« NBA Playoffs: Western Conference Predictions
Salary Cap Stuff and Eastern Conference Predictions
Salary Cap Stuff
Don’t get too excited, but it appears that the that the NBA salary cap and luxury tax lines are dropping less than expected. It’s now being projected that the cap will fall from 57.7 million to 56.1 million. The 1.6 million dollar decrease is millions less than most front offices had anticipated.
The expected luxury tax hasn’t been revealed, and likely won’t be until the official salary cap is set. That said, I project it to be just over 68 million, given the historical correlation between the two. This years luxury tax line was set at 69.92 million.
As it stands right now the Hornets have ten players under contract for approximately 72.2 million dollars.
Eastern Conference First Round Predictions
#1 Cleveland vs #8 Bulls
If any one series could shape the future of the NBA, this is it. Aside from the obvious LeBron implications, the Bulls front office would also be in a mess of horse poo with the Del Negro situation. If you haven’t heard, Paxson came at Vinnie Del Negro, or Vinnie came at Paxson, or something.
Is there a doubt that Paxson and company want the Bulls not only to lose, but to be annihilated each and every game of this series?
#2 Orlando vs #7 Charlotte
In a match up that features the top two defenses in all of basketball, it’s the offensive deficiencies of the Bobcats that should make this series nearly a virtual lock. Eyes will be on Vince Carter this postseason as he attempts to prove that he is the missing piece for the Orlando Magic.
Despite yet another recent injury, Tyson Chandler is expected to play. He’s having his best month of the season, playing all eight games and averaging 8.3 points, 6.5 rebounds, and 1.3 blocks. Yeah, it hasn’t been a great year for the former Bee.
#3 Atlanta Haws vs #6 Milwaukee
Prior to Andrew Bogut’s season ending injury, this would have been a tight series that the Bucks could have easily taken. Not anymore. On the bright side, it should be a blast to see what Jennings can do with TV cameras all over the place. Will the spotlight bring back the player we saw early in the season?
#4 Boston Celtics vs #5 Miami Heat
If there’s one series to watch from the first round of the east, this is it. The old three, plus some punk named Rondo, against Dwayne Wade and… umm… well, that’s really all. It must be nice to be in the East.
A few implications of this series will likely be the future of the Celtics big three. Allen is an unrestricted free agent after this year, and Paul Pierce holds an opt out clause. If they can’t get past the first round, this will almost certainly be the last we see of them.
Not just that, but Dwayne Wade is completely free this summer to do as he pleases. He’s won a title in Miami, but widespread speculation persists that he is going to head for Chicago (although this is now pretty unlikely considering the front office turmoil), or possibly New York City. Frankly I don’t see him going anywhere, but first round exits tend to wear on competitive players.