NBA Rankings Prediction

Hall of Famer Jerry West, designer Alan Siegel and the drama behind the NBA  logo

With the start of the 2020-2021 NBA Season, I have some thoughts about where the 30 teams rank in the playoff picture. 

Starting in the Eastern Conference, the Brooklyn Nets have built a solid team, with 2-time NBA MVP Steve Nash as their coach. They have championship experience with Kevin Durant, a 2-time NBA champion, and with Kyrie Irving, A 2016 NBA champion. Also, they just picked up James Harden from the Houston Rockets from a trade where they sent Caris Levert, Jarrett Allen, Taurean Prince, and a lot of future first-round picks. With arguably the best big 3 in the NBA, will the Nets be able to win the title this year? I think they have a great chance. 

With back to back disappointing performances in the NBA Playoffs, the Milwaukee Bucks are looking to get to the NBA Finals this year and compete for a championship. Giannis Antekounmpo, the reigning MVP has been unstoppable for 2 years in a row now, but the struggle continues. With Jrue Holiday and Giannis as their cornerstones, will the Bucks rebuild or will the 3rd time be the charm? I rank the Milwaukee Bucks as the 2nd seed in the Eastern Conference. 

Taking the 3rd seed in the Eastern Conference will likely be the Boston Celtics. This Celtic team is filled with young rising stars in Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown. With an experienced player in Kemba Walker, the Celtics have a big three that can make some noise in the East. I love how Jayson Tatum has been able to lead this team and I think the future is bright for the Celtics. 

The  Toronto Raptors,  the 2018-2019 NBA Champions, have taken a hard hit ever since losing Kawhi Leonard to the LA Clippers in 2019. But, they have found a way to regroup with their leadership in Kyle Lowry and their young core in Fred Vanvleet and OG Anunoby. However, in the 2019-2020 season, they impressed and proved haters wrong by snagging the 2nd seed in the Eastern Conference. However, with the Brooklyn Nets and Milwaukee Bucks reloading, it will be harder for them to compete without a true superstar. I can see them earning the 4th seed in the Eastern Conference. 

I feel that the Miami Heat will take the 5th seed in the East. Even though they were able to beat Milwaukee and Boston in the Playoffs in the 2019-2020 NBA season, they are a very inconsistent team and I just can’t see Jimmy Butler and Bam Adebayo leading this team to a 1-4 seed in the Eastern Conference. 

The Philadelphia 76ers will take the 6th seed in the Eastern Conference. With a lethal duo in Joel Embid and Ben Simmons, along with Tobias Harris, the 76ers are nothing short of special. But, because of how many good teams there are in the Eastern Conference, the Philadelphia 76ers fall in their positioning. They suffer a lot of injuries with Ben Simmons and Joel Embid and that might be their biggest issue for the season. 


Barely getting into the Playoffs and grabbing the 7th seed is the Washington Wizards. With a new duo in Westbrook and Beal, the Wizards have prepared for the bright lights. But with 2 players who used to be leaders on their team, I question their team chemistry. Also, they don’t have as much depth in their lineup as the teams listed above them. 

The 8th seed in the East will be the Atlanta Hawks. Trae Young, one of the future’s brightest young stars is ready to lead his team to the Playoffs. With the additions of Danilo Gallinari, Rajon Rondo, and Bogdan Bogdanovic, the Hawks will be able to score with Trae off the court. Along with John Collins and Clint Capela, the returning pieces for the Hawks, I see them sneaking into the Playoffs with the 8th seed. 

The Cleveland Cavaliers, Chicago Bulls, New York Knicks, Indiana Pacers, Detroit Pistons, Charlotte Hornets, and Orlando Magic will all miss the Playoffs.


The Western Conference has a stronger balance of teams. Many teams are great, while others are not as talented. 

The Los Angeles Lakers, the defending champs are back and hungry. With the pick-ups of Dennis Schroder, the reigning 6th man of the year in Montrezl Harrell, Marc Gasol, and Wesley Matthews, the Lakers have reloaded! Coming off an amazing season where Anthony Davis was the runner-up for Defensive Player of the Year and where Lebron James was the runner-up for the Most Valuable Player Award, I feel like they will be able to repeat with the help of their new additions. I have them earning the first seed in the West.

