Do you smell that? It’s the chilly air of winter, which brings along one of my favorite things… the NBA season. The guys have been practicing and the pre-season is in full swing, which means its obviously way top early to predict the award winners… but we will try anyway. Check out our expert staff’s predictions for the major NBA awards and get ready for the upcoming season.
Will Russell Westbrook repeat his triple-double heavy season for another MVP? What about the player with the most hype in years, Laker point guard, Lonzo Ball. Will he ball out or will another fresh-faced star steal his spotlight?
Rookie of the Year: Ben Simmons
Most people think Lonzo Ball will take this award but we think it will go to another… 76ers rookie Ben Simmons. Ben Simmons was actually drafted last year but since he didn’t play in the regular season, he is eligible. I expect big things from him this year and he is primed for some big numbers.
Simmons will have some nice weapons around him so his assists should be close to Ball’s numbers. We believe Simmons is a better scorer than Ball, so this may be the deciding factor. Both teams will be lucky to make the playoffs, so that shouldn’t matter much.
Sixth Man of the Year: Lou Williams
The Clippers lost all-world point guard Chris Paul in the offseason so their backcourt will need an influx of scoring, and enter Lou Wiliams. He is the most prolific scorer off the bench in recent years and his ability to score in a variety of ways makes him very dangerous.
Most Improved Player: Jusuf Nurkic
Nurkic was drowning in Denver while playing with Nikola Jokic, so he got shipped to the Trailblazers mid-season and he flourished. Before breaking his leg, he was really clicking with his new team, while scoring 15 and pulling in 10 boards a game. Now that he is the starting center for Portland, expect bigger numbers this season.
He was playing with some extra pep in his step once he got traded, so I think the change of scenery really helped. We think he will average 17 and 12… big number for a big guy.
Defensive Player of the Year: Jae Crowder
I know this is a stretch, but we are not going with the two favorites… Draymond Green or Rudy Gobert. Both of those players are excellent and put up dominating numbers, but something tells me that Jae Crowder is about to have a huge year. Nw that he is playing on the Cavaliers, he won’t have to guard LeBron anymore. He will, however, guard the best wing players in the game, so he will have a dogfight each night. Some will call me crazy, but who cares, it’s all guesswork now.
Coach of the Year: Gregg Popovich
The SPurs coach continues to get delicious wine out of old raisins, so he must be doing something right. Expect him to continue to give his aging stars games off and it will show once they get deep into the playoffs like every year.
Executive of the Year: Sam Presti
Once Kevin Durant left, things looked bleak in Oklahoma City, but not according to Sam Presti. He pulled off some remarkable moves to acquire the kind of talent he did and automatically made his team a serious contender for a title. Expect big things from Westbrook, Paul George, and Carmelo Anthony.
MVP: LeBron James
Finally, the GOAT is recognized for his value. I’m sorry to all the Steph Curry and Kevin Durant fans out there but hands down, LeBron is the most valuable player on the court, every time. he deserved this award last year, so he will definitely get it this year, that’s how it all goes down.
Carmelo Anthony and Oklahoma City Thunder To Part Ways
Carmello Anthony will not be playing for the Oklahoma City Thunder next season.
It was announced today that Carmelo Anthony and the Oklahoma City Thunder will eventually be parting ways this summer. The revelation comes after the Thunder resigned Paul George and were left with a serious financial problem to solve. The eventual departure of Anthony could save them up to $100 million.
Anthony will not be a free agent. The options for his departure include a trade, a buyout, and/or a stretch provision. Luckily for both sides, Anthony’s agent, Leon Rose, has a good relationship with Oklahoma City management and everyone seems confident that both parties will come out on the other side happy.
It doesn’t come as much of a surprise to anyone, either. Anthony seemed unhappy with his role multiple times during the season and saw many career lows as far as his stats are concerned, including only 16.2 points per game, despite hitting a career high in three-pointers (169). His points per game dropped all the way to 11.8 in their lone playoff series.
At the end of the season, Anthony was very clear about his frustration with his role on the team. “I don’t think I can be effective as that type of player. I think I was willing to accept that challenge in that role, but I think I bring a little bit more to the game as far as being more knowledgeable and what I still can do as a basketball player.” He also made sure to point out that no matter where he played next season, he most certainly will not becoming off the bench.
Now comes the fun of where he might end up. Anthony is still a very dominant player and could easily be the number one option on many teams. He’s a 10-time All-Star and has also won three Olympic gold medals. And the Miami Heat, Los Angeles Lakers, and Houston Rockets are among the teams that have already expressed an interest in acquiring Anthony.
