2020-2021 NBA Predictions and Preseason Power Rankings

Eric 'Jason Tatum, Captains-Corner, Lakers NBA, Luka Doncic, Luka Doncic NBA, Mavericks, Mavericks NBA, NBA, nba 2020, Rumboyz, Sports 2 Comments

The NBA returns, and here is my first-annual NBA Predictions article. I’ll go over my predictions on multiple things, including team-by-team records, award winners, way-too-early playoff predictions, and more. Be sure to stay tuned in-season as I will be doing NBA coverage, especially if you are a Jazz or a Kings fan, as I will be doing a lot of content for those 2 teams specifically. 

1st Milwaukee Bucks 63-9

2nd Miami Heat 52-20

3rd Toronto Raptors 52-20

4th Brooklyn Nets 51-21

5th Boston Celtics 46-26

6th Philadelphia 76ers 42-30

7th Detroit Pistons 37-35

8th Indiana Pacers 35-37

9th New York Knicks 33-39

10th Atlanta Hawks 32-40

11th Charlotte Hornets 31-41

12th Chicago Bulls 25-47

13th Washington Wizards 24-48

14th Orlando Magic 22-50

15th Cleveland Cavaliers 18-54

1st Los Angeles Lakers 52-20 

2nd Denver Nuggets 50-22 

3rd Los Angeles Clippers 50-22 

4th Golden State Warriors 47-25 

5th Utah Jazz 45-27 

6th Dallas Mavericks 44-26 

7th Phoenix Suns 37-35 

8th Portland Trail Blazers 30-42 

9th Memphis Grizzlies 30-42 

10th New Orleans Pelicans 28-44 

11th Houston Rockets 23-49 

12th Sacramento Kings 22-50 

13th San Antonio Spurs 22-50 

14th Minnesota Timberwolves 17-55 

15th Oklahoma City Thunder 14-58

Playoff predictions: 

Play-in games: 

Suns defeat Trail Blazers to earn 7 seed

Pelicans defeat Grizzlies to go to 8 seed play-in game

Trail Blazers defeat Pelicans to earn 8 seed

Pistons defeat Pacers to earn 7 seed

Knicks defeat Hawks to earn a spot in 8th seed play-in game

Knicks defeat Pacers to earn 8th seed

First round: 

The Milwaukee Bucks defeat New York Knicks in 5 games

The Miami Heat defeat the Detroit Pistons in 4 games

The Toronto Raptors defeat the Philadelphia 76ers in 6 games

The Brooklyn Nets defeat the Boston Celtics in 7 games

The LA Lakers defeat the Portland Trail Blazers in 5 games

The Denver Nuggets defeat the Phoenix Suns in 6 games

The Dallas Mavericks defeat the LA Clippers in 6 games

The Utah Jazz defeat the Golden State Warriors in 7 games

Second Round: 

The Brooklyn Nets defeat the Milwaukee Bucks in 5 games

The Miami Heat defeat the Toronto Raptors in 6 games

The LA Lakers defeat the Utah Jazz in 6 games

The Dallas Mavericks defeat the Denver Nuggets in 7 games

Conference Finals: 

The Brooklyn Nets defeat the Miami Heat in 6 games. 

The Los Angeles Lakers defeat the Dallas Mavericks in 7 games

The NBA Finals: 

The Brooklyn Nets fall to the Los Angeles Lakers in the Finals in 7 games, as the Lakers win championship #18. 

Award Predictions: 

MVP: Luka Doncic, Mavericks

The 2019-20 season was a big success for Doncic, who improved his shooting percentages, his points per game, his rebounds per game, and his assists per game in his second year in the league, leading the Mavericks to a big season. Many, including me, think that he will take another leap this year. If he improves his per-game stats and defense slightly, He would be the frontrunner to win MVP. Also of note, Doncic would be the youngest MVP in NBA history if he won it this year. 

Rookie of the Year: Immanuel Quickley, Knicks

Saying Quickley will win Rookie of the Year is a pretty hot take, but certainly something that can happen. Quickley has looked phenomenal in the preseason and I don’t see that changing much in the regular season. He will get playing time on the Knicks as well, and I believe he will use that time and do great things with it. 

Most Improved Player: Derrick White, Spurs

White is recovering from offseason toe surgery at the moment, but there should be enough time for him to come back and have a long enough campaign to win the award. He was great in the bubble last year, and he’ll get solid playing time to prove or disprove the thought that he is the future of the Spurs. That being said, I think he will do well this year and win the Most Improved Player award. 

Sixth Man of the Year award: Jordan Clarkson, Jazz

With Mike Conley and Donavon Mitchell on the team, obviously Clarkson isn’t going to start. But he will be the main guy off of the bench for them, as he averaged over 15 points per game off of the bench, earning a 4 year 52 million dollar contract in free agency. I expect that he will repeat that performance, if not improve it, and will easily win the award. 

Defensive Player of the Year: Giannis Antekounumpo, Bucks

Giannis is going to win this award again. He’s won it in each of the last 2 years and I don’t see that changing, especially in these conditions. 

Coach of the Year: Erik Spoelstra, Heat

Opening Day Power Rankings: 

  1. Los Angeles Lakers
  2. Milwaukee Bucks
  3. Denver Nuggets
  4. Los Angeles Clippers
  5. Miami Heat
  6. Brooklyn Nets
  7. Toronto Raptors
  8. Golden State Warriors
  9. Boston Celtics
  10. Utah Jazz
  11. Dallas Mavericks
  12. Philadelphia 76ers
  13. Phoenix Suns
  14. Detroit Pistons
  15. Indiana Pacers
  16. New York Knicks
  17. Atlanta Hawks
  18. Charlotte Hornets
  19. Memphis Grizzlies
  20. Portland Trail Blazers
  21. New Orleans Pelicans
  22. Chicago Bulls
  23. Washington Wizards
  24. Houston Rockets
  25. Sacramento Kings
  26. San Antonio Spurs
  27. Orlando Magic
  28. Cleveland Cavaliers
  29. Minnesota Timberwolves
  30. Oklahoma City Thunder

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