It’s that time of the year again! Come Wednesday morning the best show on the planet, the NBA, tips off. The league is giving us two mouth watering opening night match ups which feature 4 heavy weights of the competition.
Boston will play host to Philadelphia, a potential Eastern Conference Finals preview, while out west, the heavily fancied (and reigning back to back champions) Golden State Warriors face off against Oklahoma City Thunder, albeit without superstar Russell Westbrook.
I’m feeling the league is far more evenly spread than in years past, meaning it won’t be an easy one to call. Saying that it’s now time for some predictions.
Bold MVP Prediction: Someone not named LeBron James will win the MVP Award.
Yes, LeBron James is still the best player in the league but the gap is closing. Given the NBA loves dishing this award around, there are 2 people that come to mind next season.
Anthony Davis has the potential to produce monster numbers this season. The departure of DeMarcus Cousins makes it even more of a nightmare match up for any 5 man in the league. The only issue will be whether the Pelicans can sneak inside the 8 in a loaded Western Conference, but with Davis anything is possible.
Giannis Antetokounmpo looks to have put on some serious size and just like AD, is a nightmare match up for anyone guarding him. He has free reign in Milwaukee, in a conference (and division) which now no longer has LeBron James. A top 4 seed out East isn’t without a chance, so look for him to make some noise when the Bucks make a big playoff push.
San Antonio Miss the Playoffs: Death, Taxes and the San Antonio Spurs making the Playoffs right?
It almost seems ridiculous to think this will be the case, but the injury to Dejounte Murray may be too much to overcome. Given they lost Tony Parker and Manu (to retirement) already in the off season there’s not much depth in this position.
They have gotten better by adding DeRozan (given they gave up someone who played no time for them last season in Kawhi Leonard), but it won’t be enough for a team who are behind the pack in such a super strong Western Conference.
Prove me wrong Pop!
LA Lakers will NOT finish with a top 4 seed out West:
It’s been mentioned above, the West is loaded.
Golden State, Houston, Utah, Portland/OKC are my top 4-5 teams out West, with the Lakers falling just outside of that.
The Lakers are going to be a lot of fun to watch, but they could be anything on any given night, given the personalities on their roster. Their core is still extremely young, they’ll have testing times, which in the end will force them to sit just outside the top 4 out West. The more experienced crew of teams will finish above them.
NBA Finals Predictor:
It could be very easy to think that the Golden St Warriors are going to three peat this season, and why wouldn’t you think that.
They could at one point have 5 dream team members on the court starting for them, once Boogie Cousins comes back from injury (insane I know).
Their bench though, will be their undoing.
Golden State are 1 injury away from not winning the NBA Championship. Houston had them covered last year, and if it weren’t for a Chris Paul injury, they were gone in 6 games.
For the sake of making a bold call here;
Boston Celtics 2018-19 NBA Champions.
Boston’s depth is insanely good, almost too deep. They’ll be fresh and ready to go, their bench can come in and give them quality minutes at any time throughout the season if they choose to rest guys.
With the arrival of LeBron James out West, Golden State’s run to the title may not be as comfortable as it has been in years past. It’ll create much excitement for all of us hoops lovers and I can’t wait to watch it all unfold!
Would love to know everyone’s predictions for the season coming up!