23 Bold Predictions for the Remainder of the NBA Season

Scott Halleran/Getty Images Anthony Davis stands to figure big-time during the remainder of the NBA season, whether he's healthy or not.

Scott Halleran/Getty Images
Anthony Davis stands to figure big-time during the remainder of the NBA season, whether he’s healthy or not.

Michael Walton II writes about the Chicago Bulls and the NBA for We Are Regal Radio.

Michael is a student, freelance writer and high school basketball scout based in Chicago. He’s previously been published in TrueStar Magazine, the Redeye Chicago and thelyricallab.com.

This season has been incredibly entertaining in the NBA and in spite of that being the case many critics expected a quiet trade deadline to pass this week — the exact opposite happened.

A whopping 37 players were moved overall, most becoming official in one wild hour this Thursday. In the aftermath of all the transactions, this season looks to be one in which the NBA title race is wide open. In honor of the GOAT, Michael Jordan, who celebrated another birthday this week (Happy belated, MJ!) here are my 23 bold predictions for the remainder of the NBA season.

1. In the three-way war for the last playoffs spot in the Western Conference, the OKC Thunder will prevail (lest Anthony Davis’s body holds up) 

Coming into the season, I declared that the New Orleans Pelicans would break their playoff drought this season, but that was assuming their franchise player, Davis, could play the full 82 games. In the wake of a nasty fall against the Bulls just before the all-star break, it looks like shoulder trouble will pester Davis for the rest of the year. NO has had the benefit of Tyreke Evans finally finding his role and Quincy Pondexter providing some extra spacing but Davis’s multifaceted game will be need to be at 100 percent for this team to play into the postseason.

Meanwhile, my current favorite OKC may just be finding its groove. Mitch McGary is starting to provide valuable minutes off the bench as a bruising forward, Dion Waiters is averaging 14.3 points per 36 minutes and his shooting percentages will surely go up as he finds his spots in Scott Brooks ISO heavy offense.

The recent acquisition of Enes Kanter, DJ Augustin, and Steve Novak gives OKC the foundation of a strong bench unit. And with Russell Westbrook and Kevin Durant playing like men possessed once again I could see OKC gliding past NO, Phoenix and whoever else is hanging out around the West’s 8th seed. Matter of fact, I can see the Thunder riding a hot streak all the way to the Finals. Don’t say I didn’t warn you.

2. The Milwaukee Bucks will play at least six games in the Playoffs

This one is a nod to my NBA League Pass subscribers. Bucks coach Jason Kidd, while one of my favorite players ever, is a notoriously bone-headed and often stubborn coach, but maybe with this young Bucks roster it was just a perfect union, one of those unexplainable time-and-place happenings.

With Kidd at the helm, the Bucks have managed to be firmly entrenched in the Eastern Conference playoff race through the all-star break. This team’s excellent defense (top ten in points allowed per game) and ball movement making the difference (top ten in assists per game).

Shockingly, Milwaukee shipped Knight to Phoenix but they got back a haul of talent that has almost made Bucks fans forget about Jabari Parker’s ACL tear, receiving former Rookie of the Year Michael Carter-Williams, Tyler Ennis and Miles Plumlee who will allmmake significant contributions. MCW is averaging a Kidd-like 15 points, 7 assists and 6 rebounds this season. Pairing him with the versatile Giannis Antetokounmpo, the Bucks’ backcourt will give opposing teams fits with their incredible length.

Milwaukee, currently 31-24, is in the top ten in field goal percentage, mostly because they take shots they know they can make. They are third in the league in steals per game (9.5) and with the majority of their team being young guys finding their respective comfort zones, Milwaukee could be at the beginning of becoming a Eastern Conference power. Not bad for a team that had the worst record in the league this past season.

3. The San Antonio Spurs won’t repeat as NBA Champions

Some people may think this prediction isn’t that crazy, but the main reason I personally have doubts about the Spurs is the health concerns of last year’s NBA Finals MVP: Kawhi Leonard. Leonard has only played in 34 of a possible 52 games so far and as usual, the Spurs are dealing with a multitude of injuries beyond Leonard’s.

