By Wyatt B. & Kabir C.
The NBA Playoffs are just around the corner, but this year’s contenders look a lot different. The developing, young stars are taking over the East, while LeBron took his talents to Los Angeles to challenge the defending champ Golden State Warriors. Last offseason, the Toronto Raptors traded for superstar Kawhi Leonard. Their goal was to get a star in order to contend for a championship. The talented 76ers traded part of their young core for the superstar Jimmy Butler. So far, he has been a terrific addition to that young locker room.
Will LeBron finally dethrone the Warriors after his move to the West? Do the 76ers have enough talent to finally get past the Celtics? Just like most predictions, the answers may surprise you.
Milwaukee Bucks: Milwaukee made a bold pick in 2013 after drafting a Greek forward by the name of Giannis Antetokounmpo. Giannis is a freak of nature who uses his length and speed to score the ball. Since then, the Bucks have surrounded Giannis with shooters and good defenders who can let him make plays with the ball which is the reason why Milwaukee is winning games.
Toronto Raptors: The Raptors made huge news this year after trading their most loyal player in Demar DeRozan this year for megastar Kawhi Leonard. Kawhi is a very talented player who can make his impact on all sides of the floor.
Philadelphia 76ers: Philly acquired Jimmy Butler earlier this season, and have risen in the NBA ranks since. Ben Simmons and Joel Embiid have proved to all the haters that they can win games and work with Jimmy. Philadelphia has become one of the most feared teams in the NBA.
Boston Celtics: Regardless of the Kyrie Irving rumors, Boston has still managed to stay top 4 in the East. Their young superstar, Jayson Tatum, has had a large role in success. He has carried them most of the year
New York Nets: D’Angelo Russell has changed from a young rookie in LA to a full-on star that can take over games. He is bringing Brooklyn to the playoffs for the first time in 5 years.
Detroit Pistons: ThePistons led by Blake Griffin have cruised there way back into the playoffs because of their old school inside post offense that teams nowadays aren’t built to guard.
Miami Heat: The Heat are back in the playoffs because of the depth of their bench and their intimidating defense.
Charlotte Hornets: All-star starter Kemba Walker has been carrying the dysfunctional team in Charlotte for 6 years and finally, it has paid off. Kemba has been producing historic numbers accounting for 45 of Charlotte’s 100 points/game.
Golden State Warriors: It’s very easy to pick the Warriors in this situation because they are working like a well-oiled machine and have 5 all-stars that can take over a game at any moment in time.
Denver Nuggets: The Nuggets have taken the next step this season and have taken down the best of NBA teams. Their 3pt shooting and lockdown defense is the reason they are ahead of the rest.
Oklahoma City Thunder: The Thunder have surprisingly played even better than the expected because they managed to resign star Paul George which is the reason why they are winning quite a lot of games this year.
Houston Rockets: James Harden is putting up Hall Of Fame numbers by nearly averaging 40 points in the month December. Harden is constantly putting up big numbers and is
Los Angeles Lakers: The Lakers made the ultimate move this offseason by signing LeBron James, arguably the best player in the league history. Him being on the team alone is the reason the Lakers are back in the playoffs.
Portland Trail Blazers: Portland’s dynamic duo of Damian Lillard and CJ McCollum is too much to handle when they are at home.
San Antonio Spurs: Regardless of losing Kawhi, San Antonio will be back in the playoffs for the 21st year in a row.
Sacramento Kings: The Kings have the youngest team in the NBA and will definitely become a dynasty in the upcoming years.
Bucks over Hornets Warriors over Kings
Raptors over Heat Spurs over Nuggets
76ers over Pistons Thunder over Blazers
Nets over Celtics Lakers over Rockets
Bucks over Nets Warriors over Spurs
Raptors over 76ers Lakers over Thunder
Raptors over Bucks Warriors over Lakers
Game 1: Warriors
Game 2: Warriors
Game 3: Raptors
Game 4: Raptors
Game 5: Raptors
Game 6: Warriors
Game 7: Raptors
The Raptors will win their first championship after the moves to trade for Kawhi Leonard and Marc Gasol. They have an amazing offense and a shutdown defense that will cause other teams to crumble.
Most Valuable Player – James Harden
Runner up – Giannis Antetokounmpo
Rookie of the year – Luka Doncic
Runner up – Trae Young
Defensive Player of the year – Myles Turner
Runner up – Rudy Gobert
Most improved player – D’Angelo Russell
6th man of the year – Spencer Dinwiddie
Runner up – Pascal Siakam
Runner up – Dennis Schröder
Coach of the year – Mike Budenholzer
Runner up – Nick Nurse
NBA Basketball Executive of the Year – Rob Pelinka
Runner up – Elton Brand
NBA Sportsmanship Award – Kemba Walker
Runner up – Dwyane Wade
#Best Style – Russell Westbrook
Runner up – Kyle Kuzma