Five Reasons

The Five Reasons Sports NBA Preview: 14 Contributors Give Their Predictions

After the shortest offseason in NBA history followed by what seemed like the longest offseason in NBA history, NBA basketball is back this week!  Heat fans have enjoyed an exciting preseason, but now things are for real.  In the last weekend without basketball for eight months, Five Reasons Sports gathered thirteen “experts” (stop laughing) to make their season predictions.  If you want to join in yourself, we also started a fan poll so that you can make your predictions and we’ll save the receipts.  


Our 14 experts:  @RoyalAShepherd, @MateoMayorga23, @BryanIsTheKing, @ToineSpeaks, @Michael5RSN, @Kendale_11, @MarcoRomo_, @RickyJMarc, @TonySchwartzNBA, @BradyHawk305, @AdamNBorai, @GregSylvander, @GadielCartagena, and @SRochesterNBA.  


Eastern Conference Predictions:

Our experts were nearly unanimous on the Bucks taking the East’s top spot, with Marco going “lone wolf” on the Nets.  The panel was pretty clear on the Nets and Heat taking the 2nd and 3rd seeds, but the middle seeds were extremely mixed.  The Hawks took the 4th seed, and the Celtics just edged out the Sixers for the 5th seed.  After the top six, the panel seems to have a significant drop to a lower tier of teams with six different possibilities fighting for the play-in spots at 7th-10th.


Average Expert Rankings:

  1. Milwaukee Bucks (1.08)
  2. Brooklyn Nets (2.41)
  3. Miami Heat (3.50)
  4. Atlanta Hawks (5.00)
  5. Boston Celtics (5.58)
  6. Philadelphia 76ers (5.67)
  7. Chicago Bulls (7.3)
  8. New York Knicks (8.91)

Play-In Candidates (ranked in order of votes):  Indiana Pacers, Toronto Raptors, Charlotte Hornets, and Washington Wizards


Eastern Conference Finals:

Royal: Bucks vs. Heat

Mateo: Bucks vs. Heat

Bryan:  Bucks vs. Nets

Toine:  Bucks vs. Heat

Michael:  Bucks vs. Heat

Kendale:  Bucks vs. Nets

Ricky:  Bucks vs. Nets

Tony:  Bucks vs. Heat

Sean:  Bucks vs. Nets

Brady:  Bucks vs. Heat

Adam:  Bucks vs. Nets

Gad:  Nets vs. Heat

Greg:  Bucks vs. Heat


Western Conference Predictions:

Unlike the Eastern Conference, our experts were torn on the best team in the west with each of our top four teams receiving 1st place votes.  The consensus seems to believe there is a clearly defined tier of four teams, followed by the Warriors, and then another tier of eight teams competing for the 6th-10th seeds.  


Average Expert Rankings:

  1. Los Angeles Lakers (2.25)
  2. Utah Jazz (2.58)
  3. Denver Nuggets (3.58)
  4. Phoenix Suns (3.91)
  5. Golden State Warriors (5.16)
  6. Dallas Mavericks (7.50)
  7. Portland Trailblazers (8.16)
  8. Los Angeles Clippers (8.25)

Play-In Candidates (ranked in order of votes):  Memphis Grizzlies, San Antonio Spurs, New Orleans Pelicans, Oklahoma City Thunder, and Minnesota Timberwolves


Western Conference Finals:

Royal:  Lakers vs. Warriors

Mateo:  Lakers vs. Nuggets

Bryan:  Lakers vs. Warriors

Toine:  Lakers vs. Nuggets

Michael:  Lakers vs. Warriors

Kendale:  Lakers vs. Warriors

Marco:  Suns vs. Nuggets

Ricky:  Lakers vs. Nuggets

Tony:  Nuggets vs. Jazz

Sean:  Lakers vs. Suns

Brady:  Lakers vs. Suns

Adam:  Lakers vs. Nuggets

Gad:  Lakers vs. Suns

Greg: Lakers vs. Jazz


NBA Finals Predictions:

Royal:  Lakers vs. Heat

Mateo:  Lakers vs. Bucks

Bryan:  Lakers vs. Nets

Toine:  Lakers vs. Bucks

Michael:  Warriors vs. Heat

Kendale:  Lakers vs. Bucks

Marco:  Nuggets vs. Nets

Ricky:  Lakers vs. Bucks

Tony:  Nuggets vs. Heat

Sean:  Lakers vs. Nets

Brady:  Suns vs. Heat

Adam:  Lakers vs. Nets

Gad:  Lakers vs. Nets

Greg:  Lakers vs. Heat


NBA Champion:

Royal:  Heat

Mateo:  Lakers

Bryan:  Nets

Toine:  Lakers

Michael:  Warriors

Kendale:  Lakers

Marco:  Nets

Ricky:  Lakers

Tony:  Heat

Sean:  Nets

Brady:  Suns

Adam:  Lakers

Gad:  Nets

Greg:  Heat







Who Will Win 2021-2022 NBA MVP?