Bob Donnan/USA Today Sports Don't expect to see this scene again this coming June.

Bob Donnan/USA Today Sports
Don’t expect to see this scene again this coming June.

With Marco Belinelli, Tiago Splitter and Tony Parker all missing time, San Antonio may need to rest up these guys down the stretch to keep them intact for the postseason but the Spurs would be sure to slide down the standings in the brutal Western Conference if they rest players like usual, that creates quite a Catch-22 for them.

The other reason I don’t believe in the Spurs surviving the first three rounds of the playoffs is their obvious lack of athleticism, which hurts them more on offense than defense.

In the past, San Antonio’s precise ball-movement was enough to power their efficient offense. Now we have games where the Spurs struggle mightily in the scoring department despite their always gorgeous ball-movement. Over their last seven games the Spurs have averaged 95.1 points. That’s less points per game than the woeful Indiana Pacers.

The Spurs just need one more guy who could break down defenders off the dribble, dunk on someone, or at the very least avoid injury. If they acquired a bouncy wing like Gerald Green, maybe they could avoid scoring below 90 points, as they did against the Toronto Raptors in a recent road loss. I bet you’re wondering how San Antonio did in their most recent game against those aforementioned dreadful, Paul George-less Pacers? They won by two points. Yikes.

4. Andrew Wiggins will win Rookie of the Year, and he will have Tom Thibodeau to thank

Entering the season the NBA’s Rookie of the Year race seemed very simple: Simeon alum Jabari Parker would win ROY easily. Parker was the finished product without much room to grow. On the opposite end of the spectrum, Andrew Wiggins stood as the uber-athletic wing who would develop into some sort of Tracy McGrady-LeBron James hybrid, but not for at least three to five seasons.

So much for that.

Parker tore his ACL on December 15th, and since then no rookie has stood out that much, until Wiggins started to heat up. The crazy thing is that Wiggins has won the Western Conference’s Rookie of the Month award every month (three times) though he only recently started to show a bit of consistency (as I write this, Wiggins just completed a six-point game…welp).

For the month of January, Wiggins finally decided it was time to show people why he was oft-projected as the next LeBron (although there is no “next” anyone for that matter). Wiggins averaged 19.8 points on 47.1% shooting during 2015’s first month all while finishing in the rookie top five in rebounds, steals, blocks and free throw percentage. Simply put, in January, Wiggins balled so hard sports journalists had to find him.

When Wiggins was the Western Conference Rookie of the Month in December, Nikola Mirotic was the Eastern Conference Rookie of the Month. In that month Mirotic took advantage of nagging injuries to Taj Gibson and the rest of Chicago’s frontcourt and shot 41.7% from three-point range to go along with 9.9 points and 5.7 rebounds per game.

Mirotic helped the Bulls to some big wins, including a win over the Memphis Grizzlies where Mirotic logged a career-high 27 points. So if Mirotic’s outside shooting and versatility are so important to the playoff-bound Bulls, why does he have only one ROM award compared to Wiggins’ three?

Tom. Thibodeau.

As of now Wiggins averages 34.5 minutes per game while Mirotic averages 17.1 minutes per game. Why Thibs?! WHY?! Speaking of Thibs penchant for awkward and illogical rotations….

5. Chicago Bulls head coach Tom Thibodeau won’t switch up his starting lineup even though it is obvious that he should

This is perhaps my least daring prediction. Tom Thibodeau is notorious for a lot of things: preaching his ‘ICE’ defensive system, yelling at players, yelling at refs, yelling in general, and looking (suspiciously) like “The Penguin” villain from Batman. But the thing that Thibodeau is most well-known for (at least among hardcore Chi-town basketball fans) is his fondness of weird decisions pertaining to his rotations and lineups.

