Hot Takes!

Just a few weeks away from camps opening, let's hear some bold predictions for the '17-'18 NBA! Here are some of mine:

1. Cleveland fails to reach the Finals. Enough talent to be among the East's best, but too much turmoil to make the Finals for a 4th straight year. A hard reality to face as a native Clevelander.

2. It'll be the best year for rookies in at least a decade, with Fultz, Lonzo, Ben Simmons, and Dennis Smith Jr. all fulfilling expectations quickly (I'm qualifying this as a hot take because it seems most observers deem at least one of these players to be overrated.)

3. Toronto's window closes, being surpassed by a younger, more athletic team like Milwaukee or Philly.

4. Denver will finish with a better record than the Clippers and the Thunder, proving that unselfish ball movement and chemistry are just as important as star power, if not more so.

5. Chicago will finish with the league's worst record, despite Atlanta's best efforts.

Anton123
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A couple depressing hot takes

A couple depressing hot takes on two teams I really love:

1. I'm a Cleveland fan and I have a feeling that injuries will really affect the team this year. Isaiah Thomas' injury will force some guys to take on more minutes, LeBron James might have to miss a bunch of games, Kevin Love and JR Smith always have some minor tweaks, won't even say anything about Derrick Rose.

Don't see the team having all their players in the playoffs, and can see them failing to get to the finals because of that. Boston and Washington might be less talented, but they are a lot younger/more durable.

2. I see the Spurs not finishing in the top 3 in the West this year. Pau Gasol is ancient, and him playing this Summer might affect his durability, Joffrey Lauvergne might be their starting C for some part of next season, and Patty Mills will be their starting PG until January.

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Since when has LeBron ever

Since when has LeBron ever had to miss a bunch of games?

Memphis Madness
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My hot takes: Kyrie Irving

My hot takes:

Kyrie Irving balls out. Takes an alpha role in Boston and also becomes better at distribution and leadership. Kyrie Irving even plays some inspired defense, putting up big numbers of 30 points and 8 assists a night while also hitting a big number of 3's every night. Kyrie takes the MVP award, beating out Kawhi Leonard (Spurs are meh most of the time), the Warriors guys, LeBron, Harden, and the Greek Freak.

Warriors don't break their own wins record but DO win 70 games.

Greek Freak wins the All Star Game MVP? Not totally sure...

I kinda wanna say that AT LEAST ONE rookie makes the All Star Game. Ok, let's go with Ben Simmons. Embiid also makes it, so Philly gets two All Stars for the first time since probably the Iverson years...

Lonzo Ball doesn't make it but gets a ton of votes anyway.

Lonzo wins the ROY award. Lakers make a solid push for a playoff spot, but end up missing out. Instead, they overperform in the lottery, getting the 2nd pick for the fourth year in a row. Nets play well but they miss the playoffs (of course). The Cavs are rewarded by landing the 3rd pick in the draft. Clippers get the top pick.

Brandan Ingram and Julius Randle pick it up a bit. The Pelicans start out pretty well but then fade by mid-December. Adam Silver gifts Magic Johnson a $100,000 tampering fine for Christmas. The Lakers trade Ingram, Randle, Jordan Clarkson, and two future first rounders for Anthony Davis. The new-look Lakers finally mesh by the end of the year, going 15-5 in their last 20 games.

Kawhi Leonard wins the DPOY award. Finishes 2nd in the MVP race after finishing 3rd in scoring behind Durant, Westbrook, and Kyrie Irving. Gets the Spurs to the WCF against the Warriors but lose in 6 games.

Isaiah Thomas takes his time coming back, D Rose plays well, often times VERY WELL with LeBron and Love as the Cavs' third option. When IT comes back, he is basically the best 6th man in the league.

LeBron averages a triple double. Kevin Love becomes the new 2nd option and flourishes. Jae Crowder helps out a lot... Ante Zizic shows flashes...

Cavs add D Wade, either before the season starts or by the trade deadline.

Knicks are as bad/mediocre as ever even with Porzingas playing very well. John Calipari quits on his under-performing Kentucky Wildcats team, signs up to manage AND coach the Knicks and cuts Carmelo Anthony. With Carmelo joining (who else) the Cleveland Cavaliers. Knicks end up making the playoffs as an 8th seed with a 38-44 record.

Led by a slimmed-down Marc Gasol the Grizzlies make the playoffs -- again. This time they go in as a 6th seed and knock off the 3rd seeded Rockets led by James "I sorta peaked LAST YEAR" Harden and Chris "Hurricane" Paul".

