FiveThirtyEight Makes NBA Standing Predictions

FiveThirtyEight put out their 2020-2021 NBA predictions for the standings, which had Miami finishing tied for 4th in the East with the Raptors.

The Boston Celtics and Milwaukee Bucks were predicted to tie for 1st in the East at a record of 46-26, only two games behind the Los Angeles Lakers in the West.

The third team in the East was the Philadephia 76ers, surprisingly, finishing with a record of 45-27. It seems as if FiveThirtyEight is trusting the process, or maybe they’re assuming the 76ers make a trade for James Harden, since having them four games above both Miami and Toronto seems a bit odd.

Phili has definitely made some upgrades, by adding some shooting to their starting lineup with Danny Green and Seth Curry, but is that enough to make Ben Simmons and Joel Embiid work together? Well, I don’t think so.

The Miami Heat being ranked at 4 in the East isn’t much of a surprise, since they always seemed to be ranked in that area. But coming off of a Finals appearance, you’d think they would at least be given the respect of a top three seed.

I wouldn’t be shocked if they end up finishing there though, and run the table once again upon arrival to the playoffs.

The Toronto Raptors were tied with Miami at 41-31, which makes sense since I believe Toronto will still be a very solid regular season team. And the playoffs, I think will be a different story.

Although we can dive into their predictions of the regular season, the playoffs are clearly what matters. And well, this is where things get a little questionable.

They have Miami at a 9% chance to make the Finals, behind the Celtics at 27%, the 76ers at 24%, the Bucks at 22%, and the Raptors at 10%.

As much discussion Giannis Antetokounmpo has gotten as of late about the low chances of winning a championship in Milwaukee, there’s absolutely no way they have a lower chance than the Philadelphia 76ers.

And for a Miami Heat team to have a lower chance than a Raptors team who just lost Serge Ibaka and Marc Gasol, just seems a bit off.

Well, like Jimmy Butler said the other day, “I don’t give a damn.” This entire team doesn’t care what anybody thinks of them.

They aren’t thinking about making the finals, they’re thinking about winning it.

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