The NBA Season is officially upon us which means its time for NBA Award Predictions.
League Champion: Milwaukee Bucks (6 votes)
Once the Bucks had acquired Damian Lillard, they had become instant favorites to win in the East. They might have the most complete roster. The first few games we have seen nothing new from teams playing defense on Dame from the logo, but what we have seen differently is Milwaukee setting successful screens to allow him to make plays. The acquisition of Lillard subsequently resulted in Giannis Antetokounmpo signing an extension. In the Season Preview for the Bucks, Dacota projected the Bucks would go 58-24. They could very well be the No. 1 seed in the East come playoff time.
Most Valuable Player: Giannis Antetokounmpo (3 votes)
A two-time MVP before, Giannis has been in the running for the NBA Award the past two years. Though, this year he actual has someone to share the ball with. That might reduce the amount of points for both he and Lillard, but it will improve the numbers elsewhere because they don’t have to worry about scoring as much.
The Bucks are Giannis’ team and Lillard probably knows that coming in. He’s the face of the franchise and has been practically since he was drafted. There’s a chance that Lillard dilutes the chances and that may open the chances for guys like Nikola Jokic, Stephen Curry, LeBron James and Joel Embiid. We don’t think that Lillard will dilute the ability of Giannis that much to make much of a difference. In fact, we’d argue that Lillard will make Giannis better and more of a threat.
Rookie of the Year: Victor Wembanyama (4 votes)
All aboard the Wemby train. Many may choose Scoot Henderson or another rookie here, but Wemby has already looked more impressive in the preseason and first few games than he did in Summer League. He looks more prepared. Our apologies to Henderson, Chet Holmgren and the Thompson twins but Wemby is one of the most polarizing prospects the NBA has ever seen. There is the chance that San Antonio is cautious and holds him out of some games, but if he appears in 65 games or more it’s his to lose.
Though, it may be a competitive race here for the 2023-24 NBA Award, we’d be wrong not to give our predictions to Wemby.
Defensive Player of the Year: Evan Mobley (3 votes)
There are a lot of great defensive players that you could put up for the candidacy of this award. Including Wemby, Giannis, Anthony Davis, Jaren Jackson Jr. and Bam Adebayo. Having someone with the caliber of Mobley can be very official. Not only is he a great defensive player, but he’s a good offensive player as well. He’s been a key for the Cavaliers’ style of play.
6th Man of the Year: Payton Pritchard (3 votes)
With an offense like the one Boston has, they’re going to need Pritchard to be reliable. He just secured the bag from the organization so the contract isn’t something he needs to worry about. If Boston wants to win the NBA Championship, they can’t miss a beat when the Oregon product comes in. With Malcolm Brogdon gone, Pritchard has already seen an uptick in minutes this season.
The fourth-year guard fought through being buried in the Celtics depth chart a season ago. Pritchard is the offensive leader coming off the bench. If he can average between 12-15 points and 8 assists, he should be good to win the NBA Award, but that’s just our predictions.
Most Improved Player: Tyrese Maxey (2 votes)
We did all decide on Anfernee Simons before he got hurt, now it just doesn’t seem possible. He might not play the minimum amount of required of games with his injury. He also probably had his best chance two seasons ago. He was in the conversation, but Ja Morant won the award. Maxey is probably the next best option here, especially with James Harden now gone. Maxey has been classified as the Prince of the City and has already seen an uptick in all statistical categories early in the season.
Coach of the Year: Mark Dagineault (3 votes)
Dagineault has the opportunity to coach a young team that took steps in the right direction last year. Add in Chet Holmgren and this team is better. They are in a loaded Western Conference though, so more than 44 wins should be enough to get the nod.
PPG Leader: Luka Doncic (5 votes)
You literally can’t go wrong with this pick. Doncic might be the most pure player that the NBA has ever seen. He’s been on a mission out of the gate. Not only is he averaging a league-leading 33.8 points, but also a near Triple Double. Doncic is a stud on offense. There’s a good chance he puts together a top 10-20 PPG season in NBA history.
RPG Leader: Nikola Jokic (4 votes)
Not only is Jokic one of the best rebounders in the game, but he’s one of the best all-around players. He’s had several high rebound seasons but has yet to win the RPG award. So far this season, Jokic is already averaging more than 2 offensive rebounds and nearly 10 defensive rebounds per game.
APG Leader: Chris Paul (3 votes)
The Warriors just need Paul to be the veteran Point Guard that he’s been his entire career. He doesn’t have to carry the load offensively. They have Steph Curry and Klay Thompson to do that. If Paul’s role is to get them the ball, then he should be able to win this award with ease.
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