2021-2022 Way Too Early NBA Season Predictions

2021-2022 Way Too Early NBA Season Predictions

by August 19, 2021 0 comments

The 2021-2022 NBA season is exactly two months away, but it is never too early to predict the award winners and how the year will play out. With the NBA Draft, Free agency, and Summer League now officially over, it’s time to go to training camp. Furthermore, with training camps comes projections for the following season.

Most Valuable Player  

  1. Stephen Curry Golden State Warriors
  2. Luka DoncicDallas Mavericks
  3. Giannis AntetokounmpoMilwaukee Bucks
  4. Joel Embiid Philadelphia 76ers
  5. LeBron JamesLos Angeles Lakers

Curry finished in the top five of MVP voting last season playing with an injury-riddled team. The Warriors finished in the play-in tournament where they would lose both games to the Los Angeles Lakers and Memphis Grizzlies. This season, Curry should have a better and healthier team. Klay Thompson is coming back after missing two seasons, and the team drafted young talent that compliments the team’s current core. 

Do not be surprised if Dallas’ Doncic makes a run for MVP this season. The Mavericks point guard is also a triple-double machine and produces highlights whenever he has the ball. Antetokounmpo has been dominant, one of the league’s most dominant players. Can control the game both offensively and defensively, and is looking to add his accolades. If Embiid and James stay healthy for the majority of the season, each will have a chance to win the award. Embiid is the best center in the league, and if he was not injured for a month last season he would have won the award. James also made a case last season before he went down with an injury. Even at the age of 36, the Lakers forward is still playing at a very high level.  

Defensive Player of the Year 

  1. Rudy GobertUtah Jazz
  2. Ben Simmons Philadelphia 76ers
  3. Jarrett AllenCleveland Cavaliers
  4. Giannis AntetokounmpoMilwaukee Bucks
  5. Jrue HolidayMilwaukee Bucks

Seemingly every year Gobert is always on this list, and usually at the top. Utah’s center has been the league’s best post-defender since 2016, and he’s not slowing down. There is not another player who can do what he can on a nightly basis. Simmons may have had a terrible playoff series, but this award rewards defense, not offense. The 25-year old is a lockdown defender that can guard all five positions. Allen is a dark horse pick here, as Cleveland is not going to be very good. The team did draft Evan Mobley, who is a much better offensive big than Allen. The Cavs’ center will be the defensive anchor for this young core.

Antetokounmpo is arguably the league’s best player. He had already won this award previously and was in contention the year prior as well. The 2021 NBA Finals MVP can guard all positions, and be a very physical defender. His teammate, Holiday, is also an elite defender. Although he can’t guard all five positions, the Bucks’ point-man can lock up every guard on any given night. He is also a tremendous transitional and help defender. 

Sixth Man of the Year 

  1. Dennis Schroder Boston Celtics
  2. Kentavious Caldwell-PopeWashington Wizards
  3. Carmelo AnthonyLos Angeles Lakers 
  4. Jordan ClarksonUtah Jazz
  5. Tyler HerroMiami Heat

It is rumored that newly added Dennis Schroder of the Celtics might not even have a starting spot with the team. The team said they envisioned him coming off the bench, making Schroder the best player to not start. Schroder is a score-first guard, who can drop 20 points in any game. Caldwell-Pope, who also started last season for the Lakers, might also be a sixth man for his new team. Washington has Bradley Beal who plays the same position as Caldwell-Pope, making the newly added come off the bench. The guard shot 41 percent from three, and 41 percent from the field. He will become the main scoring option for the Wizards off the bench. 

Anthony will be joining a good friend of his in James. His role in Los Angeles will most likely be as the first scoring option off the bench. Anthony revived his career in Portland and became a very reliable scorer, and at times was the second-best player on Portland’s roster. The veteran all-star is the team’s best shooter off the bench that will receive good playing time. Clarkson won the award last season, and can easily win it again this season. Utah has not made major changes, but Clarkson could see himself more in the starting role this season. If Mike Conley regresses or gets injured, Clarkson will have to slot into the starting point guard position. 

Herro took a step back last season after having a good rookie season. The sharpshooting guard now has a veteran guard in Kyle Lowry as a mentor. The former Toronto Raptor will provide much-needed relief of ball handling, and can teach Herro how to run an offense. Herro struggled in that area last season, but with Lowry now in Miami, he can learn to run an offense. 

