We just can’t wait until the first regular season game of this season, and with all those incredible things that are bound to happen throughout the entire campaign, it’s officially time to start making our bold statements and predictions.
The NBA is where amazing happens, and these exciting league has always lived up to that motto, with surprises taking place almost on a nightly basis with the best ballers in the world going at it to try and write their names in history.
Anything can happen in the National Basketball Association, even though obviously the odds of a lousy team taking home the ring (or any other team not called the Golden State Warriors, for what it’s worth) are pretty, pretty low.
Even so, and considering how difficult it can be to make some risky predictions, we’re more than ready to let you know what we believe this upcoming campaign with leave us, so get ready for this year’s 10 bold statements.
10. The Denver Nuggets Will Surprise Everybody
The fact that the Denver Nuggets are being really underestimated and overlooked it’s exactly one of the reasons why this team will make a lot of noise this season, as they closed out really strong the prior campaign and just got better during the offseason.
Gary Harris’ improvement in both ends of the floor, Jamal Murray being a more consistent scorer and a better playmaker, Nikola Jokic’s offensive impact and Paul Millsap’s addition will definitely lift the Nuggets, and they will definitely go back to the playoffs this year after a couple of subpar years.
9. Kawhi Leonard Will Win Defensive Player Of The Year Award
Kawhi Leonard probably won’t start the season after yet another nagging pain, but the desire to get back and take revenge will definitely boost an already scary player that will do anything to get the San Antonio Spurs back to Championship contention after what happened to him the past season.
Leonard will play focus as usual, but if he’s shown us something since entering the league, is that he always comes back even better after the offseason, and that’s why he’ll win his 3rd Defensive Player of the Year accolade this year after Draymond Green took away the threepeat from him.
8. The Los Angeles Lakers Will Not Play In The NBA Playoffs
We’re sorry, Lakers fans, but this team isn’t nearly half to be ready to go back to the postseason, and you’re just overhyping them as you always do, although obviously they’ve gotten a lot better than they were the past year.
Lonzo Ball and Kyle Kuzma will definitely have a huge impact, and Brandon Ingram is a clear frontrunner to win the Most Improved Player award, but even with them and the additions of Kentavious Caldwell-Pope and Brook Lopez, they don’t have what it takes to make it in the Wild Wild West quite yet.
7. Dirk Nowitzki Will Retire After This Season
This one will definitely break a lot of hearts, but let’s just face facts already: Dirk’s old. Of course, that doesn’t mean he can’t still be a 15 points and 8 rebounds kind of guy, but after 19 NBA seasons under his belt, this guy definitely deserves to rest.
The future Hall of Famer will have his final season with the Mavs already looking ahead to the NBA Draft, on a team that’s not deep enough or have enough talent to contend. It’s been a hell of a run, Dirk, and thanks for all the memories.
6. The Detroit Pistons Will Trade Reggie Jackson Before February
We’ve even forgotten that Reggie Jackson was still a member of the Detroit Pistons (or that he even existed, for all that matters), as Van Gundy has been clear and loud to show his disappointment on the young point guard.
Jackson has been terrible, inconsistent and injury prone, and the Pistons have clearly moved on without him. Still, any other team could be dumb or desperate enough to try and take a gamble on him, but one thing’s for sure: he won’t finish the season with the Pistons, especially if (when) their campaigns goes down the toilet after a couple of months.
5. The Philadelphia 76ers Will Reach The NBA Playoffs
Finally: sucking, being extremely patient and trusting the process will pay off for the Sixers fans, as they’re going back to the postseason this year, and they may even finish 6th in the lopsided and weak Eastern Conference this season.
The Sixers got a lot better this offseason with JJ Reddick’s signing, while Ben Simmons and Markelle Fultz will also significantly improve their roster. Of course, with a team this young, there are going to be a lot of avoidable mistakes, but it’s going to be really nice for them to get that playoff experience and actually play to win.
4. The Boston Celtics Will Get The 1st Seed In The Eastern Conference
The Cleveland Cavaliers dominance in the Eastern Conference has come to an end, at least for this upcoming season, as the Boston Celtics are bound to take it all and hold onto the 1st seed in the Eastern Conference with great ease this year.
Boston has improved a lot with Kyrie Irving, Gordon Hayward and Jayson Tatum, while Jaylen Brown has looked quite impressive as well. Of course, they’re going to miss Avery Bradley’s defense a lot, but they will still have the firepower needed to crush everybody in the East this year.
3. DeMarcus Cousins Won’t Resign With The New Orleans Pelicans
The New Orleans Pelicans aren’t even likely to make the playoffs this year despite bringing Rajon Rondo and Tony Allen to boost their defense, and that’s something that DeMarcus Cousins simply won’t tolerate now that he’s bound to enter the last year of his deal.
Cousins wants to win more than anything and his spoiled character will be something to be quite careful this season in the Pelicans locker room now that they also have Rondo, and there’s absolutely no doubt he’ll try to take his talents elsewhere to try and finally get a ring even if that means giving up on a lot of money.
2. The Chicago Bulls Won’t Win More Than 15 Games
The Chicago Bulls have to be the worst team in the NBA right now and it’s not even close, as they took too long and got too little when they finally decided to kickstart their rebuild, and it’s going to take a couple of years before they can be taken seriously once again.
Chicago’s really thin and the few healthy players they got aren’t talented enough to make any kind of nose, and even though they will be better off losing through the entire campaign, they couldn’t win more than 15 games even if they tried their best.
1. Damian Lillard Will Win The Scoring Title
And finally, this one may be the boldest statement of them all, but yes: Damian Lillard will be this year’s leading scorer, although that doesn’t exactly mean the Portland Trail Blazers will be good or actually compete this season.
Westbrook and Harden are definitely going to see his numbers take a dip this season after how their respective rosters were built, and that opens up the door for a fierce scorer like Lillard, especially considering he’s not afraid to just hog shot after shot and that he doesn’t have much help on offense besides CJ McCollum.