Remember when Keith Bogans started every game in the 10-11’ season even though Ronnie Brewer averaged more minutes? 2015 All-Star Kyle Korver has shown that he can shoot the lights out no matter how many minutes he plays. Do you know where he averaged the least amount of minutes per game so far in his career? Wait for it……*drumroll*…Chicago!

Look I’m not going to sit here and act like Thibodeau is some sort of imbecile. There is obviously a reason for his decisions, sometimes they are just confusing.

The Bulls need a spark. When playing teams with stretch fours it is tough to have Noah and Gasol on the floor because neither is extremely fleet-footed. Out of all the Bulls lineups with at least 100+ minutes played, the best has been the Rose-Butler-Snell-Gasol-Noah pairing. This lineup has an impressive 53.5% effective field goal percentage.

And even for those who aren’t fans of analytics it is obvious that Tony Snell deserves more playing time. Over the last three games before the All-Star break Snell averaged 18.3 points per game while shooting a mind-numbing 60% from the three point line. Time to mix it up Thibs.

6. With George Karl leading the way, DeMarcus Cousins will edge out Jimmy Butler for Most Improved Player

The Sacramento Kings have been a laughingstock this year from a management perspective. They fired coach Mike Malone just as he was getting the team to buy into his defensive scheme, their owner seems to be meddlesome at best and tragically comical at his worst. But amidst all the bad mojo, DeMarcus “Boogie” Cousins has managed to give Kings fans something to smile about.

New coach George Karl will likely do the same thing for Cousins that he did for Shawn Kemp, meaning that he’ll make Boogie settle down a bit and get back to demolishing cats at the rim. While still in the top ten in technical fouls, Cousins seems to have been blessed by his run last summer in Team USA basketball — Cousings is averaging career highs in five statistical categories including the all important points (23.8) and rebounds (12.5).

And most important for Cousins’ development, he has shown a better understanding of defensive concepts, looking comfortable dropping back on pick-and-roll plays and his effort on the defensive end will tell whether or not this team can one day make the playoffs. Cousins should get the narrow edge over Jimmy Butler due to the Western Conference bias of the voters, but can you blame them?

7. Count on Reggie Jackson to win at least one NBA Player of the Month Award

I don’t think Reggie Jackson really helps the Pistons that much. And truthfully, with the way DJ Augustin was playing (20 points and eight assists per game over his last 10 games) I was quite shocked by the deal that involved Jackson going from OKC to Detroit and Augustin going the other way. And with Jackson set for restricted free-agency this off-season, the Pistons could end up paying a steep price to keep the guard.

With all that being said, part of the reason we watch the game is to identify with these players we admire. As pointed out in a beautifully written article by Grantland’s Zach Lowe, Jackson is human. He’s only wanted to be “the man” on a team, or at the very least the starting point guard and with Brandon Jennings suffering a ruptured achilles’ in the middle of a comeback season, the stage is set for Jackson to haul in a big payday.

I see Jackson, potentially in the final month of the season, getting back to how he played when he filled in for the then-injured Russell Westbrook and averaged 19.5 points, 7.5 assists, and 5.3 rebounds in the month of November. I think with Jackson leading the way, the Detroit Pistons snag the eight seed in the pitiful Eastern Conference.

8. The Miami Heat will win a playoff series and Pat Riley will win Executive of the Year

At this point I’m almost tired of saying it. Pat Riley is a genius. Time and time again, he seems to retool the Heat for a title push right when it look likes the team is falling apart. Hassan Whiteside? No one had any idea who the kid was, and now he is posting ridiculous numbers like his 14-point, 13-rebound, 12-block triple-double against the Bulls.

Whiteside’s breakout couldn’t have come at a better time for the Heat, but they were still in need at the point guard position, which had been a weakness of their since the start of the “Big Three” era. Insert “The Dragon” — problem solved. Goran Dragic was last year’s Most Improved Player and this year the Heat’s latest big acquisition is the NBA’s best finishing guard. Dragic converts over 70% of his shots in the paint, and he is a crafty play-maker in the pick-and-roll, ge turns the Heat into a balanced, veteran team, which is dangerous come playoff time.

