Mar 9, 2014; New Orleans, LA, USA; Denver Nuggets power forward Kenneth Faried (35) is defended by New Orleans Pelicans power forward Anthony Davis (23) during the second quarter of a game at the Smoothie King Center. Mandatory Credit: Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports

How are my pre-season predictions working out? [Part 2 of 2]

I beat myself up already over my forecast for the Eastern Conference. Time to don the hairshirt and do the same for the West.

Air Balls

Phoenix Suns: A miss of monumental proportions, and being in the select company of every other pundit provides little comfort. I thought they would rival the 76ers as tankers extraordinaire, instead they are 36-27, and Jeff Hornacek is mentioned in every Coach of the Year discussion. We drafted P.J. Tucker – why didn’t we keep him?

Denver Nuggets: I thought they had enough of their core left to compete. I was wrong.

Hit back iron

Los Angeles Clippers: I knew they would be good, but not this good. Are they title contenders? Sure.

Portland Trail Blazers: Although they are coming back to the pack, they will still blow by my number of 43-39.

Dallas Mavericks: If you like offense, this is your team. I didn’t give Dirk, Jose & Co. enough credit.

Rolling around the rim

Golden State Warriors: They have been healthy all season, and are ahead of where I thought they would be as a result. Can Bogut and Curry stay out of sick bay into the playoffs?

San Antonio Spurs: The best organization in professional sports. Getting healthy, and fine-tuning themselves for another deep playoff run.

Sacramento Kings: Lots of roster turmoil in California’s capital. Rudy Gay hasn’t provided the shot in the arm they hoped for, and they’ve given up on Jimmer Fredette. They will need to get hot to get close to my overly-optimistic call of 35 wins.

Nothing but net

Oklahoma City Thunder: Tracking about what I called for, but (like predicting big seasons for Miami & Indiana) this wasn’t a tough pick.

Houston Rockets: Another easy choice. I said 52 wins, and they may get close to 60.

Memphis Grizzlies: I said they would finish 10 games above .500, and that’s almost exactly where they are today. Can they hang on to a playoff berth?

Utah Jazz: If they had continued the season the way they started, the Jazz would have ended up like the infamous 7-59 Bobcats of the lockout season. Instead, they have improved, and are tracking to end almost exactly at the 28-54 mark I called for.

Minnesota Timberwolves: I said they would be 2 games over .500; at the moment they are 32-31. I love Ricky Rubio, but a point guard who can’t score shouldn’t start.

Los Angeles Lakers: My riskiest pick; I predicated they would be 18 games under water. They are currently 20. Obviously I didn’t know Kobe would be out most of the season, but the chances of him or Pau Gasol being hurt were extremely high. They are aging veterans forced to play lots of minutes.

New Orleans Pelicans: Even the emergence of Anthony (Unibrow) Davis hasn’t brought this young squad over .500. I called for 36 wins; they currently have 26, with 19 games to play. Next season: Pelican Alert!




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