The NBA has already started and I need to get my predictions in before I’m influenced by the first few games of the season. This year I’m just going to make predictions for the conference champions, NBA Finals, MVP and Coach of the Year. I can’t remember a year when I had a harder time making NBA predictions. I really don’t think there is too much separating the top 8 to 10 teams in the league and I also think that there are at least 5 or 6 truly exceptional players that are poised to have great seasons and that will be in the hunt for the MVP award.
Eastern Conference Champion: Chicago Bulls
Picking the Eastern Conference Champ was not quite as difficult as the picking the Western Conference Champ, but it was still hard because the top two teams are very close imo. I picked the Bulls to win the East, but I think the Cleveland Cav’s are potentially the better team, but that they may lose more games during the regular season because it may take a little longer to fully integrate a team that has many new players and a new coach, but once they fully adjust to playing together, look out! I think the Bulls and the Cav’s will be on a collision course when the playoffs arrive.
Western Conference Champion: San Antonio Spurs
There are probably at least 4 or 5 teams capable of winning the West and I would certainly include San Antonio, the LA Clippers, the Golden State Warriors and Dallas Mavericks in that group. I would have also included the OKC Thunder had they not recently lost MVP Kevin Durant and All-Star G Russell Westbrook to injury for an extended period. The temporary loss of those two players will prevent the Thunder for challenging for the best regular season record in the West, but if they both come back healthy that team will again be very dangerous in the playoffs.
NBA Finals: Chicago Bulls vs Los Angeles Clippers
Why did I pick the LA Clippers to make to the Finals over the Spurs and the other strong teams in the West? I think the Clippers added several valuable pieces in the offseason
NBA Champion: LA Clippers
What? The Clippers as Champs!?! Hey, believe it, it could finally happen.
MVP: Blake Griffin
Blake Griffin emerged as a legitimate MVP candidate last season, although I would agree that he was significantly behind Durant and James. I don’t think that will be the case this season.
Coach of the Year: Doc Rivers