It’s always exciting for a new year of NBA basketball! As usual, this was a very intriguing off season, which should result in a lot of excitement this year.
This is probably the first time in a very long time the Eastern Conference might be just as good if not better than the Western Conference. The Cavaliers were a good team last year and made a huge splash in acquiring Donovan Mitchell. Adding his talents to a roster including Darius Garland, Evan Mobley and Jarrett Allen, the Cavs will definitely take a step up in the standings. The Boston Celtics also made moves to solidify their second unit. The team will once again compete at the top of the conference. The Brooklyn Nets did have an interesting off season, however, everyone’s committed to playing for a championship. A full season of Kyrie Irving, Kevin Durant, Ben Simmons, Seth Curry, Joe Harris and talented youngsters, will have them competing throughout the year. The often-overlooked Toronto Raptors will continue to have teams wondering how they keep winning. If they’re able to add a starting center, say a reunion with Jakob Poeltl (or another realistic option), they’ll maintain their outstanding play. Some developing teams to keep an eye out include the Orlando Magic and the Detroit Pistons. While they might not make the playoffs, these teams will certainly compete on a nightly basis with their young and up and coming rosters.
The Western Conference may have taken a step back, however as always, the top teams are still strong overall. The Golden State Warriors have their starting five back and their young players such as Jordan Poole, James Wiseman, Jonathan Kuminga, Moses Moody, along with their veterans have them as odds on favorites to win another championship. The Los Angeles Clippers may have something to say about this as they finally have a healthy Kawhi Leonard and Paul George playing with their experienced team, which is solid from one to nine. No one is sleeping on the Clippers this season. The Minnesota Timberwolves also made a massive move this off season in trading for Rudy Gobert. Adding his skills to starters Karl-Anthony Towns, Anthony Edwards and D’Angelo Russell, will have the Timberwolves in constant compete mode. Other Teams to look out for include the Memphis Grizzlies who will have a full year of Ja Morant and the New Orleans Pelicans with a healthy Zion Williamson joining Brandon Ingram, CJ McCollum and Jonas Valanciunas. Unfortunately for fans of the Los Angeles Lakers, their team will not be great this year. Their roster composition is just not good. While blaming Russell Westbrook is the easy scape goat, he did put up decent numbers last year. Anthony Davis will more than likely get injured (we hope he doesn’t). It just seems like the organization is just wasting quality years of LeBron James.
One final note, the league has discussed expansion. The leading cities for new teams include Seattle and Las Vegas. Seems to be the obvious choices and correct selections. While they’re still deciding on what season to have these teams join the league, the question then turns to realignment of the conferences. Seattle and Las Vegas will obviously join the West. The question then becomes who joins the East? It will be two of these three cities, Minnesota, Memphis, or New Orleans. Regardless of what happens, this is a great move from the league.
Now that everyone’s caught up… we hope this season will be incredible and everyone from players, to fans, to the media will have an entertaining and exciting year!
Predictions for the season…
MVP: Giannis Antetokounmpo (Milwaukee)
Defensive: Kawhi Leonard (Los Angeles Clippers)
Most Improved: James Wiseman (Golden State)
Sixth Man: Jordan Poole (Golden State)
Coach: Willie Green (New Orleans)
Rookie: Jaden Ivey (Detroit)
Rookies of note: Paolo Banchero (Orlando), Jeremy Sochan (San Antonio), Patrick Baldwin (Golden State), Nikola Jovic (Miami), Christian Koloko (Toronto)
1. Milwaukee Bucks
2. Brooklyn Nets
3. Miami Heat
4. Boston Celtics
5. Philadelphia 76ers
6. Toronto Raptors
7. Cleveland Cavaliers
8. Atlanta Hawks
9. Chicago Bulls
10. Washington Wizards
1. Golden State Warriors
2. Los Angeles Clippers
3. Phoenix Suns
4. Minnesota Timberwolves
5. Memphis Grizzlies
6. New Orleans Pelicans
7. Dallas Mavericks
8. Denver Nuggets
9. Portland Trail Blazers
10. Los Angeles Lakers
Eastern Conference Finals: Milwaukee Bucks/Brooklyn Nets
Eastern Conference Winner: Milwaukee Bucks
Western Conference Finals: Golden State Warriors/Los Angeles Clippers
Western Conference Winner: Golden State Warriors
NBA CHAMPIONS: Golden State Warriors