Cavs win the title led by, drum roll please, Isaiah Thomas off the bench.

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OK, first let me disagree

OK, first let me disagree with a couple of the above takes with a few of my own:

1. Cleveland will win 55-60 games, and if IT is healthy by the All-Star break, they will steamroll the Eastern Conference 12-0 in the playoffs. Sure they may have injuries, but Crowder will be a 6th Man of the Year candidate and take tons of pressure off LeBron. Also don't forget that Dwayne Wade will probably join this team midseason.

2. The Spurs will be fine -- they will win 55-60 games and finish second in the West. Pau Gasol will play limited minutes off the bench, and LaMarcus Aldridge will play most of his minutes at center, with Kawhi, Kyle Andeson, Rudy Gay and Davis Bertans all rotating into the PF spot. De'Jounte Murray will start at PG all season and hold his own, though Mills will finish most games.

Now a few takes of my own:

1. Boston will struggle relative to expectations, as they are basically a completely new collection of players getting to know one another. They will be good -- they'll win between 45-50 games -- but get knocked out in the first round by either Washington, Milwaukee or Toronto.

2. Both will be much improved, but Philadelphia and Minnesota -- the teams everyone loved to talk about this offseason because STAR POWER!!! -- will fail to make the playoffs.

3. Melo will at some point expand the list of teams he's willing to play for, and will get traded to one of them. Houston and Cleveland will ultimately balk at what NY demands for Melo.

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Hot Takes 1. Nikola Jokic

Hot Takes

1. Nikola Jokic makes a MVP run. Predicting the Nuggets to be the 5th, 6th seed and Jokic will put un monster stats to put him to 5 in MVP voting

2. KD unanimous best player in the league. Been saying it a while now, But KD is just a better scorer, defender, and rebounder. Lebron will make his first dramatic slip this year with all the minutes he will play with his injured or soon to be injured *cough Rose cough* PGs.

3. Bogdan Bogdanovic wins ROTY. This is the big one. but the guy scored 15 PPG on 50% from the field and 43% from 3 in Euroleague. Only Fultz and Simmons can arguably be better scorers year 1.

4. 76ers will be 4 seed. Hot take but only 4 teams (plus Miami) to compete with anyway. Expect them to jump Toronto or Washington.

5. Joel Embiid 2nd best player in the East. The goes along with number 4. Because he just is. No weaknessess on the court

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OK, first let me disagree

OK, first let me disagree with a couple of the above takes:

Bogdan Bogdanovic wins ROTY.

Next, here are my takes:

Bogdan Bogdanovic wins MVP. Why? Well I think we all know the answer to that. Kid can flat out Bogdan. He may even Bogdan more than Manute Bol. I predict the 32.4 ppg, 7.7 apg, 6.8 rpg, 2.2 spg, 1.5 bpg, and a WAR of 12.4

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The Clippers are the best

The Clippers are the best they've been since 2015 and beat the Rockets in a 4-5 matchup in the first round

Cleveland plays well with DRose, IT comes back, they struggle for a bit while he tries to fit in with the team and everybody freaks out

Giannis wins MVP and Milwaukee beats Boston to make it to the conference finals

AD and Boogie tear up the league and people start calling them the new Duncan and Robinson while Rondo averages 10+ assists

I wanted to say Dallas makes the playoffs but I think Portland will be pretty good and I can't see them finishing ahead of them, Minnesota, or Denver

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If the Cavs get D Wade, and

If the Cavs get D Wade, and if IT is relatively healthy relatively soon: then I would really like that team on paper: IT, Rose, JR Smith, Korver, D Wade, Shump, LeBron James, Crowder, Richard Jefferson, Kevin Love, Tristan Thompson, Ante Zizic, and Channing Frye.

That team has a lot of depth, lots of fire power, and tons of length. Plus, enough defenders to grind down anyone in a seven game series. LeBron, Crowder, Shump, and Thompson are really tough, especially when they are locked in. You could also potentially play FOUR high level playmakers -- all at the same time (IT, Rose, Wade, and LeBron).

Kinda like IT's role for them now. A clear CORE guy, even a high level All Star (when healthy). A go-to option down the stretch even on LeBron's team in LeBron's town, and with Kevin Love the incumbent number 2. He has a chip on his shoulder, can concentrate more on scoring if he wants...

This team is sneaky loaded, even if D Wade doesn't sign up for a tour of duty.