The Los Angeles Clippers. Yes, the team that blew a 3-1 lead last season. Paul George is remembered for struggling in the playoffs… and hitting the side of the backboard in Game 7. Kawhi Leonard is also remembered for choking. With a bad reputation heading into the season, you know that Paul George and Kawhi Leonard are going to be back for more. With new additions in Serge Ibaka, one of Kawhi’s former teammates, the Clippers are going to be able to put up a fight in the West and battle the Lakers for the Western Conference Championship. I have them at the 2nd spot in the West. 

With young and coming teams in Denver, Dallas, Phoenix, Golden State, and Utah. But, I have Denver grabbing the 3rd seed. With their outstanding team play and hustle, along with their young stars in Nikola Jokic and Jamal Murray, this team doesn’t disappoint when you watch them play. I think that Denver can make some noise in the West, and maybe even return to the Western Conference Finals. 

At the 4th seed in the West, I think the Mavericks can grab this spot. With a young rising star in Luka Doncic who is expected to win the NBA MVP award this season at the lead position, the Dallas Mavericks are an upcoming team that has shown us in previous years that they can win. If they can get Kristaps Porzingis healthy, I think this team can get 50 wins this season. 

CJ McCollum, Damian Lillard, and Carmelo Anthony lead a bright and talented team in Portland. The 3 point shooting ability of their whole starting line-up including Jusuf Nurkic, their center,  makes them super hard to guard. They can score from inside the paint, mid-range, and from the three-point line. If the Portland Trailblazers can avoid injuries this season, I think that they will be a solid team in the West. The only issue that I think they might encounter throughout the season is their defense. Damian Lillard, CJ McCollum, Carmelo Anthony, and the rest of the Trailblazers are mostly an offensive team. Their addition of Robert Covington may help them, but only time will tell how good their defense is. I see Portland grabbing the 5th seed. 

Chris Paul and Devin Booker form a dynamic duo. With the basketball IQ and passing that Chris Paul possesses combined with the scoring ability of young star Devin Booker, and with young talent on the roster in Mikal Bridges and Deandre Ayton, the Phoenix Suns will be dangerous. I don’t think this team will be able to compete for a title because the team is mostly made of young players. Even though they have Chris Paul, an experienced NBA player, I don’t think one player’s experience is enough for a team to be able to win a championship. I think they will be able to win enough games to get the 6th seed in the West. 

Will the Utah Jazz be able to compete for a title? I don’t know. But, what I do know is that Donovan Mitchell and Rudy Gobert are scary to play against. With the athletic dunks from Mitchell and the defense from Gobert, as well as the shooting from Joe Ingles and Bogdanovic, the Jazz can attack from everywhere. I think that the Jazz still have some time until they can become contenders, but I think that they can make a statement in the league that they will be around for a long time. 

Grabbing the 8th seed and barely making the playoffs will be the Golden State Warriors. With leadership and championship experience from Stephen Curry, the Warriors will be guided very well. An issue for this team is that they do not have team chemistry. With a lot of the Warriors that won 3 championships in the last 6 years gone, and Klay Thompson, a superstar shooter and defender, the Warriors need to find a way to make it work. I think this team will sneak into the playoffs and struggle this season. 

I don’t see the New Orleans Pelicans, Memphis Grizzlies, San Antonio Spurs, Oklahoma City Thunder, Houston Rockets, Sacramento Kings, and Minnesota Timberwolves making the playoffs, but I think there is a lot of room to improve. Just because I don’t think these teams won’t make the playoffs doesn’t mean that they are not going to, but this is only my opinion. 

These are only my predictions after watching these teams play. If you have different ideas, I would love to hear them in the comments. 

With the start of the 2020-2021 NBA Season, I have some thoughts about where the 30 teams rank in the playoff picture. 

Starting in the Eastern Conference, the Brooklyn Nets have built a solid team, with 2-time NBA MVP Steve Nash as their coach. They have championship experience with Kevin Durant, a 2-time NBA champion, and with Kyrie Irving, A 2016 NBA champion. Also, they just picked up James Harden from the Houston Rockets from a trade where they sent Caris Levert, Jarrett Allen, Taurean Prince, and a lot of future first-round picks. With arguably the best big 3 in the NBA, will the Nets be able to win the title this year? I think they have a great chance. 

With back to back disappointing performances in the NBA Playoffs, the Milwaukee Bucks are looking to get to the NBA Finals this year and compete for a championship. Giannis Antekounmpo, the reigning MVP has been unstoppable for 2 years in a row now, but the struggle continues. With Jrue Holiday and Giannis as their cornerstones, will the Bucks rebuild or will the 3rd time be the charm? I rank the Milwaukee Bucks as the 2nd seed in the Eastern Conference. 

