Daniel MallipudiComment

The Assist: Big, Bold, & Shocking

Daniel MallipudiComment
The Assist: Big, Bold, & Shocking

THE ASSIST

• helping you with takes on the world of basketball •


The End-of- the-Year Awards

&

10 Ridiculously Bold and Shocking Predictions for the 2017-2018 NBA Season

 

- 2017-2018 COACH OF THE YEAR
Brad Gilbert, Boston Celtics
The reigning #1 seed in the Eastern Conference will repeat as the #1 seed with a completely
different roster. Coach Brad Gilbert will only have four returning players from the previous
year’s squad and will quickly build a chemistry that translates into easy regular season wins.
This balancing of personalities and regular season success will land him the 2017-2018 COY
Award winner.

- 2017-2018 MOST IMPROVED PLAYER
Jabari Parker, Milwaukee Bucks
After tearing his ACL in December just 25 games into his NBA Career, this former No. 2 overall
pick in the 2014 draft will come back with a vengeance as this young talented Bucks team
serves notice on the rest of the Eastern Conference. Coach Kidd will put him in the best position
to gain easy buckets and draw attention off the ‘Greek Freak’, Giannis Antetokounmpo.

- 2017-2018 SIXTH MAN OF THE YEAR
JR Smith, Cleveland Cavaliers
With news that recent off-season acquisition DeWayne Wade will be a starter on the 2017-
2018 Cleveland Cavaliers, JR Smith will be relegated to a primarily bench role player. To the
surprise of some, though, JR will embrace this role and come off of the bench with no fear or no
limits in his shot selection and pave the way to his best offensive output since the year of his
Sixth Man Award as a part of the New York Knicks in 2013.

- ROOKIE OF THE YEAR
Ben Simmons, Philadelphia 76ers
The 2016 No. 1 overall pick will finally make his season debut this season with high anticipation.
His body is conventional for a point guard (some reports list him as tall as 7’0”) yet he has a
very high IQ when it comes to passing and court vision. He will surprise the league with his
accuracy from midrange and prove to feed the ball enough to his young
Sixers teammates.

- DEFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE YEAR:
Jimmy Butler, Minnesota Timberwolves
With the Minnesota front office going all in this off-season to build a contender, Jimmy Butler
will not let them down. As one of only two active players (he and Kawhi Leonard) with more steals than fouls, Jimmy Butler will amp up the defensive prowess on this young Timberwolves
team and set team records for steals per game, season totals in steals, and have a career high in
defensive rebounds.

- MOST VALUABLE PLAYER
Kevin Durant, Golden State Warriors
Although this team belongs to Steph Curry from a personality and leadership standpoint, Kevin
Durant is this team’s offensive leader. Feeding off the momentum that garnered him the MVP
of the Finals, Kevin Durant will put away the distracting off-season with his most efficient
offensive season while posting career highs in rebounds and steals.


And now here are 10 ridiculously bold and shocking predictions for the 2017-2018 NBA
Season….


1. DeMarcus Cousins will be a member of the Cleveland Cavaliers by the end of the
season. The Cavaliers will deal off some of the assets they received in the Kyrie/IT4
trade this off-season and secure the rights to the volatile center while ensuring LeBron’s
eighth straight trip the Finals.


2. Joel Embid will play less than 25 games this season. He is prone to injury and this
season will be no different.


3. A Chris Paul-led team will make it to the Conference Finals for the first time in history
as he and James Harden lead the Rockets to the second best record in the West and
make it to the Western Conference Finals.


4. Lonzo Ball will lead the Los Angeles Lakers to .500 record (41-41) increasing the
speculation that LeBron James & Paul George will land in Los Angeles in the summer of
2018.


5. DeAndre Jordan will win the 2017-2018 NBA All-Star MVP as the game will be hosted in
the City of Angels as he sets the record for the most dunks in an All-Star game since. This
will be the highlight of his season.


6. With the addition of a healthy Jusuf Nurkic and a high-scoring back court, the Portland
Trailblazers will win 50 games this season on their way to the #4 seed in the Western
Conference.


7. Kyrie Irving will suffer a season ending injury (ankle) in January just before IT4 makes his
return for Cleveland leading to the fact that we will not be able to see Kyrie square off
against IT4 in the regular season or playoffs.


8. The Atlanta Hawks will be the worst team in the NBA by at least five losses. Seriously,
on paper this team is absolutely horrific.


9. LeBron James will have his most efficient offensive years and not finish in the top
three for the MVP voting. He’s absolutely the best player of his generation and he just
doesn’t get his due credit.


10. John Calipari will be named the next coach of the Los Angeles Clippers by the summer
of 2018. With the investigations taking place among several NCAA basketball programs,
the pressure will be on programs like Kentucky and Calipari will make an early exit
rather than go through the gauntlet of an FBI/NCAA investigation.

Enough with predictions, the season is here…Enjoy opening night, folks!