The 2018 NBA season is finally underway. There are many rising stars to follow in the East as Boston, Philly, and Toronto begin their fight to fill the void left by LeBron. The West is contentious as ever with the Rockets and Warriors looking to repeat terrific seasons. And eyes are on LeBron and what the can make of a rag-tag bunch in his new home in L.A.
Who Might Win The MVP?
This question can divide people. If you’re from Boston you’re unlikely to say Embiid is a candidate, and if you’re living in Philly there’s no way Hayward has a shot. It’s basically a toss-up, unless you consider the obvious choices, your LeBrons and Hardens.
Who Is Your Unlikely Pick For MVP?
Everyone has their hometown favorite for the MVP award. But who is really likely to win it? Look for Giannis Antetokounmpo to make a splash in the rankings. Antetokounmpo is one of the best defenders in the league. He was easily top 10 last season. This year he’s competing in a division rife with competition. The Celtics, 76ers, and Raptors, all pose serious threats to the Bucks playoff chances.
Antetokounmpo may not be playing for the best team in the East. But that doesn’t mean you should count him out of the running. Manny people like to look at a team’s record when considering the MVP, but this is shortsighted. Sometimes guys get stuck on teams with little support around them. In Antetokoumpo’s case, he’s a part of an organization that is building momentum. The Bucks may not be a serious playoff team this season. But Milwaukee is building to something great and Antetokoumpo is a big part of that. So even if he doesn’t score the most points, he is a force to be reckoned with and a sure contender for the MVP award.
Is Durant Content With Golden State?
There have been rumors that Durant may leave Golden State. He’s practically a franchise all to himself. Playing alongside Steph Curry and Draymond Green, he’s had an exponential amount of success. But maybe the superstar wants to make something of a name for himself with his own club.
As long as he plays for Golden State he is playing on Curry’s team. Curry is the lead ball handler and the main point-scorer for Golden State. As long as Durant plays for the Warriors, he won’t be the leader of his team. But Durant, in many people’s minds, could be a team leader like Curry or LeBron. So it begs the question of whether Durant wants to stay with the Warriors or branch out on his own.
Let’s Talk About Defense
Defense is not always appreciated in the NBA. Fans love to watch for the ally-oops, the three-pointers, and the flashy offensive plays. But games are won on defense. So the team with the best defensive player may indeed have the advantage.
Anthony Davis has been making big claims about being the best player in the league. By most people’s assessment, he’s not quite there yet. But on defense he has a lot of people talking. And that’s important. The Pelicans may not be making waves this year, they may not have much of a shot of going far in the playoffs, but Antony Davis is creating something special in New Orleans. He has a good shot of winning defensive player of the year and he certainly can help the Pelicans to the playoffs.
As always, it’s going to be a hell of a basketball season. So one can say for sure what may happen but it’s sure fun to make some predictions and look back at what was right and what may have been a little off.