End-Of-Season NBA Award Predictions

Reading Time: 8 minutes

Each year, all of the writers and talking heads out there tries to predict what will happen during the upcoming season. Sometimes they will nail their picks and then other times they will look like they had no clue.

It’s all a game of chance but it’s fun to see if you can be that guy to predict everything and then brag to your buddies. I’m going to take my stab at it and see if I can manage to nail at least a couple of these picks.

I’m going to list two runner-ups for each award and then give my prediction on who will take home the hardware.

Rookie of the Year

Runner-Up: Andrew Wiggins (Minnesota Timberwolves)

Wiggins was in the perfect situation when he was selected by the Cleveland Cavaliers back in June. As soon as LeBron signed on to play for the Cavs, it took the spotlight off of him. All he had to do was fit in with a championship contending team. Then came the Kevin Love trade.

Now he has the weight of the Minnesota Timberwolves on his shoulders. It is good that he has Kevin Martin to play with. It will take some of the scoring burden off of him. I don’t think he’s ready for the leading scorer role yet. He should pick up easy points on the fast break and play good defense. I expect to see him on SportsCenter’s Top Ten a few times.

Runner-Up: Elfrid Payton (Orlando Magic)

If nothing else, Payton wins the award for the best look. He has an awesome haircut, or lack of one. He will be running the point for the Magic from day one. He has a nice running mate in the backcourt in Victor Oladipo and a nice, athletic forward in Aaron Gordon. I expect to see some big-time alley-oops from the Payton-Gordon combo. He will play some solid defense and become a fan favorite quickly.

Jabari Parker
Jabari Parker

Winner: Jabari Parker (Milwaukee Bucks)

Jabari is going to be the man in Milwaukee this season. He was the most pro-ready prospect in the draft this season and should put up 18-20 PPG, as well as his fair share of rebounds. He will have some tough times ahead, like any rookie does, but will look like a seasoned vet more times than not. Jabari should have a long, successful career and be a multiple time All-Star.

Most Improved Player

Runner-Up: Steven Adams (Oklahoma City Thunder)

Adams has a style of play that seems to get under every opposing player’s skin. Oklahoma fans love him though. Last season he averaged only 3.3 PPG and 4.1 RPG in 14.8 MPG. He should see a big increase in playing time. I would be willing to bet that he ends up their starting center by December 1st. If it weren’t for him playing with so many scorers, I might have him winning this award. I could see him averaging 15 & 9 this year.

Runner-Up: Jared Sullinger (Boston Celtics)

Last season Sully started 44 of the 74 games he played in. He averaged 13.3 PPG and 8.8 RPG in 27.6 MPG in those games. This season he is the unquestioned starter at power forward. Boston needs some scoring from somewhere and I think Sullinger may get close to that 20 PPG mark. He has soft touch around the rim and he can step out beyond the arc. This should be a big year for him.

Trey Burke
Trey Burke

Winner: Trey Burke (Utah Jazz)

While I think the Utah Jazz will struggle as a team, I can see Burke putting up some big numbers individually. He averaged 12.8 PPG, 5.7 APG, 3.0 RPG and 1.9 TOPG last season.

He has a couple of good shooters next to him in Alec Burks and Gordon Hayward, plus a couple promising big men down low (Enes Kanter and Derrick Favors). He should be able to rack up a few assists and he keeps his turnovers down. He will be Utah’s second option after Hayward and I wouldn’t be surprised to see an 18 PPG, 8 APG, 4 RPG stat line from him.

Sixth Man of the Year

Runner-Up: Jamal Crawford (Los Angeles Clippers)

You can’t mention the Sixth Man award without mention 2-time winner Jamal Crawford (2010 & 2014). Crawford is always a spark plug off the bench, providing instant offense. He can fill it up faster than a gas station attendant. He averaged 18.6 PPG last year in mainly a reserve role. I don’t expect that to really change this season. Unless he gets injured, expect Crawford to get his.

