NBA Fearless Predictions version 2017/18 has arrived! Finally the first bucket has sunk and after the craziest offseason in recent memory were underway.
Most Valuable Player
It was a race to the finish between Westbrook and James Harden last year as the two waged a battle of one-man shows. But they both added serious help with George and Carmelo Anthony arriving in OKC and Chris Paul joining Harden in Houston, so those crazy numbers should dip. So who takes their place at the top this season?
Let’s figure that the new faces in new places will take time to acclimate, so go to the best team with the best players. Kawhi Leonard is still healing, James is not quite ready. So narrow it down to Steph Curry and Durant in a battle for the top spot. Jimmy Butler?
The pick: Curry, Golden State
The dark horse: Antetokounmpo, Milwaukee
Rookie of the Year
First, my soapbox please – can we stop allowing redshirt rookie of the year candidates? Okay, that said, I’m voting for one. It’s not quite right that Simmons had a year to work on his game with NBA coaches without concerning himself with Econ 101, but it’s clear that he looks like he’s going to be a very good player. The Sixers are hyped up already with Simmons and Markelle Fultz arriving and Embiid hoping to make an impact on the court and not just on social media. There are some impressive players in this class from high picks like Tatum, Josh Jackson and Lonzo Ball and some gems like Kyle Kuzma, Dennis Smith and Donovan Mitchell.
The pick: Simmons, Philadelphia
The dark horse: Kyle Kuzma, LA
Coach of the Year
It’s been a good year for coaches so far, with not one head coach being fired in the summer. So who puts it together to earn the honors as the best coach this season? If Brad Stevens can put the Celtics together with the new cast, not to mention the absence of defensive stalwarts Avery Bradley and Crowder, he will deserve consideration. We could reward Greg Popovich for what will likely be his zillionth consecutive 50-win season. Tom Thibodeau should accelerate the learning curve in Minnesota this season, reunited with Jimmy Butler. Maybe Brett Brown deserves meritorious service for the hard years he went through in trusting the process.
The pick: Stevens, Boston
The dark horse: Thibodeau, Minnesota
We know the stars, we know the rookies, but who is between those two levels, ready to take a step forward? Could D’Angelo Russell take that step in Brooklyn after a troublesome two years in L.A.? Does Willy Hernangomez stave off competition for the Knicks’ starting center spot and and provide NY with another foundation piece? Or with the aging Spurs does Dejounte Murray herald a new era?
The pick: D Murray, San Antonio
The dark horse: Norman Powell, Toronto
The Cavs shuffled their front office and their roster, secured their future and even dipped into the past for Dwyane Wade. But they didn’t do enough. Sam Presti rebuilt the Thunder on the run, but it’s not enough. Boston, yeah, not enough. The Rockets have the talent and the depth, but can they arrive in the post season? CP3 and Harden are yet to in there careers, so why now? Prediction: Golden State over Cleveland in 5. Surprise, Surprise!
|Golden State Warriors|
|Oklahoma City Thunder|
|San Antonio Spurs|
|Los Angeles Clippers|
|New Orleans Pelicans|
|Los Angeles Lakers|
|New York Knicks|