The second half of the NBA season starts tomorrow, which means it’s time for some predictions. Let’s start with who will close out the season with the strongest performance to take home the MVP. Right now, James Harden is the front runner to win the award followed by LeBron James, Kevin Durant, Steph Curry, and Russell Westbrook. There’s a few others still in the race, they’ll just have to go absolutely bonkers to win the award. I think the MVP is going to come down to Lebron, KD, and James Harden. My pick to win is James Harden since he’s never won even though he’s been having MVP caliber seasons the last few seasons. Typically the voters will give it to a guy that hasn’t won before if the numbers are all in the same vicinity. This is the exact reason why Lebron doesn’t win every year and hasn’t won in the last 4 seasons. If the Rockets do finish as the 1 seed in the West, Harden will most certainly win. If the Warriors finish with the 1 seed then KD or maybe even Steph have a good shot to win. The only way I see LeBron winning is if he carries the Cavs on some sick run down the stretch and they end up as the 1 seed in the East. That won’t happen, so ultimately I believe James Harden should be able to hold on the rest of the way to win his first MVP.
That leads me into my next prediction about who will end up finishing the season in first place in both conferences. I believe winning the conference will be a decisive factor in who ends up winning the MVP award. I’ll start with the East. The Raptors currently sit on top by 2 games over the Celtics. Behind the Celtics is the Cavs who are 6.5 games out of first place. After that the East is irrelevant. The Cavs have dug a hole too deep and I don’t think they’ll be able to completely dig themselves out of it. With their new look roster they’ll be much improved, but there’s just not enough time left to make up the ground that they lost struggling so heavily pre all star break. I see them finishing as the 2 seed. The Celtics stumbled into the break, but are clearly the best coached team and have the most overall talent on their roster. That’s why I believe they’ll prevail and ultimately finish atop the East. Raptors will come back down to earth down the stretch as teams make their push for the playoffs. Now, the West where I believe it’s only a two team race at this point. Rockets and Warriors are going to dual it out for that top spot in the West. It’s going to come down to which team can go on one of those runs where they win 15 out of 17 games, or something along those lines. Rockets seem like a team of destiny this year, so I want to rock with them(no pun intended), however it’d be irresponsible not to pick the Warriors to finish as the top seed. With that being said, I’ve never said to be responsible when it comes to delivering takes, so I’m rocking with the Rockets.
Now, here’s just some random takes for what I believe will transpire the rest of the season:
Blake Griffin and the new look Pistons are going to crush it, make the playoffs, and make some noise while they’re there. Don’t sleep on Mo town.
Ben Simmons will continue to be the catalyst that drives the 76ers on their way to the team’s first playoff appearance since Nam, while capturing Rookie of the Year honors along the way.
Lonzo Ball, my boy, will return to the court and show that next season this young Lakers core is going to be ready to take that next step. Lakers will have an above .500 record post all star break.
Knicks will go full tank end, up with a top 5 pick, and draft another Frank Nilikina. In all seriousness, this team could’ve drafted Dennis Smith Jr. and decided not to. They don’t deserve anything but misfortune since they bring it upon themselves with moronic moves like that.
Anthony Davis will fail to fill the void Boogie Cousins left behind and the Pelicans will once again fail to make the playoffs. Then, I think Boogie will leave and Davis will follow as the Pelicans project rears to a close as a massive failure.
That’s all I got. Let’s hope the NBA delivers some more fire storylines in the second half of the season and more importantly fire basketball. It’ll be fun to look back at these takes in June to see just how right/wrong I was. Now that you’ve heard mine, what are your predictions for the second half of the season?