On a serious note, our prayers go out to Chris Bosh who is going through something that is much more important than basketball as he deals with a blood clot in his lungs that will sideline him for the rest of this season and possibly longer. Hopefully Bosh will OK in the end, but it is important to understand the severity of his situation, and if his career can’t go on, it has certainly been a great one.

9. Lou Williams will win Sixth Man of the Year

I feel bad that Taj Gibson doesn’t seem to ever score enough to make the voters choose him for this award, but Williams is very deserving of it regardless. After going through a tough ACL injury in 2013, there was no telling if Williams would gain back his trademark quickness and change of pace speed that made him so tough to guard.

Now Williams finds himself in the “Jamal Crawford role” as main scorer on a bench unit. And he is performing surprisingly well. He has the second highest true shooting percentage of his career, all while using about 27% of the Raptors possessions. If he keeps his points per game around the 15 mark, I see no reason he shouldn’t walk away with this award. Jamal Crawford has struggled a little this year despite still leading all bench scorers currently. I think Toronto finishes with a higher seed than the Clips and the recovery from ACL surgery will help Williams’ case greatly.

10. The New York Knicks will win the NBA Lottery

For some reason I feel like the last time a big franchise-changing center was on the market and NY had the chance to get him they did. Either way, the Knicks and the PhiLadeLphia 76ers (noticed how the L’s are capitalized for effect, L=Loss) are in a race to the bottom with 10 and 12 wins respectively.

During Tradefest 2015, in which 37 players were moved, the Sixers got rid of uber-exciting wing KJ McDaniels. As his mother suggested, the Sixers were tanking and messing with his season. I’m glad he gets to see winning basketball on the Rockets. But as for the Sixers, their shameless tanking is sickening. At least the Knicks gave the impression that they wanted to win games, and they actually have made moves that improve their long-term health considering the cap-space conundrums they were facing.

And since karma is real, New York will win the Jahlil Okafor sweepstakes.

11. Draymond Green will win Defensive Player of the Year

Draymond Green is a player I have always liked going back to his days at Michigan State. And part of the reason I knew he would succeed is because he had an unbelievable desire to sacrifice to win, and he had an intelligent coach like Tom Izzo would preached the importance of defense.

Associated Press  Draymond Green, right, blocks a shot from Oklahoma City Thunder guard Russell Westbrook in a January contest.

Associated Press
Draymond Green, right, blocks a shot from Oklahoma City Thunder guard Russell Westbrook in a January contest.

Now as one of the most important pieces on a No. 1 seed that looks like a legitimate title favorite, it is time for Green to get some recognition. On the Golden State Warriors, Green often plays a jack-of-all-trades role on defense. He allows the Warriors to switch assignments on the fly.

The number one sign of a team that is locked-in on defense is watching how seamless the transitions are during switches. The Warriors communicate well on D, and Green is a big part of that. Green leads the league in defensive win shares, and the Warriors hold opponents to a league-low 42% shooting per game. It’ll nice to see a non-big win the award for the change. Honorable mention to the ageless Tim Duncan.

12. Derrick Rose will be the Chicago Bulls points per game leader by the season’s end

I hinted towards this in my last post about Derrick Rose. Rose has taken a lot of criticism this year dealing with everything from his practice habits to his support for his coach. But one thing that has stayed unchanged is Rose’s commitment to stepping his game up in the fourth quarter, especially against elite teams.

In the month of February we have seen Rose average 19 points per game along with 5.5 assists per game. His shooting percentages have still been up-and-down, but over the last five games Rose has brought down his three-point attempts to 3.6 per game as opposed to the 5.5 per game he was taking before. As he gets into a groove for the stretch run, expect Rose to take smarter shots to avoid the criticism from the media, his coaches, and most importantly his teammates.

Jimmy Butler is likely to see a dip in his scoring as Mike Dunleavy and Doug McDermott work their way back into the Bulls rotation. Plus, the addition of these two floor-spacers will only further open up lanes for Rose’s impressive forays to the rim.

