"Pre-Season Forecast, say hello to Post-Season Results"

Before the NBA regular season gets too far in the rear-view mirror, I thought I’d share the results of my prognostications. How close were my guesses about each team’s results?

Apr 17, 2013; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; Members of the Toronto Raptors and Boston Celtics gather at center court in honor of the victims of the bombing at the Boston Marathon before the game at the Air Canada Centre. Mandatory Credit: Kevin Hoffman-USA TODAY Sports

This being a Toronto Raptors site, we’re going to start there. I predicted a 42-40 season, and the #8 seed in the playoffs. Our heroes suffered through that horrible 4-19 start, and couldn’t recover, ending tied for ninth at 34-48. I take some comfort in noting that the squad was 30-29 after bottoming out, a pace much closer to what I expected.

I nailed the Central Division, to a spooky extent. wins (forecast): Pacers-48 (49), Bulls-44(45), Bucks-38(37), Pistons-29(29!), Cavaliers-25(24). The Southeast was friendly: I hit the order of HEAT-66(59), Hawks-46(44) and Wizards-29(31), and the Bobcats-21(21!) only nosed above the woeful Magic-20(25) when Orlando lost its last 3.

To keep my ego in check, I turn to the Pacific Division, where the Lakers’ woes skewed all my guesswork. I overestimated them by 16 wins, which were picked up by teams like the Clippers-56(47) and Warriors-47(41).

The entire Atlantic division was a pain. The Celtics-41(49) aged noticeably, and Rajon Rondo’s knee injury made matters worse. Andrew Bynum’s bum knee kept him off the floor all season, which dropped the 76ers-34(44)  into a tie with the Raps. The Knicks and Nets picked up the slack with 54(47) and 49(43) victories respectively.

A number of West teams gave me heartburn. The Blazers’ shocking 13-game losing streak to close their season left them 5 wins short of my forecast. I bombed with the Timberwolves-31(43). Brandon Roy’s sad comeback attempt was just the precursor of a miserable Minnesota season. Repeat after me: “Never underestimate the Spurs”. I did, by 9 victories. The Fountain of Youth must be located in West Texas. Another miss from the Lone Star State: the Rockets-45(25). I published my forecast before the James Harden trade, but I wouldn’t have got this team right anyway. Players like Omer Asik and Chandler Parsons took giant steps forward, and Jeremy Lin was OK; I thought he would disappoint. Mitigating my misses somewhat were the Thunder-60(59) and Nuggets-57(49), who I had ranked higher than most analysts.

Apr 24, 2013; Oklahoma City, OK, USA; Oklahoma City Thunder forward Nick Collison (4) attempts a shot against Houston Rockets center Omer Asik (3) in the second half during game two of the first round of the 2013 NBA Playoffs at Chesapeake Energy Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark D. Smith-USA TODAY Sports

The X-factor in this past season, and next season, and the one after that – injuries.

I’m going to give myself a B- grade for the year. Next season’s forecast will be Week Zero of our Monday lunchtime Power Rankings.

Let us know how your predictions fared in the Comments.

Brian Boake is Senior Editor for Raptors Rapture. “Like” Raptors Rapture on Facebook and follow us on Twitter @RaptorsRapture for all the latest news and updates about the best damn NBA team from Canada.



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