The NBA offseason has come and gone and the 2022-23 season is upon us as the Los Angeles Lakers travel to take on the defending champion Golden State Warriors on Opening Night this Tuesday.
To no surprise, the Lakers once again have high expectations for this season after making a ton of changes to their roster and coaching staff.
The NBA is as stacked as its every been though so the La lakers face an uphill battle to get back into championship contention, even with LeBron James plus Anthony Davis on the roster.
Before the time of year gets underway, our staff went on record and predicted who would win the particular 2021-22 NBA Championship as well as all the major awards plus L. A. predictions in the latest Lakers Nation Roundtable:
Trevor Lane ( @Trevor_Lane ):
NBA Finals: Bucks over Clippers
It’s gross to pick the Clippers to get to the Finals but I think they do have an argument for having the best roster in the West and their depth on the wing will matter over the course of the season. The Bucks were likely a Khris Middleton injury away from a Finals run last period, I’ve got them getting there this year and saving us from a Clippers title the same way the Warriors saved all of us from a Celtics win back in June.
MVP: Luka Doncic, Mavericks
If the Mavericks finish within the top five in the West after losing Jalen Brunson to free agency then Doncic will have a strong narrative to his candidacy to supplement their incredible production. On the flip side, if the Mavs barely stay afloat or even worse, sink on the western part of the country it would end Doncic’s shot. That said, he’s too talented not to get it at some point, so why not now?
DPOY: Giannis Antetokoumnpo, Dollars
Going along with a Bucks name win, it’s another DPOY award for Giannis. His size allows him to defend anyone and he makes plays that few others can. Would be nice to see a healthy Anthony Davis make a run here…
ROY: Paolo Banchero, Magic
The Magic have a chance to be a bit better than people are giving them credit for this season and Banchero will show people why he was the number one pick in the draft. They just have to be careful not to be too good and spoil their odds at landing Victor Wembanyama in next summer’s write.
MIP: Tyrese Maxey, 76ers
While most focus on the particular star power of James Harden plus Joel Embiid, the 76ers have an impressive talent in the 21-year-old Maxey. He put up 17. 5 points and just over 4 assists last season while shooting 43% from three last time of year, and while there may be some regression with that percentage, his importance to a team that hopes to contend for a championship can’t become understated. Another strong period should get Maxey plenty of recognition with regard to his talent.
6MOY: Jordan Poole, Warriors
My pick last year for the Most Improved award, Poole just got a new deal from the Warriors worth $140 million. Playing behind Steph Curry, Poole gives the Warriors the kind of offensive punch that can be difficult to withstand and is coming off a tournament run that provided lots of high-stakes lessons for the young guard. Look for him to take a leap this season and make the Players, once again, a powerful presence in the West.
COY: Taylor Jenkins, Grizzlies
This award tends to go to the coach of the team that exceeds expectations, and as such, I felt Grizzlies trainer Taylor Jenkins should have won it this past year. An injury will rob the group of amazing big man Jaren Jackson Jr to start the season, but if the Grizzlies can weather injuries and keep rolling the way they did last season, Jenkins will walk away with the award.
Lakers Record: 41-41
That record has me taking the under on their current line but I’ve said many teams that the roster is imbalanced plus screaming for a trade. If and when that move comes we can revisit, but as constructed this team projects to be a. 500 squad.
Ron Gutterman ( @rongutterman24 ):
NBA Titles: Bucks over Nuggets
The Bucks had a bit of injuries luck when they took home the 2021 NBA championship, but felt the reverse last season when they lost Khris Middleton. At full strength, this is the best group in the league, and being fully healthy in the playoffs will prove it. The particular Nuggets also appear to be the most complete team in the Western Conference.
MVP: Giannis Antetokounmpo, Bucks
It was tempting to vote for Nikola Jokic in order to win his third consecutive MVP honor, but voter fatigue may set in, especially if the Nuggets are back to full strength. So I’ll give the prize to Antetokounmpo, who should be plenty motivated after final season.
DPOY: Bam Adebayo, Heat
ROY: Keegan Murray, Kings
Making the Kings relevant is a tall task, but Murray has shown some serious early flashes. I believe he’ll be the most NBA-ready player right off the bat.
MIP: Tyrese Maxey, 76ers
6MOY: Jordan Poole, Warriors
Returning to a full-time bench role behind Klay Thompson, Poole should be able to set up high-volume numbers while playing a majority of crunch-time minutes.
COY: Tyronn Lue, Clippers
The Clippers were my second choice to make it to the NBA Finals before ultimately settling on the Nuggets. With Kawhi Leonard and Paul George back, the Clippers are firmly in the contender conversation, and Lue will finally obtain recognized for being one of the best coaches in basketball.
La lakers Record: 44-38
If LeBron James plus Anthony Davis can play at least 55-60 games each, the Lakers should find ways to win enough games to make the Play-In Tournament. The 44-38 record should give them the chance to fight for their playoff lives and earn a low seed. This particular roster is simply too clunky for me to go any higher with my wins prediction, and a Russell Westbrook trade can’t be assumed anymore.
