NBA Season So Far
With more than one-fourth of the season already passing by, now is the time to talk about what teams have been playing well and who the MVP candidates have been so far. To no surprise, the Warriors are playing very well. Even though Steph Curry was sidelined with an early season injury for a period of ten games, the Warriors struggled but managed without the two-time MVP. However, teams such as the Clippers and the Grizzlies have surprised everyone and are currently sitting at the top of the Western Conference. Also in the West, teams such as the Mavericks have caught fire as of late and are in playoff contention. Along with these teams, the Lakers led by Lebron James have surprised many with their current record. As of today, the Lakers stand only a mere two games behind last years champions. Lebron James continues to impress even at the age of thirty three by averaging 28 points, 8 rebounds, and 7 assists per game and is leading the young Lakers. Unlike these teams, multiple teams are also struggling. To a lot of people’s surprise, the Spurs are currently out of playoff contention and have a terrible record of 11 wins and 14 losses.
In the Eastern conference, the Raptors stand at the top with the best record in the NBA. Kawhi Leonard seems to be back and is playing better than he ever has. Right behind them are the Milwaukee Bucks, led by Giannis Antetokounmpo, who is having his best season and is a current MVP candidate. In the third spot, the 76ers are climbing the rankings and are having a great season as well. By trading for JImmy Butler, the 76ers now not only have a third option, they also have a veteran presence and one of the best wing defenders in the NBA. Teams such as the Pistons are surprising us and are in the fourth spot in the competitive Eastern Conference.
Besides team records, predictions for awards such as MVP and Rookie of the Year are also what I want to talk about. This year, the favorites to win Rookie of the Year are going to be the first pick Deandre Ayton, the third pick Luka Doncic and the fifth pick, Trae Young. With all three of these players, they will have the most opportunity to score because they are on bad teams with no stars. As for the Most Improved Player, my top three picks are Brandon Ingram, Zach Lavine and Jamal Murray. With Zach Lavine, he has a lot to prove coming off of an ACL injury. Also, Zach Lavine will be given lots of opportunities to score because he plays on the Chicago Bulls who are still looking for their star. With Brandon Ingram and Jamal Murray, they will need to help push their teams to make the playoffs while also being the second best player on each of their teams. For the Defensive Player of the Year, my top three picks are Joel Embiid, Rudy Gobert and Anthony Davis. With all three of these players, they averaged over two blocks last season and were the anchors for their teams defensively. Finally, for the MVP, my top three picks are LeBron James, Anthony Davis and Kawhi Leonard. Kawhi Leonard will need to show he’s still a top five player and prove that he was worth trading for Demar Derozan. As for Anthony Davis, the most difficult part for him won’t be putting up numbers, it will be having his team be a top five seed in the west. Finally, LeBron James has a great opportunity to win MVP this season. If LeBron produces the stats he always has and leads the Lakers to be contenders, there is no doubt that he will be the favorite to win his fifth MVP at the age of 34.
While these are my predictions, I wanted to ask the opinions of students at Terra Linda High School. Sev Gallegos, a big basketball fan and senior at TL stated,” I’m sick of the same teams winning. This year in the finals, I believe the Celtics and Lakers are going to meet and the Lakers are going to win 100%.” Sev also said that this year, “the Warriors are about to not do so well because they don’t have that hunger as they did before. I feel like they are almost tired of always winning and will get in their own way.” When discussing the topic of MVP, Sev said,” I want to say Lebron will win but, the NBA won’t give it to him because if they did, he would win every year.” Surprisingly, his actual pick was someone that I never expected. “For my actual pick, I think Aron Baynes– I love his hair.” In addition to his predictions, I also asked him who is favorite team and player is. Sev replied,” My favorite team is the Celtics and my favorite player is Timofey Mozgov.”
On the other hand, the other senior I interviewed, Joshua Quintero, a former Terra Linda High School basketball player and current captain of the track and field team, had some differing ideas. While he was also bored of watching the same team win saying, “ I hate to see a one-sided game”, he thinks that while the Lakers do have LeBron and a lot of talent, “The Lakers don’t have that chemistry yet”, which is the reason he thinks the Warriors will three peat. When asking him about his dark horse to win, Josh gave me a very uncommon answer saying, “The Pelicans are my dark horse to win cause Anthony Davis is a beast. He deserves a ring.” Asked about his favorite team and player, Josh asserts, “My favorite player and the person I think will win MVP is Demar Derozan,” . However, asked about his favorite team, he enlightened me once again: “I don’t have a favorite, I look at players. They’re not objects, they’re people.”
While the favorites to win the championship seem to be the Warriors once again, teams such as the Lakers, Rockets, Celtics, Raptors, and the 76ers are going to be in tight competition to try and dethrone them. Who will you be rooting for this season?
Feel free to leave your predictions in the comments below!