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2022-2023 NBA Standings and Award Predictions


East
  1. Boston Celtics

  2. Philadelphia 76ers

  3. Milwaukee Bucks

  4. Cleveland Cavaliers

  5. Miami Heat

  6. Atlanta Hawks

  7. Brooklyn Nets

  8. Toronto Raptors

  9. New York Knicks

  10. Chicago Bulls

  11. Washington Wizards

  12. Orlando Magic

  13. Detroit Pistons

  14. Charlotte Hornets

  15. Indiana Pacers


West
  1. Golden State Warriors

  2. Minnesota Timberwolves

  3. Phoenix Suns

  4. Denver Nuggets

  5. Memphis Grizzlies

  6. Los Angeles Clippers

  7. Dallas Mavericks

  8. Sacramento Kings

  9. New Orleans Pelicans

  10. Portland Trailblazers

  11. Los Angeles Lakers

  12. Houston Rockets

  13. Oklahoma City Thunder

  14. Utah Jazz

  15. San Antonio Spurs


MVP: Joel Embid

ROTY: Paolo Banchero

SMOTY: Jordan Poole

DPOTY: Rudy Gobert

MIP: Alperen Sengun

COTY: Chris Finch


• The Brooklyn Nets are an unpredictable team this year. They have a ton of talent on the roster, but their trio of stars haven’t proved that they can stay on the court for a full season. I would never wish an injury on any NBA player, but it’s not crazy to assume that Durant, Irving, and Simmons will be injured at least once this upcoming season. Their track record almost guarantees it. A fully healthy Nets team could be a 3 seed, but the chances that the Nets stay healthy the full year is low.

• I’m am probably significantly higher on the Houston Rockets than any non-Rockets fans right now. I love the young core they have built. Jalen Green is going to score a ton of buckets. Jabari Smith Jr will be able to knock down 3s and play great defense. Alperen Sengun will likely take a leap this year with more minutes. Kevin Porter Jr is a solid player and will likely continue to be solid. Those are just the starters. The bench consists of players like Josh Christopher and Tari Eason who are solid young players with the potential to be good NBA players. I don’t expect the Rockets to be great, but I do expect them to be better than people think.

• The Lakers have one of the best basketball players in the world, but the team outside of him is weak. Anthony Davis is good, but he isn’t the same player he was when he was with the Pelicans and is severely injury prone. After Davis, you have Russell Westbrook. Westbrook is not a bad player, but he is a terrible fit with the Lakers. Hopefully a new coach can help Russ fit better with this team, but I don’t have much hope for that. I could go on talking about the Lakers team, but I will spare you the horror of how bad this teams depth is. I want to put them higher in my standings. I really do! It feels disrespectful to put a LeBron led team outside of the playoff picture. With how horrible this team is around LeBron though, I physically can’t put them any higher than the 9th seed, and even that feels like a stretch. They will sit at 11 in my West standings predictions for now.

• My current pick for MVP is Joel Embid. While it should be a very close race once again, I think Embid is finally going to take it this year. The 76ers have their best team since the Butler—Simmons—Embid season (well really just half a season). The 76ers will certainly be a top 5 team in the east, and I’d be comfortable to say that they are a lock for the top 3. Their roster is really good this year. Embid will get that MVP push from his team having a great season and he is going to put up great numbers as usual. Players like Jokic, Giannis, Luka, Durant, and whoever else decides to be good this year will make the road tough for Embid, but I think this is his year.

• Rudy Gobert probably won’t win Defensive Player of the Year because of ridiculous narratives, but I am still picking him because he will absolutely deserve it. If I have to make a more realistic pick, I’d go with Draymond Green. He is clearly a top 2 defensive player in the NBA right now. I’d still say Rudy is better, but Draymonds defense is insane. So Rudy Gobert probably should win the award every single year, but if you want a realistic pick from me, than it’s Draymond Green.


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