Rookie of the Year  

  1. Jalen GreenHouston Rockets
  2. Davion MitchellSacramento Kings
  3. Cade CunninghamDetroit Pistons
  4. Evan MobleyCleveland Cavaliers
  5. Jalen SuggsOrlando Magic

Green was drafted by the Rockets, who are in a complete rebuilding state. Green does not have much competition at his position and will have the ball in his hands for most of his time. Mitchell had a great summer league, and it seems as if the Kings found yet another good guard. Mitchell will have to fight for minutes on the floor, which will make him play at a high level at all times. With De’Aaron Fox at the helm, Mitchell provides defense and shooting to become a solid player in the league. 

Detroit may have drafted the best player, but the team around him is not very talented. It will be hard for Cunningham not to be the best player on the team, but it will be an uphill battle when facing competitive teams. Mobley has a great hand going into his rookie season. He and Allen will make a great duo, as Mobley can take more offensive reps and not have to worry about the defensive end as much. Allen will help him defensively, and allow Mobley to work on offense. Mobley is a great defender and rebounder, but having that pressure off is fantastic for a rookie. 

Suggs is in a great position being drafted by the Magic. The team is in the first year of its rebuild and has multiple players already along for the process. The team is young and filled with talent, and Suggs will be able to grow alongside them as the main scorer. Unlike Cunningham, Suggs has leadership in Terrence Ross, and young players to work with. Suggs will have the mentorship that is needed for young talents to succeed and prosper. 

Most Improved Player  

  1. Lonzo Ball Chicago Bulls
  2. Fred VanVleet Toronto Raptors
  3. Kevin Porter Jr.Houston Rockets
  4. Payton PritchardBoston Celtics
  5. Tyler HerroMiami Heat

Ball is now with a new team in Chicago. The 23-year-old guard has been steadily improving every year, especially with his shooting. The Southern Californian is now on a competitive Bulls team that is filled with scoring options. Last season, Ball averaged 14.6 points, 4.8 rebounds, and 5.7 assists per game. This following season, the NBA should see his shooting splits go into the 40 percentile from three and close to the 45 percentile for field goal percentage. Expect his defense to flourish more with extra help from others, and his assists numbers to reach near 10 per game. 

VanVleet had a good season after signing his extension with the Raptors. He still showed that he can improve. Now with the team heading into a possible rebuild, VanVleet could find himself as the first scoring option. The guard should be closer to the 23-25 point mark this upcoming season. Porter was traded early in the season last year. Once reaching Houston, he started to flourish. With a full year to play in Houston, Porter’s numbers should come close to the 20 point mark.

Pritchard had a tremendous summer league and proved to be an offensive threat last season. The 23-year-old guard came into the league hot and finished his rookie season with tremendous shooting splits. Turn those shooting splits and add more shot attempts could lead the sophomore guard into becoming a 15 point scorer of the bench. That would double his scoring output from last season. 

Predicting the Standings

Eastern Conference

  1. Brooklyn Nets
  2. Milwaukee Bucks
  3. Chicago Bulls
  4. Philadelphia 76ers
  5. Miami Heat
  6. Boston Celtics
  7. Atlanta Hawks
  8. Charlotte Hornets
  9. Indiana Pacers
  10. New York Knicks
  11. Washington Wizards
  12. Toronto Raptors
  13. Cleveland Cavaliers
  14. Detroit Pistons
  15. Orlando Magic

Western Conference

  1. Los Angeles Lakers
  2. Denver Nuggets
  3. Utah Jazz
  4. Phoenix Suns
  5. Los Angeles Clippers
  6. Golden State Warriors
  7. Dallas Mavericks
  8. Portland Trail Blazers
  9. Memphis Grizzlies
  10. Sacramento Kings
  11. New Orleans Pelicans
  12. San Antonio Spurs
  13. Minnesota Timberwolves
  14. Oklahoma City Thunder
  15. Houston Rockets

East Finals Prediction 

Brooklyn Nets 4 vs. Milwaukee Bucks 2

West Finals Prediction

Los Angeles Lakers 4 vs. Utah Jazz 1

Finals Prediction

Brooklyn Nets 4 vs. Los Angeles Lakers 3

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Main Image Credit: Embed from Getty Images

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