2021-22 NBA Season Preview

Trestyn Mayberry

Last season the NBA season ended in amazing fashion as 2x MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo took home his first NBA championship after steadily beating the hot and running Phoenix Suns. This solidify’s Antetokounmpo status as this leads to many teams realizing what they need to do to compete as this lead’s us to a off-season full of trades, new signings, and draft picks.

Eastern Conference

The Eastern Conference this year will be heavily led by teams like the Nets led by Kevin Durant and James Harden, or the Bucks as retaining champs with Giannis. But teams such as the Bulls with moves brining in Lonzo Ball and Demar Derozan over the off-season and as for his former teammate Kyle Lowry, he was traded to the Miami Heat during the off-season and both teams are as hungry as ever now. But this year’s NBA Draft benefited teams like the Pistons who landed the 1st overall pick and selected Cade Cunningham or the Orlando Magic in getting a snag of a pick in Jalen Suggs who are still looking for where they want to lead there team to. But you can never count out the likes of the 76ers with Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons, The Pacers with Domontas Sabonis, and especially one of my biggest sleepers this season the New York Knicks with Julius Randle and also brining in the star-power in Kemba Walker at point-guard. If it all comes down to it at the end here would be my Eastern Conference standing for the 2021-22 NBA season, also what i think their records may be.

Eastern Conference Standings

  1. Nets (64-16)
  2. Bucks (60-20)
  3. Hawks (57-23)
  4. 76ers (54-26)
  5. Heat (54-26)
  6. Bulls ( 48-32)
  7. Knicks (44- 36)
  8. Celtics (42- 38)
  9. Pacers (41- 39)
  10.  Hornets (41-39)
  11. Wizards (35 – 45)
  12. Raptors (32 – 48)
  13. Pistons (30-50)
  14. Magic (27 – 53)
  15. Cavaliers (25- 55)

Western Conference

The West is very heavy powered this season as superstars from LeBron James, to reigning  MVP Nikola Jokic, to Splash Bro #1 Stephen Curry and more. This season the West has some proving to do, as they let the NBA title slip away and fall in the hands from a team in the East. Teams like the Lakers, Nuggets, and Jazz are hungry for a title as both teams fell short of a title from the Western Conference Champions Phoenix Suns. Devin Booker is ready to also bring home a title to Phoenix after falling short to the Bucks and restore faith to the Suns as they are looking to climb back to the top this season. Warrior fans are really excited to finally see the return of Klay Thompson after 2 long season as the Clippers are waiting for superstar Kawhi Leonard to heal up as they are right there in the picture but just need to get healthy to finally make that push. As for players like Luka Doncic who are looking to bring home a MVP and a title or Damian Lillard, still need a little more pieces to really breakthrough and get to goals they wish to accomplish soon. Never forget to sleep on teams such as the Grizzles, Pelicans, Spurs, Kings, and Rockets, these teams may be very young this upcoming season but beware as they are ready to upset some team’s and maybe slide into the play-in tournament. Who I think may win the conference this year you may ask? Well, that has to be the Nuggets and this is because I’m a firm believer  in good communication and teamwork and by watching the Nuggets from season to season, I strongly believe  the Nuggets have what it takes to win the Conference.

Western Conference Standings

  1. Nuggets (64-18)
  2. Lakers (62-16)
  3. Jazz (58- 24)
  4. Clippers ( 55- 27)
  5. Mavericks (55-27)
  6. Suns ( 50- 32)
  7. Warriors (48- 34)
  8. Trail-Blazers (46- 36)
  9. Grizzles (45- 37)
  10. Pelicans (42 -40)
  11. Spurs (37 – 45)
  12. Kings (35 – 47)
  13. Timberwolves (35- 47)
  14. Rockets (25- 57)
  15. Thunder (20-62)

Award Races

This year could be a big season all around for a lot of many NBA players as they will have played with fans in the stands for the first time and get to show people in-person what they can do. My first award is the MVP which is bestowed to the presumably best basketball player that season and there has been many stars to win the award like Kevin Durant, Derrick Rose, and Steph Curry just to name a couple. I feel as this is the season of the Maverick and Luka Doncic will bring home the award to Dallas and quite possibly to the NBA Finals as Doncic will be one of the most deadliest players in the league this . The Rookie of the Year has been big these past couple year’s as we have seen people that win the award grow into superstars later into their careers. There are many rookies this season that could take the award and in my eyes this award could go to anyone but for my main pick it has to be Number 1 overall pick Cade Cunningham. This pick is very obvious as he was the best college player last season but i think he can take his game to the next level in the NBA and become a big force to be reckon with in the future. But for the rest of the awards like Coach of the Year, I definitely think it will be James Borrego from the Charolette Hornets. Borrego can make that big leap to the playoffs or further with players like LaMelo Ball, Gordon  Hayward, and Miles Bridges. The last 3 awards like the 6th Man of the Year, Most Improved Player, and Defensive Player of the Year could be a major toss up with any player in the league and for 6th Man of the Year will g0 to Tyler Herro. Herro will be a big force for the Heat off the bench and can make lethal shots and big plays off the bench all year for the Heat. This award winner may sound bias but for Defensive Player of the Year I have to go with Myles Turner on this one. Last season he proved to a lot of people how formidable he was in the paint and I think he does that even better this season. Finally for Most Improved Player this will have to go to Lonzo Ball with his new team down in Chicago. Finally, I feel Lonzo can take that next step in his play and with the new help of Demar Derozan and Alex Caruso, Chicago has a lot to be excited as this team and Lonzo are going to great heights and are ready to shock this league.

Award Winners

MVP: Luka Doncic (Mavericks)

Rookie of the Year: Cade Cunningham (Pistons)

Coach of the Year: James Borrego (Hornets)

Defensive Player of the Year: Myles Turner (Pacers)

6th Man of the Year: Tyler Herro (Heat)

Most Improved Player: Lonzo Ball (Bulls)

Written by: Trestyn Mayberry