By Eric Vallen
So far, the present NBA season has been full of surprises, with teams like the Timberwolves, Hornets, Wizards, and Grizzlies managing to take playoff spots as of December 1st. Furthermore, several teams have had worrying drop offs, like the Trail Blazers, 76ers, and Bucks. This is a severely unusual season, and in many player’s opinions, one of the hardest. With the postponement of the 2020 season in March of last year, players were subjected to three months without professional training, and more importantly, rehabilitation. When the ended after a bubble period in October, players were then only given two months of an offseason. The 2021 season ended in July, and started up again on October 19th. Through the past two years, players have had extremely short offseasons, and lackluster access to rehab facilities, leading to the state of the NBA we see today. Now, with context, it’s time for the hot takes
- Kevin Durant will win MVP
- The Boston Celtics will collapse, Jaylen Brown will be traded, and they will be the 14 seed
- The Golden State Warriors will coast to the Finals, going 68-14 on the season
- Draymond Green will receive his second Defensive Player of the Year award
- The Pelicans will severely underperform when Zion Williamson returns.
- Timberwolves shooting guard Anthony Edwards will receive the Most Improved Player award
- Just before the All-Star break, Kings star point guard De’Aaron Fox will request a trade
- Spurs head coach Greg Popovich will retire after the team receives a sub 12 seed on the season
- Lebron James will sustain a season-ending injury, and the Lakers will fall out of the play in
- The Chicago Bulls will attain the number 1 seed in the east, behind a scoring champion season from Demar Derozan
- Thunder rookie forward Josh Giddey will play a key role in the team achieving a 10 seed, subsequently winning rookie of the year.
- The Phoenix Suns will lose in the first round, spurring Chris Paul to retire
- The New York Knicks will achieve a three seed behind a vintage Derrick Rose second half of the season
- Cavaliers shooting guard Darius Garland will establish himself as a star, leading the team to the 6 seed.
- The Atlanta Hawks will achieve the fourth seed, but will be swept in embarrassing fashion by the Chicago Bulls, spurring trade rumors for star point guard Trae Young.
Of course, I’m no prophet. However, I wouldn’t underestimate the NBA. An entire season can change in a single quarter, be it from injury, severe losses, etc, and given this fact, you really cant rule anything out from occurring during a season. Even in light of that fact, these predictions are mostly realistic, be on the lookout for them happening in a few months.