NBA Predictions

October 9, 2017

West:

  1. Golden State Warriors
  2. Houston Rockets
  3. San Antonio Spurs
  4. Oklahoma City Thunder
  5. Minnesota Timberwolves
  6. Denver Nuggets
  7. LA Clippers
  8. Memphis Grizzlies
  9. Portland Trail Blazers
  10. New Orleans Pelicans
  11. Utah Jazz
  12. Dallas Mavericks
  13. LA Lakers
  14. Phoenix Suns
  15. Sacramento Kings

 

East:

  1. Boston Celtics
  2. Cleveland Cavaliers
  3. Washington Wizards
  4. Milwaukee Bucks
  5. Toronto Raptors
  6. Miami Heat
  7. Philadelphia 76’ers
  8. Charlotte Hornets
  9. Detroit Pistons
  10. Indiana Pacers
  11. New York Knicks
  12. Orlando Magic
  13. Brooklyn Nets
  14. Chicago Bulls
  15. Atlanta Hawks

 

The 2017-18 NBA season is shaping up to be one for the ages. Never before have this many star players switched teams in one offseason, never before has the league seen a rookie class quite like this, and not since Jordan’s Bull’s have we had a juggernaut like the Golden State Warriors. With more fun things to watch than ever before, fans are in store for a great year.

 

MVP: Kevin Durant

ROY: Lonzo Ball

MIP: Clint Capella

COY: Brad Stephens

 

Most valuable player: Kevin Durant

As much as it pains me to make this prediction, all signs point to Kevin Durant netting the most valuable player award this season. Kevin Durant’s importance was watered down last year due to multiple All-Star teammates, but this season his production will be undeniable. He is a career 27.2 points per game scorer, and he will eclipse that average while doing it extremely efficiently. Not to mention his much improved defense, and the fact that Golden State will have the league’s best record for the third season in a row. Kevin Durant is the favorite for most valuable player.

 

Rookie of the year: Lonzo Ball

Rookie of the year is really Lonzo Ball’s award to lose. Lonzo not only has the talent, but he has the narrative that voters often look for. Lonzo’s dad, Lavar Ball, is a never ending hype train that adds to the perception of his son. Multiple other players have the talent to win the award, players like Ben Simmons, Jayson Tatum, Markelle Fultz, and Dennis Smith Jr. being just a few, but Lonzo’s passing vision and maturity set him apart. The Lakers will not win a ton of games, but Lonzo and the rest of the Lakers young core will put on a show this year.

 

Most improved player: Clint Capella

Clint Capella is a solid young player, but he will make a huge jump this year. The Houston Rockets added another amazing passer this offseason in Chris Paul. With Paul and Harden drawing defenses, Capella will have more space to work with in the paint than ever before.

 

Coach of the year:

After being robbed this last season, this is the year for Brad Stephens. The Celtics finished with the number one seed in the East last year, and with additions of Kyrie Irving and Gordon Hayward, the Celtics are poised to do it again. Stephens has a special ability of drawing out talent in players you didn’t even know they had. With STephens at the helm, the Celtics are the team to beat in the Eastern Conference this year.

 

Western Conference:

 

Biggest Riser: Minnesota Timberwolves

This is the year the Timberwolves pop. After finishing in the 13th spot last year, the Timberwolves are looking like a top five team in the loaded Western Conference. The trade for All-Star forward Jimmy Butler not only adds an amazing player, but veteran leadership a team with this much young talent desperately lacks. Forward Andrew Wiggins and center Karl Anthony Towns will only keep improving as the Timberwolves trend up.

 

Biggest Faller: Utah Jazz

Losing forward Gordon Hayward to the Celtics will loom large for Utah this year. Hayward was the team’s leader as well as best player, and losing him leaves the team looking for direction. Finishing in the fifth spot last year, the Jazz will be lucky to sneak into the playoffs and I expect them to fall even further than that. The western conference is loaded, and the Jazz have lost too much talent to keep pace.

 

Eastern Conference:

 

Biggest Riser: Philadelphia 76’ers

This prediction depends heavily on the health of the Sixers young players. After being drafted first overall last year, Ben Simmons is set to come back and play alongside the Sixers second consecutive first overall pick,guard Markelle Fultz. With Embiid holding down the paint and Simmons and Fultz handling the ball, I see the Sixers producing a lot of wins in a weakened Eastern conference.

 

Biggest Faller: Chicago Bulls  

The Bulls snuck their way into the playoffs last year, but that will not be happening again. Chicago finally committed to the rebuilding plan this offseason and traded away their superstar forward Jimmy Butler to Minnesota. Chicago’s roster is full of rookies and unproven talent, so it will take a lot of time for this roster to grow. The Bulls will be in contention for the worst record in the league.

 

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