Taking the 3rd seed in the Eastern Conference will likely be the Boston Celtics. This Celtic team is filled with young rising stars in Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown. With an experienced player in Kemba Walker, the Celtics have a big three that can make some noise in the East. I love how Jayson Tatum has been able to lead this team and I think the future is bright for the Celtics. 

The  Toronto Raptors,  the 2018-2019 NBA Champions, have taken a hard hit ever since losing Kawhi Leonard to the LA Clippers in 2019. But, they have found a way to regroup with their leadership in Kyle Lowry and their young core in Fred Vanvleet and OG Anunoby. However, in the 2019-2020 season, they impressed and proved haters wrong by snagging the 2nd seed in the Eastern Conference. However, with the Brooklyn Nets and Milwaukee Bucks reloading, it will be harder for them to compete without a true superstar. I can see them earning the 4th seed in the Eastern Conference. 

I feel that the Miami Heat will take the 5th seed in the East. Even though they were able to beat Milwaukee and Boston in the Playoffs in the 2019-2020 NBA season, they are a very inconsistent team and I just can’t see Jimmy Butler and Bam Adebayo leading this team to a 1-4 seed in the Eastern Conference. 

The Philadelphia 76ers will take the 6th seed in the Eastern Conference. With a lethal duo in Joel Embid and Ben Simmons, along with Tobias Harris, the 76ers are nothing short of special. But, because of how many good teams there are in the Eastern Conference, the Philadelphia 76ers fall in their positioning. They suffer a lot of injuries with Ben Simmons and Joel Embid and that might be their biggest issue for the season. 

Barely getting into the Playoffs and grabbing the 7th seed is the Washington Wizards. With a new duo in Westbrook and Beal, the Wizards have prepared for the bright lights. But with 2 players who used to be leaders on their team, I question their team chemistry. Also, they don’t have as much depth in their lineup as the teams listed above them. 

The 8th seed in the East will be the Atlanta Hawks. Trae Young, one of the future’s brightest young stars is ready to lead his team to the Playoffs. With the additions of Danilo Gallinari, Rajon Rondo, and Bogdan Bogdanovic, the Hawks will be able to score with Trae off the court. Along with John Collins and Clint Capela, the returning pieces for the Hawks, I see them sneaking into the Playoffs with the 8th seed. 

The Cleveland Cavaliers, Chicago Bulls, New York Knicks, Indiana Pacers, Detroit Pistons, Charlotte Hornets, and Orlando Magic will all miss the Playoffs.

The Western Conference has a stronger balance of teams. Many teams are great, while others are not as talented. 

The Los Angeles Lakers, the defending champs are back and hungry. With the pick-ups of Dennis Schroder, the reigning 6th man of the year in Montrezl Harrell, Marc Gasol, and Wesley Matthews, the Lakers have reloaded! Coming off an amazing season where Anthony Davis was the runner-up for Defensive Player of the Year and where Lebron James was the runner-up for the Most Valuable Player Award, I feel like they will be able to repeat with the help of their new additions. I have them earning the first seed in the West.

The Los Angeles Clippers. Yes, the team that blew a 3-1 lead last season. Paul George is remembered for struggling in the playoffs… and hitting the side of the backboard in Game 7. Kawhi Leonard is also remembered for choking. With a bad reputation heading into the season, you know that Paul George and Kawhi Leonard are going to be back for more. With new additions in Serge Ibaka, one of Kawhi’s former teammates, the Clippers are going to be able to put up a fight in the West and battle the Lakers for the Western Conference Championship. I have them at the 2nd spot in the West. 

With young and coming teams in Denver, Dallas, Phoenix, Golden State, and Utah. But, I have Denver grabbing the 3rd seed. With their outstanding team play and hustle, along with their young stars in Nikola Jokic and Jamal Murray, this team doesn’t disappoint when you watch them play. I think that Denver can make some noise in the West, and maybe even return to the Western Conference Finals. 

At the 4th seed in the West, I think the Mavericks can grab this spot. With a young rising star in Luka Doncic who is expected to win the NBA MVP award this season at the lead position, the Dallas Mavericks are an upcoming team that has shown us in previous years that they can win. If they can get Kristaps Porzingis healthy, I think this team can get 50 wins this season. 

