NBA Predictions 2018-2019 Season
The NBA season is right around the corner. Fans are already betting on the 2018-19 season. Before fans begin betting on any team, it is important to know the facts and know the latest predictions. The team I predict to have the best record this regular season is the Boston Celtics. Boston’s young squad was specular last playoffs and they are adding a healthy Kyrie Irving, possibly Gordon Hayward, and new draft picks. In the playoffs, as a back-court, Terry Rozier and Jalen Brown outperformed every other back-court they played in the playoffs. The Celtics are the closet team to competing with the Golden State Warriors. And with the East losing Lebron, Boston will have no resistance in the eastern conference.
Without Lebron, the Cleveland Cavaliers will likely have the worst record in the east conference. This should give a boost to teams under 500 teams because these teams typically lose 3 to 4 games to the Cavs during the regular season. Moreover, with the Wizards getting rid of Marcin Gortat it has relieved some tension in the Wizards locker room and that coupled with adding talents such as Austin Rivers and Dwight Howard means the Wizards are going to have a fundamental season. And While Toronto’s core of young players remain on the team, it is going to take a while for Kawahi Leonard to get used to playing in that system. Toronto should under-performed this regular season. However, this playoffs, I expect the Raptors to make a run because how well Kawahi plays in the playoffs. Kawahi Leonard performs better in the playoffs than the regular season.
Detroit has had added Dwayne Casey and with Blake Griffin getting acclimated to the team, Detroit should have a very nice season. Moreover, with the Cavs out of the playoff picture, Detroit should make the playoffs.
Projected win totals for Eastern Conference teams:
Boston Celtics: 60
Philadelphia 76ers: 57
Toronto Raptors: 55
Washington Wizards: 47
Milwaukee Bucks: 43
Indiana Pacers: 42
Detroit Pistons: 41
Miami Heat: 40
New York Knicks: 35
Charlotte Hornets: 34
Chicago Bulls: 32
Brooklyn Nets: 31
Orlando Magic: 30
Atlanta Hawks: 27
Cleveland Cavaliers: 15
However, Vegas has Golden State with the best record this season and easily winning the NBA championship next year. While Golden State is still by far the best team in the league, it has cut lose much of its bench loose to make cap space to pay its starting lineup. Moreover, with Boogie out till the off-season and no center, they will likely not win 62 games as predicts. In the West, the Pelicans had an amazing playoff run this season and even swept Portland. This team added Julius Randle and is poised to make a run this season. Last season, Denver was an inch from making the playoffs and with Nikola Jokić maturing and Denver adding Michael Porter Jr and Isiah Thomas, Denver will be even more competitive and likely be better than Portland or the Timberwolves. And while the Rockets will inevitably sign Carmelo Anthony, they lost substantially on the defensive end by losing Trevor Ariza. Moreover, Chris Paul was injured in the Western Conference finals and the other Rockets players like PJ Tucker, Eric Gordon, and Jeff Green are aging. The Rockets are not likely to have as competitive a season as they did last year during the regular season. OKC by cutting lose Carmelo Anthony have improved defensively and they have added a young talent in Dennis Schröder. This will allow Russel Westbrook and Paul George to get more offensive looks. OKC’s roster of Russel Westbrook, Paul George, Steven Adams, and Dennis Schroder is a very competitive starting lineup. I also expect Dallas to make a run this regular season. Dallas added Deandre Jordan and Luka Doncic this off season. And last season Dennis Smith Jr had a fundamental rookie season and will likely play better this season.If Dallas were in the East conference, they could likely make the playoffs.
Projected win totals for Western Conference teams:
Golden State: 60
New Orleans Pelicans: 53
Minn Timberwolves: 42
Phoenix Suns: 29
Memphis Grizzlies: 25
Sacramento Kings: 21
In the west, Anthony Davis and Donvan Mitchell are going to have break out seasons this year. If Anthony Davis plays anything like he did in the playoffs, he will easily take MVP this year(with Lebron at second). Anthony Davis averaged 30.1 PPG and 13.4 RPG this off season and took the Pelicans to the Western Conference semi-finals. In the Western Conference Semi-finals against the Golden State warriors, Anthony Davis lead the series in points, rebounds, and blocks. Anthony Davis came in 3rd in the MVP vote count, however, last season it was James Harden’s year. Anthony Davis will likely have better numbers than Lebron and the Pelicans will have a better regular season record than the Lakers. Lebron because he is playing with more talent this season and great play-makers such as Rondo and Lonzo Ball, he will see a dip statistically. Making a better case for Anthony Davis to win MVP. This year, the MVP race is wide open and Anthony Davis will likely continue to dominate and get his first MVP. And with Lebron out of the East, Joel Embiid, Giannis Antetokounmpo, and Ben Simmons are going to be to really showcase their talents and will likely have great seasons.
MVP: Anthony Davis
Defensive Player of the year: Joel Embiid
Rookie of the Year: Deandre Ayton
Most Improved Player: Nikola Jokic
Coach of the Year: Brad Stevens
6th man of the year: Austin Rivers
Executive of the Year: Magic Johnson
Individual statistical leaders
Points Per Game: Anthony Davis
Rebounding Leader: Clint Capela
Assist Leader: Russell Westbrook
Blocks Leader: Anthony Davis
Steals leader: Victor Oladipo
Minutes Per game: Lebron James
NBA playoffs teams:
Eastern Conference Playoff teams: Boston, 76ers, Toronto, Wizards, Bucks, Pacers, Heat, Pistons.
Western Conference Playoff Teams: Golden State, Rockets, Pelicans, Jazz, Spurs, Lakers, Denver.
In the finals, I see Golden State and Boston, with Golden State nearly sweeping Boston.