Ryan Ward ( @RyanWardLA ):
NBA Finals: Dollars over A warrior
The Golden Condition Warriors are heading into this season with a roster that’s arguably better than what they had last, particularly if James Wiseman can stay healthy. That’s the scary prospect for the rest of the particular Western Conference.
However , the Milwaukee Bucks still have Giannis Antetokounmpo playing at an MVP level having a team that will have Khris Middleton back again healthy. An argument could be made that the Bucks would’ve been in the Finals and could’ve come out on top had Middleton not gotten hurt.
This year, I think which will happen. So I’m taking Giannis plus company to win it all.
MVP: Luka Doncic, Mavericks
Every single time of year, Luka takes another step forward. Unfortunately, the particular team around him will be suspect, to say the least, especially without Jalen Brunson. Still, I’d say this could be the year that this Mavs superstar makes a legitimate case to be MVP using the likes associated with Giannis, Nikola Jokic and Joel Embiid.
I doubt Jokic makes it 3 MVPs in a row, plus I’m not sure Embiid will certainly tilt the scales enough. Antetokounmpo could be his toughest competition, but in the end, I think the face of the Dallas franchise comes out on the top.
DPOY: Anthony Davis, La lakers
This award always seems to come down in order to Rudy Gobert and whatever star emerges defensively in that given period. Last year, it was Marcus Smart, and even though a few questioned the decision to give him the honor, I think he deserved it.
This season, I believe it could be Davis’ year to shine on the defensive end from the floor. When healthy, he is always within the discussion for the regular-season prize. The veteran forward seems determined to perform as many games as possible during the 2022-23 campaign, and if he can stay healthy and motivated, he might be tough to beat in this category.
ROY: Paolo Banchero, Magic
The Rookie of the Year award is always tricky because you never know which first-year players will come into their own on the next level. This year might be more similar, with a few candidates that might break out and become the next Scottie Barnes.
However , I believe this award is Paolo Banchero’s to lose. He’s obtained all the tools and is inside a great situation to show what he can do with a Magic squad that may surprise some people this season.
MIP: Anthony Edwards, Timberwolves
Few young gamers in the little league today have as much potential to become a superstar as Anthony Edwards. However , the potential future face of the Minnesota franchise can take their game to another level entirely, with this possibly being the growing season the Timberwolves start living up to anticipation.
If Edwards does come into his own, the particular Timberwolves will be a threat on the western part of the country and could be a tough group to beat for years to come.
6MOY: Malcolm Brogdon, Celtics
The particular Boston Celtics are a mess in the aftermath of the Ime Udoka saga. There’s no telling how this team will react without their leader around the sideline, but if they can have it together, Malcolm Brogdon might remind people that he can help move the needle.
Of course , Brogdon offers dealt with numerous injuries over the years, which could make it difficult regarding him to make a strong case for this award, much like Davis for Defensive Player from the Year.
If healthy, Brogdon has a great shot at beating out the likes of Tyler Herro plus Jordan Poole for this honor.
COY: Jason Kidd, Mavericks
In case Luka turns into an unstoppable force this season and leads Dallas to a top seed in the West, Jerrika Kidd could benefit greatly. He’s already proven to be a solid head coach in Dallas, but this season might be the season he earns Coach of the Year honors.
Lakers Record: 45-37
Damian Burchardt ( @D_Burchardt ):
NBA Finals: 76ers over Pelicans
This might look like a bold pick, but is it really? Philly has the best NBA duo in James Harden and Joel Embiid — who have already developed several chemistry thanks to their short stint as teammates in the second part of 2021-22. Meanwhile, the Pelicans roster is usually deep — in big part thanks to the Lakers — and their own third scoring option is definitely CJ McCollum. If both teams are usually healthy within the playoffs, I don’t see anyone beating them four times in a series.
MVP: Joel Embiid, 76ers
The NBA is a league of narratives. I don’t see the panelists making Nikola Jokic the first player to claim three straight MVP awards since Larry Bird. Similarly, considering the large debate more than whether or not Embiid was robbed of the honor last year, I think there will be several headlines throughout the season calling for the Sixers star to win the particular MVP if he keeps up, or improves, on his 2021-22 performance. Besides, because my previous pick might suggest, I believe Embiid will be really good this year.
DPOY: Kawhi Leonard, Clippers
I’m not as high on the Clippers as the general consensus — and I think it’ll end up being difficult intended for Leonard to return to his best self after a good ACL damage that caused him in order to miss an entire year. But I can definitely see Kawhi reminding people how good a defender he is in 2022-23, leading your pet to scoop the DPOY award (which will feel a little like an unofficial Comeback from the Year title).
ROY: Keegan Murray, Nobleman
The Kings are making the particular playoffs this season. There, We said this. And Murray will be the reason why.
MIP: Herb Jones, Pelicans
Payback to get his omission from the All-Rookie First Team and All-Defense teams a year ago.
6MOY: Kendrick Nunn, La lakers
Let’s show at least some optimism within the Lakers front, shall we? But I do genuinely think Nunn is going to have a big comeback 12 months.
COY: Chris Finch, Timberwolves
Minnesota is going to be good, especially in the regular season.
Lakers Report: 43-39
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