The guys at We Rite Goode tricked me. They put together an NBA preview format that included questions about what would make me happy, and then what I really thought would happen. (They did this to other bloggers too.) The results are pretty interesting, but somebody accused me of smoking something on my optimistic preview (hey, it's optimistic, what do you want?). You should definitely read the overview of their experiment first, before checking out the optimistic and the realistic Pacific Division Previews. You can link from there to the other divisions.
I don't think I've linked it before, but I also wrote a preview for Hoopsblogging. It may actually be my favorite of the ones I've written this season. Overall, that makes previews for About.com, We Rite Goode, Hoopsblogging and of course the Blogger NBA Preview series. But still no call from Sports Illustrated.
I recycled some paragraphs here and there, but mostly I wrote these independently because the formats were slightly different. Also, it's pretty clear that my mood on any one day could affect what I wrote. I never actually predicted the playoffs (other than when they asked me what would make me happy), but I did vary between 35 and 38 wins in my predictions.
Of course, as I think you mostly realize, my high-30's prediction is actually the most depressing one: tempting us with the playoffs, while ensuring yet another late lottery pick. In some ways I wish the Clippers were going to be as bad as so many pundits say - I just don't think they will be.
Still, it's interesting to note my changing mood. In fact, going back to the days immediately following Elton Brand's injury, I was downright gloomy although I've been carrying the semi-optimist torch of late. It will be interesting to see if my immediate reaction was correct, or if distance from the situation made me think more clearly.