13. Damian Lillard will firmly establish himself as the “Most Clutch Player in the NBA”

In the eyes of many, Lillard already holds this title, but I feel the second half of this exciting season will firmly establish this statement as fact. Lillard is scoring 1.19 points per “clutch” possession, which is tops among point guards. After making a name for himself with plays like his dagger to end the Houston Rockets’ season last year, Lillard finds himself making the same kind of plays in 2015. In fact he is making plays that are eerily similar.

The fact is Lillard has the most legitimate swagger/steez of any player since Allen Iverson, hell, maybe since Wilt. Either way, in just three short years, Lillard has turned himself into perhaps the most feared late-game player in the league. Shouts out to Weber State. Shouts out to Oakland.

14. Stan Van Gundy and Andre Drummond bringing playoff basketball back to Detroit will be the story of the season

I touched on this in reason No. 7, but I thought it better to dig deeper into this one. The Detroit Pistons have the third-longest NBA playoff drought at five seasons, their team was set for rejuvenation this year when they hired Stan Van Gundy as head coach and general manager. Van Gundy started working right away on making the Pistons a legitimate NBA team, starting with Brandon Jennings learning how to balance his scoring and playmaking.

Jennings was having the best year of his career when he went down for the season with a ruptured achilles, though the acquisition of Reggie Jackson helps ease the pain a little. Detroit has two players averaging points-rebounds double-doubles, and as the Chicago Bulls recently learned, they will simply outwork you for a win.

NBA.com recently had a graphic that showed that of the six teams that have a shot at the last two playoff spots, Charlotte and Detroit have the toughest schedules, while Miami and Indiana have the easiest. Despite this, I believe that strong rebounding carries your team through the later months and at fourth in the NBA in rebounds per game, I expect Detroit to be cleaning the glass in April.

15. Ray Allen will not play in the NBA this season

Ray Allen is a great character guy, one of the best we have had in NBA history and I do not doubt his love of the game. However, at this point, I think Mr. Shuttlesworth just likes to feel wanted. We have heard Allen’s name in connection with pretty much every contender, from the Bulls to the Atlanta Hawks. If he was going to sign with a team I think he would’ve done it before the all-star break. If Allen does sign with a team, give me 5-1 odds that it is the Cavs.

16. Tayshaun Prince and Kevin Garnett will actually help their new (old?) teams

There is no doubt that the homecomings of Prince and Garnett were two feel good stories that NBA fans needed this year after so many depressing injuries to stars both aging (i.e., Kobe Bryant) and emerging (i.e., Brandon Jennings, Jabari Parker). But something that is being overlooked is that this a rare case where trades provided both heavy sentimental and need-based value.

KG gets to play once again for the franchise that caused a huge stir when they signed him to a six-year deal worth north of $121 million dollars back in 1997. In the present day, Garnett fortifies the power forward position for the T-Wolves, who had been previously stuck either playing a center out of position or playing an undersized four specifically for spacing purposes. Now Garnett’s trademark jumper helps clear-up some of those aforementioned spacing issues and his wisdom will also help accelerate the development of Gorgui Dieng and Andrew Wiggins.

Price, on the other hand, will work with Caron Butler to form a two-headed combo at small forward. Prince will be the defense to Butler’s offense, and he can help the Pistons reach the playoffs since the last time he was a real factor on the court.

17. Steve Kerr will slightly edge out Mike Budenholzer, winning NBA Coach of the Year

All year the Golden State Warriors and Atlanta Hawks have easily been the best teams. In Atlanta, Budenholzer has managed to actually replicate the San Antonio Spurs culture and has done more with less. Budenholzer’s team has played such great team ball that they had three all-stars voted onto the team, and their entire starting five was named “player of the month” for the month of January.

Kerr, who opposed Budenholzer as all-star coach this year, inherited a talent-rich roster and implemented the triangle offense and a free-flowing defensive system, he has managed to get maximum effort out of his guys. Every player on the Warriors roster seems to be having a career best effort.

