Today: May 22, 2024

NBA Column

Jaylen CarrSports Editor

We are two weeks into the NBA season, and it’s time for me to make an early prediction.  

First off, let me deal with the elephant in the room… The Los Angeles Lakers. They are already starting a slow start due to the lack of three-point shooters. The Lakers must trade Point Guard Russell Westbrook because he does not fit well with forwards Lebron James and Anthony Davis. 

I do not know who wants Westbrook, but they must hear calls from other teams to see their options. In the end, I think the Lakers may end up in the bottom half of the Western Conference, and they are not ready for a championship run. I think they will end up between the fifth and eighth seed in the West.  

And can Anthony Davis stay healthy for a whole 82-game season? I have never seen a superstar player permanently injured or available to play. He is off to a good start in terms of health thus far. Hopefully, he can stay healthy because he is vital for any success in Los Angeles.  

In terms of my NBA Finals prediction, I believe it will be the Golden State Warriors versus the Milwaukee Bucks.  

The Warriors have the best roster from top to bottom in the league and a great mixture of veterans and young players on the team. Of course, the Warriors’ big three, Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson and Draymond Green, are still intact, making the team tough to beat.  

But the depth on their bench separates the Warriors from the rest of the league. Guards Jordan Poole and Donte DiVincenzo can provide leadership for the second unit. I like the growth and the steady development that Jonathan Kuminga and James Wiseman are making so far, and I think by the time we get to the playoffs, they will be ready for the intensity of the playoffs.  

But of course, when you discuss Warriors basketball you have to mention the splash brothers, Curry and Thompson. In my opinion, the best two shooters to ever play basketball. I believe that they will have their typical steady and consistent season.  

Curry is going to average his usual 25 pointer a game and 40% percent from form the three-point line. Hopefully, Thompson can get back to his normal form from three years ago. The Warriors are the most well-run organization in the league with Bob Myers as the general manger and Steve Kerr as the head coach. They always fill the voids on their team with players that fit perfectly in their system.  

In the Eastern Conference I had a hard time picking the Bucks. However, I believe in Giannis Antetokounmpo, a.k.a- the “Greek Freak.” He is now the holder of  all the major franchise records and one of the major superstars in the league. I have always been an Antetokounmpo fan because of his loyalty and commitment to bring a championship to Milwaukee. I think the Bucks have phenomenal veteran players like Brook Lopez and Jrue Holiday, who provide relentless defense.  

For the Bucks to make it back to the finals, the key is Khris Middleton. He is an instant 20-point scorer that helps Antetokounmpo in clutch moments because of his shooting ability. The only team that is going to be in their way is the defending conference champions, the Boston Celtics. Forward Jayson Tatum and Guard Jaylen Brown of the Celtics will be a tough matchup for the Bucks, but I think Bucks can win a best of seven series if everyone stays healthy.  

A Bucks versus Warriors matchup will bring in the ratings with the stars involved. I predict the Bucks winning their 3rd championship in franchise history with Antetokounmpo bringing home his 2nd Finals Most Valuable Player trophy.  

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