Tonight is opening night for the NBA. Yes, basketball games with meaning are back! With the season officially kicking off tonight, it’s time to give early predictions about who will win the NBA Championship. Also, time to predict what players will step up and win some of the awards this season as well.
This is a no brainer. The NBA Finals will be between the Los Angeles Lakers and the Brooklyn Nets. Yes, with Kyrie Irving and Kevin Durant, the Nets will come away as Eastern Conference Champions. The defending champion Lakers will also defend their title against Brooklyn. In the end, the Lakers will win this series and LeBron James will have his fifth championship.
Speaking of LeBron, he’s also going to be MVP this season. Lebron has an even better Lakers team this season. LeBron tends to play his best when the supporting cast around him can hold their own and LeBron doesn’t have to carry them. With his career nearing the end, James is due atleast one more MVP season, and this season should be the one.
Rookie of the year
LaMelo Ball is going to be rookie of the year. The Charlotte Hornets should be jumping up and down still that he was sitting there at three. Like his brother Lonzo, LaMelo is a passing machine, and showed that off in the preseason. Once Melo gets hit footing and starts launching deep threes, he will give Steph Curry a run for his money when it comes to three point percentage. He should have been the first overall pick, and will separate himself from the rest of the rookie class.
Defensive player of the year
He’ll come in second with the MVP voting, but Giannis will win defensive player of the year. We all know how much of a menace Giannis is on the court, and he’ll create havoc yet again this season with his defensive skills. With the huge contract extension, he’ll want to show the world that he really has earned it (even though we all know he has).
Sixth man of the year
Lou Williams took the season off from winning this award last year. However, with Montrezl Harrell now playing for the Lakers, it’s time for Lou to take back what’s rightfully his. Lou Williams is the ultimate NBA sixth man. He can come in whenever and lead a team on the court. It’s basically routine for him to win this award every year.
Coach of the year
This is such an easy choice. Steve Nash will lead Brooklyn to an appearance in the NBA Finals. When was the last time the Nets were in the finals you ask? 2003, when they were called the New Jersey Nets. It’s been awhile since this organization has had any success really. With Durant and Irving on the court and Steve Nash on the sidelines, it looks like this could finally be the time Brooklyn wins an NBA Championship. It won’t happen this season, but it will happen in the near future.
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-Matt Burnett (@matthew_jordan on Twitter)