It’s back! Well almost. The 2017-2018 NBA season is set to open up Tuesday October 17th as the new look Boston Celtics take on the Cleveland Cavaliers in a rematch of the 2017 Eastern Conference Finals. The Golden State Warriors are also going to be taking the floor against the Houston Rockets, as the Warriors will raise there fifth championship banner, and their second over the last three years.
The offseason was highlighted with a number a big moves. June 28th the Rockets made a huge move sending Patrick Beverley, Lou Williams, Sam Dekker, Montrezl Harrell, Darrun Hilliard, DeAndre Liggins, Kyle Wiltjera, projected 2018 first round pick,and cash to the LA Clippers for Star point guard Chris Paul. June 30th just two days after the Chris Paul trade, the Oklahoma City Thunder and the Indiana Pacers made some noise of their own, OKC sent Victor Oladipo and Domantas Sabonis to the Pacers. In return they acquired the star guard/forward Paul George. July 4th the Boston Celtics made a move to sign former Utah Jazz guard/forward Gordon Hayward to a four year 128 million dollar contract. Boston wasn’t done making moves just yet, on August 31st the Cleveland Cavaliers and Boston Celtics made a blockbuster trade. The Celtics acquired star point guard Kyrie Irving, in return the Cavaliers received, guard Isaiah Thomas, forward Jae Crowder, center Ante Zizic, and a 2018 first round pick. Last but not least the most recent big trade, the OKC Thunder acquired New York Knicks star Carmelo Anthony. In exchange the Knicks acquired center Enes Kanter, forward Doug McDermott, and the Chicago Bulls 2018 second round pick.
The defending Champion Golden State Warriors open up as the clear favorites to win this years title with 5/11 odds. Second is the Cleveland Cavaliers with 4/1 odds. The Boston Celtics have the third best odds with 10/1. Fourth is the San Antonio Spurs and the Houston Rockets both with 15/1 odds. Sixth is the OKC Thunder with 16/1 odds. (Odds as of September 23rd by Jeff Sherman, Las Vegas SuperBook Manager)
I know the NBA has a long season being 82 games, but lets highlight some big match ups you might want to tune in for. First, the homecoming games. The season tips off like I had said before with Kyrie Irving returning to Cleveland to face the Cavaliers in a jam packed opening night. Chis Paul will return to the Staples Center for the first time against his former team the LA Clippers on Martin Luther King Jr. day January 15th. Paul George will be back to face the Pacers December 13th. Carmelo Anthony will return to New York December 16th. Gordon Hayward will return to Utah March 28th. As always Christmas Day is full of good match ups, it all starts at noon eastern time when the 76ers take on the Knicks from MSG in New York. Following them, the Cavaliers return Golden State to face the Warriors in a finals rematch, and the two teams facing off on Christmas day for the third straight season. Third on the list John Wall lead the Wizards into Boston to take on Kyrie Irving and the Celtics. Shortly after James Harden and Chris Paul are heading to OKC to take on the defending MVP Russell Westbrook and the new look Thunder, and finally Jimmy Butler and the T-Wolves battling rookie point guard Lonzo Ball and his LA Lakers.
Predictions: Eastern Conference Playoff Seeding
- Boston Celtics
- Cleveland Cavaliers
- Washington Wizards
- Milwaukee Bucks
- Toronto Raptors
- Miami Heat
- Charlotte Hornets
- Philadelphia 76ers
Predictions: Western Conference Playoff seeding
- Golden State Warriors
- Houston Rockets
- San Antonio Spurs
- Oklahoma City Thunder
- Minnesota Timberwolves
- Denver Nuggets
- Los Angeles Clippers
- Utah Jazz
Predictions: Eastern Conference
The Celtics will run into some problems in the second round due to the Bucks. The Cavaliers are not going to have it easy either when dealing with the Wizards in round two. Both teams will be well tested early. Overall the Celtics and Cavaliers are the two best teams in the east, which is why I have the,m playing each other in the conference finals with the Celtics winning the series in six games. Boston Celtics advance to the NBA Finals for the first time since 2010.
Predictions: Western Conference
The Warriors are with out a question the best team in the west, even with teams like the Rockets, Spurs, and the Thunder in the conference. The Thunder are going to be a problem for the Warriors in the second round. The Warriors will finish them off in six games. The Rockets will handle the Spurs this year in five games. The Rockets and Warriors will have a classic seven game series. Much like the Thunder and Warriors series in 2016, the Warriors will have game seven on their home floor, and I just do not see anyone beating a Kevin Durant/Steph Curry led team. Warriors advance the the NBA Finals for the fourth straight season.
Predictions: NBA Finals
Kyrie makes it to his 4th NBA Finals. Kyrie doesn’t back down to anyone at his position, which is why he will out shine Steph Curry in the finals once again. A lot of the match ups that these teams have are similar. Golden State has a advantage with Draymon Green. He expands the floor with his range, and hes the Warriors backbone and leader. It will be very hard for the Celtics to shoot with the Warriors, which is why I have the Golden State repeating as NBA Champions, three titles in four years is something incredible.