Just like that, the NBA is back! Tonight, the Philadelphia 76ers and Boston Celtics will tip-off the season in Boston. That game will be followed by the Los Angeles Lakers battling the defending champs, the Golden State Warriors.
Yes, we’re barely at Day 1 of the 2022-2023 campaign, but no, it’s not too early to start with the season predictions! Of the 4 teams mentioned above, which do I believe has the best chance to win it all? That would NOT be the Warriors, though they will be a contender. While this team isn’t my choice to be hoisting the Larry O’Brien trophy come next June, the 76ers – along with the Brooklyn Nets – are my dark-horse picks to to make it to the Finals. But back to my actual pick! So, who am I predicting to be standing tall at the end, celebrating the big victory?
Gimme’ the Bucks!
Give me the Milwaukee Bucks! Like many others, I believe the Bucks were a Kris Middleton injury away from repeating as champions. At the very least, they would have made it to the NBA Finals to tip-off against the Warriors. Why do I believe the Bucks will be standing tall at the end? Two words… and you know what they are… Giannis Antetokounmpo!
The Greek Freak continues to improve his game every season. His free throw shooting and 3-point shooting were once weaknesses in his game. That’s no longer the case. Sure, he’s no Steph Curry in those categories. Heck, he’s not even the best free throw and 3-point shooter on his own team! But what Giannis continues to do is dominate and control the game with his size and length, on both sides of the court. With Middleton, Jru Holiday, Brook Lopez, Bobby Portis, and the rest of the supporting cast on the Bucks bench, Giannis knows the time to strike again is NOW! As the Bucks get older and the rest of the East gets younger and more skilled, Milwaukee must be ALL-IN this season! Don’t be surprised if the upper office makes a few in-season trades along the way. On their way to winning it all, the Bucks will defeat the 76ers or Nets to claim the Eastern Conference crown.
Who will be facing the Bucks in the Finals, come June 2023? My vote goes to either Luka Dončić and the Dallas Mavericks or Nikola Jokić and the Denver Nuggets. Either way, I look forward to city of Milwaukee having another championship parade.
Most Valuable Player – Luka Dončić, Dallas Mavericks
Defensive Player of the Year – Joel Embiid, Philadelphia 76ers
Sixth Man of the Year – James Wiseman, Golden State Warriors
Most Improved Player – Bam Adebayo, Miami Heat
Rookie of the Year – Jaden Ivey, Detroit Pistons
Coach of the Year – Willie Green, New Orleans Pelicans
[Photo Source: NBA.com]