The NBA season begins tonight, along with a rigorous journey through an 82 game schedule that should be one of the best journeys in recent memory. There are potentially eight teams that could win it all if the right cards are played for them. I’m here to give you some of my predictions for the upcoming season with the MVP, Defensive Player of the Year, Rookie of the Year, NBA Champion and Comeback Player of the Year.
MVP: Lebron James
As much as I don’t want him to win it, he’s just far too talented to pick anyone else right now. There are scenarios where somebody else might win it though. If Kevin Durant has a monster year for the Thunder, he might steal it from Lebron. But at the moment, Lebron has to be everybodys pick for MVP.
Other Candidates: Derrick Rose, James Harden, Kyrie Irving, Tony Parker
Defensive Player of the Year: Dwight Howard
Finally healthy, he will do what he always does. Look for him to have a very solid year as a great number two option on offense and an elite rim protect and rebounder on both ends of the court.
Other Candidates: Lebron James, Marc Gasol, Tim Duncan
Rookie of the Year: Victor Oladipo
The MJ comparison seem to be way off base with this kid, but don’t be mistaken, he is quite the talent. Look for him to be used in a Russell Westbrook-like way for the Magic–starting at point guard even though he is a natural 2-guard. I look for him to average around 13.2 ppg, 4.7 rpg, 3.2 apg and 1.4 spg during his rookie season.
Other Candidates: Cody Zeller, Ben McLemore, Michael Carter-Williams
NBA Finals: LA Clippers defeat Chicago Bulls in 7
In the East, I feel the Heat won’t be able to pull off the 3-peat with the East being such a tough road for them. Say they do end up getting the second seed in the East with Chicago getting the one seed like they have each of the previous years Derrick Rose was healthy, they could end up playing Cleveland, Indiana, and Chicago on their way to the Finals. I don’t see this happening. Last year they barely made it even though the Bulls were depleted by injuries. The 3-peat attempt stops here with the Bulls pulling off the upset in a 7 game series. Also expect Indiana to be a factor in the East as well. Even New Jersey should be a small factor as well, but I don’t expect them to be able to beat out the top three.
In the West, you have plenty of question marks regarding unproven teams that are being picked at the top of the West. San Antonio is getting older (havent they been “old” for the last 10 years?) but Pop is Pop and theyre always a team to consider come playoff time. Golden State made a big splash in the off-season adding elite defensive wing and uber-athletic Andre Iguodala, but are inexperienced without a coach or players that haven’t made it far in the playoffs before. Oklahoma City has questions all over the place. From Russell Westbrook, to bench scoring, to Reggie Jackson–the questions linger and need to be answered before they can be considered a threat. Lastly you have the most intriguing team in the offseason and on paper, the Houston Rockets. They have depth, shooting, size, and elite level players in James Harden and Dwight Howard. But I’m taking the LA Clippers to win the West and that includes beating the Houston Rockets in the Western Conference Finals in 6. They’re too deep, talented, and going-to-be well coached unlike previous years. The most important thing for them in the offseason was getting Doc Rivers as their head coach. The potential of the team is scary.
Yes, I’m taking that talent and depth over the Bulls in the finals. I feel as though the depth upfront for the Clippers is too much for the Bulls. Upfront depth for the Bulls is a problem which wont be a problem against Miami and they should avoid the Pacers in the East Conference playoffs.
Comeback Player of the Year: Derrick Rose
He has looked spectacular in his return to the NBA thus far. Expect that to continue on his way to another spectacular season. I see him averaging 23 ppg, 7.2 assists and 4.1 rebounds per game shooting more efficient from the floor and displaying his high-flying acrobatics on a daily basis.
Other Candidates: Kobe Bryant, Danny Granger