NBA Season Preview + Picks
The NBA is back.
Almost as much drama happens in between seasons as during but for the proper hoops fans, whatever happens between the lines is what's most important.
The Golden State Warriors will attempt to defend their crown with James Wiseman returning to the line-up and a full wound up Klay Thompson. The drama surrounding Draymond Green is seemingly going to go away after video emerged of him clubbing team mate Jordan Poole at practice.
Brooklyn enter with Kevin Durant, Kyrie Irving and Ben Simmons ready to roll.
Durant's demands were not met and he decided to return to the BK whilst Irving has had a quiet(ish) off-season and Simmons looks in shape and ready to make his presence felt as a Net.
Getting Joe Harris and Seth Curry on court will be more crucial than folks think for this squad.
Boston was going to enter the season as title favourites before the market shifted away from them, potentially on the back of Ime Udoka's season-long suspension for his transgression. You feel like the whole story is yet to emerge on that one. Still - the C's will contend.
Milwaukee has re-stocked with its own talent plus Aussie Joe Ingles who is some weeks away from an NBA return off his ACL rupture. Giannis Antetokounmpo remains among the best players on earth and he will again provide so much for his Bucks.
In the desert, Phoenix will be aiming back up at a Finals appearance - their 2nd in three seasons. Chris Paul will turn 38 late in the season but the Suns needs him at his aggressive and combative best. They'll also need an engaged Deandre Ayton and Devin Booker to be every bit as good as the NBA2K cover suggests he is.
Cleveland are stocked up after the acquisition of Donovan Mitchell to go alongside their bevy of young stars. The future is bright again in downtown Cleveland. It's most promising line-up since LBJ departed for L.A.
Speaking of L.A. - both squads are incredibly intriguing. The Clippers are fancied in Championship markets, upon the return of Kawhi Leonard. I'll need to see it before I believe it..
Whereas things look more sure in Laker Land. I cannot see them doing any damage with the current squad. LBJ in year 20 will be amazing, no doubt, but they're not contending as currently constructed. There's nowhere near enough shooting wearing purple and gold.
I like what Denver has to offer with a returning Jamal Murray alongside the back-to-back MVP Nikola Jokic. Philly will need the James Harden/Joel Embiid relationship to blossom into something special whilst Memphis, Miami and maybe even Minnesota can be contending in their respective divisions and possibly conferences.
Minnesota are all in, with Rudy Gobert forming a massive - literally - one-two punch alongside Karl Anthony-Towns. IF Anthony Edwards can explode into the superstar many think then all of a sudden the Wolves might be a real prospect.
Here is our breakdown of the NBA once all 30 have played all 82...
NBA FINALS PICK - Brooklyn vs Golden State
CHAMPS - Golden State
WEST FINALS - Golden State v Phoenix EAST FINALS - Brooklyn v Cleveland
MVP - Kevin Durant
DPOTY - Bam Adebayo
ROY - Dyson Daniels
COTY - Chris Finch
6MOTY - Tyler Herro
ALL-NBA - Curry, Edwards, Durant, Antetokounmpo, Embiid.