Mavs World Ep. 30 covers my predictions for the Eastern and Western conference predictions for seedings, playoffs, and player awards for this upcoming season.
Download this episode (right click and save)
To recap, player awards:
MVP: LeBron James (if he wants to win it) OR Paul George
It is believed, without confirmation, that LeBron could be taking this years regular season lightly. LeBron isn’t getting any younger, and it would be wise for him to consider letting Kyrie and Kevin Love take over because no matter what happens, the Cavs are going to playoffs with home court advantage. However, in the event LeBron decides to play full-force and play for an MVP, he will get it. It will be his fifth MVP, and with all of his legitimate MVP competition on the same team, this shouldn’t be a hard feat for him.
In the event that LeBron does decide to chill out, Paul George is in a prime position to solidify himself post-injury, take the new-look Pacers to a 4th or 3rd seed and win the MVP. Jim Harden is also another real threat to win the award depending on how well the Rockets do.
DPOY: Kawhi Leonard or Paul George
If Paul George doesn’t win the MVP, he’s winning the DPOY. Otherwise, Kawhi Leonard will likely take the award for himself yet again.
Rookie of the Year: Joel Embiid or Buddy Hield
Joel Embiid has been playing really well this preseason and his story is tailor-made for a 30 for 30 special in 10 years. If Embiid can continue this caliber or play throughout the season he will likely win ROY. Ben Simmons supposedly won’t be playing at all this season so I have scratched him from consideration. Buddy Hield is my other choice for ROY because he is on a bad team that will all be hurt by December 10th, and he can step up and pad the stat sheet. Most ROY’s come from bad teams where the only option is a rookie. Which is why Buddy Hield is not a solidified first pick for ROY. I have extreme doubts about Anthony Davis, Jrue Holiday, and Tyreke Evans being healthy longer than 5 games.
Coach of the Year: Rick Carlisle
Look at what this guy has had to put up with, when Seth Curry is a finalist for most improved player, Slick Rick will take this award with ease.
Most Improved Player: Not Harrison Barnes
On the podcast, the website I was reacting to decided Harrison Barnes was going to win MIP. Not a chance. There are better odds of Seth Curry winning the award than Harrison Barnes. I am not optimistic regarding Barnes, and given his contract, he should be playing at a high level anyway. I forgot to mention this on the podcast, but we might even see Brandon Jennings take the award in New York. Jennings has had glimmers of his former self during his time in Detroit before plagued by injury.
Eastern Conference Standings:
- Cleveland Cavaliers
- Toronto Raptors
- Boston Celtics
- Indiana Pacers
- Atlanta Hawks
- Charlotte Hornets
- Detroit Pistons
- Washington Wizards
NOTE: Seeds 6-10 are a toss up and I have no idea what the hell is going to happen.
Western Conference Standings:
- Golden State Warriors Super-Friends
- Loss Angeles Clippers
- San Antonio Spurs
- Portland Trailblazers
- Memphis Grizzlies
- Dallas Mavericks
- Oklahoma City Thunder
- Houston Rockets
With rumors circling an uneasiness in the Spurs organization, plus the loss of Tim Duncan, I can see a healthy Clippers team going full throttle and passing the Spurs this year. The Spurs will not have another 67-win season and this year will take a step back and be around 60. While the Pau Gasol addition is nice, him and LaMarcus Aldrige will take turns giving up 20 points to whomever they guard. The Rockets are also lucky to get an eighth seed, especially now that they are missing Patrick Beverley. How long until $50 Million Dollar Man Eric Gordon goes out with a leg cramp and a total unwillingness to play?
The Grizzlies at fifth also is a huge toss up but I believe that entire team will be healthy with the exemption of Chandler Parsons. Conley and Gasol are still a force to be reckoned with.