Hoops are back in action and I could not be happier. Sure, my New York Knicks are typically the cause of pain and disgust (as they were last year in missing the playoffs - and even the play-in rounds), but truthfully, I'm not feeling very confident of my New York Yankees in their quest against a VERY good Houston Astros team in the American League Championship Series. So yeah, I'm preparing myself to turn the page from baseball to hoops.
This post provides some therapy, as it always does.
Regardless of the Yankee's outcome this week, I'm feeling fairly confident in my guys in orange and blue, primarily because of the one aspect that has alluded us for years - a reliable point guard! Jalen Brunson is so desperately needed and I'm excited to see what he does as a Knick. I'm also interested in the continued development of RJ Barrett, and of course, seeing yet another chapter of Julius Randle.
I'm also interested in year twenty (!) of LeBron James, Steph Curry doing Curry things, Paolo Banchero, Zion Williamson, The Los Angeles Clippers insanely deep roster, being annoyed at home much I love the Boston Celtics roster, and so much else.
With all of that said, here are my predictions for the upcoming NBA season, with some wild guesses thrown in.
EASTERN CONFERENCE PLAYOFF TEAMS:
1. Milwaukee Bucks (60-22)
2. Boston Celtics (60-22)
3. Miami Heet (50-32)
4. Philadelphia 76ers (49-33)
5. Toronto Raptors (46-36)
6. Brooklyn Nets (45-37)
7. Cleveland Cavaliers (44-38)
8. New York Knicks (42-40)
WESTERN CONFERENCE PLAYOFF TEAMS:
1. Denver Nuggets (61-21)
2. Los Angeles Clippers (60-22)
3. Memphis Grizzlies (59-23)
4. Golden State Warriors (57-25)
5. Dallas Mavericks (51-31)
6. Phoenix Suns (50-32)
7. Minnesota Timberwolves (46-36)
8. New Orleans Pelicans (45-37)
Next Household Name: Scottie Barnes
Biggest Name to Be Traded: Chris Paul
Biggest Story: Nets and Kyrie Irving Saga Continues
Scoring Champion: Luka Doncic
All-Star Game MVP: Ja Morant
Coach of the Year: Willie Greene
Most Improved Player of the Year: RJ Barrett
Defensive Player of the Year: Mikal Bridges
Sixth Man of the Year: Bruce Brown
Rookie of the Year: Paolo Banchero
Most Valuable Player: Joel Embiid
- Knicks Enter Play-In and Make Playoffs
Some may say this isn't too crazy, but it's the Knicks, and I'm a Knick fan - this is pretty wild.
- Russell Westbrook Goes Elsewhere...and returns (somewhat) to form
The Lakers experiment with Russell Westbrook HAS to end. You have to feel for the guy - at least I do. I don't see this lasting much longer with the Lakers finally moving him somewhere. Russ will once again be in control, and won't exactly be the explosive triple-double machine he once was, but he averages 19, 8, and 8.
- Pelicans Become Serious
I see the Pelicans quickly becoming a talking point in the season before injuries hit their season. They then regroup for a playoff run, just to run into a higher seed they battle within a deep series.
- Chris Paul (finally) becomes a Laker
Years after David Stern squashed this, the Suns finally move on from Chris Paul, and yes, Russell Westbrook is part of this deal moving elsewhere in a multi-team deal.
Drama Continues to Surround Nets
- Spurs win Lottery - Will Win Victor Wembanyama Sweepstakes
Because, why wouldn't they?!! They're just due for another two decades of success, no? I'm so damaged from my Knicks fandom.
Eastern Conference: Bucks d. Nets (4-2)
Western Conference: Clippers d. Nuggets (4-3)
Bucks d. Clippers (4-3)
NBA Finals MVP: Giannis Antetokounmpo