There sure are a lot of questions circulating around the NBA as of late, as the league has changed a lot since last season. Every NBA fan is extremely excited for the upcoming year, as there are a lot of story lines people are going to be following. Whether it's how a rookie will perform in the league to how the Warriors will fare with Kevin Durant, there is going to be a lot of interesting games this season.
Free-agency has also been very intriguing, and the big moves made in this year's offseason can lead to some seriously bold predictions. One prediction that you will notice is omitted from this list is whether the Cleveland Cavaliers will be NBA Champions. While there is a good chance that this will happen, it's too cheap of a prediction to call a "bold prediction."
In this article, I will be listing 15 bold predictions for the upcoming NBA season. From how a player will do with their new team to what team will win take home the championship, hopefully you will gain some insight on how the upcoming season will turn out.
As always, feel free to leave any comments you have on this matter, as we would love to hear your thoughts on this upcoming season.
Here are the top 15 bold predictions for the upcoming 2016-17 NBA season.
Even with their addition of Kevin Durant this offseason, the Warriors will not break their own record of 73-9 this year. The Warriors will be working out a lot of kinks throughout this season, which will most likely mean some more losses than expected this year, particularly early on. While the Warriors will have their chemistry questions resolved by the end of the season, the first couple of months of playing together will be spent trying to find a balance between all of the great players on the team. There is only one ball on the court, and there is going to be a lot of possessions spent on finding the Warriors' ideal game style.
While players such as Ben Simmons or Brandon Ingram are the front-runners to win the Rookie of the Year award, Kris Dunn of the Minnesota Timberwolves will have the most successful rookie season. Being selected with the 5th pick, Kris Dunn is the best point-guard in the draft, and his showing at the NBA Summer League was impressive to say the least. Despite scouts saying otherwise, Dunn shot the three very well and definitely has the athleticism to compete in the NBA. Kris Dunn will be joining the perfect situation for him in Minnesota, as the young team will be a fast paced squad, which compliments Dunn's play-style nicely.
The Thunder are in a much different situation now than they were with Durant, as they went from a championship contender to a middle of the pack team. Russell Westbrook will most likely test his value in free agency after the season, so if the Thunder don't trade Russell for some assets, they will lose him for nothing. A few teams have apparently gone after the superstar, but as of now, it appears he will be playing for OKC.
While many people believe the Timberwolves will be a dominant force in the league in a few years, the T-Wolves could actually do some damage this year. While all of their young pieces may confuse some people into thinking they are still rebuilding, the Timberwolves will actually make the playoffs this year. The Timberwolves acquisition of Kris Dunn with their 5th overall draft pick this season may have already given them one of the most talented point-guards in the league. Karl Anthony-Towns and Andrew Wiggins have both proven their talent in the league with successful starts to their young careers, which means the Timberwolves may just be primed for a playoff appearance this season.
5 Warriors DON'T Win The Championship
There are a few reasons for why I believe the Warriors, even with Kevin Durant, will not take home the title this season. Nothing is given in the NBA, and each team the Warriors face will be hungry to beat them, as they will be getting each team's best effort every night. Even though they have one of the best starting lineups in the league, they will be susceptible to losing to many teams in the league. The Warriors' talent is just too great for them to not make the playoffs this year, but I do believe that the problems they will have with too many stars on the court at once will end up costing them a playoff series, whether it be in the NBA Finals or not.
4 Damian Lillard Wins Most Valuable Player
Damian Lillard is arguably one of the most valuable players on this team, as Lillard's performance is vital to the success of the Trail Blazers. Lillard was somehow not selected as an all-star last season, even though his skill and stats spoke for themselves. Damian Lillard is in the perfect position to win M.V.P this season, as he is the primary scorer and by far the best player on his team. I definitely think the award of Most Valuable Player should go to a player like Lillard, and not to a player whose team could still compete without them, like Stephen Curry or LeBron James.
3 Ivica Zubac Makes All-Rookie First Team
2 Pacers Win Over 55 Games
1 Spurs Win NBA Championship
You asked for bold, and you definitely got it with this one. The Spurs' addition of Pau Gasol this offseason was a big win for San Antonio, as they now have one of the best front courts in the league with Aldridge and Gasol. While Tim Duncan will be missed this upcoming season, his skills haven't been the same in years, and Gasol will be more valuable to the team. Kawhi Leonard is also one of the best defensive players in the league, and the Spurs still have one of the deepest benches in the NBA. Gregg Popovich is one of the greatest minds in basketball history, and we all know he will end up cooking up something interesting to contain the shooters on the Warriors. Most likely facing the Cavaliers in the championship, the Spurs will ultimately take home the title for the 6th time since the team's establishment in 1967.
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