9 Galaxy Brain-Level Predictions for the 2019-2020 NBA Season
This year is wide open, and we're putting the "project" in "projections"
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When it comes down to predicting what's going to happen in the NBA this season, all roads lead to one extremely dissatisfying answer: It depends. With so many indefinite injuries (Paul George, Klay Thompson) and so many superstars changing teams, there hasn't been a time in recent memory where the league has been in flux like this. It's exciting, but there are few answers.
So, we're doing the legwork for you. Here are our nine most outside-the-box projections for the new season, guesses that take maybe a single iota of truth and blowing that fragment out into a new ideology. Enjoy!
Utah Wins the West
The Jazz were only four games behind the two-seed Nuggets last year, return their young core and addressed their two most significant obstacles: adding a primary ball-handler to move Donovan Mitchell to a scoring role, and improving shooting down the stretch.
Mike Conley Jr. is a perfect fit to read the rhythm late in games and take the pressure off “Spida,” and Bojan Bogdanovic is a proven clutch shooter.
Silk Robes and Kimonos
PJ got the jammies out. Is Jammie-wave about to smash the NBA? For the sake of this exercise I'm saying "big yes."
Whiteside Quadruple Double
In 2016, Mason Plumlee pledged that he would get many triple-doubles for the Blazers. Spoiler alert: This did not happen. Now, new Blazer Hassan Whiteside is pledging to get a triple-double with assists. Whiteside—who has a career average of .8 APG per game—might as well get ten blocks in whatever game he gets ten assists in, the way I’m looking at it. I believe in Portland.
Russ and Harden average 60PPG
The highest scoring average from one duo not including Wilt Chamberlain (he accounted for 50.4 of the 72.3 average, so not much of a duo) is 57.5 points per game from Shaquille O’Neal and Kobe Bryant in the 2003-2003 season. Last year, Russ (22.9 PPG) and Harden (36.1 PPG) combined for 59 PPG for separate teams, but there’s no doubt they’ve already had this conversation. Brodie and beard can be counted on for 60.
The Sixers Don't Win 50 Games
I don’t understand how the Sixers got throttled into the contender conversation. Westgate has Philly’s over/under at 55, and FiveThirtyEight has them as the clear favorite to win the Finals (but they use math and stuff, so).
The Sixers decided to spend their money on another expensive frontcourt player while letting two ball-handlers, TJ McConnell and Jimmy Butler, walk. That’s a mind-melting approach in today’s small ball era.
Spencer Dinwiddie, Batman Villain
Rookie of the Year
The players are feeling Cam Reddish. But for my counter-programming ROY pick, I’m going with Jaxson Hayes. Cuz dunks! There’s an energy there.
Nets Win 50 Games
I'm not saying Kyrie Irving is not a destructive influence, but like a lot of entitled 27-year-olds that question the motives of their government, he’s good for one magical year before he becomes disinterested.
The Nets retained their young core of Dinwiddie, Caris LeVert, Joe Harris and Jarrett Allen and upgraded from D’Angelo Russell to Irving. Expect first-year-in-Boston-Kyrie and then we’ll talk when KD comes back.
A Shoe Break for the Next Generation
Last year, Zion Williamson broke a shoe. Nike made a big show about sending a team of R&D people over to Nike’s Chinese factories, in order to come up with a slightly more vulcanized Kyrie model.
Williamson is a strength/speed/size combination we might not have ever seen before in the NBA. Do the newer, thinner tech-y kicks stand a chance? I say no.
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