PRESS BOX: NBA predictions from the CT Sports staff

Illustration by Viv Rathfon

Another NBA season has started and the fight for the Larry O’Brien Championship Trophy has begun.

Read along for NBA season predictions from The Commonwealth Times sports staff after an interesting offseason filled with trades and re-signings.

Arrick Wilson’s prediction

The Golden State Warriors will be the last team standing, winning the championship for the second consecutive season. 

The team returns the trio of former MVP winner Stephen Curry, All-NBA defensive player Draymond Green and sharpshooter Klay Thompson. The Warriors are also bringing back key starter Jordan Poole, who signed a four-year $140 million contract extension, according to ESPN.

Joel Embiid will take home the MVP trophy this season. Embiid, or “The Process,” will finally break through and take the throne from Nikola Jokić who has won MVP the past two seasons, according to Basketball-Reference. Embiid led the NBA in scoring last season, according to ESPN, and will look to have an even better year. 

Paolo Banchero will be a surprising factor to fans this season. Banchero does everything correctly. He’s an incredible talent that has the ability to do multiple things for the Orlando Magic this season. Banchero should have some personal success, as the Rookie of the Year award is his to lose this season. If healthy and productive, Banchero will be a problem for the other teams.

The Warriors are bound to be successful again this season.

Marcus Wilson’s prediction

The New Orleans Pelicans will be the contender for the 2023 NBA Championships. My predictions stem from their very convincing win against the Brooklyn Nets on Oct. 19. 

The Brooklyn Nets are no slouch. With the likes of seven-time NBA All-Star guard Kyrie Irving and former MVP forward Kevin Durant, the Pelicans were able to come out on top with the win and a 22-point lead. Alongside the talents of guard CJ McCollum and forward Trey Murphy III, the Pelicans are putting together quite the superstar lineup.

Coming off of a terrible record last season of 36 wins and 46 losses according to ESPN, the Pelicans are looking to succeed this season. The team will have the help of forward Zion Williamson to do so.

Williamson scored at least 20 points in the paint out of 45 appearances during the 2022 season, according to ESPN. His presence, along with All-Star forward Brandon Ingram, will surely lead them to a winning season.

Thailon Wilson’s prediction

The Boston Celtics will be the team hoisting up the trophy at the end of the season.

The Celtics revamped their roster after signing free agents forward Blake Griffin and forward Danilo Gallinari in the offseason, as well as trading for guard Malcolm Brogdon to fill out their bench unit, according to CBS Sports. With all this new depth on their bench along with the firepower duo of forwards Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown in the starting lineup, it’s not hard to see them winning it this year.

Tatum could win the MVP this season. After being named a part of the All-NBA first team last year, according to the NBA, I think that Tatum alongside Brown could lead this team to a first seed in the east.

The Western Conference has a team that can shock a lot of fans this year, and that team is the New Orleans Pelicans.

The Pelicans have power forward Zion Williamson coming back to the team after struggling with injuries last season fully rehabilitated as well as a complete weight change over the off-season. Now that Williamson lost weight, his minutes and performance should skyrocket alongside the talented Pelicans roster which could lead them to a mid to high seed in the west.

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