NBA Season Preview

NBA Season Preview

All NBA fans are excited for the 2022-2023 NBA season to kick off on October 18th. All of the fans have eagerly been waiting since June when the Golden State Warriors defeated the Boston Celtics in the 2022 NBA Finals. The Neersyde is here to give their season predictions for some of the potential NBA Finals winners. Let’s get started! 

Boston Celtics

Jayson Tatum (#0) and Marcus Smart (#36) high five after Smart threw an alley-oop to Jayson Tatum in Game 3 of the NBA Finals against the Golden State Warriors.

The Boston Celtics are once again NBA Finals contenders. Jayson Tatum has only been improving. He is getting on average 27 points a game and is also helping out on defense. Tatum is not the only one improving–Jaylen Brown is probably one of the most underrated players in the league. Brown helped the Celtics by getting, on average, 24 points a game last season. Another player in the Celtics who have been improving is Robert Williams III. He has lockdown defense and can get rebounds, steals, and blocks on any player in the league. I will not be shocked if Jayson Tatum and the Celtics are in the NBA Finals for the second straight year. 

Milwaukee Bucks  

Giannis Antetokounmpo is considerably the best player in the NBA right now. Giannis is unstoppable and unguardable. He is dominant, and he makes the teams around him better. Starting the team is the point guard. Jrue Holiday, center Bobby Portis, and sixth-man center Brook Lopez. With all of this around Antetokounmpo, I see Milwaukee possibly making it back to the NBA Finals and hopefully winning it as they did in 2021. 

Cleveland Cavaliers 

With a major trade in the offseason, the Cleveland Cavaliers have a great chance of making the playoffs. The Cavs acquired shooting guard Donovan Mitchell, from the Utah Jazz. This was a major trade for Cleveland because they desperately needed a shooting guard and a small forward. With Donovan Mitchell on the Cavs, their backcourt is pretty good, along with Colin Sexton. They also have Kevin Love, who can do anything at the center position such as getting points, rebounds, blocks, steals, and assists. 

Miami Heat 

Once again the Miami Heat are predicted to have another really good season. Although Miami did not make the Finals last season, a lot of people will not be surprised if they are in it this year. Miami did not make that many changes to the team over the off-season. Leading Miami are Jimmy Butler, Bam Adebayo, and veteran Kyler Lowry. Jimmy Butler is an all-around player who plays his heart out every game and would do anything to win. Bam Adebayo is another lockdown player in the league. Adebayo can grab rebounds and get blocks on probably every player in the league. Kyle Lowry is one of the best playmakers in the league. He always passes the ball to his teammates and is a great mentor for the younger players. I would not be surprised to see the Heat in the Finals this year.

Stephen Curry gets pumped in Game 4 of the NBA Finals from last year against the Boston Celtics after taking the lead down a big margin. (nba.com)

Golden State Warriors 

The Warriors are going back-to-back. Stephen Curry, Jordan Poole, Klay Thompson, Andrew Wiggins, and Draymond Green are going back-to-back. These were the Golden State Warriors starting five last year and starting this year as well. Steve Kerr, their head coach, is a top ten NBA coach of all time. Stephen Curry is the greatest shooter of all time. Klay Thompson is considered a top-ten SG. The Warriors are the best team in the league, with all of their shooters and ability. They have everything they need to win the NBA Finals for the second year in a row. I will not be shocked if the Warriors win the 2023 NBA Finals.

Los Angeles Lakers 

The Los Angeles Lakers are coming off a rough season, but have since proved that they have a chance of going back to the playoffs. Russell Westbrook, Lebron James, and Anthony Davis started building better and better chemistry over the offseason. However, Davis was injured for most of the season and Westbrook considerably had the worst season of his career. The Lakers started working together and I see them making a deep run in the playoffs.

Phoenix Suns 

The Suns are coming off a really satisfactory season. With almost making the NBA Finals, the Suns came just short of the Dallas Mavericks last season in the Conference Semifinals. Devin Booker and Chris Paul are ready to lead the team, hopefully to the NBA Finals again. Alongside Booker and Paul in the backcourt, they have a three-point shooter and insane dunker at SF Mikal Bridges. With the Suns’ excellent starting lineup and bench I see them making a serious run in this season’s playoffs. 

Dallas Mavericks

Luka Dončîć and the Dallas Mavericks are ready for another season. Dončîć is ready to bring the team back to the playoffs–but this time they are hoping for an NBA Finals appearance. The whole organization once again has faith in the Mavericks because of how good the team’s chemistry is. Alongside Dončîć, they have shooting guard Jalen Brunson who is a really good shooter. Brunson and Dončîć are a very good backcourt with a lot of potential. 

I think we are going to have another excellent NBA season once again. All teams, players, and fans are very excited to watch some tough competition all around the league.

Playoff Predictions: 

Eastern Conference:

Play in Tournament:

7 Seed Game:

(7) Brooklyn Nets vs (8) Charlotte Hornets – Nets win 112 – 98

9 vs 10 Seed Game:

(9) Washington Wizards vs (10) Toronto Raptors – Raptors win 94 – 87

8 Seed Game:

(8) Charlotte Hornets vs (10) Toronto Raptors – Hornets win 109 – 91

First Round:

(1) Milwaukee Bucks vs (8) Charlotte Hornets – Bucks in 4 

(4) Cleveland Cavaliers vs (5) Chicago Bulls – Cavs in 7

(3) Boston Celtics vs (6) Philadelphia 76ers – Celtics in 6

(2) Miami Heat vs (7) Brooklyn Nets – Heat in 6

Eastern Conference Semifinals:

(1) Milwaukee Bucks vs (4) Cleveland Cavaliers – Bucks in 5

(2) Miami Heat vs (3) Boston Celtics – Heat in 7

Eastern Conference Finals:

(1) Milwaukee Bucks vs (2) Miami Heat – Heat in 7

 

Western Conference:

Play in Tournament:

7 Seed Game:

(7) Los Angeles Clippers vs (8) San Antonio Spurs – Clippers win 101 – 96

9 vs 10 Seed Game:

(9) New Orleans Pelicans vs (10) Portland Trailblazers – Pelicans win 94 – 89

8 Seed Game:

(8) San Antonio Spurs vs (9) New Orleans Pelicans – Pelicans win 108 – 84

First Round:

(1) Golden State Warriors vs (8) New Orleans Pelicans – Warriors in 4

(4) Denver Nuggets vs (5) Dallas Mavericks – Mavs in 6

(3) Minnesota Timberwolves vs (6) Los Angeles Lakers – Lakers in 7

(2) Phoenix Suns vs (7) Los Angeles Clippers – Suns in 6

Western Conference Semifinals:

(1) Golden State Warriors vs (5) Dallas Mavericks – Warriors in 5

(2) Phoenix Suns vs (6) Los Angeles Lakers – Lakers in 6

Western Conference Finals:

(1) Golden State Warriors vs (6) Los Angeles Lakers – Warriors in 6 

 

NBA Finals:

(1) Golden State Warriors vs (2) Miami Heat – Warriors in 6 

Game 1: Miami Heat vs Golden State Warriors – Warriors win 118 -101

Game 2: Miami Heat vs Golden State Warriors – Warriors win 109 – 87

Game 3: Golden State Warriors vs Miami Heat – Heat win 99 – 98

Game 4: Golden State Warriors vs Miami Heat – Heat win 117 – 110

Game 5: Miami Heat vs Golden State Warriors – Warriors win 124 – 111

Game 6: Golden State Warriors vs Miami Heat – Warriors win 134 – 127 OT