Reminiscing With Ratke: 2014 Predictions

I don’t know what it is, but we love to predict things. It’s almost we like the anticipation of big events rather than actually experiencing them.

That’s why Halloween and New Year’s Eve are never as cool as we think they should be. We talk about them for months like we are expecting a child, and when the night comes, it’s like we don’t really know what to do. It’s not as much fun as we think it should be so we panic, drink five Mike’s Hard Lemonades real fast and watch “The Notebook” while crying. Darn you, Ryan Gosling!

Side-note: Some New Year’s Eve advice for guys (like I should be giving it). Don’t go to the coat rack at 11:55 p.m. at a packed bar on New Year’s Eve. You will not find your girlfriend at midnight. Despite what she tells you, she won’t be happy about it and you’ll have to buy her candy for the next three weeks to earn back her trust. She’s also growing sick of you leaving candy wrappers at her house despite what she tells you. You’ve been warned.

By looking back on a single night, sure, things might be a disappointment. Kim Kardashian probably wakes up every morning feeling this. When you look back over an entire year, though? Things become a bit clearer.

Twelve months ago I was back from an internship from USA Today, living in my parents’ basement playing a lot of NBA 2K13, and thinking that my life was going to end like that. I didn’t shave. I didn’t sleep. My sister’s friends thought I was creepy and smelt like cheese. Now? I’m writing for an NBA basketball team on a daily basis and I have some of the best coworkers in the world. Things have gotten good, my friends. I still smell like cheese, though.

I’m not going to bore you and go through “The Chronicles of Kyle Ratke”, although some of you weirdos might actually want to read that whole thing.

Today’s column is going to breakdown my predictions for the 2014 year when it comes to the NBA. Now, remember, these are all predictions. I have no inside information for any of this. Just because I work for an NBA team doesn’t mean I know anything that you don’t know. It’s not like I’m in Rick’s office with him breaking down film.

(By the way, Rick. Would you respond to my emails? If you ever need a practice player, I’m in. Also, I still have an extra TV dinner with your name on it.)

Without further ado, here are my 2014 predictions:

Kevin Love: 50 points, 20 rebounds… ONE GAME!

This seems a little wild, I know, but we are only one overtime game from this. How about Feb. 5 at Oklahoma City? You’re welcome OKC ticket sellers. Start marketing this game now.

Ricky Rubio Will Finish Top-5 In Steals and Assists AND Will finish shooting 40% from the 3-point Line

The first two shouldn’t be surprising. The last one might be a stretch but for the work that he puts in after practice every day, he deserves to see some improvements. I think we’ll see that shortly.

The Wolves Will Snag The 8th Seed

“Kyle, you work for the Wolves. You have to write this, you dirty rascal!”

Part one of that is true, yes. I do work for the Timberwolves. Part two is incorrect.

At the time of this column, the Wolves are in ninth place in the West, three games behind the Dallas Mavericks - a team Minnesota currently has a 2-1 season series record against.

At the No. 9 seed, of course that means one team will have to fall out of the ranks. I know this. Looking at the teams that are “locks” to make the postseason, I’m looking at the Blazers, the Thunder, the Clippers, the Warriors, the Spurs and the Rockets. That leaves Dallas and Phoenix as two borderline team. The Wolves have played far from consistent this season, not being able to get over that .500 hump. But if you look at this team’s month of November, I mean, .500 isn’t all that bad. The team had games they should have won. The Lakers. The Celtics. The Wizards. But if you look at the team’s schedule the rest of the season (2 games vs. NO, 1 vs. PHI, 3 vs. PHX, 2 vs. CHA, 4 vs. SAC, 2 vs. TOR, 4 vs. UTA, 2 vs. CHI, 1 vs. BKN), things actually look pretty favorable. In fact, next week the team has Philly, Phoenix and Charlotte. That smells a lot like 2-1… Or maybe that’s just my roommate Jared. He doesn’t wash his socks. Weirdo.

This team is right on the fringe of the playoffs, and that’s without two of its best bench players. Something to think about.