Runner-Up: Tim Hardaway Jr. (New York Knicks)

I considered putting Hardaway Jr. on my list of runner-ups for Most Improved Player. Over the course of his rookie year in 2013-14, he averaged 10.2 PPG off the bench for the Knicks. He is coming into this season with his confidence high and a new dedication to defense. I think he received a little bit of that swagger from his pops. He will be a valuable reserve and I wouldn’t be surprised if he actually ends up starting over JR Smith at some point.

Isaiah Thomas
Isaiah Thomas

Winner: Isaiah Thomas (Phoenix Suns)

Thomas was DeMarcus Cousins running-mate in Sacramento last year. Relying on his speed, he averaged 20.3 PPG and 6.3 APG. When Phoenix came calling in free agency, he decided to make the jump to Arizona. Now he’s the third guard in a rotation with Goran Dragic and Eric Bledsoe. I think he will be a bolt of lightning coming off the pine and he will still manage to put together some big stats with this run n’ gun squad.

Coach of the Year

Runner-Up: Steve Clifford (Charlotte Hornets)

The buzz is back! Last year’s Bobcats finally got to the postseason behind Al Jefferson and Kemba Walker. This offseason they decided to rebrand and also acquired Lance Stephenson from the Pacers. After the changes, I believe this team will make the next step and finish as a top four seed in the East. Clifford’s name will be in the discussion considering the turnaround they’ve had.

Runner-Up: Terry Stotts (Portland Trailblazers)

Portland made a jump last season from the lottery to the playoffs. They even won their first playoff series in 14 years thanks to some huge games from LaMarcus Aldridge and a historic game winning shot in Game 6 courtesy of Damian Lillard. Portland has a chance to continue that success and win the Northwest Division this year. Terry Stotts runs a free wheeling offense with an emphasis on three-pointers. Portland has the shooters.

Stan Van Gundy
Stan Van Gundy

Winner: Stan Van Gundy (Detroit Pistons)

Stan Van Gundy has always been an underrated coach in my opinion. Even back in his days with the Miami Heat. If anybody can get Detroit to play the right way, Van Gundy is the man. He made a trip to the Finals with a rebounding/defensive center from when he coached Dwight Howard. Now he has the best center prospect in the NBA with Andre Drummond. Josh Smith can fill up the box score when he’s playing within the offense and Brandon Jennings is capable of big scoring nights. Greg Monroe is a big man I like because of his passing. This team will be in the playoffs thanks to SVG.

Most Valuable Player

Runner-Up: Stephen Curry (Golden State Warriors)

Steph Curry is the best pure shooter in the NBA today. Last year stats were 24.0 PPG, 8.5 APG and 4.3 RPG. He shot 47% from the field and 42% from three last season. There is no one like Curry when his shot is falling. Every season he continues to get better and that shouldn’t change yet (he is only 26 years old). Steve Kerr knows all about three-point shooting and he will know where his bread is buttered.

Runner-Up: Anthony Davis (New Orleans Pelicans)

This kid continues to improve at an alarming rate. Five years ago he was an unknown guard playing in Chicago and now he is as tall as the Windy City’s Sears Tower and maybe the best big man in the NBA. He is a tall, lanky forward with the biggest defensive presence you can find in the league. Last season, in his sophomore campaign, he put up 20.8 PPG, 10.0 RPG, 2.8 BPG and 1.3 SPG. Expect those numbers to increase across the board. Fear the brow!

LeBron James
LeBron James

Winner: LeBron James (Cleveland Cavaliers)

After four years in Miami, LeBron James found his way home. He must have skin as thick as a rhinoceros after putting up with the criticism he received in South Beach. Now he has two rings and he is still the king. Shrewdly, he upgraded his situation this offseason. He gets to play with one of the league’s best rebounders in Kevin Love and a young All-Star point guard in Kyrie Irving. A couple of old teammates with shooting ability followed (James Jones and Mike Miller). I’m sure by the time the All-Star Break is here, Ray Allen will be looking for a pen to sign a contract. Expect the typical 28/7/7 season from LeBron, which will be enough for MVP now that Kevin Durant is going to miss the first chunk of the season.

