Seth: I'm going way against the grain on this one, but I've got THE Toronto Raptors securing the seventh seed in the East. How is this possible, you ask? Firstly, I don't pay attention to previous records as much as many people do when making predictions. This is why you see the Hawks still seeded in the five or six range they've owned for the past three decades despite the miserable roster they will field this season.
But anyway, the Raptors have something that only a couple of teams can claim: a big. A REAL big. Jonus Valanciunas is for real. Add in DeMar DeRozan and some other guys, I I've just got a gut feeling this team is poised to be the surprise of the NBA this season. And yes, that would mean Rudy Gay doesn't suck anymore. It could happen!
Drew: The Raptors? Wowzers. Cue Kevin Garnett here. I can see that though in a "hey everything went right for the Raptors" kind of way. Addition by subtraction with Bargs, by chance?
As for me, I'll take the Atlanta Hawks at seven. I love Al Horford's game, he's like a majestic unicorn of shooting guard moves in a big man's body from the perimeter, but I'm not quite sure what to make of the team overall. I think they'll miss the aforementioned defensive abilities of Smoove, but they did alright in adding Paul Millsap over the summer.
They have a new coach and a tweaked roster, so I don't see them finishing higher than they did last season, though I am surprisingly high on the team I have as the six seed. Bottom line on Atlanta - good enough to make the lower tier if only because Horford jab steps his way into the dance.
Seth: Dude, you did see that I'm right 123 percent of the time? And yet you doubt me?
Kevin: The Raptors? I know you're 123 percent right 42 percent of the time, but do you really believe that the Raptors are going to make the playoffs based upon their best player getting lasik surgery? I could see them almost making the playoffs, but not actually making the playoffs. The Raptors go into the ninth seed or the just out of the Wiggins/Parker/Gordon/Exum sweepstakes.
For the seventh seed, I'm going with the Washington Wizards. Like I said above, they are better than the Pistons. They have an exciting young backcourt that is League Pass DVR worthy of us West Coasters.
The only issue with the Wizards is their front line injury issues. Okafor is out with a neck injury for an undetermined amount of time and Nene always has been good to miss 60 games a year.
Still for some reason, I think they make the seventh seed and could potentially win one playoff game. Yeah, I did say could. But I'm only right 124 percent of the time, so what do I know?