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Season Opener

Bold Predictions for the New NBA Season

The+Season+is+ready+to+kick+off+photo+courtesy+of+NBA.com
The Season is ready to kick off photo courtesy of NBA.com

The Season is ready to kick off photo courtesy of NBA.com

The Season is ready to kick off photo courtesy of NBA.com

Caysean Hayes, Staff Writer

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The National Basketball Association (NBA) season opener happened Tuesday October 16; there were 2 games between the Boston Celtics and the Philadelphia 76ers. This is one of the most anticipated seasons in recent years, with the new class of free agents going to new places and a new talented draft class coming in. So sports fans, this is my outlook on the upcoming season and my predictions for the next season.

This season has many new stars on new teams, making some teams worse and other teams much better. An example of this was Lebron James, the highest talked about free agent. James is a small forward going into his 16 year of the NBA. He last played for the Cleveland Cavaliers, he played there for four years and took them to four straight finals and won one of them.

The other free agent move was Paul George, who decided stay with the Oklahoma City Thunder after getting traded there the year before from the Indiana Pacers. Another big move is probably the most controversial move of the offseason was former New Orleans Pelicans center Demarcus Cousins going to the Golden State Warriors the defending NBA champions. This has a lot of people upset because Cousins went there for 5 million and this makes Golden State the first team since the 1960s to run 5 all-stars on their team.

The last big move over the offseason was a trade between the San Antonio Spurs and the Toronto Raptors. The trade was for Spurs small forward Kawhi Leonard who only played 8 games last season do to a quad injury.  The other main player in this trade was Raptors shooting guard DeMar DeRozan who just lead the Raptors to their best record in franchise history and the best record in the eastern conference.

In the NBA, most teams are striving to make the playoffs and eventually go on to win the finals. These are the most likely to make the playoffs of the 8 teams from each conference.

East:

  1. Boston Celtics
  2. Philidelphia 76ers
  3. Toronto Raptor
  4. Milwaukee Bucks
  5. Washington Wizards
  6. Indiana Pacers
  7. Detroit Pistons
  8. Miami Heat

The east is known as the weaker conference and it will not be that hard to make the playoffs as opposed to the west where there are a good 12 or so teams that could seriously make the playoffs.

West:

  1. Golden State Warriors
  2. Houston Rockets
  3. Oklahoma City Thunder
  4. Los Angeles Lakers
  5. Utah Jazz
  6. San Antonio Spurs
  7. New Orleans Pelicans
  8. Portland Trailblazers

Those are the teams that have the best chance of making the playoffs. The Denver nuggets, for example, who missed the playoffs by one game last season. In the west like last season, the teams that are seeded 3 through 9 seed were separated by one game. By the end of the season, the finals are likely going to be the Golden State Warriors going against the Boston Celtics, with the Warriors winning it all in 6 games.

Next is award predictions and who will probably be the top 3 in each award voting. The Most Valuable Player (MVP) award is the most prestigious award in the NBA and how many someone wins is where that person land in people’s all-time list. These are my top 3 most likely to win this year. LeBron James is one of my picks as he already has 4 and it has been five years since he won his last one. With James joining a team that had 35 wins, they are most likely to improve over this season and that will be a reason voters vote for James. The second most likely person to win is New Orleans Pelicans power forward Anthony Davis. Davis is coming into this season with a lot to prove with losing teammate and friend Demarcus Cousins in free agency and Davis calling himself the best player in the world, expectations are high for him to have the best season of his career so far this season. The third pick for MVP is Milwaukee Bucks small forward Giannis Antetokounmpo. Antetokounmpo is going into his 6 season in the NBA and every season his stats continue to take a jump and many believe this season he could take a big enough jump to becoming a top 3 MVP candidate.

The next award is the defensive player of the year award. This award is given to the the best defensive player in the NBA. The first pick to win the award is Toronto Raptors small forward Kawhi Leonard. Leonard has won the award twice and came in second in voting in his last full year of playing.The second pick for the award is Anthony Davis. Davis has finished top three voting in the last 2 years. Davis has lead the NBA in blocks three times and I feel like this is one of his best chances to win the award this year. The last pick for this award is is Utah Jazz center Rudy Gobert. Gobert won the award last year and his team is getting better which will get him more recognition.

The last award I am going to predict is the rookie of the year award. The first pick for this award is Dallas Mavericks guard/forward Luka Doncic. Doncic was taken 3rd overall in the 2018 draft but got traded to the Mavericks. Doncic is a very hyped rookie because of how much we don’t know about him. He did not go to a college in America like most top 3 NBA prospects and has been in the Euroleague since he was 13. Last year he became the youngest Euroleague MVP. The second rookie I think could win the award is Phoenix Suns center Deandre Ayton from Arizona. Ayton was selected 1st overall in the 2018 draft, he was a five-star prospect coming out of highschool and in college he was the Pac-12 player of the year. He is known as a “new generation” of centers who can rebound, defend, and hit the 3. The last rookie I picked is Atlanta Hawks point guard Trae Young from Oklahoma.Young was taken 5th overall by the Mavericks but eventually traded for Luka Doncic. Young lead all of divisions 1 college basketball in points and assists. Young will average more points than both of the rookies I said because, unlike both rookies, Young will be the first scoring option for his team and will be able to do what ever he wants on offense.

With the NBA season being 82 games and having 3 playoffs rounds plus the Finals, a lot can happen.

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About the Writer
Caysean Hayes, Staff Writer

Caysean Hayes is a junior in his second year of journalism. Caysean likes to watch sports, his favorite being basketball, and sci-fi movies. When he...

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