NBA Predictions by TLT Staff

The TLT staff got together to do some predictions and here they are.

  
 Most Valuable Player

Ajay Stewart- LeBron coasts in the regular season, KD and Steph are on the same team and Russell won’t win enough games. With that being said i’ll go with Kawhi Leonard for MVP. He’ll lead SAS to about 57 wins and will average (PTS-REB-AST-FG) 24/8/4/49% on top of his great defense.

Adam Aaronson- Now that so many star players are playing with each other and are pretty much disqualified from this race, my pick to emerge from the field is the under appreciated Chris Paul. I know a lot of people will pick Russell Westbrook, but they have the wrong Point Guard.

DeShawn Hornback- Russell Westbrook. Many people think they will struggle to get wins and I think they are vastly underrating the pieces around this team. Without Durant and an overall lesser team in 2014-15 season Westbrook was on pace for a 49 win season and if they can secure a top 4 seed I believe he will be the overwhelming favorite.

  
Coach of the Year

Stewart– Quin Snyder of the Utah Jazz. The Jazz have a interesting mix of young and veteran players. I believe they will win 50+ games and be amazing defensively.

Aaronson- Usually this award ends up just going to whoever coached the highest overachiever, but I’m going to go out on a limb and say it goes to the best coach, and next year that will be Brad Stevens. His professional coaching career only started recently and he’s already viewed as one of the few elite coaches in basketball.

Hornback- Quinn Snyder. Many people have high expectations of the Jazz and many too high in my opinion, but I believe they finally get a spot in the playoffs and will be a scary team for anyone to face.

  

Rookie of the Year

Stewart- Since Joel Embiid is still technically a rookie he is my choice. I think he has amazing post moves and tremendous size. He’ll average about 13 points, 9 rebounds, and 2 blocks.

Aaronson- First off, let me preface my pick with this: Ben Simmons would have easily won the award if he wasn’t hurt. With that being said, my pick is Buddy Hield. Now, I’m not one of the people who thinks he will be a superstar or even an All-Star, I honestly think he’s pretty overrated. But, he’s still a good scorer, and will put have the green light playing in New Orleans, where Anthony Davis is the only other real offensive weapon.

Hornback- I’ve been trying to avoid it, but I give up I am on the Embiid train. All that matters is that he gets enough time to showcase his abilities and can get off the minute restriction sooner than later.

  
Sixth Man of the Year

Stewart- Jamal Crawford. He’s still going to shoot a lot and he will probably have the best numbers out of all 6th men.

Aaronson- Even though they’ll probably just give the award to Jamal Crawford again because they always do, I’m picking Alec Burks. I think the Jazz will be fantastic this season (we’ll get to this soon), and part of the reason why is their depth on the wing, with Burks playing behind Rodney Hood and Gordon Hayward.

Hornback- It will probably go to Jamal Crawford because you know, pointzzzz, but I believe at the end of the year we will be saying Enes Kanter deserves the award. He has a greater responsibility as everyone else does on the team without Durant and he will step up to the plate.

  
Defensive Player of the Year

Stewart- Dwight Howard! I think he will rejuvenate his career in Atlanta and become dominant on defense again. Averaging close to 3 blocks a game.

Aaronson- How can I not give this to Kawhi Leonard? I know there are a lot of great defenders in the league, and I know the media doesn’t often reward a player with the same award more than twice in a row, but Leonard is just so good, it seems impossible.

Hornback- At some point I’ll get the reward right, but I am going to go with Gobert for the 3rd year in a row. Has to happen at some point right?

  
Most Improved Player of the Year

Stewart– Dennis Schroder. He will start since Jeff Teague is gone. He and Teague’s per 36 numbers were identical.

Aaronson- I was extremely close to selecting Harrison Barnes, but decided to pick the player who I think (aside from Karl Anthony Towns) is the best young player in the NBA, and that’s Devin Booker. The amount of things D-Book can do well on both sides of the ball at such a young age is simply incredible. In extended mi urea expect him to show out this season.

