As 2016 comes to an end, it’s time to think ahead and wonders what the new year will bring! For many, 2017 will bring about new beginnings and big changes. For the NBA world, however, it’s quite hard to imagine exactly what will happen. Despite that, here are some out-of-this-world predictions for the new year that may or may not actually happen:
1. The Kings make the playoffs!
As surprising as it may be, the Sacramento Kings are currently in the playoff picture at 15-21. So far, that they’re playing at a level they can consistently reach. With the Blazers and Clippers struggling, the path may be set for the Kings to make their long-awaited playoff return. They will almost surely get kicked out by Golden State, but every step counts, right?! Whether or not that’s enough to keep Boogie in town is another story, but it’s definitely interesting to think about…
2. The L.A. Clippers fail to get bounced in the first round of the playoffs… again
Oh, what a truly sad story this is. The Clippers seem to be allergic to success. Just when it seems all the pieces are in the right place, something gets in the way. This year, it’s been injuries to Blake Griffin and Chris Paul, which has caught basically the entire roster off guard. Right now, they sit at just the seventh seed and would face a challenging road in the postseason. If they can’t get back up to a top four seed, chances are they’d face off against Golden State, San Antonio, Utah, or Houston in just round number one.
3. Kawhi wins Defensive Player of the Year… for the THIRD year in a row!
Kawhi and the San Antonio Spurs have flown under the radar this season. Still, none can match his superior defense and ultra leadership ability. With the Spurs being a lock for the second seed, and no other clear challengers, it’s Kawhi’s award to lose at this point. Those big mitts hands and tenacious D will always be effective, no matter what the year is. If I could skip ahead to 2018, he’d likely STILL be the favorite.
4. Fred Hoiberg leaves Chicago
The honeymoon period in the Windy City is over. An organization like Chicago isn’t going to have a lot of patience. The Bulls have had two straight disappointing seasons in a row, and fingers will start pointing at the second-year coach pretty soon. I’m sure he will find another head coaching gig before too long after (all good coaches do), but him staying in Chicago through 2017 is seeming less and less likely as time goes on.
5. DeMar DeRozan becomes NBA 2k17s cover athlete
With Westbrook being on the cover of NBA Live 2016, that almost surely leaves him off the list for 2017. Not to mention that Harden, KD, Curry, LeBron, and even Anthony Davis have found themselves on the cover of NBA 2k in years past. This provides the PERFECT opportunity for an underrated star, like DeMar, to take the cover. With 27 points and 5 rebounds a game, he is undoubtedly PLAYING like a 2k cover athlete. Is this a bit of a stretch? Sure. But I wouldn’t be too surprised if DeRozan is the next face of our favorite video game, simply because of how great he’s been all season long.
6. Chris Bosh makes a comeback!
While Bosh hasn’t technically been “gone” his future in the league is a huge question mark. He hasn’t played since last season, after fighting issues with blood clots. But the will of Bosh and the genius of today’s medicine could equal a comeback for the former All-Star. The only difference this time would be whether that comeback is with the Heat or not, as they have been pretty clear that they have no plans to give him playing time. Maybe Cleveland Cavaliers and LeBron James are the best option for Chris Bosh.
No matter what happens to Bosh this year, we are all rooting for him and a safe return to the game he loves!
7. Giannis Antetokounmpo becomes a top 5 player in the NBA
It’s already happening folks. Before our very eyes, Giannis is leading his team in almost every category, and finding ways to win. His extreme length and crazy athleticism make him one of the greatest talents in the game today. This season alone, he’s averaging 23 points, 8.9 rebounds, and 5.9 assists. If those keep going up (they probably will), then he could be top five material before 2018.
Well, that’s a wrap! 2016 had it’s ups and downs, so as we welcome in the New Year, we should take some time to think about the time ahead. Those 7 crazy predictions should provide JUST what you need to kick off this new year in NBA basketball.