CJ McCollum, Damian Lillard, and Carmelo Anthony lead a bright and talented team in Portland. The 3 point shooting ability of their whole starting line-up including Jusuf Nurkic, their center,  makes them super hard to guard. They can score from inside the paint, mid-range, and from the three-point line. If the Portland Trailblazers can avoid injuries this season, I think that they will be a solid team in the West. The only issue that I think they might encounter throughout the season is their defense. Damian Lillard, CJ McCollum, Carmelo Anthony, and the rest of the Trailblazers are mostly an offensive team. Their addition of Robert Covington may help them, but only time will tell how good their defense is. I see Portland grabbing the 5th seed. 

Chris Paul and Devin Booker form a dynamic duo. With the basketball IQ and passing that Chris Paul possesses combined with the scoring ability of young star Devin Booker, and with young talent on the roster in Mikal Bridges and Deandre Ayton, the Phoenix Suns will be dangerous. I don’t think this team will be able to compete for a title because the team is mostly made of young players. Even though they have Chris Paul, an experienced NBA player, I don’t think one player’s experience is enough for a team to be able to win a championship. I think they will be able to win enough games to get the 6th seed in the West. 

Will the Utah Jazz be able to compete for a title? I don’t know. But, what I do know is that Donovan Mitchell and Rudy Gobert are scary to play against. With the athletic dunks from Mitchell and the defense from Gobert, as well as the shooting from Joe Ingles and Bogdanovic, the Jazz can attack from everywhere. I think that the Jazz still have some time until they can become contenders, but I think that they can make a statement in the league that they will be around for a long time. 

Grabbing the 8th seed and barely making the playoffs will be the Golden State Warriors. With leadership and championship experience from Stephen Curry, the Warriors will be guided very well. An issue for this team is that they do not have team chemistry. With a lot of the Warriors that won 3 championships in the last 6 years gone, and Klay Thompson, a superstar shooter and defender, the Warriors need to find a way to make it work. I think this team will sneak into the playoffs and struggle this season. 

I don’t see the New Orleans Pelicans, Memphis Grizzlies, San Antonio Spurs, Oklahoma City Thunder, Houston Rockets, Sacramento Kings, and Minnesota Timberwolves making the playoffs, but I think there is a lot of room to improve. Just because I don’t think these teams won’t make the playoffs doesn’t mean that they are not going to, but this is only my opinion. 

These are only my predictions after watching these teams play. If you have different ideas, I would love to hear them in the comments. 

-Mert A.

Rocket League Game Review

Competitive games with cars playing sports, boosting up and down the courts and fields, kicking soccer balls into goals and shooting basketballs into hoops… Rocket League is a video game that transforms the impossible into the possible. With this video game, you get an exciting experience, playing against the CPU or against other online players. You have an opportunity to compete for a league championship against the Computer- Generated teams. This game is a game that shows that anything can be possible in video games! Rocket League is a game you will not want to pass up!

In Rocket League, you can customize your dream car and unlock different accessories to decorate it. Also, you don’t just have to change the car every time you want a new look, but you can make many different cars and use each one whenever you want to. Then, you can compete in a showdown against the CPU players or you can take it to the next level, and play online with other Rocket League competitors. Rocket League is a competitive game, but it is also very fun. You can score goals and baskets in the SOCCAR and Basketball game modes. You can also take it to the ice and play hockey with your cars.

This game is fantastic because you can play it online or offline. There  are many different online modes, as well as there are many different offlines modes. The online modes  include playing an online match with random people playing at the same time, or you can play with your friends in a club. If you prefer to play video games offline, you can play multiplayer with your siblings or friends simply by connecting another controller. In addition, you can play against or with bots. It is possible to compete in seasons against bot teams for the championship trophy. 

Another great thing about this video game is that whether you are a girl, boy, kid, adult, or senior, you can always trust Rocket League to make you smile and have fun! This game is for anyone with even a slight interest in sports or cars! 

Rocket League is a fantastic video game with great graphics and can teach you the game of soccer, basketball and hockey as you play. 

I would give this game a 9/10 rating because I believe that they could add daily goals and levels to the game to make it more exciting to play and beat the levels. But, overall, Rocket League is an amazing game and I would definitely recommend you to try it!

-Mert A.

NBA2K20 Review

Have you ever seen a video game with a combination of life-like graphics and real-life sports? If you have, you probably know that NBA2K20 is one of those amazing video games. NBA2K20 is not only a video game, but it is also a great game to teach you about basketball. 

