We are under 24 hours away from the start of the 2017-2018 NBA season and we have a great double header tomorrow night with the Cavs facing the Celtics and the Rockets facing the Warriors. This has been one of the most entertaining off seasons I have ever seen and the regular season is shaping up to be even better. Here are 10 predictions that I have for this upcoming season.
Lakers will not make the playoffs
Im not hating on Lonzo Ball but people are seriously over hyping him. Yes he is a good player and a great facilitator plus he is very fun to watch but we need to stop setting his standard off of the Summer League. The Summer League is fun to watch but really Lonzo didn’t face any of the West top PG to already claim him one of the top 5 PG in the west let the man play first. Besides Lonzo the Lakers have a nice group of talent but I don’t think they have enough to contend in this high powered west. They will make a interesting bid and may finish 9th or 10th in the west but this year is not going to be the year the Lakers go back to the play offs.
Clippers will not fall off
Yes they lost CP3 but they got some key assets in return. For the first time in a while this team looks complete. They have a great mixture of talent from all areas. They have scorers, playmakers and great defenders with a group of veterans that shouldn’t be overlooked. No they will not be a title contender but they will not go in silence. At best they will be a 5th or 6 seed as I feel the Warriors, Rockets, Thunder, and Timberwolves will make up the top 4. I do think one team will fly under the radar and sneak into the top 4 spots in the West
Denver will make some noise
There are a lot of teams that no one is paying attention to and Denver is a team that should not be ignored. They finished last season with one of the top offenses in the league last season finishing 3rd in PPG, 2nd in assist, 2nd in rebounds. Defensively they had some problems but they look to clean that up this year and be a strong playoff contender. They added Paul Millsap this offseason and he should help them on both ends of the floor but this young core will do nothing but get better and I expect Nikola Jokic to have an even better season than last year and contend for most improved player of the year.
Jabari Parker will be traded
The Bucks and Jabari couldn’t come to an agreement on an extension and he is now set to become a restricted free agent next season. The Bucks can try to match an offer that another team gives him but he really wants that max deal. Does he deserve it though? He did have 2 knee surgeries over the past 2 years but he was very productive when he played averaging 20 pt and 6 rebounds and a impressive 35% 3 point percentage. The bucks may be weighing this out to see how he does this season but I think that he may want out since they didn’t give him the deal from the start so instead of letting him go they may trade him to get some valuable assets in return.
New Orleans will Trade Boogie and the Brow
I want this modern day twin tower to work as much as a lot of fans around the world but they have limited help. The Pelicans haven’t done a good job trying to secure Anthony Davis some help to make the playoffs and eventually contend for a title. Trading for Boogie was a step in the right direction but left them with not much to work with to bring in key free agents. Yes they did keep Jrue Holiday and they signed Rajon Rondo and Lance Stephenson but that won’t be enough to make a playoff run in this high powered western conference. Tension will probably boil over and we all know how Demarcus is so competitive but it may be time to start rebuilding. I think they will not only trade Boogie to get some value but also Anthony Davis. Davis needs to go somewhere so he can contend for a championship or help a team contend for a championship.
Lonzo will not win ROY
Lonzo will be have a good season I won’t doubt that but I don’t think the Rookie of the Year award is unanimously his like a lot of people are claiming. Will finish in the top 3 in voting’s but I believe the award is going to either Ben Simmons or Dennis Smith Jr. I think they will have more of an impact on their teams then Lonzo will have on the Lakers. Really if Ben Simmons has a productive season and the 76ers go to the playoffs then he should definitely get that rookie of the year award.
Timberwolves will be a force
No one is really talking about them but they should. They might have a rocky start but they will be a solid team after they figure some things out. Defensively they will be way better with the addition of Jimmy Butler, Taj Gibson and Jeff Teague. They have a great mixture of veterans and young talent all they have to do is put it together. Like I said earlier they should definitely be a 4th seed in the west and I hope they meet up with the Warriors I think they can cause them some problems but I’m not going to say they will beat them.
76ers will make the playoffs
Last year they had a winning record while Joel Embiid was on the floor and now he is healthy and motivated with a new contract. That’s not all though, he has Ben Simmons healthy and Markelle Fultz. The process will not show progress and they will make a playoff run this season in a very weak eastern conference. They won’t be a 1-4 seed but should definitely be anywhere between 5-7. They won’t get swept in the playoffs either I think they will win a game or even take a series to the limit depending on who they are facing. The 76ers has to put everything in affect because he though they don’t have a championship contending team they have a team that will be a future champion contender plus entertaining to watch. It only took 31 games for Joel Embiid to show the fans to trust the process, let’s just imagine what will happen if he plays an entire season with 2 hungry rookies by his side as well.
Thunder and Warriors will go 7 games in the WCF
Yes im calling it now. No disrespect to the Houston rockets but I think the Thunder will make a lot of noise with their unique big three the only thing that can stop them is not having enough depth on the team to contend with the Warriors other than that 7 games is what I see. The Thunder has done a lot of work over the off season and it should all pay off. Westbrook may have to chew up Melo a little and let him know he is not the #1 option in this offense and I think they will use him like he is supposed to be used as a pure scorer and not a well-rounded player. Paul George is a great 2 way player and of course we know Westbrook can do it all. He has some help this year so some of the pressure should be taken off of him and he should have more energy to have an MVP performance in the playoffs. I know nothing will make Westbrook happier then to challenge his old teammate Kevin Durant.
Giannis will win MVP
The Greek Freak isn’t overrated. He is well worth all the hype he gets and the only thing missing from his repertoire is a solid 3pt shot. He has improved every single year since he has been drafter and last season led his team in all 5 categories. For right now all we know is he has no ceiling and he is getting a lot of praise from some of the best players in the league. The bucks will be either a 3rd or 4th seed and I would love to see Giannis go up against LeBron in a series but for now for my #1 prediction Im confident that he will make a case for the MVP award especially If he repeats his performance from last season with a boost in his stats and shooting percentage.