Stephen Curry specifically has been playing inspired defense, and has a scorching 62.1% true shooting percentage. Kerr’s offense has been so effective that it has lead to magical nights such as the one in which Klay Thompson scored 37 points in the third quarter alone, including a perfect 9-of-9 from three-point range, both now NBA records.

Even though it feels wrong to give it to the coach with the loaded roster, Kerr’s effect on the Dubs can’t be overstated. I mean we are in February and are talking about a team that has lost NINE games. NINE!!!!

18. Paul George will play this season.

This one is a nod to all my Indiana Pacers fans who feel like they have been punched in the gut. “El Trece” is an incredible fighter for recovering from an injury that literally had millions in tears at the sight of the footage. George has managed to work through an extensive recovery schedule, and says he wants to return in “mid-March.”

Yes, the Pacers have a shot at the playoffs and a weak schedule to boot. No, they won’t make the playoffs, even with George’s help.

George will be working his way back into game shape with action this season, for a team that is used to playing great basketball over the last few years that would give them a sense of purpose because it has been tough to watch these Pacers play. George will remind Pacers fans that they have one of the best two-way players in the game, and he is only 24 years old.

Indiana will finally get a look at this roster at full-strength and come draft time the Pacers’ probable lottery pick will only add to a core that still has a legit title window with Roy Hibbert (28 years old) manning the paint and George Hill (28 years old) running the point.

19. Joel Embiid will play this season.

This one doesn’t take much explaining: the Sixers have been atrocious, winning 12 games so far. They traded away the few players who gave fans something to hope for in Michael Carter-Williams and KJ McDaniels while staying true to their formula of stacking draft picks, but now their tanking is so comical I believe they may have forgotten that you are supposed to improve at some point during “rebuilding years.”

Unless the Sixers use their bundle of first-round picks to trade for a star, their roster will be will be stacked with only potential-filled players who don’t know what it takes to win in the NBA. General Manager Sam Hinkie is in the process of building a roster that will take years (maybe decades) to gel, but one thing can make Philly fans forget about this second consecutive trainwreck season: Joel -Hans Embiid.

Embiid has been compared to the likes of Hakeem Olajuwon. While that is an impossible comparison to live up to, Embiid does mirror “The Dream” in some ways — he has incredible length and athleticism and he is a startlingly quick learner. Seeing a frontcourt pairing Embiid with the lanky and defensive-minded Nerlens Noel is sure to bring a smile to some faces.

By the way, Noel is averaging an “Olajuwon-like” 3.4 stocks (steals+block, shout out to Bill Simmons), he and Embiid are both mobile enough to guard stretch bigs.With Embiid’s arrival, Philly is one ball-hawking guard away from a scary defense.

20. The Cleveland Cavaliers will lose in the first round of the playoffs.

This one is part gut feeling, part research. The Cavaliers have the best basketball player in the planet on their roster, so this one prediction has tremendous crash-and-burn potential for me, but I feel it in my bones. Cleveland is one of the many teams that live and die by the three-pointer, taking about 26 a game, they also are at their best when the play up-tempo and get out in transition.

Basically, Cleveland specializes in the opposite of playoff basketball.

The Cavaliers have a bunch of players with no playoff experience, in particular two of their “big three” lack that crucial experience. Kevin Love is a great player, but his post defense leaves so much to be desired. Kyrie Irving, on the other hand, is playing like an MVP, but something tells me that the gauntlet of talented point guards on the East’s best squads will reveal if Irving’s defense has improved as much as it seems it has.

When the tempo slows down in April and grind-it-out basketball becomes the norm, it will be interesting to see how the Cavs’ offense performs. Cleveland is 18th in the league in rebounding, and there will be a ton of pressure on Timofey Mozgov to play big down the stretch, that is asking a lot from a player who is not used to being a key cog on a title contender. I don’t like their chances against the Washington Wizards, Miami Heat, Toronto Raptors or Chicago Bulls in a seven-game series.

