Sheridan Hoops Season Preview Predictions Special

microphoneI was taping an appearance on the BBC the other day, which of course means that we were breaking everything down to the most basic of basics.

“Will the Miami Heat three-peat?” was the first question.

And you can’t blame the Brits for asking the same question everyone in the basketball universe is asking. (Aside from “Who will win the Andrew Wiggins lottery?”)

Resisting the urge to use the words “bollocks” and “crikey” (keeping those in the vault), I dispensed my wisdom to the best of my abilities and then closed the segment by offering a little advice. Host Chris Mitchell (or “presenter,” to use the BBC expression) closed the segment by asking me if he had a pocketful of dollars to wager, what would be the best wager?

My answer: the Indiana Pacers to win the championship.

You can get odds ranging anywhere from 7-1 to 12-1, depending on whether you go to Las Vegas or gamble offshore. That is a heck of a payoff for a team that took the Miami Heat to seven games in last season’s Eastern Conference finals and might have made it to the next step if they had two things: experience playing in that type of pressure situation, and a deeper bench.

That second item was taken care of by Larry Bird and Donnie Walsh. The Pacers have added Luis Scola to a front line of Roy Hibbert and David West, and there is no player in all of Argentina who is more passionate about winning than Scola. He has an Olympic gold medal to prove it. Vogel playoffs knicks_opt

That first item took care of itself in last year’s Game 7 in Miami, and you can be damn sure the Pacers are going to do everything within their power to make sure that if a similar situation arises at in early June 2014 that Game 7 will be played in Indianapolis and not Miami.

They are the best bet out there, and I mean no disrespect to the Heat in saying that. But take a look at a couple of the other pieces Indiana has added. There is Chris Copeland, who was signed away from the Knicks after becoming a rotation player in the playoffs when Mike Woodson lost all faith in Amar’e Stoudemire and Jason Kidd.

They have added C.J. Watson, an upgrade over D.J. Augustin even if he didn’t have the greatest of seasons in Brooklyn, where he backed up Deron Williams but didn’t produce the same type of numbers as he did the previous season when he backed up Derrick Rose in Chicago.

And they will have back Danny Granger, depending on how injury-prone he remains. So make no mistake – this Indiana team is better than last year’s Indiana team.

They have 82 games to set themselves up for failure or success, because if they are playing a Game 7 in Miami, they will lose. But if it is in Indianapolis, they will win.

And I think the Pacers have it in them to finish the regular season with a better record than the Heat.

(RELATED: OVER/UNDER WIN PROJECTIONS FOR ALL 30 NBA TEAMS)

(WHO WILL BE MVP? SCORING CHAMP? ROOKIE OF THE YEAR? PROP BET ODDS)

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So when mid-June arrives and commissioner Adam Silver hands the Larry O’Brien Trophy to the Simon brothers, remember where you heard it first.

And if Silver is handing that trophy to someone else, well, there is probably someone listed below from the Sheridan Hoops staff who predicted it.

So without further ado, our staff predictions for the upcoming season, along with links to some of our recent archived columns with yet more predictions. (Somebody here thinks Pau Gasol will be traded; somebody else thinks this will be Kobe Bryant’s last season with the Lakers).

We have more predictions that a soothsayer’s convention – and we have more years of experience on our staff than ESPN, Yahoo, Bleacher Report or any of the other mainstream sites.

Enjoy.

CHRIS SHERIDAN

East Champion: Indiana Pacerspacers small logo
West Champion: Memphis Grizzlies
NBA Champion: Indiana Pacers
MVP: LeBron James
Rookie of the Year: Kelly Olynyk
Most Improved: Kahwi Leonard
Coach of the Year: Dave Joerger

(RELATED: SHERIDAN’S TOP 10 PREDICTIONS FOR THE 2013-14 SEASON)

CHRIS BERNUCCA

East Champ: Miami Heat
heat small logo West Champ: L.A. Clippers
NBA Champion: Miami Heat
MVP: LeBron James
Rookie of the Year: Victor Oladipo
Most Improved: Jonas Valanciunas
Coach of the Year: Doc Rivers

