Looking into my crystal ball for this season in the NBA, I can see a few things happening that will make waves in the basketball world. Taking a look at all the major categories I can envision a few surprises happening:
Rookie of the Year: the obvious choice is the No.1 pick from Australia, Ben Simmons. But a weak team and injury cloud hanging over Simmons lets me cast my gaze elsewhere. Brandon Ingram from the Lakers and the 2nd overall pick in the draft also has some sizzle to it, being compared to Kevin Durant and all but no I’m not staring here. Buddy Hield and Jamal Murray will have good seasons likewise Thon Maker and Denzel Valentine will show bucket loads of promise! Though here’s my choice for ROY; Kris Dunn, the 6-4 guard from Providence who has the ability to score and make plays on offence with his athleticism and skill, but it’s his two way talent that has me excited and could have him looking like an all first team defensive player for years to come. Think of Chris Paul and Russel Weatbrook blended together… Scary right, not to mention he will be able to grow playing along with the likes of Karl Anthony-Towns last years rookie of the year and No.1 pick, Andrew Wiggins the No.1 pick the year before that and Zach Lavine the explosive highlight show who is adding a nice 3 point shot to his game. Kris Dunn remember the name and who told you.
MVP: considerations went to the likes of LeBron James, Kevin Durant, Steph Curry and one of my favourite players Russell Westbrook. However I came to the conclusion that a player that had a down year last year and so did his team and because of it will thrive this season under a new coach who’s system will completely suit him, and bring the best player out of him. The bearded one: James Harden of the Houston Rockets. Coach Mike D’antoni is putting the ball in hardens hands this year to run the offence with a long leash. Look for harden to have higher assist numbers, more points and more 3 pointers than ever. Vote 1 the beard.
Most improved player: This usually goes to the player with increased minutes, therefore increased production. Thus year I am looking at an improvement to come out of a new coach. Bit of a pattern happening here but I see Andrew Wiggins of the Minnesota Timberwolves thriving under new coach Tom Thibodeau and production numbers on offense and defence to improve with his teammates around him growing with him.
6th man: Brandon Jennings for the New York Knicks, he’s going to be able to come off the bench but more importantly he’s backing up Derrick Rose who is short odds to be injured during the year. He’s playing for a contract and in the bright lights of New York. Watch him work.
Defensive player of the year: Rudy Golbert is my man here. The Jazz should be a thereabouts team in the west this year and should look to improve on last season with the additions of veterans Joe Johnson, Boris Diaw and George Hill should add stability. Add in the return from injury to Aussie Dante Exum and this looks to be a solid team with a good defence anchored by Big Rudy.
Coach of the year: Mentions to Mike D’antoni of the Rockets and Quin Snyder of the Jazz. My choice must be with Tom Thibodeau as I see him getting The most improvement out of his squad from what they were last season. Notably on defence where I see them taking a huge leap forward and in the wins department where they will improve dramatically. He will no doubt have those wolves howling this year.