“I think for me, my focus would be on kind of figuring out what I want out of the rest of my career, what I want in my future, what am I willing to accept, if I’m willing to accept that at all,” Anthony said recently about his future in the league. “I think everybody knows that I’ve sacrificed kind of damned near everything – family, moving here by myself, sacrificed my game – for the sake of the team, and was willing to sacrifice anything and everything in order for this situation to work out.
So, it’s something I really have to think about – if I really want to be this type of player, finish out my career as this type of player, knowing that I have so much left in the tank and I bring so much to the game of basketball.”
Lebron James Signs With The Los Angeles Lakers
Lebron James has joined the Los Angeles Lakers on a four year, $153.3 million deal.
It happened. It actually happened. Lebron James, the greatest basketball player in the world, is now officially a member of the Los Angeles Lakers.
The four year, $153.3 million deal was officially announced on Sunday. It was a relatively quick and painless decision-making process this time around. Unlike the famous “Decision” the first time James left Cleveland. His now famous words, “I’m taking my talents to South Beach” will live on forever and solidified his role as a villain in the NBA for at least the next two seasons in Miami.
But for the majority of NBA fans, Lebron’s status as a villain is long gone. He is a very well-liked and respected player. Even Cleveland fans aren’t mad at him for leaving again. he brought them a championship. Their first ever. And they will forever be grateful to him for that.
Lebron now joins the likes of Lonzo Ball, Kyle Kuzma, Brandon Ingram and the rest of the young, talented Lakers in the hopes of bringing the Larry O’Brien trophy back to L.A. Not to mention the other two free agents the Lakers signed on Sunday, Jevale McGee and Lance Stephenson. Yes, that Lance Stephenson. The man behind one of the craziest intimidation techniques we’ve ever seen when he blew in Lebron’s ear.
But despite all that, Lebron’s presence alone now makes the Lakers a serious threat to the reigned champs in Golden State. Sure, it will take some time for the players to gel. But Lebron is Lebron. He’s the best basketball player in the world and likely at least the second-best basketball player ever. And now that he’s joined one of the most talented young cores in the league it’s easy to see how this team could achieve great things.
And let’s not forget all the other benefits of coming to Los Angeles. There were definitely multiple non-basketball related reasons while Lebron wanted to join the Lakers. He already has had a home in Los Angeles for years and he has his own production company based in Los Angeles. Not to mention all the other financial opportunities that Los Angeles allows.
The only question left now is: will it work? Will he be able to take this team to the promised land? Will he earn a place among Laker greats like Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Magic Johnson, Shaquille O’Neal, and Kobe Bryant by winning at least one championship? Or will he simply add to his now unfortunately large list of playoff failures and disappointments? Only time will tell.
James Harden Named 2018 NBA MVP
James Harden wins the 2018 NBA MVP, beating out Lebron James and Anthony Davis.
It was another star-studded night at the 2018 NBA Awards and everyone was dressed for success. Especially James Harden. The Houston Rocket that is known for his wild style was awarded the 2018 NBA MVP, a year after he thought he should have won the award.
Harden admitted that because he didn’t win it last year after assuming he would, he did not prepare a speech this year in case the same thing happened. So by the time he finally did take the stage and had the trophy in his hand, he barely knew what to say. “Wow. All glory to God, man. All glory to God. Wow.” That was the first thing he said. And it’s easy to understand how it’s a moment that can really leave you speechless.
As far as almost everyone was concerned, the race came down to Harden and Lebron James. The majority were still leaning towards Harden at the end of the season, but it was hard to ignore the playoff heroics of Lebron James. But none of that matters now as Harden becomes the third member of the former Oklahoma City Thunder big 3 to win an MVP. Something that really has to sting Thunder fans and management. What could have been…
“The last four years have been like knocking on the door, knocking on the door,” Harden said later. “Now the moment is finally here. Just every single year, you try to come back and be better than you were the year before, and just to be holding that trophy finally, it means a lot. But it doesn’t stop here. We’ve got a long way to go. But it feels good to have it though.”
It’s hard to argue against the award going to Harden. He averaged 30.4 points this season, making him only the 4th player to ever average over 30 points a game for a team that also won at least 65 wins. The other three are Stephen Curry, Michael Jordan (did it twice), and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar. That’s pretty incredible company.
Now we can officially say that the 2017-2018 season is officially over. The champions have been crowned, the individual leaders have been recognized. And now the real circus can start: off-season free agency. So much could happen, so much is still in the air, but there’s no doubt it’s going to consume sports pundits for months to come!
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