The 2012-13 Philadelphia 76ers campaign commenced last week amidst the chaotic Superstorm Sandy mess that engulfed the Philly area. The Sixers started off the season with an impressive victory over former longtime Sixer turned Denver Nugget Andre Iguodala. The Sixers paid tribute to Iguodala at one point during the game which was mixed with boo’s and cheers. The big story of the game though turned out to be the play of the new look Sixers instead of the return of Iggy. I liked what I saw on the court in the opener and the potential is clearly there for what could be a magical season of NBA basketball down at the Wells Fargo Center.

So far it appears the acquisitions the Sixers made in the off-season will pay off. The new look squad looks quick and full of energy. Spencer Hawes had a fantastic opener and if he can manage to stay healthy throughout the season he can turn out to be a force to be reckoned with along with Andrew Bynum. Right now the way I see it the Sixers need to just hold down the fort until Bynum is ready to play. No timetable has been set for Bynum’s return but if the Sixers can manage to stay near the top of the division until he’s ready they can do some damage.

This Sixers team although unproven, will mesh together as the season goes on. I see them improving after last season. They aren’t quite ready to make a championship run and still need a few pieces for that but if Bynum comes back and play up to his potential this team can certainly win a round or 2 in the playoffs. With that said let’s check out my predictions for the 2012-13 NBA season.

Western Conference Playoff Teams (in order)

1. La Lakers
2. OKC Thunder
3. San Antonio Spurs
4. Houston Rockets
5. LA Clippers
6. Memphis Grizzlies
7. Portland TrailBlazers
8. Denver Nuggets
Eastern Conference Playoff Teams (in order)
1. Miami Heat
2. Boston Celtics
3. Chicago Bulls
4. New York Knicks
5. Philadelphia 76ers
6. Indiana Pacers
7. Brooklyn Nets
8. Atlanta Hawks

Western Conference Finals

LA Lakers vs OKC Thunder

Eastern Conference Finals

Miami Heat vs Philadelphia 76ers

NBA Finals
LA Lakers vs Miami Heat

NBA Champion
LA Lakers

If Bynum comes back to a healthy 76ers team and performs up to his potential this team can make a run in the playoffs. Bynum is the top center in the East and we saw this team go to the 2nd round last season without a legitimate big man in the middle. Bynum holds the key to the cards for the Sixers and I believe he will get them to the East Finals this season if he comes back strong. In the end though Lebron and company are still way to talented for anyone to handle and they’ll come out of the East.

In the West it’s all about Kobe and the new look Lakers. Kobe has an experienced cast around him now in Dwight Howard and Steve Nash. Kobe has been talking retirement a lot in the off season and what better way for him to possibly go out then with another ring on his finger. I think he’s on a warpath to prove to everyone he’s still the best. Once this Lakers team gels together they’ll be a force for everyone. OKC although young and talented won’t be able to keep up with the experience of the Lakers come playoff time. Kobe’s hunger and determination will elevate him over Lebron and company in an epic 7 game NBA finals and we’ll all finally get a chance to see Kobe vs Lebron play with a title at stake.

Those are your NBA predictions by the Greek. Feel free to agree or disagree but either way get ready for an exciting season on the hardwood.