NBA First Half Awards
With the season just over halfway done, let's look at the major awards. Feel free to disagree but it's James Hardens world right now and we're just living in it.
With the 2018-2019 NBA season almost upon us, now is the time to predict the NBA Finals champions. Will it be the Golden State Warriors or will they be dethroned by the new powerhouses in the NBA?
Now that the roster has been mostly determined for the next year, it is the perfect time to predict who will win it all. Will it be the Warriors or will the Houston Rockets topple them this year? Will the Los Angeles Lakers make a run with the addition of LeBron James or will the Boston Celtics beat everyone now that they are healthy?
Let’s start off with the Warriors. They repeated as champions last year but not before getting a scare by the hands of the Rockets. James Harden and Chris Paul pushed the Warriors to the brink of elimination but weren’t able to capitalize. A hamstring injury to Paul at the end of game five was too much to overcome for the Rockets. It did show everyone that the Warriors are beatable.
That will still be the case but with the addition of DeMarcus Cousins, this Warriors team might truly be the best team ever assembled. They are the Avengers of the NBA. Cousins gives them the one thing they always needed; a solid center. Now, they are without any weak positions. In the past couple of years, one way to beat the Warriors was to out-rebound them. With Cousins on the floor, that won’t be easy to do.
Golden State is my pick to win it all next year and become the champions for the third straight year. There are going to be a few glitches. Cousins is coming back from an injury and may never be a 100 percent. And he may have trouble fitting in with the Warriors. I don’t think that will be the case. Cousins is a smart player that makes his presence felt at all times. With Steve Kerr coaching him, he should feel right at home.
The team with the next best odds has to be the Rockets. They came the closest to eliminating the Warriors in the playoffs last season. Adding Carmelo Anthony will give them another scorer but they lost Trevor Ariza and that will hurt their defense.
With the offensive-studded roster that they have, they are going to be hard to stop. Most teams are going away from the isolation style of basketball that the Rockets love. It works for them because they have really good isolation players but it still wasn’t enough to beat the Warriors. They did look like the better offensive team on the floor but the Warriors do have two of the best scorers in Stephen Curry and Kevin Durant.
The team that will make it out of the Eastern Conference will most likely be the Boston Celtics. They have the third best chance to win it all but because they are in the East, they will get further than one of the top two teams named above. Boston doesn’t have five All-Stars like the Warriors but they have a lot of good players.
A couple of All-Stars and good role players was how teams used to win the NBA Finals. The Warriors have changed that but the Celtics have brought it back. They have a bunch of talented players that excel under pressure. With Brad Stevens coaching them, they have more than enough firepower to challenge the Warriors.
Lastly, a team that deserves to be mentioned is the Los Angeles Lakers. They added James and he is always a contender for the NBA Finals and the championship. Nobody knows how the Lakers will do next season because they changed so much. Is James more than enough to make the Lakers a playoff team in the competitive Western Conference?
I think he is but there is little to say until we see the Lakers new style with James. This Lakers team doesn’t seem like they will shoot well from the three point line but they may in fact shoot better because they will get more open shots. If James score around 25 to 28 points per game, the rest of the team will also score a lot and thus making the Lakers an offensive powerhouse.
With new powerhouses and teams adding big names, the next season will be one of the best seasons yet. Almost every team is getting better to beat the Warriors. Unfortunately for them, the Warriors are also still getting better.