NBA Season is Heating Up this Winter

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Roderick Cassidy, Editorial Board

Coming into this NBA season, a lot of questions can be raised for the NBA’s future, not only as an organization, but the individual teams that drive it. Who will take home the championship? Who will tank in a very obvious manner for the 1st overall pick?

S Tier
Milwaukee Bucks – If Middleton had not been injured, the Bucks would have likely taken it all home. If everyone can stay healthy, Giannis Antetokounmpo can work his magic and carry another trophy back to Milwaukee, and maybe even a third MVP award.

Golden State Warriors – Although Draymond Green and Jordan Poole conflicts are a clear distraction, the returning champs need a team that will knock them off their pedestal, and I think that’s in the form of the aforementioned Bucks.

Boston Celtics – The talent is more than there, and should be competing for a Finals title with Tatum and Brown. With Al Horford being able to be the leading veteran of this squad, will the coaching shift change this team’s successful past?

A Tier
Memphis Grizzlies – What an amazing backcourt, especially with Ja Morant at the point. They’re set to surely develop more and more overtime, they could be in the genuine title conversation as well depending on if they can keep momentum.

Los Angeles Clippers – With the return of Kawhi Leonard, this team is sure to make the jump, and be the biggest riser from last season. While still keeping key players such as John Wall, Reggie Jackson and Paul George, this roster seems set to ball out.

B Tier
Dallas Mavericks – With no Christian Brunson, the Luka Doncic led team has seen some roster-al improvements, but players will have to break out for a real championship conversation to start.

Denver Nuggets – If Jamal Murray and Michael Porter Jr. can get and stay healthy, they jump a few spots. Jokic just can’t do it alone, despite being an absolute unit and a back-to-back MVP winner.

Minnesota Timberwolves – Ignoring controversies surrounding Anthony Edwards, if he’s able to break-out, this team could very well be a threat. Along with superb players such as D’Angelo Russell, KAT, and Rudy Gobert on the roster, let’s see what they can cook up.

Philadelphia 76ers – Joel Embiid will thrive, that’s a near certainty. But if James Harden can play at all-star level, this team goes from playoffs to Eastern title.

Phoenix Suns -Despite great success in the west last year, this could be the season where they see regression, especially with DeAndre Ayton wanting to part with the squad. If they can keep it up, a title in the West could be possible, but unlikely.

Miami Heat– Jimmy Butler is superb, their coaching staff is great, and they can easily slide in with 50 wins to conversation. Watch if the situation turns sour, but this is a pretty safe pick for the playoffs.

C Tier
Cleveland Cavaliers – With the new addition of Donovan Mitchell, their roster just looks well balanced and healthy overall with a playoff veteran to lead their ship, all we can do is hope it sets sail, and it fits the bill for a sleeper pick.

New Orleans Pelicans – It could go from Western Conference Finals to a complete miss. This season will test Zion’s future for sure. Honestly not sure what else to say here, besides to keep a close eye on injuries, as we know there’s been an unavoidable past of those for Williamson.

Brooklyn Nets – When you have talent like Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving, you should always be in some form of conversation. However, it just hasn’t panned out for the team as a whole unit just yet. They’ll make the playoffs, sure, but can they truly contend?

Atlanta Hawks -They have a volatile season ahead, that’s for sure. They could go anywhere from a mid-seed in the playoffs to missing them as a whole. Trae Young and Dejounte Murray’s chemistry will be the main decider for the rise or fall of this squad.

Toronto Raptors -Their development of younger players and excellent coaching may be the standout factor propelling them higher than the rest, but not quite for this season. They still have solid playoff chances, and they can break out if the conditions are right.