2021-2022 Preseason NBA Predictions

The NBA season is fast approaching and now is the time to make hasty predictions for the upcoming season. The offseason had moves that shook up the NBA from the Bulls, Heat, and Lakers adding superstars, to solid teams such as the Nets adding veteran role players. Let’s take a look at some predictions for the upcoming NBA season. 

Award Races

MVP: Stephen Curry. Fresh off of averaging 32 points, 6 assists, and 5.5 rebounds, Curry is poised to have another breakout season. He was 3rd in MVP voting despite being the 9th seed in the West, and went on a historic run in April, averaging 37.3 pts, 5 assists and 6 rebounds on 52% shooting. With Vegas odds of +900 to win MVP, expect a historic season by the baby-faced assassin, with Kevin Durant a close runner up for the award.

ROTY: Jalen Green. While many fans say Cade Cunningham may win Rookie of the Year, Jalen Green is going largely unnoticed as the 2nd overall pick. He’s now one of the few scoring options in Houston with the recent news of a John Wall trade. He averaged 18 points, 4 rebounds, and 3 assists in the G-League, and he has the skill to replicate it in his debut season. With high Vegas odds, expect Green to take the award with Cunningham a close second.

DPOY: Giannis Antetoukounmpo. With +800 odds of snagging the award and fresh off a dominant Finals performance and NBA championship, Giannis is poised to be a dominant defensive force. Averaging a steal and a block per game last year, his numbers will skyrocket with his size and dominance. Expect Rudy Gobert to place second in the race.

MIP: Shai Gilgeous-Alexander. SGA is the only scoring option for the rebuilding OKC Thunder. Last season he averaged 24 points, 5 rebounds, and 6 assists, but was injured for most of the season. Vegas has him as the winner and I agree, with Michael Porter Jr. being a close second.

The Top 5 teams in the Western Conference

Here are my predictions for the top 5 teams in the Western Conference:

  1. Los Angeles Lakers: With an already dominant Big 2 of AD and Lebron, the Lakers added former MVP Russell Westbrook and a plethora of veterans for their bench. While they had to give up their young core, the Lakers are in full win now mode, and expect them to show it this regular season.
  2. Utah Jazz: A top seed in the heavily contested West last year, they bowed out in the second round of the postseason. They made no major moves this offseason, but a former number one seed will definitely be in the top 3 this year.
  3. Phoenix Suns: The Cinderella story of this decade, the suns reached the NBA Finals last season, before bowing out to Giannis and the Bucks. They re-signed Chris Paul this year, and managed to keep all of their talent for a run-it-back season. Expect them to drop slightly in the standings from last year, but remain a solid contender in the West.
  4. Golden State Warriors: The Warriors finally have a healthy big 3 in Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson, and Draymond Green. They have two lottery picks in Jonathan Kuminga and Moses Moody, a number two overall pick in James Wiseman, and a great wing guard in Andrew Wiggins. Don’t forget their veteran leadership in Andre Iguodala and yet another good pick up in Otto Porter Jr. Dub Nation is back.
  5. Dallas Mavericks: In my opinion, Luka Doncic will be top 3 in MVP voting next year. Averaging 28 points last season, with solid players around him in Kristaps Porzingis and Tim Hardaway Jr., expect them to finally beat the Clippers(without Kawhi) and advance into the postseason as the  5th seed.

The Top 5 teams in the Eastern Conference

Here are my predictions for the top 5 teams in the Eastern Conference:

  1. Brooklyn Nets: Nothing needs to be said about this team. They have an amazing Big 3 in KD, Kyrie Irving, and James Harden. They only got better during the offseason by adding Patty Mills and Lamarcus Aldridge. It’s not easy to bet against this team, and expect them to be the number one seed in the talented East.
  2. Milwaukee Bucks: The reigning champions, the Milwaukee Bucks, have a future top 20 player of all time in Giannis, in his prime, along with stars in Khris Middleton and Jrue Holiday. With a good supporting cast around him and coming off a championship and sustaining minimal losses, don’t count out the champions.
  3. Miami Heat: The Heat are coming off an embarrassing first round sweep to the Bucks, but they made many offseason moves in adding Victor Oladipo and Kyle Lowry. They’re ready to face the Bucks and the rest of the league, and will be the third seed in the East.
  4. Philadelphia 76ers: Ben Simmons wants out, and the 76ers want a king’s ransom for him, but they do have the MVP runner up in Joel Embiid, and a decent supporting cast. This is the one team on the list I may be overestimating, but one of the top seeds in the East seems very attainable for the Sixers.
  5. Chicago Bulls. The Bulls have drifted into mediocrity after D-Rose’s tragic injury. They FINALLY have a solid lineup. With former All-Stars and a strong supporting cast the Bulls are ready to be back in the playoff picture, and expect them to be the 5th seed in the East.

Those were my predictions on the NBA season for 2021-2022. I think the Brooklyn Nets are going to win the championship, after defeating the Golden State Warriors in the Finals in 6 games.