NBA Predictions For Awards and Championship Winner For 2021-2022 Season: Chick’s Picks
The NBA season is upon us and there’s so much uncertainty in the air. Way more uncertainty than you think. I try to make sense of it all and give you my NBA predictions for the NBA season. Now, I claim to know the NBA very well but I’ve been known to miss sometimes, but man sometimes I hit and I look like a wizard. It’ll be fun to see how wrong (or right) I am at the end of the season. Anyway, without further ado, here are my personal NBA predictions for the upcoming NBA season in 2021-2022.
Most Improved Player: Kevin Porter Jr.
This is one of the hardest awards to choose in my opinion. You have to basically guess which lower level player is due for a breakout year. I think Kevin Porter Jr. is a safe bet for this one. The Rockets have no identity and will need someone to score points. Kevin Porter Jr. can fill that role and I think he has a great opportunity for this award. He had a game at the end of the season where he had 50. Shit, seeing 20 points and close to 10 assists should not be out of the question.
Defensive Player of the Year: Giannis Antetokounmpo
Giannis is a better defensive player than Rudy Gobert. Rudy Gobert is a great paint defender, but the Jazz were exposed as soon as he had to leave the paint. Giannis can basically guard 1-5 with no trouble. I don’t feel like I need to defend Giannis being a better defender than Gobert, he should win it.
Sixth Man of the Year: Jordan Clarkson
I think Jordan Clarkson is THE Sixth Man of the NBA until someone legitimately challenges him. His only competition for this award was another member on the Jazz, Joe Ingles. Manu Ginobli, Jamal Crawford, and now Jordan Clarkson. These guys are known for being the Sixth Man of the NBA.
Rookie of the Year: Cade Cunningham
Best rookie in the class with the best chance to succeed. The Pistons are a mess and really with only Jerami Grant there, Cade Cunningham should have no problem producing with the usage rate he should have in Detroit.
Coach of the Year: Nate McMillan
The Hawks were 14-20 when Lloyd Pierce got fired and Nate McMillan became the interim coach. The Hawks finished the season 41-31 in the regular season. That is a 27-11 record for the Hawks under McMillan. 27-11 is a 71 win percentage. At that rate, the Hawks are looking at a 51-21 record if Nate McMillan started at the beginning of the season. The Hawks also went to the Eastern Conference Final and faced the eventual champions in the Bucks. Nate McMillan should be a finalist if this season goes anything like the last season for the Hawks.
2022 NBA MVP: Joel Embiid
The last award for the NBA predictions is tough one, it would have been easy to go with Nikola Jokic here. Steph Curry crossed my mind, hell, I thought about Luka Doncic too. But the way I see it, I try to go off of how VALUABLE a player is to their team. Nikola Jokic and the Nuggets will finally be healthy (and scary.) Steph Curry will finally have Klay Thompson back and the team has solid talent around them. Luka Doncic might have the best stats from these 4, but his team will suck. I think between a good balance of stats and team success without too much help has to be Joel Embiid here. However, Joel Embiid has to stay healthy or this prediction goes out the window. I think the 76ers have committed to trading Ben Simmons sooner rather than later despite him probably coming back. The sooner they trade him, the better for Embiid’s chances. The floor spacing will be much better without Simmons there, which are only good things for Joel Embiid. It might finally be his year to nab a MVP award.
Championship Prediction: Denver Nuggets Over Milwaukee Bucks
My NBA predictions are coming to a close with my pick for the NBA Championship is the Denver Nuggets over the Milwaukee Bucks. The Bucks should be heading back to the NBA Finals unless we have another postseason blunder by Mike Budenholzer. I still don’t think he does well in the postseason but they won the finals last year, so I can’t say much. There’s too much uncertainty in the East though. The Nets have talent but Kyrie Irving will be another headache, Jame Harden will doom his team because he is cursed. The 76ers might be better without Ben Simmons, but are they good enough to beat the Bucks? That’s the question. You also now have the wild card in the Hawks after their impressive run, the Celtics should be decent again this season. I don’t know, there’s too much going on, the Bucks won on defense and that is something they did not lose. However, I think there’s too much firepower on the Nuggets for them to overcome it.
As mentioned before, the Denver Nuggets are scary. Some people might be looking at me crazy with the roster the Lakers have, or the Clippers being close multiple times, or the Suns being in the NBA Finals last year, or even the Jazz having the best record last year. All great points, but I have all great counters. Russell Westbrook is already bringing that Lakers team down, LeBron James is declining, Anthony Davis won’t play the 5 consistently, Lakers are out. The Clippers seem to never get it down in the postseason, Paul George could be the reason, but there are other factors that lead to that. The Suns had a helluva year but they were incredibly lucky. I won’t blame the Suns for taking advantage of every team they played having injuries, but I can’t expect them to do the same thing. The Jazz are the Jazz, great regular season team that always fails to get it down in the playoffs because they alwasy get exposed. Donovan Mitchell is great but he can’t be the only go-to player for the Jazz.
The Nuggets are finally healthy (or will be soon). They have the 2021 NBA MVP leading them, Aaron Gordon was a great addition last year, Michael Porter Jr. will only continue to be better, and Jamal Murray will be back sometime before the playoffs. The Nuggets bench ain’t no joke either. My best friend, Garrett Burroughs (also a writer on Vendetta), is a massive Nuggets fan and always predicted they would win the Finals. I always told him, not yet, or they’re close. But now, I think it is time to finally buy-in on the Nuggets to at least go to the Finals, but I think they win this year too over the Bucks.