half-) Failed

THEY HAD 20 WINS!! AND 7 IN THE FIRST 12!! THEY WERE BETTER THAN THE MAGIC BY ONE GAME!!

Charlotte fans, I feel sorry for you. Hopefully Cody Zeller will work out. I liked him for the Thunder. I also thought we potentially could have him at 12.

Prediction 10: Thunder NBA Champions

Result: Failed

If there was one thing that we have learnt about the Thunder this playoffs, it was that: Russell Westbrook is freaking important to the Thunder. Without him, any championship talk are futile.

Fortunately, he should be able to heal completely from his injury, and we can try again next year!

To round everything up: I have NOT SCORED A SINGLE POINT. I have only scrapped a few half-marks, and they give me a grand total of TWO POINTS! 20%!!

Well, that just proves I need to watch more games…

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