10 NBA Predictions For This Season
The NBA preseason kicked off this past weekend and we are now just three weeks away from opening night. As we drudge through the preseason towards tip-off, I have come up with a list of things that could happen… both normal and wildly outlandish.
So without further ado, 10 NBA Predictions…..
10. Derrick Rose will play in 75 or more games- Rose played in 66 games last season, so this not all that farfetched of a prediction. However, the important thing to note is that Rose has not played in more than 70 games since his MVP season five years ago. This will not translate to another MVP type season, but it would go a long ways towards pushing the Knicks to the next level.
9. Russell Westbrook will win the MVP- When it comes to overall intensity in the NBA, there are two players at the top of that list: DeMarcus Cousins and Russell Westbrook. Unfortunately, Cousins will not have a chance with his team and his attitude to be considered. Westbrook on the other hand had even more fuel added to his fire with the departure of Kevin Durant. What happens when you mix fire and gasoline? You get an MVP in Russell Westbrook.
8. Minnesota Timberwolves make the playoffs- The Timberwolves have not been to the playoffs since 2004. That year they were two wins from making the NBA Finals. It is too early for them to make the run at the Finals, but they have the talent to make it back in the playoffs as a 6 or a 7 seed.
7. LeBron James does not play in the Finals- The past six years have all featured a LeBron James led team. This year will change that. It will not be LeBron’s fault, it just is time that another Eastern Conference team takes over the throne.
6. The 76ers win 20 games- This seems awful for a team, and it is. However, it is the 76ers. They have won a combined 28 games in the last two seasons. This team has a lot of potential with Ben Simmons and Joel Embiid. Couple that with Jahlil Okafor and Dario Saric, this team could be something. However, Ben Simmons just fractured his foot and may miss some time. Embiid is playing for the first time since being drafted two years ago. Okafor missed a lot of time last season with injury. This will take a season or two to come together for this young squad, and that is why they will only win 20 games.
5. The Golden State Warriors win 65 games- Originally, I thought 60 would be a stretch for this team. Then I watched them play the Clippers… They have already learned how to gel as a team. Granted with Klay Thompson, Draymond Green, and Kevin Durant on the Olympic team, that transition was made easier. It was only a preseason game, but they won by 45 points. Thompson led the way with 30 points. Durant added another 21 points. This team is already scary.
4. Blake Griffin goes to the Thunder- This could happen in one of two ways. The first being that Blake Griffin becomes a free agent at the end of this season. He was born and raised in Oklahoma. He attended Oklahoma University. The material is all there for a reunion with his homeland. The other way this could happen is based on how the Clipper’s season goes along the way. They proved last season that they can still win games without Griffin on the court. If their season starts to struggle or the chemistry is off, there could be a trade option available between the two teams.
3. The post-Kobe Lakers grab the 8 seed- This is for those Laker fans at MFST. It may be hard to believe, but bear with the idea. They brought in Brandon Ingram, who is a solid young player. D’Angelo Russell has the mind and the talent to lead the team from the point. Larry Nance Jr. is like the new White Mamba. Zach Auguste provides some attitude and scrappiness. Luol Deng provides a much-needed veteran presence. Timofey Mozgov will hopefully prove that he can be worth that money they offered him. Again, this is a reach, but as the Atlanta Hawks have proven, you don’t need big stars… you just need role players that can work together.
2. The Indiana Pacers will win 55 games- This team has evolved since the lost season without Paul George. They were criticized for bringing in Monta Ellis. Ellis was then an underwhelming performer in the offense. This team has finally built a solid base around their superstar. Jeff Teague was brought in which can allow Ellis to be a true shooting guard instead of a constant combo guard. They also have the first real center since Roy Hibbert. Al Jefferson provides not only a scoring threat, but also is solid on the glass. Jefferson also will provide a veteran presence and leadership for the younger core of power forwards.
1. The Phoenix Suns win 40 games- This will be iffy whether or not they get into the playoffs with this record, but it is a solid improvement from last year. This team is built on a solid core of guards, but could really use their big men to help make that leap.