Hornback- Dennis Schroeder. I just love his intensity and with a starting position in Atlanta I think we will all see just how nice of a player he is.

Surprise Team of the Year

Stewart- The Washington Wizards. They have a legit back court and a solid lineup along with new coach Scotty Brooks. They will be a top 5 seed in the East.

Aaronson- I touched on it a bit earlier, my surprise team is the Utah Jazz. This team has the potential to be the best defensive team in all of basketball, and they’re not too shabby on offense either. They have tremendous depth and 3 very good players and leaders in Gordon Hayward, Derrick Favors, and Rudy Gobert. Look out, because the Jazz may look to compete with the best of the west.

Hornback- Minnesota Timberwolves. With an incredibly young roster that reminds me so much of OKC 5-6 years ago and a coach that I believe will end up in the Hall of Fame, the Wolves will make the leap into the playoffs this year just one year after they did not even win 30 games.

Bold Prediction

Stewart- James Harden and Russell Westbrook will both have a 60 point game. Both players lost their “co-star” in the offseason and both are the only really good scorers on their teams.

Aaronson The New York Knicks, Oklahoma City Thunder and Chicago Bulls will all miss the playoffs. Now, on paper, NYK and CHI look fantastic. But neither of them will work. First off, Chicago’s front office has built an outstanding team.. for 40 years ago. The fact is, you need a lot of shooting to win now, and they have little of it at all. And as far as the Knicks, I have no reason to believe Derrick Rose, Carmelo Anthony, or Joakim Noah can stay healthy. As for OKC, they have a lot of talent, but people are very much underestimating how valuable Kevin Durant was to that team. In the 2014-2015 season, Westbrook and co. were 3-9 against winning teams without their true star.

Hornback- Russell Westbrook will have 25 triple doubles this year. Yeah talk about bold.

Breakout Player of the Year

Stewart- D’Angelo Russell. Some folks say he had a sub par rookie season, well expect him to have a very good season this year as the best player on the Lakers.

Aaronson- I’m taking the word “finally” to heart here, and selecting Dante Exum. Exum, a Top 5 pick in 2014, has barely shown anything in the league so far. He played 22 minutes per game as a rookie, and missed all of last season, so I think this potential will start to be realized with two years’ worth of improvements to his game.

Hornback- Devin Booker. The Suns are not a good team, but they found a gem with Booker. I am expecting a huge year that will have people saying he is one of the best 3 shooting guards in the game at the end.

(NBA.com)

(NBA.com)


Western Conference Playoff Standings

Stewart

  1. Warriors
  2. Spurs
  3. Clippers
  4. Jazz
  5. Trail Blazers
  6. Mavericks
  7. Thunder
  8. Grizzlies

Aaronson

  1. Warriors
  2. Clippers
  3. Jazz
  4. Spurs
  5. Trail Blazers
  6. Rockets
  7. Grizzlies
  8. Timberwolves

Hornback

  1. Warriors
  2. Spurs
  3. Thunder
  4. Clippers
  5. Jazz
  6. Rockets
  7. Timberwolves
  8. Trail Blazers

Eastern Conference Playoff Standings

Stewart

  1. Cavaliers
  2. Raptors
  3. Celtics
  4. Pacers
  5. Wizards
  6. Pistons
  7. Hawks
  8. Knicks

Aaronson

  1. Cavaliers
  2. Celtics
  3. Pacers
  4. Pistons
  5. Raptors
  6. Hawks
  7. Wizards
  8. Hornets

Hornback

  1. Cavaliers
  2. Celtics
  3. Hornets
  4. Raptors
  5. Pacers
  6. Pistons
  7. Hawks
  8. Wizards

(Jesse D. Garrabrant/Getty Images)

(Jesse D. Garrabrant/Getty Images)

Finals

Stewart- Warriors vs Cavaliers

Aaronson- Warriors vs Cavaliers

Hornback- Warriors vs Cavaliers

NBA Champions

Stewart- Golden State Warriors

Aaronson- Cleveland Cavaliers

Hornback- Golden State Warriors

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