NBA Standings
(Wally Skalij/Los Angeles Times)

NBA Standings 2021-2022 Predictions: Chick’s Picks

I love making predictions, sometimes I try to do it to make myself looks smart if I get something right. Most of the time, I am wrong on certain things, but all I am looking for is that one thing I nailed just to say I told you so. I hoped to do that with my NBA Predictions post, where I predicted who would win which NBA award and the Championship winner for this 2021-2022 season. This time, I take it a step further and try to predict the NBA Standings for this year. I won’t be doing the W-L prediction, because frankly, who has time for that? Also, it doesn’t matter what your W-L record is as much as it matters what your standing is in your conference. I hope to make people made because there’s no way someone isn’t mad after these predictions. Let’s get it.

Eastern Conference Predictions:

I hate to sound like a hater but I always felt like the Eastern Conference was more boring than the Western Conference, so we will do this conference first in my NBA standings predictions. From top to bottom, here is the list.

  1. Milwaukee Bucks
  2. Philadelphia 76ers
  3. Brooklyn Nets
  4. Boston Celtics
  5. Atlanta Hawks
  6. Miami Heat
  7. Chicago Bulls (Play-in)
  8. Indiana Pacers (Play-in)
  9. New York Knicks (Play-in)
  10. Toronto Raptors (Play-in)
  11. Charlotte Hornets
  12. Washington Wizards
  13. Cleveland Cavaliers
  14. Orlando Magic
  15. Detroit Pistons

I’m sure there are a couple of surprises in this list, one may be the Knicks being so low. However, I think this is a solid list of what should happen. The Bucks will use the same formula to have success this year. The 76ers might be better without Simmons. The Nets are still talented despite the conundrum with Kyrie. The Celtics look much more balanced this year. The Hawks will continue to be good with experience. The Heat have plenty of talent that they should be able to avoid the play-in. The Play-in teams are all in the same tier with each other and it’ll be entertaining to see who comes out of the play-in games. Charlotte didn’t get worse or better, but other teams got better over them. The Wizards have Bradley Beal, and that’s about it. No one else in the East makes a difference.

Now for the Western Conference in my NBA standings predictions, where things are much more interesting but top-heavy. I think the East is becoming more balanced after the top 3 teams, but the West seems to be super talented and some teams will make the playoffs but not be super talented.

Western Conference Predictions:

  1. Utah Jazz
  2. Los Angeles Lakers
  3. Denver Nuggets
  4. Phoenix Suns
  5. Golden State Warriors
  6. Los Angeles Clippers
  7. Portland Trail Blazers (Play-in)
  8. Memphis Grizzlies (Play-in)
  9. Dallas Mavericks (Play-in)
  10. San Antonio Spurs (Play-in)
  11. New Orleans Pelicans
  12. Minnesota Timberwolves
  13. Sacramento Kings
  14. Houston Rockets
  15. Oklahoma City Thunders

As mentioned, this conference is top-heavy. I would say the top 6 could be in any order in my opinion. 7-9 is below that tier for 1-6. After that, 10-15 is just a blur. The Utah Jazz is a great regular season team and will continue to prove that getting the top record in the West. The Lakers have a stacked roster, but age and fatigue will fail them in getting the top seed in the West. The Nuggets will be stacked the 2nd half of the season with Jamal Murray back, but the first half without him will be the reason why the Nuggets will be 3rd in the West. The Phoenix Suns had a great year last year so it might be disrespectful to have them drop 2 spots in the West, however, relying on CP3 will be their downfall like it was in the Finals. The Warriors are finally healthy with Klay Thompson and ready to rock. The Clippers will be missing Kawhi Leonard for a while and that will hurt their record. The Blazers are just blah, they could move up, but history says no. The Grizz have a lot of energy and growth going into the season, momentum can be a double-edged sword for a young team like them. The Mavs really only have Luka and Porzingis, the rest of the team leaves much to be desired.

I predict the Championship winner in this post, so check that out if you’re curious on who I think will be the 2022 NBA Champion.