NBA 2017-2018 Season Preview

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With the NBA regular season starting today, there is a lot of hype surrounding this season that has everyone excited. This offseason has been one of the best, and craziest in a while with many players moving to new teams and new additions via the draft. The league may be as unpredictable this year as ever with all the moves and teams having new looks. With that said, here are my award predictions, league leader predictions, conference standing predictions, and playoff predictions.

AWARD PREDICTIONSJames Harden.jpg

MVP: James Harden

James Harden has had some great runs at MVP in the past. He has been the runner-up twice, once to Stephen Curry and once to Russell Westbrook, but he has never won. Harden had an incredible season last year in which he became the first player ever to score and assist on 2,000 points in a season. This season will be different with the addition of Chris Paul but I think, by adding CP3, it will be easier for Harden to score. When Paul has the ball he will be able to hit Harden on spot ups and cuts and when Harden has the ball he can still be a dominant scorer and passer. By not having to be the point guard this year, Harden can focus on scoring and I see him being the league’s scoring leader this year. Harden has to be hungry for an MVP this year and it should be a great battle that I think he can win.

Runner-Up: Kevin Durant

Ben Simmons

ROY: Ben Simmons

The Rookie of the Year award is up for grabs this season. There is a ton of hype surrounding Lonzo Ball but, I think Ben Simmons will come out on top for the Rookie of the Year. Ben Simmons is a special talent. His build and game resembles and Lebron-esque player. His passing ability is just something that youusually don’t see in players of his age. He is pretty much an all around player, like Lebron, and will be a great driving force for Philly this season. I see the 76ers making the playoffs this season with Ben Simmons commanding the offense from the point guard position. He is coming in with a huge role on this team and I think he will benefit greatly from that. A pick n roll with Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons is a scary thought for any team. I can’t wait to watch Simmons grow this season and get his first look at actual NBA action that we have all been waiting for.

Runner-Up: Lonzo Ball

draymond green.jpg

DPOY: Draymond Green

Last year’s Defensive Player of the Year race was very close with Draymond Green coming out on top. Beating out two great defenders in Kawhi Leonard and Rudy Gobert, Draymond received his first DPOY award, and rightfully so. Draymond had many highlights in his defensive game including a triple double in which he had 10 steals and only 4 points. Draymond is a player that can take over a game on the defensive end of the floor. His intensity and passion to play defense is great to watch. He is the motor behind one of the best defenses in the NBA and I think he will have another great defensive season this year. Draymond doesn’t always bring it on offense but he can control an entire game by his defensive play and that is something that only certain players can master. I see Draymond winning another Defensive Player of theYear award this year as he captains the defense of one of the best in the NBA.

Runner-Up: Kawhi Leonard

D'angelo Russell.jpg

MIP: D’Angelo Russell

I think D’Angelo is one of the more obvious picks for Most Improved Player. With his offseason trade to the Brooklyn Nets, this provides D’Angelo with a huge opportunity to become a star this year. I think that being on the Lakers was holding him back from reaching his true potential. Now, with him being on the Nets, he can be the clear number one option for this team and take on more of the offensive load than what he was given in the past. I see D’Angelo scoring 20 ppg this season and also raising his assist numbers. He is an underrated scorer and passer and I think he will show that this season with improved stats and possibly an all-star appearance.

Runner-Up: Brandon Ingram

Lou Williams.jpeg

6MOY: Lou Williams

Lou Williams moved to the Los Angeles Clippers this offseason and that will likely be a huge advantage for him when it comes to this award. The Clippers had a lot of change this offseason and will use Williams a ton off the bench. With Jamal Crawford now gone, the Clippers will need that scoring guard to come off the bench and provide easy buckets. Lou Williams is exactly the guy to fill the spot. He will likely get a lot of minutes because of the lack of depth at the guard position. Last year with Houston, Williams averaged 15 ppg on 25 minutes. He will almost certainly get more minutes in LA and he will be able to increase his ppg. Lou Williams is a valuable asset to any team off the bench when it comes to scoring and shooting. Playing alongside Milo Teodosic in the second unit, he will be getting plenty of open shots and will be able to score much easier off catch and shoot.

Runner-Up: Eric Gordon

Brad Stevens.jpg

COY: Brad Stevens

Brad Stevens is one of the best coaches in the NBA and has been for a couple of years now. He has the chance this year to lead the Celtics to a one seed again. If he accomplishes this, I think he is an almost lock for COY. The Celtics barely have any returning players and Brad has to figure out how to fit all the new pieces together. I’m interested to see how he utilizes the new players they added this offseason in Kyrie Irving and Gordon Hayward. The Celtics will be an exciting team to watch this season and Brad Stevens will be orchestrating it all from the sidelines.

Runner-Up: Mike D’Antoni

LEAGUE LEADER PREDICTIONS (PER GAME)

Scoring Leader: James Harden

 

Assists Leader: John Wall

 

Rebounding Leader: Andre Drummond

 

Blocks Leader: Rudy Gobert

 

Steals Leader: Robert Covington

 

CONFERENCE STANDING PREDICTIONS

Western Conference

  1. Golden State Warriors
  2. Houston Rockets
  3. San Antonio Spurs
  4. Oklahoma City Thunder
  5. Minnesota Timberwolves
  6. Portland Trailblazers
  7. Denver Nuggets
  8. New Orleans Pelicans

 

Eastern Conference

  1. Cleveland Cavaliers
  2. Boston Celtics
  3. Washington Wizards
  4. Toronto Raptors
  5. Milwaukee Bucks
  6. Miami Heat
  7. Philadelphia 76ers
  8. Detroit Pistons

PLAYOFF PREDICTIONS

ECF: Cavs win over Celtics in 6 games

WCF: Warriors win over Houston in 5 games

NBA FINALS: Warriors win over Cavs in 5 games.

FMVP: Stephen Curry

 

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