This needs no explanation. Lebron James is more motivated than ever, after his first round exit. I do not think the addition of Westbrook will help in the postseason, and Westbrook needs to stop being ball dominate. Other than that, they are a really good team. Everybody was worried about their shooting, but they brought Bazemore, Nunn, and Monk who can shoot the 3 really well. They also brought back Howard and Rondo who were key parts in the 2020 NBA championship run.
This may be a little shocking, but the Warriors are ready to prove everybody wrong. Draymond had an excellent season last year, and was even a Defensive Player of the Year finalist. Klay Thompson will return as well, and I think his defense will take a huge step back but his shooting will still be on point! Also Iggy is back with the Warriors, for one last run. He was a key part in the 2019 NBA finals and a former Finals MVP. Lets not forget about Stephen Curry. He was the league leader in points per game with 32.
The Suns made it to the finals last year and they were really good. Chris Paul and Devin Booker were all stars, they swept the MVP, and had a huge playoff run. I think that Chris Paul will give 110 percent, because this is the last year he could contend for a title.
Rudy Gobert just won defensive player of the year for the third time, Donovan Mitchell is an all star, and their team is filled with elite shooters. They are so elite from three that Mike Conley and Donovan Mitchell were both in the three point contest. They also have the reigning Sixth Man of the Year in Jordan Clarkson. A bunch of people are sleeping on the Jazz, but I believe in them.
The Clippers are in a tough position without Kawhi Leonard. He is their best player, but there is some light to it. Paul George will have an MVP type season. The emergence of Reggie Jackson and Terrence Mann will also help a lot. They also got a HUGE steal in the draft, in Keon Johnson. He broke the vertical jump record, with 48.0 inches.
The Nuggets will not have Jamal Murray for the first half of the season, and when he does come back, he will struggle. Before he got injured, he was struggling and I do believe that that will happen again. But with the reigning MVP, they are a guaranteed playoff lock.
The Mavericks just came off a disappointing game 7 loss against the Clippers. You have to realize that Luka was the only one contributing, and the Mavericks were facing a healthy Clippers squad. This year, Luka Doncic will be amazing, but teams with only on player that can contribute to the team, don't do well.
The Blazers did not do anything to make this team better. Damian Lillard wanted to have a completely new team. That tension can affect the Blazers team chemistry. It has also been reported that Damian is not a fan of they Chauncey Billups hiring.
The Grizzlies have a nice, young roster. They made the playoffs last year, and even won a game against the #1 seed Jazz. I believe Ja Morant will have an MVP Derrick Rose season this year, and that will help Memphis a lot. Dillon Brooks also proved that he can defend some of the best guards in the NBA. Memphis got Trey Murphy in the draft, which will help there needs at the Shooting Guard Position.
The Timberwolves are a very underrated team. They have a top 3 center in the league in Karl Anthony Towns! They also got D-Lo, who had an all star season in 2019. The only reason he has not been an all star since 2019, is because of injuries. Anthony Edwards will also make a big contribution to the squad. He was a Rookie of the Year Finalist, and he led all rookies in PPG. I also like the addition of Patrick Beverly, which will help their defensive needs.
The Pelicans once again, miss out on the playoffs. They let go of Lonzo ball to potentially get Kyle Lowry or Chris Paul, but instead they got Devonte Graham. There has also been some rumors that Zions family does not like New Orleans. That could factor in to some team chemistry issues.
The Spurs lost their best player in Demar Derozan, but they were able to get Thaddeus Young who won "The Hustle Award". A lot of people have the Spurs being in the 13-15 range, but I believe in Greg Popovich. He is one of the greatest coaches of all time. You also have Keldon Johnson, who just won an Olympic gold medal.
The Kings miss the playoffs AGAIN. The Kings are not good, and it does not help that Luke Walton is their coach. Buddy Hield is making too much money, and they messed up their draft pick. How did they mess up their draft pick? THEY DRAFTED ANOTHER GUARD. They have Fox, Hield, Tyrese, Kyle Guy, Terrence Davis, Jahmi'us Ramsey, and now Davion Mitchell.
The Rockets had a terrible season last year, and with John Wall splitting up with the Rockets, it will be no different. They drafted Jalen Green, but one rookie will not change a team. Not even Stephen Curry could do. And he is a two time MVP!!! Christian Woods health is a question mark right now, because he played limited games last year.
The Thunder are a rebuilding team, and that will show. Right now they are interested in developing their young players, and getting picks. I think Josh Giddey was an underappreciated pick, because the Thunder are developing their players in to stars.
Let me know your standings in the comments!!!