Kevin’s Fearless 2012 – 2013 Predictions and Projections

October 28th, 2012 by Kevin Hetrick

The NBA regular season kicks off in less than forty-eight hours!  Cleveland plays the very first game this year’s slate!!  Basketball!!!

Unfortunately, I did not post this yesterday when I first authored it.  My James Harden-for-Kevin Martin prediction would have blown minds.  Anyways, I am a glutton for punishment as it relates to proffering prognostications from my crystal ball.  With that:

Here's a bonus prediction, free of charge. The Cavs will not win the 2013 Larry O'Brien Trophy.

  1. There will be one prediction for each projected Cleveland win this season.  So, this is the first of 33 knowledge gems.
  2. The Cavs will defeat a top-5 NBA team, on the road, by double-digits.
  3. They will lose to a bottom-5 NBA team, at home, by twenty.
  4. CJ Miles finishes second on the team at 13.8 points per game
  5. His PER also registers at 13.
  6. Actually, all of Cleveland’s wings produce player-efficiency-ratings between 13 and 14: a return to Sactown levels for Omri, an improvement for A-Gee, and a reasonably promising rookie campaign for Dion
  7. What about Boobie?  Oh, his PER will be 11.2, but for a fifth time in his career, he surpasses forty-percent from long range
  8. Until a trade deadline deal sends him packing to a pseudo-contender
  9. Kyrie Irving receives four points in MVP voting
  10. Thanks to yearly averages of twenty point and seven assists, combined with 57% true shooting
  11. Some combination of injuries and Samardo / Leuer doghouse-inhabitance results in Luke Harangody drilling 17 three-pointers, besting his career high
  12. Tristan nears a double-double, posting an 11 & 9
  13. Shooting percentages though, still reach only a marginal 47% from the field and 57% from the charity stripe
  14. If the combination of Pargo, Sloan, or any other random PG plays 800 minutes; Kevin Hetrick will be disappointed, as this indicates that either Kyrie suffered an injury or the D-Wait / Gibson back-court was not given the reins to the second-string offense
  15. Dion averages 9.5 points & 2.6 assists in 23 minutes per game.  Although debates about him still rage; I talk myself into this as a definite positive.
  16. There will be three games when he plays less than ten minutes due to upsetting Byron Scott.
  17. Still though, Coach Scott retains the faith in Dion’s ability that placed him fourth on the team’s Draft-day Big Board.
  18. For the fourth consecutive year, Omri Casspi starts at least 25 games
  19. His three point shooting returns to 36 – 37% range, providing valuable floor spacing with the first unit
  20. Jon Leuer mixes nights of surprising athleticism and deadly shooting with other games featuring a distinct inability to effectively bang down low.
  21. Cleveland brings him back for 2013 – 2014
  22. This season is Samardo Samuels last in Cleveland
  23. Anderson Varejao stays with the team all year, playing 73 games
  24. He pays $15000 in flopping fines due to three penalties.  To Cavs fans, at least one purported transgression seems based on Andy’s reputation more than any intended trickery.
  25. Cavs fans finally quit talking about trading him, as Playoffs-2014 becomes a universally reasonable goal.
  26. Tyler Zeller averages 10 & 6 with 54% true shooting.
  27. He makes second-team all-rookie
  28. ESPN’s daily top-ten includes Alonzo Gee seven times
  29. And Kyrie Irving, 27 times
  30. Cleveland comes up repeatedly at the trade deadline as a third team in big deals.  Luke Walton’s expiring deal and draft picks are the draw.  No transaction is made though.
  31. Their draft picks end up falling at 9, 26, 35 and 39
  32. For a second consecutive year, a draft-day deal inherits fewer, but better selections.
  33. The minimum salary floor for a team in 2013 – 2014 will be 90% of the salary cap, or approximately $55 million.  With two new first-round contracts in 2013, Cleveland employs 9 players for $33 million in 2013 – 2014.  They include Varejao, Irving, Tristan, Dion, A-Gee, Miles and Zeller.  There is $22 million that must be spent.  Even if they bring some combination of Gibson, Casspi, Leuer and Samuels back; the number likely sits above $15 million. So this is really a CBA-mandate as opposed to a prediction, but a significant trade or free agent acquisition will occur in the next ten months.  As a side note, if Cleveland trades Varejao, up to $30 million of new salary would inhabit the 2013 – 2014 roster compared to the opening-night-2012 crew.

Certainly an interesting season.  Let’s get it started.