The NBA is moving west! No, not really, but the recent signings of LeBron James and DeMarcus Cousins to the Lakers and the Warriors, respectively, makes that notion seem true. With the first handful of games underway for each team, let’s look at the top teams to watch this year for each conference.
The Celtics are coming off of a solid season last year, and without LeBron in the East, they seem to be the favorites for the 2018-2019 season. Kyrie Irving and Gordon Hayward have much to prove as far as staying healthy, but this young team certainly can do similar or even more damage than last year.
The combination of Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons is inherently dangerous. As two of the more talented big men in the league, they have the potential to be a legitimate force on the backboard. They are due for a big year, but you cannot win games with only two players…
The addition of Kawhi Leonard was huge for the Raptors. They did lose Derozan, but Leonard provides a defensive force to the team that they did not have before, seeing that Serge Ibaka’s defense is not as prominent as it once was. Toronto will provide a serious challenge to the Celtics for top spot in the East.
Golden State Warriors
There’s not much to say about this team that hasn’t already been said for years. The addition of DeMarcus Cousins only reiterated that the Warriors are a superteam. Stephen Curry is on his way to becoming the undisputed best shooter in NBA history, which will just continue the trend of winning for the Warriors.
The Rockets were my pick last year to win the Championship. This year they still have a chance, as long as Chris Paul can remain more laxed than with the altercation with the Lakers. James Harden and Clint Capella provide a scary trio to play against.
Los Angeles Lakers
LeBron James. That’s the reason for anyone to follow the Lakers. No matter how they finish in the West, the Lakers are a team to watch because LeBron James carries talentless teams to victories. If he can keep up the pace of the past few seasons, the Lakers could contentd in the NBA.
Who will be the NBA Champion this season?
Unfortunately, the Warriors seem to be the top contender yet again for the NBA championship. Other teams could pull through as a surprise pick, however. The Celtics were strong last year, and so were the Rockets. They both retained all their star players, so they could give the Warriors challenging opposition. Additionally, the Milwaukee Bucks could have a shot at a title if Giannis Antetokounmpo can carry them consistently.
MVP Prediction: Giannis Antetokounmpo
Giannis is due for a year of absolute dominance. Over the past few years, he has shown signs of becoming the face of the NBA as both an offensive and defensive presence. For the 2018-19 season, the talent-depleted East could be Giannis’s way to make absolutely insane stat lines happen.