The NBA season will soon be upon us and while my two previous columns have discussed the NFL and my predictions for it, I will now turn my attention to the NBA.
As a Los Angeles Lakers fan, I have been able to witness the team win five championships, but now, I am smart enough to know that the team is in a rebuilding mode, and thus not a legitimate championship contender. The Lakers have a bright future with the 2015 All-Rookie First Team player Jordan Clarkson, 2015 first round pick D’Angelo Russell, and 2014 first round pick Julius Randle. I look to see these players having a great year, all learning to be elite players in the NBA with the help of one of the greatest of all time, Kobe Bryant. While the Lakers will still contend for a playoff spot this year, many Lakers fans will be looking forward to its future.
For the rest of the league, I am predicting to see the San Antonio Spurs and Cleveland Cavaliers face off in the 2016 NBA Championship.
The Spurs, led by NBA veteran Tim Duncan and up and coming superstar, Kawhi Leonard, had a disappointing season last year after losing to the Los Angeles Clippers in the first round of the playoffs. However, this year, with the addition of all-star free agent, LaMarcus Aldridge and multiple other free agents who can contribute to the team, I believe that the Spurs will ultimately win the Western Conference Championship.
The Cleveland Cavaliers are led by the self-proclaimed “best player in the world,” LeBron James, former number one overall pick, Kyrie Irving, and “double-double” machine, Kevin Love. Last season, the Cavs lost in the NBA Finals in a six game series to MVP Stephen Curry and the Warriors after injuries to Cleveland’s star players Irving and Love. This season, I’m expecting to see the Cavaliers back at the top of the Eastern Conference with little difficulty, if the team can remain fully healthy.
Well now that I’ve shared my opinion of the 2016 NBA Finals, here are my predictions for the awards this season…
MVP: Anthony Davis (NOP)
Rookie of the Year: Jahlil Okafor (PHI)
Defensive Player of the Year: DeAndre Jordan (LAC)
Sixth Man of the Year: Isaiah Thomas (BOS)
Most Improved Player: Rudy Gobert (UTA)
Coach of the Year: Gregg Popovich (SAS)