Yes, this is very early. I know the off-season has not even concluded yet, but fuck it. Lets make some early NBA Predictions for the upcoming season.
1. NY Knicks make playoffs without Carmelo
I still am a strong believer that Carmelo Anthony will be traded before the season starts. I also believe he will be traded to the Rockets and at least a third team will be involved. I believe that team will be the Suns and they ship Bledsoe to the Knicks. Bledsoe and Porzingis in the Garden will be fun to watch. Now, I’m not saying the Knicks are going to be better without Melo. However, the East is extremely weak this year. I think with or without Melo, the Knicks would make the playoffs in the weak East next year.
2. Timberwolves will be a top 4 seed in the West
They upgraded every single part of their team. Jeff Teague is an upgrade over Ricky Rubio. They added a superstar in Jimmy Butler who will replace Zach Lavine. Andrew Wiggins and Karl Anthony-Towns will improve. Taj Gibson is a better fit at the starting Power Forward spot than Gorgui Dieng. They signed Jamal Crawford to add a veteran presence and scoring off the bench. They have expressed interest in signing veteran defensive wizard Tony Allen. They will find a back up Point Guard and be a very complete team. The only teams that will be better than them in the West next year are the Warriors, Rockets and Spurs.
3. Cavaliers will not make the NBA Finals
We will not see the Cavs face the Warriors in the finals for the fourth straight year. The East will be very weak this year and the Cavs will finish as the number one seed. They will also make the Conference Finals, but they will lose to the Boston Celtics. The Celtics have improved this off-season by adding Gordon Hayward and Jayson Tatum. Hayward will take some of the pressure off Isaiah and open up the floor for him as well. Tatum will make that All-Rookie first team coming off the bench. Yes, they traded Avery Bradley. However, Morris will play a big role for the Cavs and one of Jaylen Brown, Marcus Smart or Jae Crowder will step into Bradley’s place. The Celtics have the firepower and depth to take down the Cavs.
4. The Warriors win it again
Yeah, too be honest I’m getting sick of the Warriors. I just cannot see anyone taking them down. They re-signed everyone they needed to and added some solid bench players in Nick Young and Omri Caspi. Young will play a bigger role than Caspi, but both players just make this team deeper. They improved from last year. As if they were not dominant enough. Fuck the Warriors.
NBA AWARD WINNERS
Rookie of the Year: Lonzo Ball
Yup. This is going to happen. LaVar Ball speaks and his son plays. He has hyped up his son and put so much unnecessary pressure on the kid, but it does not seem to phase Lonzo. He has been tearing it up in the summer league. He has posted two triple doubles and a 36 point double-double (two of those games without his all-mighty ZO2s). I know it is just the summer league, but he will be surrounded by better players come the regular season. I think he finishes the season averaging 14.3 ppg, 6.8 apg and 5.3 rpg. He is going to have a great season and an even better career as the Lakers improve their roster.
Most Valuable Player: Kawhi Leonard
He was a finalist for the award this year and wins it next year. The two other finalists have added a superstar to their team, which will help their teams, but ultimately hurt their personal stats. Russell Westbrook will not average another triple double and James Harden will not average 11.2 apg. Kawhi Leonard will need to carry the load even more this year for the Spurs and he will. His stats will look even better this year and he will lead the Spurs to another top 3 seed in the West.
Coach of the Year: Tom Thibodeau
His team improved the most this off-season and he will be rewarded for it. The Minnesota Timberwolves will go from the 13th seed last year to the number 4 team this upcoming season. Thibodeau is the real reason why the Timberwolves are such an attractive place to play. He is one of the top coaches in the game and he will help take this team to the next level in the 2017-2018 season.