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PBT’s 2013-14 NBA season predictions... it’s not all Miami

Dallas Mavericks Victory Parade

DALLAS, TX - JUNE 16: Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban hoists the Larry O’Brien Trophy up for fans during the Dallas Mavericks Victory Parade on June 16, 2011 in Dallas, Texas. (Photo by Brandon Wade/Getty Images)

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The last couple years, it has felt going into the season that the road to an NBA title went through Miami. And it wasn’t going any farther.

This year it feels far more wide open. Make no mistake, the road goes through Miami and they are saying all the right things about defending their title, but the last team to even make it to four straight finals was the Larry Bird Boston Celtics in 1987. It’s a hard road, no matter how many times you’ve been down it, no matter how good you are.

Which is why you see a lot of teams other than Miami in tables below when myself and the PBT staff sat down to make our predictions for the coming NBA season.

Let’s start with the fun stuff, some of the awards:

NameMVPRookie of YearDefensive player of year
Kurt HelinKevin DurantVictor OladipoDwight Howard
Brett PollakoffChris PaulVictor OladipoLeBron James
Dan FeldmanLeBron JamesVictor OladipoDwight Howard
D.J. FosterLeBron JamesCody ZellerRoy Hibbert
Darius SorianoKevin DurantVictor OladipoRoy Hibbert
Rhett AndersonDwight HowardVictor OladipoLeBron James

Of note here, both Darius and myself had picked Trey Burke to win the NBA Rookie of the Year in an earlier PBT Roundtable, but that was before the finger injury which required surgery and will have him out at the start of the season.

As for LeBron James getting a fifth MVP, it could well happen, but I think we’ll see voter fatigue as they look for someone else to honor.

Let’s move on to the division winners.

Kurt HelinNetsBullsHeatSpursThunderClippers
Brett PollakoffNetsPacersHeatRocketsThunderClippers
Dan FeldmanNetsBullsHeatSpursThunderClippers
D.J. FosterNetsPacersHeatSpursThunderClippers
Darius SorianoNetsBullsHeatSpursThunderClippers
Rhett AndersonNetsPacersHeatRocketsThunderClippers

Sorry Knicks fans, I know most of you don’t get the Nets thing, but the fact is they finished just five games back of you last season then went out and got Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce, Jason Terry and Andrei Kirilenko. We think they leapfrog you.

But not a huge leap in the playoffs. Here’s our predictions on who wins it all:

NameEastern Conference FinalsWestern Converence FinalsNBA FinalsChampion
Kurt HelinPacers vs. HeatClippers vs. ThunderClippers vs. PacersPacers
Brett PollakoffPacers vs. NetsClippers vs. SpursClippers vs. PacersPacers
Dan FeldmanHeat vs. BullsClippers vs. ThunderHeat vs. ClippersHeat
D.J. FosterHeat vs. BullsClippers vs. SpursHeat vs. SpursSpurs
Darius SorianoPacers vs. BullsClippers vs. ThunderThunder vs BullsBulls
Rhett AndersonPacers vs. HeatClippers vs. ThunderHeat vs. ThunderHeat

Yes, I’m taking the Pacers over the Clippers in the Finals. I’m buying the Clippers hype that they can defend for Doc Rivers. The Pacers were a very good team last year with their core — Paul George, Roy Hibbert, George Hill — still improving every year. Then the front office went out and stocked up what had been the worst bench in the league. I think they probably end up the three seed in the regular season but they are a roster built for the grinding game of the playoffs.

Make your predictions in the comments, or just tell us why we’re so wrong.