In case you haven’t noticed, the NBA is back. That’s a great thing because the past few months have been anything but great. Just check your Facebook feeds; you’ve noticed it too. But yes, basketball season is back and that can only mean one thing here at FHM: our so-called “biased” articles are making their grand return too. Yes, a lot of you have called us “haters,” “idiots,” “nitwits,” and a combination of all of these things. That’s okay because we appreciate all of the comments, both sensible and comical.
And guess what, we’re not about to stop writing about the NBA because we’re fans of the league too. We’re obviously not “experts” based on your vague and oftentimes irrational description of the word, but we do watch the same games and we do have our opinions about what we see, just like everybody else. We appreciate basketball that’s played at the highest level and since we have a platform to write about it, that’s what we’ll do.
So here it is. Our first salvo for the new season and it’s a doozy because, as the title so obviously describes, it’s outrageous. It’s a list of predictions for the just-opened NBA season that are so inane some of you might even call them blasphemous.
So here we go. Our list of outrageous predictions for the 2016-2017 season. We can imagine the comments section now...
James Harden will lead the league in assists
Think about this one because it really isn’t that ridiculous. The two players that have perennially battled for the assist title the past half decade are Chris Paul and Rajon Rondo. Well, CP3 will probably have his minutes monitored, or at least staggered this season and Rondo is playing with Dwyane Wade and Jimmy Butler, two guys that need the ball in their hands to be effective. This opens the door for James Harden, who effectively assumes the point guard role for a Mike D’Antoni offense that has no shortage of shooters, to rack up those dimes. Remember, the Beard averaged 7.5 assists on a Rockets team that finished seventh in pace last season. Imagine what he’s capable of when he’s running D’Antoni’s seven-seconds-or-less offense this season? Actually book this one. James Harden will lead the league in assists.
Anthony Davis will post a quadruple-double this season
Okay, now we're being ridiculous, right? Right? Only four players have ever posted a quadruple double in NBA history and nobody has done it since David Robinson went for 34-10-10-10 against the Detroit Pistons 22 years ago. But the time has come for the game’s next-great big man to break that drought and a line similar to what The Admiral posted against the Pistons back in 1994 should be enough. Pencil it in, haters. The Brow will make history this season!
Kawhi Leonard will win MVP
Russell Westbrook is the sexy choice. So is Harden. Stephen Curry and Kevin Durant will take votes away from each other. The Cleveland Cavaliers will probably let LeBron James take it easy during the season. So who’s left? The Klaw, that’s who. It’s his team now and he has a license to do just about everything he wants. That could mean a spike in usage from a season where the Spurs won 67 games and he was the runner-up in the MVP voting. If you’re going to make a bet on who wins the MVP this year, take Kawhi Leonard and don’t look back.
We’re off to the races now, are we?
One of the core four Golden State Warriors will suffer a significant injury
Obviously, this is a prediction that none of us hope will happen. Here’s the thing though, the injury gods have smiled on the Warriors the past two seasons with nobody on that roster suffering any long-term injuries. At some point, those same gods will come to collect that debt and one of Steph Curry, Kevin Durant, Klay Thompson, or Draymond Green could find themselves out of commission for an extended period of time, maybe even the whole season. Cross your fingers it doesn’t happen, but the law of averages will have its day at some point and the Warriors are on the clock.
We’re going to see a 300-point game this season
I’m not talking about one player scoring 300 points because that’d be stupid. But two teams will combine to score 300 points in a single game this season. The last time that happened was 10 years ago when the Phoenix Suns outlasted the New Jersey Nets, 161-157, in double overtime. Like the Brow’s quadruple-double quest, we’re due for at least one game where two teams just don’t stop scoring. The obvious candidates would be the Golden State Warriors and the Houston Rockets and those two teams play each other four times this season. Don’t sleep on one of those four games turning into an offensive explosion on both sides. A loaded Warriors team taking on a Mike D’Antoni-coached, James Harden-led Rockets team? Yep. Fireworks!
The Minnesota Timberwolves will not make the playoffs
Ahh yes, the Minnesota Timberwolves, aka the “sleeper team of the season,” aka the new “darlings of the NBA,” aka “the next great bandwagon team.” They’re apparently so much of a surprise that everyone’s talking about them being a surprise that they’re not really a surprise anymore, right? It’s the corollary to the player who’s so “underrated” that everyone starts talking about how underrated he is and he suddenly becomes overrated because of all the attention he’s getting. The Timberwolves will be a great time in a season or two, but this year? Forget about it. Remind me again, as many studs as they have on that team, who’s their veteran presence, the guy that’s going to keep them competing in the dog days of winter? Jordan Hill? Nikola Pekovic? They only have one guy who fits that mold and yet, Tayshaun Prince has never been known for being the emotional pulse of any team. The Wolves will improve, but they’re not making the playoffs in a Western Conference that’s still top- and middle-heavy.
The Philadelphia 76ers will be in the thick of the Eastern Conference playoff race
You’re probably starting to wonder if we need to be drug-tested. I’m predicting the Timberwolves will not make the playoffs, but I think the Sixers will be competitive in the East? Idiot! Moron! Biased! Trust us, we’ve been called worse and if you think about the parity in the East, it’s not that far-fetched. Obviously, Joel Embiid needs to stay healthy throughout the year and the Sixers may need to make a move or two for Nerlens Noel and/or Jahlil Okafor, they could have the makings of a very exciting and potentially dangerous team. Remember, this is a team that’s suffered through a lot of losing the last three seasons. Even if they don’t make the playoffs, being in the race until the end will already galvanize that fan base.
The New York Knicks will play in the Eastern Conference finals
Ok, now we’ve gone off the deep end. We’ve lost my mind completely. The New York Knicks making it to the Eastern Conference Finals? The same Knicks that got throttled by the Cleveland Cavaliers by 29 points on ring night? Yep, We’m an idiot. Or are we? Consider this: the Toronto Raptors hit their ceiling last season. The Boston Celtics are deep, but are they really the contenders everyone thinks they are? The Pacers? Nope. The Chicago Bulls? Yeah, let’s see Rondo, Wade, and Butler co-exist first. The Hornets? Sure. That leaves us with the New York Knickerbockers! Granted, they have their own issues, but if everything breaks right for this team—renaissance seasons for Carmelo Anthony and Derrick Rose and the second-year leap for Kristaps Porzingis—we could see them make a run to the Eastern Conference Finals...where they’ll get dismantled by the Cavaliers.
The Los Angeles Clippers win win the NBA championship
Wait, we’ve been accused of being Cleveland Cavaliers homers. We’ve also been accused of being biased to the Golden State Warriors. Now we’re not picking either of those two teams to win the championship?? We’re riding a new bandwagon team?! No, it’s called being fair. And while the odds are obviously stacked against Chris Paul, Blake Griffin, and company, health permitting, this is the season where CP3 leads his team to a ring.