(RELATED: BERNUCCA’S TOP 10 PREDICTIONS FOR THE 2013-14 SEASON) 

JAN HUBBARD

East Champ: Miami Heatheat small logo
West Champ: San Antonio Spurs
NBA Champion: Miami Heat
MVP: LeBron James
Rookie of the Year: Ben McLemore
Most Improved: Eric Bledsoe
Coach of the Year: Rick Carlisle

(RELATED: HUBBARD’S TOP 10 PREDICTIONS FOR THE 2013-14 SEASON)

MARK HEISLER

East Champ: Chicago BullsOKC Thunder
West Champ: Oklahoma City Thunder
NBA Champion: Oklahoma City Thunder
MVP: Kevin Durant
Rookie of the Year: Victor Oladipo
Most Improved: Eric Bledsoe
Coach of the Year: Scott Brooks

(RELATED: HEISLER’S TOP 10 PREDICTIONS FOR THE 2013-14 SEASON)

PETER MAY 

nets60East Champ: Brooklyn Nets
West Champ: Los Angeles Clippers
NBA Champion: Brooklyn Nets
MVP: Chris Paul
Rookie of the Year: Victor Oladipo
Most Improved: DeAndre Jordan
Coach of the Year: Jason Kidd

(RELATED: MAY’S TOP 10 PREDICTIONS FOR THE 2013-14 SEASON)

DANNY SCHAYES 

East Champ: Indiana Pacerspacers small logo
West Champ: Houston Rockets
NBA Champion: Indiana Pacers
MVP: LeBron James
Rookie of the Year: Kelly Olynyk
Most Improved: Anthony Davis
Coach of the Year: Kevin McHale

(RELATED: SCHAYES’S TOP 10 PREDICTIONS FOR THE 2013-14 SEASON)

ANDY KAMENETZKY

East Champ: Miami Heat
West Champ: Los Angeles Clippers
NBA Champion: Miami Heat
MVP: LeBron James
Rookie of the Year: Victor Oladipo
Most Improved: Kawhi Leonard
Coach of the Year: Doc Rivers

BRIAN KAMENETZKY

East Champ: Indiana Pacerspacers small logo
West Champ: Los Angeles Clippers
NBA Champion: Indiana Pacers
MVP: Kevin Durant
Rookie of the Year: Victor Oladipo
Most Improved: Anthony Davis
Coach of the Year: Doc Rivers

SHLOMO SPRUNG 

East Champ: Miami Heatheat small logo
West Champ: Oklahoma City Thunder
NBA Champion: Miami Heat
MVP: Kevin Durant
Rookie of the Year: Trey Burke
Most Improved: Bradley Beal
Coach of the Year: Mike Brown

JIM PARK 

East Champ: Miami Heatheat small logo
West Champ: L.A. Clippers
NBA Champion: Miami Heat
MVP: Kevin Durant
Rookie of the Year: Victor Oladipo
Most Improved: Anthony Davis
Coach of the Year: Doc Rivers

CHRIS PERKINS 

East Champ: Miami Heatheat small logo
West Champ: Oklahoma City Thunder
NBA Champion: Miami Heat
MVP: Kevin Durant
Rookie of the Year: Victor Oladipo
Most Improved: Anthony Davis
Coach of the Year: Frank Vogel

JON MARKS

East Champ: Miami Heatgrizzlies small logo
West Champ: Memphis Grizzlies
NBA Champion: Memphis Grizzlies
MVP: Kevin Durant
Rookie of the Year: Victor Oladipo
Most Improved: Enes Kanter
Coach of the Year: Doc Rivers
AJ MITNICK

East Champ: Miami Heatheat small logo
West Champ: Golden State
NBA Champion: Miami Heat
MVP: LeBron James
Rookie of the Year: Victor Oladipo
Most Improved: Derrick Favors
Coach of the Year: Doc Rivers
ADAM ZAGORIA