There are two purposes for this video game. While you have fun playing it, you learn about the game of basketball. There are 4 different game modes in NBA2K20. These game modes are all different and they are all filled with different activities. 

The Play Now game mode is where you can play with and against any team you choose in the NBA (National Basketball Association) or the WNBA (Women’s National Basketball Association). You can play against the CPU or you can connect another controller and play with your friends. You can even play online with friends. 

The MyTeam game mode is where you can play games, while you build your dream team. You can add any players you want after you buy the cards with your MyTeam Points. There are many different gem colored players, with the best cards being Galaxy Opals. After you have collected these player cards, you can fit them into your lineup and compete against the CPU or other online players. 

The MyCareer game mode is very special. In this game mode, you will be able to make a player who looks just like you and you will be able to control what he says or how he plays. It is like it is your NBA career. You have to start at a 60 overall player, but after you play, you will earn virtual currency and you will be able to upgrade your player to higher overalls. You can play this game mode in NBA games, or you can play in The Park and compete against other MyCareer players as well. You can buy your player outfits and accessories with the Virtual Currency  you earn after playing games. 

In the MyLeague game mode, you can choose a team that you will be playing with for the whole season. You have to play the games on their actual schedule and compete for a championship. You can also choose to be a general manager. You can trade for players and sign free agents in the offseason. It is like you own the team. That’s an extraordinary experience!

The thing that makes NBA2K20 an incredible video game to play is the graphics. The graphics are so life-like and it is as if you are playing with real basketball players on the TV screen. The stunning features in the game like the halftime show and the TV broadcasters makes the game more impressive and exciting. 

NBA2K20 is a basketball video game based on the NBA that can be played on Xbox, Nintendo Switch, or PlayStation consoles. Since this video game is amazing, I would give it a rating of 10/10. 

NBA2K21 is also right around the corner, and you can preorder this game now or you can also buy this game when it comes out in September. Each year there is a new NBA2K because of all the team updates and game improvements. NBA2K21 will have 3 different versions; the Current Generation for Xbox1, Nintendo Switch and PS4, the Next Generation for Xbox SeriesX and PS5, and the Legend Edition version which can be played on all video game consoles. 

– Mert A. 

The Wizenard Series by Kobe Bryant and Wesley King

When did magic and basketball meet? Floors moving uphill and downhill, mysterious writing on the wall, each person seeing a different vision than the next in the same place! Is there anything Rolabi Wizenard can’t change? Well, as Rolabi Wizenard tests a struggling basketball team’s commitment and desire, they find out how to handle fear and learn to overcome the biggest challenges! A team determined to win, The West Bottom Badgers start an incredibly long journey to the title, with Rolabi Wizenard as their coach! 

As each player faces their own challenges, they all have to find a way to come together as a team and compete for a championship! A team from The Bottom part of Dren is starting their adventure now. They have no time to waste, they just need to work hard everyday, and play while controlling their fears. Everyone comes from struggling parents, who can’t pay all their bills, but their hearts are bigger. Their desire to win is stronger! The main question is: Will all their hard work be enough?

As the West Bottom Badgers learn to work and hard and fight through fear, they start to unlock their true potential. Former bench players become stars and the whole team starts to look up. That is until they start the season. The season starts off very rough as they start off with 5 straight losses without a single win. Their hopes to win the championship, once as high as a mountain, start to plummet as each loss comes and goes. 

The Wizenard Series is a 2 book series with the first book being the same story in all the different parts of it, just from different perspectives. You get 5 different angles of the story with Rain, Twig, Cash, Peno, and Lab. The 2nd book is with Reggie, where you get a view of the first season with Rolabi Wizenard as head coach from the eyes of Reggie.

As everyone faces problems and challenges on the court, most of the kids also face problems off the court. Some sleep on the ground, some have to work hard into the night to earn the money their family needs, and some have lost family members. Well, after all, this is The Bottom. Once someone comes to The Bottom, they have a hard time leaving, and that is just like the situation everyone on this basketball team is in. Professor Rolabi Wizenard not only teaches these kids basketball, but he also teaches them life. Will they be able to apply what they have learned from him into their daily lives as they get older and try to get out of The Bottom with basketball?

I enjoyed reading this fabulous book, and I would rate it a 10/10. It is one of the best books I have ever read.

The first book: The Wizenard Series: Training Camp, the second book: The Wizenard Series: Season One

-Mert A.