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Melo gets moved before the

Melo gets moved before the season/early in the season and Porzingis balls out and carries New York to a 6th seed in the weak east. 25/10/3 with 2 blocks and pushing 50/40/90 shooting.

Giannis wins MVP by a land slide putting up monster stats while all the top guys from last year have gained another high level guy to steal stats and glory except Kawhi. Bucks win 50 games and get the 3rd seed in the East behind Boston and Cleveland. 28/8/8 with 1.8 blocks and steals on 50/34/78 shooting.

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I dont think this is the year

I dont think this is the year the Raps fall off. I feel like last year they sort of retooled by acquiring Ibaka and this year they added to that by losing Carroll, Joseph and Patterson, com are youngmitting to playing the young players and signing Miles. They should be the same old Raps.

Philly is not ready for Playoff basketball. They are young and inexperienced and it will take time for them to build chemistry.

The Bucks could be there but I feel like they will go as far as Maker takes them. He needs to take the next step in his game for them to.

The team I see surprising people in the East is the Heat.

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1. BOSTON will finish with

1. BOSTON will finish with 3-5 less wins than last year, due to deterioration of their defense; still they'll finish 2nd but will lose against the bucks in conference semi-finals.

2. By now, everybody is talking about teams like OKC, Minnesota, Boston, Philly or Houston, but at the end of the year everybody will be talking about Utah; this team will finish 6th in the west, with the best defense in the league and Gobert as the DPY. Utah beats Houston (with Melo on the team) in the 1st round.

Ricky Rubio will have his best season increasing his FG% and averaging 15pts/10ast/4rb/2st/43% FG/1.5 3p

3. In a Bulls team without Wade and with Lavine missing some games, Markannen will finish 2nd in the rookie race in a superloaded class, only behind Lonzo Ball.

Markkanen puts up 17pts/7rb/1bl/48% FG/85% FT/2 3P

4. Two Denver teammates will fight for MIP award, and even though Jokic puts up monster stats, it's Jamal Murray whom finally gets the award, after taking charge of the PG spot early in the season and averaging 16'5pts/4rb/5ast/1.5st/45% FG/90% FT/2.5 3P

Denver of course makes the playoffs.

5. Golden State Warriors won't be the NBA champion...but not because they get beat by someone..

The 2018 NBA season won't have a champion due to global issues like weather, economy or war, and the league will be suspended before the finals end.

Andrew1984
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Wow, that last one is a

Wow, that last one is a red-hot take!

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LoL Kim Jong Un Jr Nukes The

LoL Kim Jong Un Jr Nukes The Golden state warriors before they beat the 96 Bulls record again..... With the help of Dennis Rodman

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Winner

This hot take is pure gold.

Endlessknight
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So not just Ball but

So not just Ball but Markannen and Ball will finish ahead on Simmons for ROY. Wanna bet? Man Simmons gets no respect but he's going make a lot of poster on here look foolish this year.

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agree

he's gone for one year and people forget. For posterity, I still believe Simmons is a step ahead of everyone for ROY.

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when talking about Simmons, i

when talking about Simmons, i don't think it's a matter of respect but of uncertainty.

Personally i believe Simmons is the most unique and talented player out of this superloaded class, but sometimes talent alone is not enough and other conditions are as important and finally make the difference.

I think that Lonzo Ball is in a perfect situation because the lakers have created that situation for him, giving him the highest rank, playing at the perfect style and pace for him and being surrounded with players that fits his style of play. With all those conditions it's difficult not to think that Ball has the most chances to get the award.

As for Markkanen, this man has proved in the eurobasket that he is more talented and is more prepared than most people think, and like Ball, given the context he is in, that is, the possibility that Wade leaves and Lavine's injury, he might put up very good numbers and surprise many people with his game in a more spaced league.

Simmons in the other hand it's all about uncertainty..he might be the most unique and talented player of all, but we don't know how he'll play after his injury or how many minutes a game he'll be able to take during the whole year.

Aside from that, the sixers team is very unbalanced in my opinion and their style and players don't fit at all with Simmons style of play; i think the team has many players that demand and need to have the ball in their hands, so i'm not sure how they will mix together and how this sixers experiment will work.

of course there's a chance the sixers some how figure all this out, and Simmons and embid stay healthy taking the team to the playoffs while putting up good stats, but personally i believe this team needs more time so i think it will be a tough season for them and it won't be easy to put all the pieces together this first year.

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Demar Derozan should take

Demar Derozan should take another leap in his development this year. In an article I read by Kevin O'Connor of the Ringer it says Derozan will become the primary ballhandler for Toronto and Lowry will play off the ball more. Demar will also be actively looking too shoot the 3. Heres a bit from the article.