Royal:  Durant

Mateo:  Giannis

Bryan:  Giannis

Toine:  Harden

Kendale:  Jokic

Marco:  Jokic

Ricky:  Embiid

Tony:  Jokic

Sean:  Durant

Brady:  Giannis

Adam:  Luka

Gad:  Giannis

Greg:  Steph


Who Will Win 2021-2022 NBA Rookie of the Year?

Royal:  Jalen Green

Mateo:  Green

Bryan:  Green

Toine:  Green

Michael:  Jalen Suggs

Kendale:  Green

Marco:  Cade Cunningham

Ricky:  Cunningham

Tony:  Scottie Barnes

Sean:  Green

Brady:  Barnes

Adam:  Green

Gad:  Green

Greg:  Davion Mitchell


Who Will Win 2021-2022 NBA Most Improved Player?

Royal:  Michael Porter Jr.

Mateo:  Gary Trent Jr.

Bryan:  OG Anunoby

Toine:  OG

Michael:  Victor Oladipo

Kendale:  Porter Jr.

Marco:  OG

Ricky:  OG

Tony: OG

Sean:  Jordan Poole

Brady:  Christian Wood

Adam:  Dejounte Murray

Gad:  OG

Greg:  Poole


Who Will Win 2021-2022 NBA Sixth Man of the Year?
Royal:  Jordan Clarkson

Mateo:  Marcus Smart

Bryan:  Tyler Herro

Toine:  Herro

Michael:  Clarkson

Kendale:  Michael Porter Jr.

Marco:  Herro

Ricky:  Herro

Tony:  Herro

Sean:  Herro

Brady:  Herro

Adam:  Derrick Rose

Gad:  Herro

Greg:  Herro


Who Will Win 2021-2022 NBA Defensive Player of the Year?

Royal:  Bam Adebayo

Mateo:  Bam

Bryan:  Bam

Toine:  Anthony Davis

Michael:  Bam

Kendale:  Bam

Marco:  Bam

Ricky:  Bam

Tony:  Giannis

Sean:  Bam

Brady:  Rudy Gobert

Adam:  Bam

Gad:  Davis

Greg:  Bam


Who Will Win 2021-2022 NBA Coach of the Year?
Royal:  Erik Spoelstra

Mateo:  Frank Vogel

Bryan:  Vogel

Toine:  Steve Nash

Michael:  Spoelstra

Kendale:  Ime Udoka

Marco:  Michael Malone

Ricky:  Spoelstra

Tony:  Spoelstra

Sean:  Spoelstra

Brady:  Monty Williams

Adam:  Michael Malone

Gad:  Malone

Greg:  Spoelstra







Who Will Be the Best Player Traded This Season?

Royal:  CJ McCollum

Mateo:  Ben Simmons

Bryan:  Simmons

Toine:  Domantas Sabonis

Michael:  McCollum

Kendale:  Brandon Ingram

Marco:  Kristaps Porzingis

Ricky:  Kyrie Irving

Tony:  Simmons

Sean:  Myles Turner

Brady:  Simmons

Adam:  Simmons

Gad:  Simmons

Greg:  Bradley Beal


Who Will Be The 1st NBA Head Coach Fired?

Royal:  Vogel

Mateo:  Chris Finch

Bryan:  Luke Walton

Toine:  Walton

Michael:  Scott Brooks

Kendale:  Walton

Marco:  Walton

Ricky:  Popovich (retire)

Tony:  Dwayne Casey

Sean:  Walton

Brady:  Walton

Adam:  Walton

Gad:  Walton

Greg:  Wes Unseld Jr.


Will Kyrie Irving Play For The Nets This Season?

Royal:  No

Mateo:  Yes

Bryan:  Yes

Toine:  Yes

Michael:  Yes

Kendale:  Yes

Marco:  Yes

Ricky:  No

Tony:  Yes

Sean:  Yes

Brady:  No

Adam:  Yes

Gad:  Yes

Greg:  Yes


Will Ben Simmons Play For The Sixers This Season?

Royal:  Yes

Mateo:  Yes

Bryan:  Yes

Toine:  Yes

Michael:  Yes

Kendale:  Yes

Marco:  No

Ricky:  Yes

Tony:  Yes

Sean:  No

Brady:  Yes

Adam:  Yes

Gad:  Yes

Greg:  No

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