After a wild offseason, the 73rd season of the NBA finally gets underway on Tuesday 16th October and below you will find our NBA predictions for the 2018/19 season.
From LeBron James joining the purple & gold of the Los Angeles Lakers to Demarcus Cousins strengthening the Golden State Warriors, the 2018/19 NBA Season is sure to be an exciting one!
2018/19 NBA Championship Winner Predictions
Golden State Warriors
It’s difficult to look past Golden State becoming the third team to win 4 titles in a 5 year span. After holding off the Houston Rockets in the playoffs and dominating Cleveland Cavaliers in the NBA Finals, the current champions have strengthened their side this summer by signing All Star centre Demarcus Cousins to join on a one-year deal. The offense of the Warriors has been devastating in recent years, last season they averaged 113.5 points per game and held the highest statistics for field goal % (50.3), free throw % (81.5) and 3 point field goal % (39.1).
One key to success for the Golden State Warriors this upcoming season will be if Stephen Curry can stay injury free. The Champions posted a 120+ offensive rating with Curry on the court whilst it dropped down to 106 when he was missed, he is for sure the most important player for the offence of the Warriors. The bench of the Warriors was questioned last season when Durant, Curry and Iguodala were injured but got a small boost in the offseason when they drafted Shooting Guard Jacob Evans, it will be interesting to see how many minutes he will post at the start of the season with a fit Andre Iguodala and Kevin Durant in rotation.
If Golden State can avoid any mishaps with their starters they should go on to make it 3 Championships in a row. The inclusion of DeMarcus Cousins has made it tougher for the league to handle and will prove to be crucial in the playoffs.
We do still expect a strong competition especially from the Boston Celtics, the team look well-rounded this season and look set to make it to their first NBA Finals since their 4-3 series loss to Los Angeles Lakers in 2010.
Boston were a great team last season despite missing Gordon Hayward and Kyrie Irving for the whole the majority of the campaign. They played exceptionally well in the regular season winning 55 games, finishing second in the Eastern Conference with 28 wins coming on the road. The Celtics look to have the best starting lineup other than Golden State with Kyrie Irving, Al Horford, Gordon Hayward, Jason Tatum and Jaylen Brown. After being dubbed the underdogs in the 2018 Playoffs without their key players, Boston went on to knock out the Milwaukee Bucks and fly past Philadelphia 76ers and now that the Cleveland Cavaliers will not have the dominance of LeBron James, Boston look set to light up the conference. Should they can keep a fully fit side for the playoffs they have every chance to win their first Championship since 2008.
Who to Avoid
The Los Angeles Lakers had a great offseason bringing in big names such as, LeBron James, Rajan Rondo, Javale McGee & Lance Stephenson. It is obvious they want to bring success back to the city but even with those inclusions it will still prove too much a tough task to even reach the NBA Finals. LeBron will no doubt stamp his mark on Los Angeles but it is a step too far thinking he can guide this team to a NBA Finals in their first season as a revamped team. It will be somewhat similar to the past two seasons where he alone will continue to dominate but an NBA Championship this season will be out of reach.
The Philadelphia 76ers look to start the 2018/19 season exactly where they left off, they won 52 games in the regular season and made it to the playoffs for the first time since the 2011/12 season. The Celtics however brought the 76ers back down to earth after handing them a devastating 4-1 loss in the Conference Semis. The 76ers no doubt have great talent on their side but their squad depth and ability to rotate is poor, which is the main reason to stay away from them. They didn’t add much talent to their roster this offseason and with Milwaukee Bucks, Washington Wizards, Toronto Raptors and Boston Celtics all in the mix, it will prove too much for Philly to get past should they make the playoffs. This season may be too much of a stretch but they are definitely ones to watch in the coming years.
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