“My philosophy has always been to take what they give you,” Farr said, stressing they’ve focused on improving DeRozan’s 3-point shooting in two primary scenarios. The first is: “Off the dribble, they tend to go under a lot of screens, so a lot of times it’ll be when he’s in the pick-and-roll, and they go under the screen, he can stop and pull it up.” Last season, DeRozan logged 174 possessions when the defender engaged in a pick-and-roll went under the screen, per Synergy, and led the NBA by a wide margin — over the likes of John Wall, Ish Smith, and Elfrid Payton. He attempted only four 3-pointers in this scenario, and missed them all. These are the types of shots DeRozan should look to take next season:

I think Bulls fans are going to be very happy with their team. They seem to have been in a dysfuntional state, almost like mourning the loss of Rose when they expected such a brilliant year, then watching Butlers ego swell and having to deal with Wade's antics. Now they have tons of young talent with Lavine, Dunn, Markannen, Valentine, Zipser, Portis etc. Even if they tank watching this team build should be refreshing.

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Celtics are the fourth seed
  1. Celtics are the fourth seed behind Cleveland, Washington and Milwaukee
  2. Taurean Prince of the Atlanta Hawks contends for MIP
  3. Derrick Rose starts and plays better than Isaiah Thomas for the season
  4. Willy Hernangomez puts up borderline all star stats 16ppg/11rpg/3apg
  5. John Wall wins the MVP award and cements himself among the likes of Westbrook and Harden
  6. One of Brandon Paul or Bryn Forbes averages over 10 points per game
  7. T.J. Warren outplays Josh Jackson and Jackson struggles to get the minutes we expect for him
  8. Guerschon Yabusele has a promising rookie season averaging 10ppg/4rpg/2apg
  9. Cameron Payne proves to be a building block and piece in Chicagos core rather than a throw in

And.....

10. Kyle Singler is all NBA first team and wins most improved (100% will happen)

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3 and 9

I can easily see Rose outplaying IT on certain nights. He might even be able to string a few games together where he plays better, but you don't want Rose closing games for you as PG. Number 1, you have LBJ who needs to be taking shots, not Rose's fadeaway jumpers and 3s. Number 2, if you are going to have a guard shoot a jumpshot off the bounce or off a lebron kick out, I want IT or JR taking it.

Cam Payne will be out of the league when this next contract comes up. He is useless as an NBA player. I'd rather have a 2nd rounder like Frank Mason than him.

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Closing out a game who would

Closing out a game who would you rather have on D, IT or Rose?

Chewy
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theoretically

I want Rose, as long as he doesn't think playing good defense entitles him to take contested jumpshots in crunch time.

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Milwaukee trades Jabari

Milwaukee trades Jabari Parker before the deadline

Washington finishes with a better record than the Celtics

Rodney Hood wins MIP

San Antonio loses in the first round of the Playoffs

LBJ gets his 5th MVP

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I like the Rodney Hood for

I like the Rodney Hood for MIP pick

I think an even hotter take on that would be...

By the end of the season there is a serious debate about whether Utah is better off with Hayward or Hood

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...my hot takes

Some very good (and fun) hot takes above.

Here are mine: Since I'm not a believer in the "stop the Warriors" cause I skip predictions about whos gonna be nba champ or wc champ.

1- Boston win the East in a 7- game thriller against injury plagued Cavs. In the Finals lose to GSW in 5 or 6. Cs finish 2nd in regular season bc they need time to build chemistry (11 new players!!!) Kyrie avging 29/4/6 and finishing top 3 in the MVP vote on lebron's expense.

2- Milos Teodosic wins ROY averaging 16-17 pts and 7-8 assists.

3- Pelicans and Knicks fail miserably so AD and KP get traded one of them to Boston. DMC walks for nothing.

4- Wolves finish 4th west. 3rd seeded Spurs (my most beloved western team) after having a quiet and sad summer lose in the first round to one of clips/nuggs/jazz.

5- Miami finish 3rd in the East, Philly and Detroit also making the playoffs. Brooklyn win at least 30 games.

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got a few ... Brandom Ingram

got a few ...

Brandom Ingram as MIP - shouldnt be hard based on his stats last year vs current situation as featured player in passing offense.

Nets get the 8th spot out East - no pick to tank for might as well go all out.

Kevin Love re emerges as the 2nd option and has a 20/10 type season.

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