NBA fans get an early Christmas gift with the return of basketball this week!
Before jumping into their annual predictions, the boys had to get some final thoughts off their chests with Giannis Antetokounmpo’s signed extension. While that news wasn’t the greatest for the other 29 teams, it did remove the largest piece of uncertainty heading into the shortened season.
As for the season itself, we had a ton of fun discussing the best, the worst, the risers, and the fallers — at least in our eyes. Enjoy the latest episode and make sure to include your predictions in the comments below.
In This Episode:
3:25 — Pouring one out for AnteToronto
Bringing Giannis to Toronto was always a longshot. He’s only ever known one franchise in his career and, frankly, they’ve done nothing but treat him like royalty. Why would he abandon a city and fan base for a slightly better chance at a title? This may have been disappointing to the other 29 teams, but Giannis shunning the bright lights of the big city is a huge win for small-market teams! So, what the heck is Plan B for Toronto?
10:15 — Raptors with another 2-seed?
Over the last two seasons, Toronto has finished with the second-best record in the NBA to the Milwaukee Bucks. As unlikely as last season’s regular season finish was, is it too early to doubt that Toronto could surprise folks with a third consecutive 2-seed? It’s a bit of a stretch to finish that high, but the Raptors consistently exceed expectations. It begs the question — what is Toronto’s ceiling?
19:15 — Will anyone topple the Lakers?
While the East is headed to another Top-6 battle royale, the entire Western Conference (almost) is a crapshoot. Where do you rank the Rockets? How far can Steph Curry carry the Warriors? Is Portland the most improved team? Can Phoenix continue their run of excellent play from the Bubble? Are all these questions just speed bumps on the way to a Lakers repeat?
35:45 — Another European MVP?
Voter fatigue may get in the way of Giannis becoming the first 3-peat MVP winner since Larry Bird (1984-86). Does this pave the way for Luka Doncic? Could LeBron James, who turns 36 next week, pass Karl Malone (35 years, 284 days) as the oldest MVP? Do the Raptors have any candidates for individual awards? We placed our bets on MVP, Most Improved, Rookie, Coach, and Sixth Man of the Year awards (ran out of time for Defensive Player of the Year). Let us know who you’ve got in the comments below.