It’s been one hell of a year, to say the least.
But at least the NBA is officially returning on December 22.
After a crazy ending to last season in the bubble, everyone is anticipating players back in arenas and a small capacity of fans returning to live gameplay.
Prior to the season’s start, I have a few predictions that I believe will happen throughout the year. If you want to see how accurate I am, check out my picks from last year. #NicksPicks
2021 NBA Rookie of the Year
LaMelo Ball, Charlotte Hornets
I know we love what Anthony Edwards [SG, Minnesota Timberwolves] has done, but LaMelo is showtime.
This is the first time in a while I anticipate watching the Charlotte Hornets play basketball. Despite what analysts say, LaMelo’s effectiveness will be felt outside of scoring. He has grown into a tremendous passer and will make plays for his athletic teammates in Miles Bridges and PJ Washington. Other rookies around the NBA will play sensational basketball. But the flavor that LaMelo will bring to the court will unanimously award him Rookie of the Year.
2021 NBA Defensive Player of the Year
Anthony Davis, Los Angelos Lakers
Anthony Davis winning Defensive Player of the Year is long overdue. Since his time in New Orleans, he has been an effective shot-blocker who uses his length to force other bigs to be uncomfortable.
Davis’ defensive presence was a big factor last season, contributing to a championship for the Lakers. Going into this season, Davis will look to turn things up a notch. The Lakers are under immense pressure to repeat. Davis understands that and will become more aggressive under the rim.
NBA 2021 Sixth Man of the Year
Spencer Dinwiddie, Brooklyn Nets
Dinwiddie showed last season that he can be an effective all around player. During a stretch of last season, he went on a scoring rampage with the absence of Kyrie Irving, putting the team on his back on the offensive end.
Now with Irving and Durant returning this season, Dinwiddie can be the leader of the second unit for Brooklyn. He’ll be a game changer off the bench and will play in key pivotal minutes down the stretch. There may not be a sixth man this season that will show more effectiveness than Spencer Dinwiddie.
2021 NBA Most Improved Player
Andrew Wiggins, Golden State Warriors
Yes, we do this every year. We are waiting for Wiggins to unleash his full potential as always. But now in the Bay Area, that may happen.
Golden State is so unselfish at moving the basketball that it forces Wiggins to be effective. Hopefully, it will motivate him to bring max effort on a nightly basis. With Klay being out another year, someone has to step up and play at a high level alongside Stephen Curry. If Wiggins has a productive season, his hard work will result in an All-Star appearance and the 2021 NBA Most Improved Player Award.
2021 NBA Most Valuable Player (MVP)
Luka Doncic, Dallas Mavericks
This is Luka’s year to win. He has transcended as a phenomenal superstar and he has a lot more in his bag. The Dallas Mavericks have the potential to become a contender in the Western Conference this season.
Luka will continue to blow us away with his effectiveness and attention to detail on the floor. If he has a much improved year this season, the MVP trophy is his.
2021 NBA Coach of the Year
Steve Nash, Brooklyn Nets
Steve Nash may be in his first year on the sidelines, but no other coach is under more pressure this season. Having two phenomenal superstars on his team, Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving, the expectations are championship this season, with no delay.
The goal is to keep KD and Kyrie intact so they can remain on the right track. If they win consistently, Nash will be earning his respect as a coach soon.
2021 NBA Finals Match-Up
Brooklyn Nets vs Los Angeles Lakers
I’m not choosing who will win the Finals. But I can guarantee that it will be between these two organizations. The Lakers have a lot to prove this season despite being the reigning champions. The pressure of repeating is high for the team and we’ll see if their two superstars are capable of finishing the job.
Brooklyn, on the other hand, is anticipating a great year. If Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving are healthy through the year, there’s no other team in the East who can slow them down in the playoffs. Both being champions, both Durant and Irving are hungry to win a chip for the boroughs. It will be a fun back and forth Finals that can be highly anticipated.
The NBA is BACKKK!
And I am excited.
Many of these teams have had over nine months off due to COVID. So it’s guaranteed that they are well-rested and ready to compete. Everyone’s eyes will be glued to the TV on 12-22-2020. There is so much that will happen from the first night… all the way to the last.
Written By Nick Andre. Edited By Herstun.
Nick has some interesting picks as always. I like how much faith he has in Andrew Wiggins. We will see how it all plays out. Personally, I see the Nets and Lakers facing off barring all injuries and inconveniences but any fan of the league knows that anything can happen. The vaccine may play a big part in the season too. Will players continue to battle the virus? Will the league require they vaccinate? Can they do that? It’s super interesting watching how fragmented the United States’ response to the pandemic has been. It is obviously not the best way to fight a rogue virus, but it makes for interesting questions.
I am super proud of Nick Andre. He motivates me all the time to keep going by keeping the fire alive. (Definitely one of my flamekeepers, if you don’t have any, get some. But that’s another article.) And, I try to read everything he writes. I believe that he will be writing sports for the rest of his life. And if you really think about it, that is super dope to witness develop as steady energy even in the midst of chaos. I guess it is one of the cool things about sports too. Trump, Biden, Congress, and Corona be damned. We are going to play some basketball. Lol. I hope everyone had a peaceful Winter Solstice. Cheers to 2021. See ya at tip-off tonight.