Finally the NBA is here. There are a ton of storylines coming into this season, with many new players on new teams, and of course the Heat’s second season together. With a shortened season, and basically no preseason, many unexpected things will happen during this season. Here are my five bold predictions for this upcoming season.
5. The Miami Heat won’t make the playoffs… Ok yes they will. In fact, they are going to win the NBA Championship. It may not be that bold, but considering all of the criticism that they have received over the past year it needs to be said. Miami will make everyone forget about their failures last year. LeBron will also prove to all of his doubters that he is capable of winning a championship, and he will be the NBA Finals MVP.
4. The Minnesota Timberwolves will make the playoffs this season. Yes, the Timberwolves. They only won 17 games last year, but they have some great young players. Kevin Love could possibly have a double double in every game he plays this season. Michael Beasley and Wesley Johnson played well at the end of the year. And they bring in two top picks in Ricky Rubio and Derrick Williams. Don’t forget about Darko Milicic either. All six of those players are former top 5 picks in their respective drafts. This will be a team to watch out for not only this year, but for many years to come.
3. Kemba Walker will be the Rookie of the Year. One thing that should have been learned last college basketball season was to never doubt Kemba. He did not lose a game that mattered last year, and he proved that he could carry his team to a championship. He may be short, and not a great shooter, but he is quick, a great defender, and a winner. I don’t want to doubt Kemba again, and if I was a team in the NBA, I would not want the Bobcats to make the playoffs. I don’t think they have to worry though, the Bobcats are terrible.
2. Kevin Durant will average over 35 points per game. Only four players have done it in NBA history, but Durant is that good. He will be able to score at will this year. He is able to draw fouls better than the rest of the NBA, and Russell Westbrook will finally realize that Durant is the better player on the court. With Westbrook assisting to Durant, teams will just try to slow Durant down, because I do not think that they will be able to stop him.
1. The Memphis Grizzlies will win the Western Conference, but lose in the NBA Finals. They return basically everyone from the team that took the Thunder to 7 games last year in the playoffs. Yes, they did lose to the Thunder, but Rudy Gay did not play at all in that series. Tony Allen is a great defender off of the bench, and the Grizzlies have the best Power Forward-Center combination in the league. Look at the rest of the league and try to argue, the next best that you will find is Amar’e and Tyson Chandler. But Zach Randolph and Marc Gasol are very consisent, and they play both ends of the floor. Also, with the shortened season, youth and depth will play a very important role in winning games. The Grizzlies have both, and they will be able to stay fresh for the playoffs.