Western Conference Finals Prediction

Oklahoma City Thunder over Portland Trailblazers

This was probably the hardest pick I had to make out of all these. The Portland Trailblazers, Oklahoma City Thunder, Los Angeles Clippers, San Antonio Spurs and Golden State Warriors were the teams I considered.

The Spurs are the easy pick. Go look at all of the other prediction articles. Probably 75% of them are picking San Antonio. I know the argument that they are old seems to be outdated since they prove everyone wrong year in-year out. If you really think about it, how many teams have made three straight Finals appearances? Not very many. It takes a lot out of the players to go to three consecutive Finals. I am canceling them out.

Until Chris Paul proves me otherwise, I am not choosing him to go to the Finals. He has never made it out of the second round.

Golden State and Portland are similar. They both rely on the outside shot to win games. If either gets hot, they can make a real run. I chose Portland over the Golden State because the Blazers have one of the best starting lineups one through five in the league (Damian Lillard, Wesley Matthews, Nicolas Batum, LaMarcus Aldridge and Robin Lopez).

The only knock against the Blazers is their bench, however, it should be much improved. CJ McCollum, Thomas Robinson and Meyers Leonard are all former lottery picks. They have also added Steve Blake and Chris Kaman.

I chose the Thunder because they are proven winners (2011 Western Conference Champions) and Kevin Durant is one of the two best players in the league. As long as he heals up, I expect them to make a push. Steven Adams will make his mark in the lineup and give the Thunder something they didn’t have with Kendrick Perkins; two athletic bigs. In the end experience wins out in a Northwest Division matchup.

Eastern Conference Finals Prediction

Cleveland Cavaliers over Washington Wizards

This pick was much easier to make. I considered Cleveland, Washington, Chicago Bulls and Miami Heat.

I can’t trust Chicago to make a playoff run right now, not until I see Derrick Rose play an entire season. I hope he comes back and is close to the same player but seeing is believing.

The Heat just aren’t deep enough. I believe that’s one of the reasons that LeBron chose to leave. He could see the writing on the wall in Miami. Luol Deng and Josh McRoberts are nice pickups but that’s not enough.

I am a big fan of John Wall and Bradley Beal. I think they will be one of the best backcourts in the NBA for the next ten years. Washington also has proven winner Paul Pierce. He may not be the same player he once was, but he will provide some leadership. Marcin Gortat and Nene are two valuable posts.

Cleveland is clearly stacked. It would really shock me if this team doesn’t end up in the Finals. It should be 5 straight trips for LeBron James.

NBA Finals Prediction

Cleveland Cavaliers over Oklahoma City Thunder

Everyone gets to watch a rematch of 2011 between LeBron James and Kevin Durant. This series would have major star power and would be entertaining. It would also have to better than last years considering how underwhelming that series was. Cleveland wins it all and Durant’s quest for a ring continues.

a07975a7aafa4a137b8a2166456700eb?s=117&d=mm&r=g
Chris Kirby
Die hard NBA fan from Forest Grove, OR. Now living in Pasadena, MD. My loyalty starts and ends with the Portland Trailblazers. RIP CITY.
Subscribe
Notify of
guest
0 Comments
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

Muhammad Ali: 15 Career Defining Rounds

Muhammad Ali fought 548 Professional Rounds against 50 different men across a span of 61 fights, 13 countries, four continents and 21 years. 27 of Muhammad’s fights were scheduled for the 15 round Championship distance, so in this blog I will cover the 15 defining rounds of The Greatest’s career. Muhammad Ali and Joe Louis are the only fighters in history to win The Ring Magazine Fighter of the Year on more than three occasions,...

