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NBA Season Predictions

The NBA season is almost half-way done. Here are ten predictions of what might happen as the rest of the season plays out.

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The NBA season is almost half-way done. Here are ten predictions of what might happen as the rest of the season plays out.

Sumedh Vaidyanathan, Sports Editor

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Although a third of the 2016-2017 NBA season has passed by, many basketball fans have found themselves surprised by the way events have unfolded. As the rest of the season plays out, here are predictions about ten more surprises that may take place this season.

 

1) For the first time in his career, Russell Westbrook will win the MVP (Most Valuable Player) award

Following Kevin Durant’s release from the Oklahoma City Thunder to join the Golden State Warriors, The Thunders’ Russell Westbrook carried the team on his back. He is currently averaging a triple-double, with 31.3 points, 10.8 assists, & 10.5 rebounds per game in 29 games. Add the fact that he is currently the talk of the town, and you’ve got yourself an MVP award winner.

 

2) The Utah Jazz will win 50+ games

With the combination of good coaching, a young core in players such as Rudy Gobert, Dante Exum, and Rodney Hood, versatility at different positions, and veterans with postseason experience, it is evident that the Jazz will have a fantastic season.

 

3) James Harden will be a runner-up in MVP voting

Westbrook and Houston Rockets player James Harden are both players that have shown themselves to bebe electrifying this season. Harden’s stats are currently almost identical to Westbrook’s with an astonishing 27.8 points, 11.7 assists & 8.0 rebounds per game in 30 games. However, a huge factor he is lagging behind Westbrook is media hype, which could be critical in terms of fan MVP voting.

 

4) Devin Booker will win the Most Improved Player Award

As the bright spot of the otherwise mediocre Phoenix Suns, Booker’s style of play gives us flashbacks to young Kobe Bryant. Booker’s statistics increased dramatically from last year, with his 13.8 points, 2.6 assists, 2.5 rebounds per game in the 2015-16 season to 19.3 points, 2.9 rebounds, 3.2 assists per game in 29 games this season.

 

5) Joel Embiid will win Rookie of the Year

What more could you expect from a center that could block and also shoot three-pointers? In the new revolution of the dominance of centers and power forwards, Joel Embiid is one of the front faces of this movement. As a rookie, he is averaging 18.4 points, 7.4 rebounds. and 2.4 assists per game in 29 games, clearly showing flashes on how he can turn the Philadelphia 76ers to the powerhouse it once was.

 

6) Toronto Raptors will give the Cleveland Cavaliers a tough time in the Eastern Conference                                          Finals

The Raptors have it all. They can shoot three-pointers, they can protect the rim, they limit defensive shots, play at a fast and slow pace, an elite point guard in Kyle Lowry, a monster shooting guard in Demar Derozan, and a roster that is deep. With all this in mind, it is crystal-clear that the Raptors are a threat to Lebron James’ Cavaliers.

 

7)Demarcus Cousins will be traded to the Boston Celtics

As a player averaging 29.1 points, 10.6 rebounds, 3.4 assists per game for the 2016-17 season, Demarcus “Boogie” Cousins is an extraordinary player and is the highlight to an otherwise mediocre Sacramento Kings. However, the Kings have failed to surround Boogie with talent throughout his 6 year career. As a player that shows the closest resemblance to legend Shaquille O’ Neal, Boogie deserves to be in a team that could win games and could even appear in the Finals. The Boston Celtics, filled with young players, and a winning history could turn Boogie’s life around by making him a winner. Add the fact that the Celtics are currently looking for a center and you’ve got yourself an Eastern Conference powerhouse.

 

8) The Houston Rockets, not the Los Angeles Clippers will finished at 3rd place in the Western Conference

Led by star point guard James Harden, the Houston Rockets currently are in 3rd place in the Western Conference with a record of 22-9. Behind the Rockets are the Los Angeles Clippers, who are currently at 4th place in the Western Conference with a record of 22-10. Though led by Chris Paul, Blake Griffin, and Deandre Jordan, the L.A. Clippers show that they could be inconsistent with losses to teams such as the L.A. Lakers, Dallas Mavericks, and the Washington Wizards. However, the Rockets are on fire, with James Harden putting up historical statistics. The Rockets should stay at 3rd place throughout the season, beating out the Clippers.