21. Interior defense will be the downfall of the Atlanta Hawks.

The Hawks have been one of the better surprises this year and their success is mostly due to their excellent spacing and three-point shooting on offense. Jeff Teague has taken his game to the next level and he brought Kyle Korver, Paul Millsap and Al Horford with him. Atlanta is in the top ten in points allowed and points scored, so the stats say that this is a complete team but actually game tape shows something else.

The Hawks defense is great at packing the paint and forcing contested outside shots a la San Antonio, but the reason they use this defensive strategy is that they lack traditional rim-protectors. Millsap is allowing opponents to shoot 55.8% against him when near the rim. Horford is a tad bit better, allowing opponents to shoot 51.2% against him when near the rim. Look at the rankings in this stat and you’d see Carlos Boozer is protecting the rim better than the Hawks’ two frontcourt all-stars.

With playoff basketball centered around physical play and getting to the free throw line, it will be interesting to see how the Hawks pack-it-in strategy holds up. Between the three bigs who play more than 15 minutes for Atlanta (Horford, Millsap and Pero Antic), Antic has provided the best rim protection so far, that doesn’t bode well for a team that I believe will be seeing Andre Drummond and Greg Monroe in the first round.

22. The Utah Jazz are only a few seasons away from playoff contention.

The Utah Jazz are one of my darkhorse candidates for League Pass champs as they are putting together a wildly entertaining season. We have seen improbable game-winners, crazy posterizations, and encouraging development from the biggest wildcard in NBA Draft history, Dante Exum. The Jazz also have a great coach in Quin Snyder who gets so fired up that it is downright scary sometimes.

Utah is top ten in points allowed, meaning that they need to work out the kinks on offense to start winning games. With another lottery pick on its way, the Jazz have what I believe is an underrated core to build upon. Trey Burke, Alec Burks and Derrick Favors have made improvements in their game. And Gordon Hayward plays alpha dog even though he would be best as a second-option scorer. Once the Jazz add a surefire offensive talent they will be tough to beat.

Snyder simply won’t accept anything less than maximum effort and if you don’t believe me that the Jazz are developing quicker than expected, check out this beautiful defensive sequence that epitomized their shocking win over the Portland Trail Blazers.

23. Anthony Davis will win the Most Valuable Player Award.

This is a prediction that I strongly believe in. The New Orleans Pelicans will get close to that eighth seed in the West, but they simply don’t have enough firepower. “The Brow” has been the only reason the Pelicans has stayed afloat in the brutal Western Conference due to his averaging a 24 point, 10 rebound double-double to go along with 4.2 stocks (steals + blocks).

Davis’s current player efficiency rating of 31.2 would go down as the eighth best single season PER ever, somewhere between 1990 MJ and 2013 LeBron. There simply isn’t enough time for me to gush about the Chicago native, who at 21 years old has perhaps the highest ceiling an NBA player has ever had. EVER.

If Davis is making plays like this now, who knows what AD will be doing five or six years from now?

The Pelicans will miss out on the playoffs, but the voters won’t get this one wrong. The award is called “Most Valuable Player,” and I don’t think there is a single team that wouldn’t give up their star player today for this current version of Anthony Davis. One of the ten best single-season performances in NBA history will be recognized. Mark my words.

Follow Regal Radio on Twitter @regalradio1 and on Facebook under Regal Radio; follow Michael on Twitter @ZenMasterMike

3 responses to “23 Bold Predictions for the Remainder of the NBA Season

  1. Pingback: Talkin’ That Bull: Mirotic, Bulls Deserve A New Look In Season’s 2nd Half | WARR - We Are Regal Radio·

  2. Pingback: 23 Bold NBA Predictions Revisited: Wrapping Up The Regular Season | WARR - We Are Regal Radio·

  3. Pingback: NBA Playoffs: Number Games Making Eastern Conference Finals Competitive | WARR - We Are Regal Radio·

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