NBA Standing & Award Predictions

The NBA preseason is in full effect and that only means one thing; we almost have meaningful basketball again. The first NBA regular season games will be played tomorrow, October 17th. The Cavs will face the Celtics to start the season then we will finish off the night with the Rockets against the Warriors. A great first day of basketball.

Standing Predictions

Eastern Conference

  1. Boston Celtics 56-26
  2. Cleveland Cavaliers 54-28
  3. Washington Wizards 47-35
  4. Toronto Raptors 45-37
  5. Milwaukee Bucks 44-38
  6. Miami Heat 43-39
  7. Charlotte Hornets 41-41
  8. Philadelphia 76ers 41-41
  9. Detroit Pistons 39-43
  10. Orlando Magic 36-46
  11. Indiana Pacers 32-50
  12. Brooklyn Nets 30-52
  13. New York Knicks 28-54
  14. Atlanta Hawks 25-57
  15. Chicago Bulls 23-59

Western Conference

  1. Golden State Warriors 66-16
  2. Oklahoma City Thunder 58-24
  3. San Antonio Spurs 57-25
  4. Houston Rockets 55-27
  5. Minnesota Timberwolves 50-32
  6. Los Angeles Clippers 49-33
  7. Denver Nuggets 47-35
  8. Memphis Grizzlies 44-38
  9. New Orleans Pelicans 41-41
  10. Utah Jazz 40-42
  11. Portland Trail Blazers 38-44
  12. Sacramento Kings 32-50
  13. Phoenix Suns 30-52
  14. Dallas Mavericks 29-53
  15. Los Angeles Lakers 27-55

Playoff Predictions

First Round:

EAST:

#1 Celtics over #8 76ers in 5 Games
#2 Cavaliers over #7 Hornets in 4 Games
#3 Wizards over #6 Heat in 6 Games
#5 Bucks over #4 Raptors in 7 Games

WEST:

#1 Warriors over #8 Grizzlies in 4 Games
#2 Thunder over #7 Nuggets in 5 Games
#3 Spurs over #6 Clippers in 6 Games
#5 Timberwolves over #4 Rockets in 6 Games

Conference Semi-Finals:

EAST:

#1 Celtics over #5 Bucks in 6 Games
#2 Cavaliers over #3 Wizards in 5 Games

WEST:

#1 Warriors over #5 Timberwolves in 4 Games
#3 Spurs over #2 Thunder in 7 Games

Conference Finals:

EAST:

#2 Cavaliers over #1 Celtics in 7 Games
#1 Warriors over #3 Spurs in 5 Games

Finals:

Warriors over Cavaliers in 6 Games

Award Predictions

Most Improved: D’Angelo Russell, Brooklyn Nets

D’Angelo Russell was selected with the second overall pick in the 2015 NBA draft by the Los Angeles Lakers. It’s safe to say the expectations were high. However, he showed flashes of what was expected, but never has yet to reach his potential. He was traded to the Brooklyn Nets this summer for Brook Lopez. The move to me is a bit shocking since I think Russell has the talent to be a star and I think this year it shows. Russell will be “the guy” in Brooklyn, which gives him the opportunity to show what he is capable of. I am expecting big things from Russell this year and I think he has a chance to be an All-Star.

6th Man of the Year: Lou Williams, Los Angeles Clippers

Lou Williams was a candidate for this award last year, but he was beat out by teammate Eric Gordon. However, he is no longer with the Houston Rockets and he will be the player anchoring the second unit for the Clippers. He should be the leading scorer off the bench for the Clippers and I expect him to stand out this season. The only thing that held him back from winning this award last year was being on the same team as Gordon. This year, it is his to lose.

Defensive Player of the Year: Rudy Gobert, Utah Jazz

Rudy Gobert was a candidate as well last year and I think he should have won the award. Gobert has solidified himself as the best defensive big man in the game. He has the quickness and athletic ability to guard on the perimeter on switches, while being one of the most feared inside defensive players. When driving into the paint against the Jazz, players know they are going to meet Gobert and most like the challenge. However, most fail. I think he is appreciated for all he can do on the defensive end this year and he takes home the award.

Coach of the Year: Tom Thibodeau, Minnesota Timberwolves

In my opinion, the Timberwolves are the most improved team coming into the season. They added Jimmy Butler, Jeff Teague, Taj Gibson and Jamal Crawford to a young core that includes Andrew Wiggins and Karl-Anthony Towns. The Twolves should make the playoffs and have a real shot to finish as a top 4 seed in a loaded Western Conference. Thibs benefits the most from this improved team and takes home the COY Award.

Rookie of the Year: Lonzo Ball, Los Angeles Lakers

This was a tough one as it came down to Lonzo Ball and Dennis Smith. I give Lonzo the edge because he should be featured more in the Lakers offense. The Mavs still have Dirk Nowitzki, Harrison Barnes and Nerlens Noel. Therefore, Smith’s numbers may not be as good as Lonzo’s. Lonzo will record a few triple-doubles this season and average around 16 ppg, 8apg, and 5 rpg. Pretty good rookie numbers if you ask me.

Most Valuable Player: LeBron James, Cleveland Cavaliers

The Cavs moved on from Kyrie Irving this year as they sent him to the Boston Celtics and brought back a package that included Isaiah Thomas. IT is going to miss time as the Cavs expect to have him back around January. On top of that, Kevin Love will not put a dent in LeBron James‘ numbers, Dwyane Wade is on the tail end of his career and Derrick Rose is not what he used to be. Therefore, LeBron is going to have to step it up big time this year and he will. He will have one of the best years of his career and lead the Cavs back to the NBA Finals.

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Published by

Nicholas LoPrinzi

I'm a washed up D3 college baseball player who is pursuing their MBA in Accounting. I love baseball, basketball, and football; while rooting for the New York Mets, New York Knicks, and New York Giants. Most of the time it is full of misery. I have recently found a passion for writing about sports. I have posted a few articles for Last Word on Sports and I have now created my own website (the-sportstalk.com). You can check out my articles there and also follow the twitter account @_thesportstalk.

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