Has there been a season with more anticipation in the last 10 years than this one? All the player movement in the off-season has fans salivating for the NBA season to start. Players like Jimmy Butler, Kyrie Irving, and Paul George headlined HUGE off-season moves, but how will all these moves translate into the season? Let’s predict…
Atlantic Division (PHI, NYK, TOR, BKN, BOS)
Let me just start off by saying we know the two worst teams in this division reside in New York. Philly has crazy good young talent but they aren’t ready to win this division yet, so that leaves Toronto & Boston. Toronto didn’t get any better during the off-season, they added CJ Miles while the Celtics added Kyrie Irving, Gordon Hayward, and they drafted Jayson Tatum. Boston has 2 of the top 3 players in the division and they have pretty good bench depth. Only thing keeping Boston from winning the division will be health.
Central Division (IND, MIL, CLE, DET, CHI)
Cleveland is the obvious pick for the division winner here. The only team that will challenge the Cavs in the slightest would be the Bucks. Giannis is a game changer for sure but he isn’t good enough by himself to dethrone LeBron and the Cavs. Just like Boston, Cleveland’s biggest obstacle will be health.
Southeast Division (MIA. WAS, ORL, ATL, CHA)
Washington will more than likely run away with this division. They have the only superstar in division (John Wall), and the best 2 players in the division in Wall/Beal. Miami will be a playoff team and will give the Wizards some very good competition but they will not be good enough to secure that #1 spot over Wall & crew.
Pacific Division (LAL, SAC, PHX, LAC, GSW)
The pacific features 3 teams that will be bottom feeders in the west, a Clippers team that will be good but are now without Chris Paul, and then the Warriors. I really don’t have to say who will win the division… but I will. It’s the Warriors guys, barring some CRAZY injury bug that hits the bay.
Southwest Division (DAL, NOP, HOU, SAS, MEM)
This division is top 2 in basketball, there is not a bad team . The two front-runners are pretty clear though, Houston and San Antonio. Both teams will win 50+ games and be contenders to make it to the Western Conference Finals. That being said I am going with Houston to win the Southwest. They have a terrific back-court duo with Harden/Paul, great wing depth, and great shooting. The Spurs are old team outside of Kawhi and they have not surrounded Kawhi with a secondary star just yet.
Regular Season Awards
Executive of the Year
Sam Presti, not even close. He traded Doug McDermot, Enes Kanter, Victor Oladipo, and Domantas Sabonis… the man ended of getting Paul George and Carmelo Anthony. Give him the award NOW. Oh yeah, and he re-signed Russell Westbrook to a long term deal.
Coach of the Year
Billy Donovan will win coach of the year. Adding Paul George and Carmelo Anthony to Russell Westbrook will get the Thunder 55-60 wins this season. Donovan can now relax and coach a normal game without worrying about losing the lead 5 seconds after Russ sits on the bench. OKC will not beat the Warriors but they will challenge them.
Rookie of the Year
My original thought was that Ben Simmons would win the award, but his teammate Markelle Fultz will take some of that shine away from him. Therefore I am going with Lonzo Ball. Lonzo will have an immediate impact on the Lakers by making his teammates better. The Lakers won’t make the playoffs like Philly will but LA will be better than advertised because of Ball.
Most Improved Player of the Year
I am picking another Laker on this one, Brandon Ingram. His rookie season was below average but he has made huge strides during the off-season. Ingram shot the ball 9 times per game last year and only averaged 29 minutes per game. His minutes and usage will increase heavily this season which will better his numbers. Ingram will average 15ppg 5rpg and 3apg this season.
6th Man of the Year
The Clippers will be scoring in bunches this season, therefore I’m going with one of the best bunch scorers in the league, Lou Williams. Lou is a professional scorer and will have the ultimate green light coming off the bench for Doc Rivers just as Jamal Crawford did in the past.
Defensive Player of the Year
Trust. The. Process. IF and that’s a big if, Embiid stays healthy for 60+ games this season he will win the award. In 31 games last year Embiid posted a 98.8 defensive rating, and held his opponents to less than 43% shooting inside of 6 feet. He also averaged 2.6 blocks per game last season and Philly was the 2nd best defensive team in the league while Embiid was on the floor.
Most valuable player
There are few players that have a very slim chance to win due to their teammates; Westbrook, Durant, Curry, Harden, and Chris Paul all have super elite level players alongside them, which lowers there chances to win the award. That leaves Giannis, LeBron, Kawhi, and John Wall as the guys with the best chances. Wall and Giannis won’t win enough games to win the award more than likely, but both of them will have MVP level season. Down to Kawhi and LeBron… LeBron has elite teammates but no superstar level player next to him. Bron coasts in the regular season and he already has 4 MVP awards, so voters fatigue will play a part in him winning the award. Kawhi wins by default, he doesn’t even have another all-star next to him. He will be elite on both ends of the floor and his team will win 55 games, giving him his first MVP trophy.
Trade prediction: DeMarcus Cousins will be traded from the Pelicans by All-Star break if they are not in playoff race. He has 1 year left on his contract and New Orleans would hate to lose him and get nothing back.
- Boston Celtics
- Cleveland Cavaliers
- Washington Wizards
- Toronto Raptors
- Milwaukee Bucks
- Miami Heat
- Philadelphia 76ers
- Detroit Pistons
- Golden State Warriors
- Oklahoma City Thunder
- Houston Rockets
- San Antonio Spurs
- Minnesota Timberwolves
- Portland Trailblazers
- Denver Nuggets
- Los Angeles Clippers
Cleveland vs Boston (CLE 4-2)
Golden State vs Oklahoma City (GSW 4-2)
Golden State vs Cleveland (GSW 4-1)