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- Central Division Preview: Indiana Pacers
- Central Division Preview: Detroit Pistons
- Pacific Divison Preview: Sacramento Kings
- Pacific Division Preview: LA Clippers
- Pacific Division Preview: LA Lakers
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My predictions for season 2013/14
- Updated: August 3, 2013
Seeing as everyone else seems to be sharing their predictions on the upcoming season, I thought I may as well throw my hat in the ring. Here are some of my calls for season 2013/14:
1. LeBron to three-peat the MVP Award.
Not a huge call, but this guy never seems to be completely satisfied with his game. Despite the kudos he receives from every corner, he always identifies areas where he can improve. He says that he doesn’t listen to the haters, but I actually think that he uses them as motivation.
I very much doubt it will end there either. An equalling of Kareem’s six is a stretch, but not entirely out of the question.
2. Kobe will return from injury as good as ever.
This is a no-brainer, you don’t become a future Hall of Famer by resting on your laurels and letting everything happen to you. This guy is driven like few others and will set out to prove that not even a measly little Achilles tear will slow him down, especially when so much of the offense will be centred around him after Howard’s departure.
3. The Championship race will be tighter than we’ve seen for a while.
To be honest, I thought this was going to be the case for the 12/13 season and I was partly right. The Pacers/Heat playoff could’ve gone either way, as could the Spurs/Heat finals. We’re seeing a FAR more even league now with the Pistons, Pelicans, Cavs and Bobcats scoring some decent recruits during the off-season and now boasting fairly formidable line-ups.
Alas, Magic fans might want to look away now, and let’s hope #tankapalooza and #RigginforWiggins don’t rear their potentially ugly heads.
4. Durant to re-claim his scoring crown.
The most talented pure scorer of modern times can’t allow some over-accessorised Knick steal his thunder (pardon the pun). I’m a big fan of Melo, but he scores by pure shot volume. Heck, he was still leading the playoffs field goal attempts two rounds after his team was eliminated.
2012/13 saw Durant play a far more rounded game but scoring was still his primary thing, and it will be for the rest of his career.
5. A tight result for Rookie of the Year.
An even draft class normally translates into an even rookie class. Injuries to Anthony Bennett and Nerlens Noel has prevented us from seeing what the actual and projected #1 picks respectively can do in the big league, whilst the most impressive rookie in my eyes so far – Kelly Olynyk – has plantar fasciitis and will likely sit out most of the pre-season. Ben McLemore won’t be the darkhorse I expected him to be, he has some catching up to do.
Victor Oladipo has the opportunity to be a shining light for a struggling team, if only he keeps that turnover count down.
6. Kyrie will continue his climb to the top.
Yes, yes, I know I’m biased. But it’s incredible to think that Irving has only played two seasons in the NBA so far. He is mature beyond his years and will be a leader for the Cavs for some time to come (I hope). The addition of an offensively-minded centre and some decent support will help his game progress in spades.
MVP within the next three seasons. There, I said it.
7. The Pelicans will be the most improved team in the league.
It’s not that they were entirely horrible last season, but they did fade out towards the end. Injuries to Anthony Davis and Jason Smith didn’t help, but the addition of Tyreke Evans and Jrue Holiday will transform this team into a formidable opponent. Maybe it will momentarily stop people laughing at the team’s new nickname….. but I doubt it.
8. The Rockets will underwhelm.
Instantly people are talking up Houston’s championship credentials, but they didn’t build Rome in a day. Many of the problems that D12 had with Kobe, he will face with Harden. Both are the go-to scorers of their respective teams. It’s not a knock on any of these players, but Howard is used to being the number one man on his team. He struggled to adjust to that in LA, and I think it will continue into his first season in Houston.
9. DeMarcus Cousins will become the best big man in the league.
When he’s on song, he pretty much already is talent-wise. But his attitude is horrendous. Once he grows up and lets his balling do the talking rather than his errant elbows, he’ll find that his beloved Kings will achieve far more success. The publicity surrounding him last season is hopefully the kick in the pants he needed, because he’s too good to be written off as a bad egg.
10. Derrick Rose will be good, but he won’t be MVP good.
It’s a big call and I’m more than happy to be proven wrong, but I doubt that Rose will instantly return to his form of the 10/11 season. And I highlight instantly.
He obviously had his mental demons last season about returning from his ruptured ACL, but the calibre and quickness of some the league’s PG’s may catch him unawares for his return season. Don’t get me wrong, I would love to see his form return to the level we saw in 2011, given that his highlight reel from that season is my motivation video I use before each game (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GOtxJrzp6ls), but the pessimist deep down inside me can’t see it happening straight away.