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NBA season predictions – Nuggets to go back-to-back and a first-time MVP

We are in for another highly competitive NBA season, and we are very excited for it to get started on Tuesday, October 24.

Last season, the Denver Nuggets beat a resilient Miami Heat team 4-1 in the Finals to claim their first NBA championship, overcoming the Los Angeles Lakers, Minnesota Timberwolves and Phoenix Suns along the way.

Led by Nikola Jokic, we think they are well equipped to do it all over again.

There are a lot of teams to consider and it is very tough to call...

 

Nuggets to go back-to-back?

The 2023/24 campaign gets underway with the champions, Denver Nuggets, hosting LeBron James and the Los Angeles Lakers, before the Golden State Warriors take on a star-studded Phoenix Suns team.

All four teams are going to be heavily fancied by many to go all the way.

The Lakers are quite a dysfunctional franchise in the way they operate off the court, but with King James, anything is possible; even at the age of 38.

Even with Bradley Beal teaming up with Kevin Durant and Devin Booker at the Suns, it is hard to look past the reigning champions.

If not for voter fatigue, Nikola Jokic would probably have won his third MVP award in a row last season and had Jamal Murray not suffered a serious knee injury, he might be a multiple-time champion.

It’s time to stop scouting horses, Nikola, and lock in for chip number two.

The Joker has a great team around him with Murray, Aaron Gordon, Michael Porter Jr and Kentavious Caldwell-Pope completing Michael Malone’s starting five.

It is easy to back the team who has just won it all and that is exactly what we are doing.

As touched on, the Suns can not be discounted and while we do not think the Lakers will be consistent enough to reach the Finals, it would be silly to completely write off LeBron, Anthony Davis and co.

The Warriors are likely to be in contention as well. It will be interesting to see how Chris Paul fits into things but with their iconic core of Draymond Green, Steph Curry, and Klay Thompson, it would not be surprising to see them go all the way for a fifth time.

 

 

 

Milwaukee’s big trade to pay off? 

Somehow, the Milwaukee Bucks are the first Eastern Conference team we have mentioned.

As you are probably aware, the Bucks landed Damian Lillard in a blockbuster three-team trade with the Portland Trail Blazers and the Phoenix Suns.

The Bucks sacrificed Jrue Holiday in the trade, meaning they will lose a lot of perimeter defence ability, but with what Lillard lacks in defensive ability, he for sure makes up for on the other end of the floor.

Lillard and Giannis Antetokounmpo are arguably the best duo in the NBA and we cannot wait to see how they co-exist in a team we expect to reach the NBA Finals, unless Giannis gets injured.

If it is not the Bucks, it has to be the Boston Celtics, led by Jayson Tatum. Jaylen Brown recently signed the richest contract in league history so the Celtics will hope he pays them back by helping Tatum lead them to glory.

 

Other contenders 

It is going to be very, very competitive, and despite the fact we have discussed the six favourites to win the championship, there are a lot of teams that should be considered.

Now under the guidance of former Toronto Raptors head coach Nick Nurse, the Philadelphia 76ers will hope they can finally win in the Joel Embiid era. They need to sort out the James Harden situation before getting anywhere, though.

Out of all the outsider teams, you have to say the Los Angeles Clippers and the Dallas Mavericks are the best bets.

Led by Kawhi Leonard and Paul George, the Clippers will be strong, and with Kyrie Irving and Luka Doncic forming an incredible backcourt and getting to know each other better in Dallas, they will be a force to be reckoned with.

Elsewhere, you have Ja Morant’s Memphis Grizzlies, Jimmy Butler’s Miami Heat, Donovan Mitchell’s Cleveland Cavaliers, De'Aaron Fox’s Sacramento Kings, and Zion Williamson’s New Orleans Pelicans who can put together a great playoff run.

 

Tatum to win first MVP

 

 

 

Tatum’s scoring is improving every season but he is going to have to do very well to continue the trend of outscoring himself year after year following his 30.1 PPG 22/23 campaign.

Saying that, we think he is going to help the Celtics to the best regular season record in the NBA and take home his first MVP.

He might not average as many as 30 points per game but it is still going to be an outstanding year, if he remains healthy.

Elsewhere, you cannot discount Doncic, Giannis, Curry, Jokic, and the holder of the award, Embiid.

 

READ MORE: Top five players in NBA history whose careers were killed by injuries

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