 

9) Giannis Antetokounmpo & Karl-Anthony Towns will make their first All-Star debut   

As young & talented players who are on the verge of “breaking” the NBA, Karl-Anthony Towns of the Minnesota Timberwolves and Giannis “Greek Freak” Antetokounmpo of the Milwaukee Bucks are redefining the positions they currently play. Giannis is a 6 feet 11 inch player that could play any position on the court and Karl is a 7 feet center that has handles, a nice jumper shot, great defensive abilities, and an amazing 3-point shooter. It should come as no surprise that these two men should make their first NBA All Star debut because of their skills on the court. In the 2016-17 season, Giannis currently averages 23.4 points, 5.8 assists, and 9 rebounds per game in 29 games while Karl averages 22.2 points,11.3 rebounds, and 2.5 assists per game in 31 games.         

 

10) The Golden State Warriors will not win the NBA Finals

This prediction might anger a few Golden State fans, but this should not be surprising. Although the team is packed with power, the team’s chemistry will be a problem because there is only one ball and three of the NBA’s best shooters in Stephen Curry, Kevin Durant, and Klay Thompson. In addition, there is nobody to protect the rim against fearsome dunkers such as Lebron James. Without any person to protect the rim, facing other teams with great dunkers will be a nightmare matchup for the Warriors. Add the fact that all the pressure is currently on the Warriors and you can understand why the Warriors may not win the finals this year either.

Bonus: Russell Westbrook will average a triple-double this entire season

As mentioned above, Westbrook is currently averaging 31.3 points, 10.8 assists, & 10.5 rebounds per game in 29 games. The accomplishment of averaging a triple double has only been done by Oscar Robertson in the 1961-62 season. Westbrook has the chance to join Robertson and become remembered as the triple-double dude. The only aspect of the game that Westbrook has to watch out for is rebounds. If he is more consistent in rebounding, it is surefire that Westbrook will be the president of the NBA triple-double club.

 

Season Record Predictions

      

               Eastern Conference                                      Western Conference

1. Cleveland Cavaliers 59-23 1. Golden State Warriors 68-14
2. Toronto Raptors 57-25 2. San Antonio Spurs 60-22
3. Boston Celtics 50-32 3. Houston Rockets 56-26
4. Charlotte Hornets 43-39 4. Los Angeles Clippers 54-28
5. Atlanta Hawks 41-41 5. Utah Jazz 52-30
6. Chicago Bulls 40-42 6. Oklahoma City Thunder 50-32
7. New York Knicks 40-42 7. Memphis Grizzlies 42-40
8. Indiana Pacers 38-44 8. Sacramento Kings 38-44
9. Milwaukee Bucks 37-45 9. Denver Nuggets 37-45
10. Washington Wizards 36-46 10. Portland Trail Blazers 36-46
11. Detroit Pistons 34-48 11. Minnesota Timberwolves 34-48
12. Orlando Magic 34-48 12. Los Angeles Lakers 32-50
13. Miami Heat 30-52 13. New Orleans Pelicans 30-52
14. Philadelphia 76ers 22-60 14. Phoenix Suns 26-56
15. Brooklyn Nets 20-62 15. Dallas Mavericks 25-57

 

Playoff Picture

 

1st Round:

Western Conference

. (1) Golden State Warriors wins series 4-0 against (8) Sacramento Kings

. (2) San Antonio Spurs wins series 4-1 against (7) Memphis Grizzlies

. (3) Houston Rockets loses series 2-4 against (6) Oklahoma City Thunder

. (4) Los Angeles Clippers win series 4-2 against (5) Utah Jazz

  

Eastern Conference

. (1) Cleveland Cavaliers wins series 4-0 against (8) Indiana Pacers

. (2) Toronto Raptors wins series 4-3 against (7) New York Knicks

. (3) Boston Celtics loses series 3-4 against (6) Chicago Bulls

. (4) Charlotte Hornets loses series 2-4 against (5) Atlanta Hawks

 

2nd Round ( Conference Semi-finals) :

Western Conference

. (1) Golden State Warriors wins series 4-2 against (4) Los Angeles Clippers

. (2) San Antonio Spurs wins series 4-1 against (6) Oklahoma City Thunder

 

Eastern Conference

. (1) Cleveland Cavaliers wins series 4-0 against (5) Atlanta Hawks

. (2) Toronto Raptors wins series 4-2 against (6) Chicago Bulls

 

3rd Round (Conference finals) :

Western Conference

. (1) Golden State Warriors wins series 4-3 against (2) San Antonio Spurs

 

Eastern Conference

. (1) Cleveland Cavaliers wins series 4-3 against (2) Toronto Raptors

 

4th Round (NBA Finals

.(East) Cleveland Cavaliers wins series 4-3 against (West) Golden State Warriors

The winner of the NBA Finals will once again be the Cleveland Cavaliers!

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