Now that the All-Star break and the first half of the season now in the rearview mirror, here are 10 predictions for the NBA’s second half:
Important to note: Second half predictions will include the remainder of the NBA regular season and the entire postseason. Meaning predictions will not go beyond the final game of the NBA Finals – no draft, no free agency, no trades.
10. The Cleveland Cavaliers will fall into a slump again
If the Cleveland Cavaliers’ first half was a roller coaster, the Gravity Max would lose some mystique. After looking like one of the worst teams in the entire NBA, the Cavs re-shaped their roster and since then have looked unbelievable. But that will not last, by late March, LeBron’s squad will once again experience difficulties on defense, and everyone will be panicking, worrying, overreacting and wondering if LeBron is leaving this July.
9. Blake Griffin’s former team will make the playoffs, his current will not
Since the Detroit Pistons acquired Blake Griffin, his former team has looked like the superior team. Both teams are currently sitting at the 9th seed in their respective conferences, but only one will be in this year’s playoffs: The Clippers. The Pistons entered the break stumbling by losing three out of their last four and still seem like a team that is deeply flawed. It is harder to imagine them moving ahead of the teams at the bottom of the East playoff race, compared to the Clippers who are now in a prime position to take over the 8th seed post-DeMarcus Couins’ injury.
8. James Harden will become the second-ever unanimous MVP
While this will not be announced until June 25 (past the timeframe of this list) the award will be won by April 11. Not only will it be won, but won unanimously. While Steph Curry will always be the first-ever unanimous MVP, he won’t be the only one for long. James Harden has been an absolute force this season leading the league in scoring, hitting clutch shots, refusing to lose, and re-writing the NBA history books. And that is just a portion of what The Beard has been up to as of late. There is no reason to believe this will stop, meaning there is no other player will receive even a single first-place vote.
7. LaVar Ball will say something dumb at least three more times
If the over/under was set at one, this would be the safest bet on the list. But for fun, let’s put it at three. And LaVar Ball will accomplish just that. Even being overseas in Lithuania has not stopped Mr. Ball from causing chaos. Just last week, he threatened to take Lonzo off the Lakers. Once Lonzo gets back on the court from injury, LaVar will be even more annoying — book it.
6. The Spurs will be bounced in the first round
This year’s version of the Spurs is starting to feel like a team destined for nothing. Kudos to Gregg Popovich for keeping this team afloat without Kawhi Leonard for much of the season, but it is becoming increasingly more likely we will not see Leonard at his MVP form this season. Therefore, the Spurs could fall as low as the 5th seed putting them up against either the Thunder or Timberwolves in the first-round. This year, Coach Pop’s playoff record will only increase by three wins.