Sports as We Know It May Never Look the Same Again

This lockdown has given us so many of the bad things we never really thought we'd see: widespread job loss, rampant hospitalization and deaths, and the major, sticking-out-like-a-sore-thumb kind of problems in society. But, if there's something that everyone felt, it's the loss of sports. Many people said that sports is only important to sports fans, but it's becoming more evident that the purpose of sports isn't just exclusively athletic. Now, it seems like...

MLB: End Of Season Award Show 2 Cy Youngs, 2 Rookie of the Years and More!

The 2020 MLB regular season has come to an end, and with it comes playoff brackets, predictions, debates and discussions. However, we are going to save playoff predictions for another article. In this article we are going to talk about End of Season awards. Wo deserves the Cy Young awards?, Rookie of the Year? Most Valuable Player??? All of these questions and more will be answered. These are my opinions after watching the games,...

When It Comes To Israel Adesanya – Believe The Hype

If you've ever had the privilege of watching Israel Adesanya fight, you know that he is the perfect example of handcrafted precision. In his most recent fight, so many people felt this would be the fight that would finally DE-thrown the champ.  They felt Paulo Costa had the advantage because of his size, his strength and his overall power. If you've seen Costa, you know he's like a modern day Hercules. Costa's punches are explosive and...

2020 NBA Finals: A Champion Will Be Crowned

The stage is set. After a few short months that involved an eight game restart season and a very unique postseason,  the Los Angeles Lakers and the Miami Heat will face each other for the first time in the NBA Finals. There are a lot of storylines that will unfold during the duration of the Finals, but the main storyline will have to be LeBron James facing the team that helped him win two championships....

Memorable Test Match Innings: Kevin Pietersen at the Oval 15 years on

“I saw this innings via a social distancing gap between myself and the television. To truly have the visceral thrill of Pietersen’s 158, you needed to be at The Oval on 12 September 2005.” “Just because I've got a stupid haircut or diamond earrings, it's not going to make me cover drive a ball any differently.” Kevin Pietersen arrived on the international scene in full technicolour. In early 2005, KP entered the lion’s den of his...

Tewatia plays blinder as Rajasthan chase historic total to beat KXIP

Rahul Tewatia hit 5 sixes in an over as Rajasthan Royals chased down the highest score in Indian Premier League history to beat Kings XI Punjab by four wickets on Sunday. Tewatia hit Sheldon Cottrell for five sixes in the 18th over and added another six of the next ball he faced as Rajasthan chased down 224. Jofra Archer hit 13 from 3 balls to see the side home. Rajasthan beat their own record – they...

NRL Finals Loom as Regular Season Concludes

The first fixtures of the National Rugby League's finals series are locked in after the final round of the regular season came to an end today. The Competitors While Penrith Panthers had already secured the minor premiership and the top eight were determined two rounds ago, some key positions were still open and the race for those positions made for some entertaining footy. The Newcastle Knights failed to hold sixth place, going down on Friday to a...

Russian GP – Race Preview

Russian Grand Prix can be a boring race so let's hope this race gets off to a great start. The only memory I have of the Russian GP is Valtteri Bottas letting Lewis Hamilton win. Last race at Mugello was an exciting race. With two red flags and one horrible crash. And Ferrari 1000 celebration wasn't the best either, but that might be because of the strict rules now during COVID 19. So I am happy...

Benny Leonard: Always A Champion

If you sat down with a group of boxing fans under the age of say, 50, and began to talk about whether Benny Leonard really is a Top-10 all-time fighter, you'd probably have a cacophony of voices barking at you about how great "Sugar" Ray really was. Tell them you were talking about Benny Leonard though, and you might hear a lot of "Who's that?" from the same group. But Benny Leonard most definitely belongs...

Social Connect

1,185FansLike
3,754FollowersFollow

Trending Now

AFL Finals Locked In

This weekend's results conclude the heavily disrupted Australian Football League regular season, turning attention towards the Finals series in October. Across 18 rounds spanning six...
Do NOT follow this link or you will be banned from the site!
0
Would love your thoughts, please comment.x
()
x