2016 NBA Hot Takes Preview

2016 NBA Hot Takes Preview

By Tyler Smyth

1. The Greek Freak will be the next NBA Super Star

e5c7da6a9b705905b30528765f323451Giannis Antetokounmpo is about to go off on the NBA this year, he is all of 6-foot-11 and he is going to be running point for the Bucks. He averaged 18.8 points, 8.6 rebounds and 7.2 assists after taking over point after the All-Star break last season, also posting 5 triple doubles over that time.

He is only 21 years of age, but he has a special skill set…if only he wasn’t playing in Milwaukee.

2. San Antonio extends their 50 game win streak

19103757-mmmainSan Antonio has won 50 games in every non strike shortened season over the last 19 years, they actually even won 50 in one of the strike shortened seasons despite it being 16 games less.

There are a lot of people out there saying that the streak ends this season, and I understand why. Tim Duncan retired and replacing him with an aging Paul Gasol doesn’t exactly seem like an upgrade but they will still win 50 because most teams have horrible coaching.

Pop is still the best coach in the league, which along with Aldridge and Leonard will be enough to keep the streak alive despite the artist formally known as Manu trying to do things he isn’t capable of doing anymore for one more year.

3. The Knicks will make the playoffs

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That isn’t a misprint, I did not forget to type the word “not”.

The New York Knickerbockers are going to make the Eastern Conference playoffs this year.

They have enough talent to make the playoffs in a weak Eastern Conference and they have a much better coach in Jeff Hornacek, Jeff did some great things in Phoenix. I know last season was abysmal but there were a ton of factors outside of Jeff’s control at play last season.

The Knicks can play defense and a healthy Noah will make them that much better on that side of the ball, and Hornacek will make them a much better offensive team. If they can get any type of consistent production at the point from Brandon Jennings and Derrick Rose they will be much improved offensively.

One last thing, did you see Melo in the Olympics this year?

4. The MVP will be someone other than LeBron James, Steph Curry, or Kevin Durant

19916732-mmmainI get it, 1 of these 3 players have won the last 5 league MVP’s and 7 of the last 8, but I think someone outside of this trio ends up with the hardware this season.

I think James takes a little bit of a backseat to Kyrie this season for no other reason than to save his body for another title run. He didn’t participate in the Olympics this season for that very reason and he doesn’t have anything else to prove, he’s the best player in the world proving that once again in this years playoffs.

I think that Curry’s performance in the playoffs actually hurts him this year, I think they aren’t going to give the best shooter on the best team the award 3 years in a row after being outplayed in the playoffs multiple times this past year. I also think that Durant isn’t going to be as dominant in the Warriors offense with a 3rd scorer in Klay Thompson, something he never had in Oklahoma City.

Who is going to win it? I think the 3 guys with the best chance are James Harden, Kawhi Leonard, and Russell Westbrook. Leonard and Harden finished second in the voting to Curry the last two years and Westbrook is going to be out to prove something with Durant skipping town to their rival. That is a bold prediction, my friends.

5. Buddy Hield wins the NBA Rookie of the Year

20720451-mmmainBen Simmons is going to miss a big portion of the season with a broken foot, which opens up the race for, what on paper, looks like a very weak rookie class.

Hield finds himself in a perfect situation to take advantage of things in New Orleans. Tyreke Evans and Jrue Holiday are going to be out to start the season, which makes Hield their best perimeter player, he also has a dominant big man to space the floor for him and get him looks. Hield is the rare 4-year college player and that maturity along with an ideal situation for him to succeed early, makes him the odds on favorite to win the award. A small part of me wanted to put Joel Embiid here, he would be the only player ever to win rookie of the year in what would be year 3 for him if he had been healthy.

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