Sports Opinion: NBA season will bring surprises

The NBA season is set to kick off next Tuesday, Oct 25, which couldn’t be more exciting for NBA fans like me, and many like to make their predictions on what this season will bring us, such as the sleeper team nobody thinks about or the team that disappoints and doesn’t live up to its potential. We all have our hunches and our predictions. I figured since we are so close to the NBA season kicking off, why not share my predictions/thoughts on the upcoming season.

Disappointing Teams

1.The Warriors

They are supremely talented. They will make the playoffs, and they probably will have the best record, but the goal here is to win the championship, and I just think there is too much pressure on them to win it all here, especially since they easily have four of the top 15 players.  I think they beat themselves somewhere along the line.

2.The Bulls

They simply won’t be able to shoot the ball, even though they got two good players in the offseason, Rajon Rondo and Dwyane Wade. Rondo has gotten better from beyond the three point mark, but Wade has not, shooting just 16 percent from three last year, which is worse than Tony Allen, who shot almost 36 percent last year. The Bulls best shooter is Nikola Mirotic, who shoots almost 40 percent from three, but in today’s NBA, your power forward is not supposed to be the best shooter on your team. They will be good on defense, and with DWade and Jimmy Butler, they will be great scoring inside. They just lack the shooting firepower.

Most Likely to Win MVP

1. Damian Lillard – Portland Trail Blazers

He is easily the leader of the Trail Blazers. While the Blazers may obviously not be as talented as the Warriors, they still are a contending team in the West, and I think they know it. I think Lillard will assert his dominance this season, and make it competitive in the Western Conference.

2. Russell Westbrook – Oklahoma City Thunder

This one is obvious. He is a monster at everything on the basketball court, and now the Thunder is his team, so he is the alpha dog on still a very good team. I think Westbrook plays angry all year, and he is going to be upset that Durant left him, and I think it will show this year. Westbrook will be scary.

3. Kawhi Leonard – San Antonio Spurs

He is a defensive beast. He is just a fantastic two-way player, who can defend on one end and score any way he wants to on the other end. He shoots above the league average percentage. He steals. He rebounds. He blocks. He does it all. I just think sometime soon he will win the MVP. He is way too good not to.

4. Giannis Antetokounpo – Milwaukee Bucks

He’s a freakish athlete, and he has improved on almost every stat every year he has played. I think the Bucks will be good this year, and I think “The Greek Freak” will step into super stardom this year.

Surprise Teams

1.Knicks

The Knicks made some splashes this offseason with getting Derrick Rose and Joakim Noah. I think Joakim Noah returns to prime form this season, and along with Carmelo and Kristaps Porzingis, I think The Knicks do quite well this season.

2.Jazz

For years the Jazz have been some hot garbage, but I am starting to see that this may be the year that the Jazz finally return to basketball relevance. They have center Rudy Gobert, who holds it down defensively, along with Derrick Favors, who last year averaged 16 ppg and eight rpg. The Jazz also have wings Rodney Hood and Gordon Hayward, and they have a collection of steady young players who I believe are ready to emerge this year.

3.Pacers

Last year we saw the official proof that Paul George is back and just as good as his gruesome leg injury two years ago. The Pacers also added former all-star point guard Jeff Teague and former all-NBA center Al Jefferson. The Pacers will be a quality team in a weak conference. They have seasoned veterans mixed with youth and potential like George and center Myles Turner.

Rookie of the Year

1. Joel Embiid – Philadelphia 76ers

After sitting out the last two years dealing with his foot injury, Embiid is finally ready to take the court this season for the 76ers, so this will count as his rookie season. Embiid will have to compete with Nerlens Noel and Jahlil Okafor for time, but I think he will get his time, and he was a beast at college, so there was a reason why Philly was ready to pick him at number three.

2. Kris Dunn – Minnesota Timberwolves

One of the only seniors taken in the lottery, Dunn was a star at Providence. He led the team and is already in a place where I believe he can shine right away. Minnesota has great pieces around him, and I do not see why he can’t be the third member on his team to win rookie of the year in the last three years.

3. Brandon Ingram – Los Angeles Lakers

He was taken number two in the draft this year and is compared to Kevin Durant because of his length and his ability to score. Much like Dunn, I think Ingram is in a good spot to succeed. He has other young talent around him and could form a dynamic duo with teammate D’Angelo Russell.

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