East Champ: Miami Heatheat small logo
West Champ: San Antonio Spurs
NBA Champion: Miami Heat
MVP: LeBron James
Rookie of the Year: Victor Oladipo
Most Improved: Anthony Davis
Coach of the Year: Gregg Popovich
MICHAEL SCOTTO

East Champ: Chicago Bullsbulls small logo
West Champ: Los Angeles Clippers
NBA Champion: Chicago Bulls
MVP: LeBron James
Rookie of the Year: Michael Carter-Williams
Most Improved: Andre Drummond
Coach of the Year: Jason Kidd
MICHAEL BRUMAGIN

East Champ: Miami Heatheat small logo
West Champ: Los Angeles Clippers
NBA Champion: Miami Heat
MVP: LeBron James
Rookie of the Year: Victor Oladipo
Most Improved: Anthony Davis
Coach of the Year: Rick Adelman
JEREMY BAUMAN

East Champ: Miami Heatheat small logo
West Champ: Oklahoma City Thunder
NBA Champion: Miami Heat
MVP: Kevin Durant
Rookie of the Year: Victor Oladipo
Most Improved: Anthony Davis
Coach of the Year: Doc Rivers
DANIEL MALONE
East Champ: Miami Heatheat small logo
West Champ: Los Angeles Clippers
NBA Champion: Miami Heat
MVP: Chris Paul
Rookie of the Year: Victor Oladipo
Most Improved: Andre Drummond
Coach of the Year: Doc Rivers
JACOB EISENBERG
Jacob new gravatar
bulls small logo
East Champ: Chicago Bulls
West Champ: San Antonio Spurs
NBA Champion: Chicago Bulls
MVP: LeBron James
Rookie of the Year: Victor Oladipo
Most Improved: Gordon Hayward
Coach of the Year: Monty Williams
MORE SEASON PREVIEW STORIES:

 

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  1. jerry25 says

    I learned a few things from these predictions.

    1. First, note that 16 out of 17 predicted an Eastern Conference champion. East IS better at the top. And with the Washington trade, East got a little closer to the West overall.

    I maintain that there is little difference between Heat, Pacers, Bulls and Nets, but one thing I am confident about is that Heat won’t have the best record. There are 5 Elite teams in West with a shot at the championship, but Memphis isn’t one of them.

    2. Peter May is very unbiased and clear thinking. Nets should be the favorite, although I respect the Pacers and Bulls to make it close. Bulls will likely be burned out again come post season. And if Nets win championship, Jason Kidd Would be Coach of the Year, which isn’t necessarily a good thing. Some will say that Lawrence Frank deserved much of the credit.

    • jerry25 says

      Trivia question: When was the last time a team made it to the finals 4 years in a row (The Heat have done it 3 years in a row, in the then Weak East)?
      It doesn’t happen anymore, which is yet another reason why most people who just ride the Bandwagon are incorrectly predicting the Heat.

      The Heat were fortunate to win it all, each of the past two seasons (people have such short memories). They were fortunate to get by the Pacers last season, but this year the Pacers, Nets and Bulls are significantly better than that Pacers team. The Heat meanwhile have a questionable DWade and they lost Mike Miller. The Heat likely will not have home court and they will have to beat TWO teams from Nets, Pacers and Bulls.

    • Jermaine says

      Nets are not and should not be the favorite. Adding Garnett and Pierce should help with how gutless the Nets were in losing a game 7 to Chicago’s reserves, but who knows how much they have left in the tank. They will almost certainly be on a Tim Duncan like schedule which could keep the Nets from getting a top seed and I don’t trust Jason Kidd to be a great coach his first year. After watching Woodson get owned by Frank Vogel in the 2nd round last year, do you really trust that Kidd in that situation? I’m not saying Nets aren’t a good team and won’t be a force in the playoffs, just that clearly the Miami Heat are the favorites to win the title this year regardless of only one team making it to 4 straight finals in history. How many times has a team that made it to 3 straight finals returned all the pieces for a 4th run? If Jordan doens’t go play baseball I’m pretty sure he never misses a finals.

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