My predictions for final standings in the West:

1.) Spurs (no, they aren’t too old)

2.) Thunder (Tough news with Westbrook, but Durant is still Durant)

3.) Trail Blazers (great start, not sure if they can make it last)

4.) Clippers (Recent CP3 injury hurts)

5.) Warriors (Tons of offense… Not a lot of defense)

6.) Rockets (Hack-A-Dwight)

7.) Mavericks (Monta looks like he matured a bit)

8.) Timberwolves (Turiaf should help a lot defensively when he returns)

Nikola Pekovic Will Eat A Bear

I will say no more.

The Bobcats Will Make the Playoffs

This isn’t exactly saying a whole lot. It’s like going to prom with your cousin in a class of 10 people. Don’t tell this to the Bobcats, though. They’ll go to prom with their cousin 10 out of 10 times.

The Bobcats currently have the eighth seed in the East with a 14-20 record. That stinks, I know. No team should make the playoff with a 41.2 winning percentage, but that’s life. Deal with it.

I’ve always been a fan of Al Jefferson’s game. Offensively the man is a wizard. There probably needs to be two balls on the court for Kemba Walker and Jefferson to play together, but who else is going to shoot? Josh McRoberts? No thanks.

Mike Cristaldi, former PR mastermind for the Wolves, is the Vice President of Communications with the Cats. I didn’t get to know the dude all that much, but from everything I hear, he was a great guy. Hope everything is going well for him in Charlotte.



LeBron James. Love is close, but Minnesota needs to get in the playoff picture for that to be realistic.

Rookie of the Year

Michael Carter-Williams is averaging 17.2 points per game, 7.3 assists, 5.6 rebounds, 3 steals per game… This kid is going to be good. Philly’s move of blowing things up looks pretty smart now when you see that they’ll have Carter-Williams, Nerlens Noel and another top-5 pick heading into next season.

Coach of the Year

Jason Kidd. Okay, just kidding. But hey, the Nets beat the Thunder the other night and Kidd didn’t spill any diet Coke during the process. We are making steps here! I have no idea for the award. Brad Stevens if the Celtics make the postseason. Gregg Popovich if the Spurs get the No. 1 seed. Mike Woodson if he survives.

Best Person Ever:

Nick “Swaggy P” Young. You’re doing it right.

I am Going To Suffer A Major Injury

Who says all predictions need to be positive?

Do I want to suffer a major injury? Well, of course not. I like to run from time-to-time and with a major physical injury, that would be tough to do. What I’m saying is that I’ve really only suffered two injuries in my life. As a chubby seventh grader, I had something called Osgood-Schlatter disease. You can Google it. It’s something that hurt my knee and whenever someone hit it in a certain spot, it swelled up like a kid after their freshman year of college.

The other “injury” I suffered was during my sophomore year at Minnesota State University, Mankato. I sprained my ankle playing a game of 3-on-3 even though I was wearing high tops! Everything I know is a lie!

I am 23 years old. With my poor eating habits (I brought carrots to work the other day and I thought our social media coordinator was going to have a panic attack. She was excited for me) I am bound to be injured one of these days. Maybe I’ll trip and fall and break my arm. I’m not predicting anything too serious here. I just think that I’m due. I’m willing to take one for the team.

Other Random Predictions

Johnny Manziel will be drafted by the Vikings. We’ll become best friends, play Farkle and drink hard apple cider together.

People will stop keeping up with the Kardashians.

Minka Kelly will get a TV show again or something. Maybe a movie? Maybe even a commercial? MINKA! AFTER FIVE SEASONS OF FRIDAY NIGHT LIGHTS, I NEED YOU BACK! STOP BEING SO SELFISH! I WANT LYLA GARRITY BACK!

The Lynx will win another WNBA Championship. Maya Moore might score 120 points in one game. She will then introduce me to Uncle Drew. He’ll play Farkle with Ratke and Manziel.

Well, folks, that’s all I’ve got this week. As always, thanks for reading and have a fantastic 2014. Don’t get arrested, don’t put a load of laundry in with a pen in your pocket, and don’t feel bad about eating an entire box of Cheese-Its. It happens to the best of us.