NBA mid-season recap and predictions
The NBA is approaching the midpoint of its 2018-19 season and there have been a number of interesting developments thus far. While some of these developments have been expected, some have not been (Celtics fans, I am talking to you). Last summer saw Lebron James abandoning the Cleveland Cavaliers to go play with the Los Angeles Lakers in hopes of starting a new dynasty out there. Meanwhile, the San Antonio Spurs traded Kawhi Leonard to the Toronto Raptors. Both of these offseason moves have had big effects on the current standings.
As we speak, the top three teams in the Eastern Conference are the Milwaukee Bucks led by Giannis Antetokounmpo, followed by the Raptors led by Kawhi and then the Indiana Pacers. The Boston Celtics are in fourth place, which while not being bad by any stretch, is certainly not where most C’s fans expected their team to be at this stage in the season.
Nobody seems to really know what is going on with the Celtics. While some have said the problems arise from having Kyrie Irving and Gordon Hayward back on the team after both coming back from injuries, others say that their struggles are because of basic lack of chemistry.
But the good news for the C’s is that they are not far apart from the three teams ahead of them, which means they can easily catch up by going on a big run.
The Western Conference meanwhile is absolutely stacked. There are so many great players in the West that only the very best teams have a chance of making the playoffs. Led by Steph Curry and Kevin Durant, the Golden State Warriors are in first place followed by the Denver Nuggets and the Oklahoma City Thunder rounding out the top three.
Now led by Lebron, the Lakers are a much better team this year, although a recent injury with Lebron has led them out of the playoff race for the time being.
One big surprise this year is the Houston Rockets. Much like the Celtics, the Rockets are below expectations so far. They are in fifth place currently, which is good, but not as good as they were expected to be.
As an extra thing to add, the worst teams in the NBA this year have been the Phoenix Suns in the West who have a record of 11-45, and the New York Knicks who are 10-43. The Cavaliers also are not sitting pretty after Lebron left, as they are slightly better than the Knicks at 11-43.
I probably am not the best person to make predictions about this sort of thing, but I will try.
My first prediction is that Golden State finishes in first place in the West once again (big surprise, I know). They are the best team in the league and there is no denying that. I also predict the Lakers to finish strong and make the playoffs because they have Lebron James at the end of the day.
My last prediction, and the one I am least sure about, is that the Celtics will finish in the top three in the East. Even in spite of all their problems and challenges this season, the Celtics are still the best team in the East on paper. They have proven themselves to be the best team in the East multiple times this season, and as long as they stay consistent, they can easily catch the three teams in front of them.
Richard Hudson, a junior, studies Organizational Communications. He is a staff writer for Le Provocateur.