It is not easy to predict which team will win. It is the opinion of the majority of fans and experts who are looking at the NBA game this season. In addition to the existing powerhouses, the super teams that succeeded in massive power reinforcement, and the dark horse with impressive energy… It is truly foggy to see which team will go to the final and win the presidency because the competition is so fierce that it is hard to predict even an inch ahead.
Since there are still many games left, the outline of the playoff team will begin to be seen in the second half of the year, and the candidates for the championship will be predicted depending on whether they are injured or not. First of all, the defending champion Denver Nuggets are the strongest candidates. While Nikola Jokic (29, 211 centimeters), who is called the final MVP and the best player of last season, is taking the center stage, the leading players such as Jamal Murray (27, 193 centimeters), Aaron Gordon (29, 203 centimeters), Michael Porter Jr. (26, 208 centimeters), and Kentavius Caldwell-Pope (31, 196 centimeters) are in full swing.
Recently, people say that Jokic is not the same as last season. However, given his performance, he is not the same. He has scored 25.7 points on average, 9.1 assists (4th), 12.3 rebounds (2nd), 1.1 steals, and 0.8 blocks in 34 games, which is close to triple-double in this season. The record is similar to that of last season. Nevertheless, fans’ expectations for his disappointing performance are largely attributed to his record-high performance in the last season.
As a result, Jokic displayed incredible performance as he won the title. Not to mention the best players in active pro baseball, but also legendary centers such as Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Hakeem Olajuwon, and Shaquille O’Neill were summoned by a number of people, and many even mentioned Michael Jordan. He boasts outstanding performance and has an absolute influence over the entire game within his team.
Murray is a player whose evaluations are clearly different among fans. Considering the playoff during the last season when his team had two options following Jokic, he deserves to be called one of the best guards in the league. However, his contribution in the regular season has fallen short of expectations.
He has an average of 19.7 points, 6.2 assists, 3.9 rebounds, 0.9 steals, and 0.8 blocks, but he is often injured big and small enough to play in only 21 games. If Jokic is the control tower that moves around the post, Murray is the ace in the front line. As there is a strong temperament in big games that people say, “If you go to the playoffs, you become a different person,” it is certain that Denver’s chances of winning the championship will vary depending on his health.
Among Western Conference teams like Denver, the Phoenix Suns is the most spectacular team in terms of name value. Ahead of this season, the Suns surprised others by recruiting Bradley Beal (31, 193 centimeters). With his strong scoring ability, Beal has been evaluated as a player who can even select one option in a few mid to low ranking teams. The problem is that Phoenix has Kevin Durant (35, 208 centimeters), who is known as the best scoring machine ever, and Devin Booker (196 centimeters), who is solidifying his name as a young ace.
On top of that, he let go of DeAndre Ayton (26, 213 centimeters), who had been struggling with his team, and recruited Yusuf Nukic (30, 211 centimeters), a white center who is strong in team play. It is true that Phoenix is somewhat disappointing in terms of performance compared to high expectations. There are many reasons for this, but the injury to key players was also a major problem. As the five to six teams in the mid-range are not far apart, the ranking could change quickly depending on whether they have won consecutive games or not.
If the main players advance to the playoffs without leaving the injury, they are highly likely to be the main players of the event. They can lose to any team due to their inconsistent performance and organizational skills, but on the contrary, even if only one or two of the triple fours explode, the probability of victory will increase. If all triple fours play their part throughout the playoffs in good health, they will surely emerge as strong favorites.
Currently, the Minnesota Timberwolves (No. 1) and Oklahoma City Thunder (No. 2) are competing to lead the Western Conference. Both teams are showing off their spirit by banking on their young blood, unlike their initial forecast for the season. Minnesota had remained in the mid- to low ranking for the previous five seasons. The team had the best performance in the Western Conference when it ranked seventh.
This season, the team was rarely mentioned in the list of candidates for the championship. However, the team is hot from the beginning this season. As if dispelling sadness from being a supporting actor since Garnett’s era, the team is reborn as a sensation. Analysts say that cogs are making progress in various areas, including balance by position and team color, based on good resources that they have consistently collected.
As the saying goes, a team with strong defense guarantees the team’s capability beyond the basic level. If the team supports the team’s consistent offense, it will inevitably achieve a good performance. Minnesota is just like that. The team also has strong firepower due to its average number of lost goals in the top-ranked teams in the league. Anthony Edwards, a 23-year-old young ace who was selected No. 1 in the first round in the 2020 NBA Draft, is emerging as a clear ace who meets expectations.
Currently, he has an average of 26.3 points, 5.1 assists, 5.3 rebounds, 1.3 steals, and 0.7 block shots in 29 games. On top of that, double posts by Rudy Govere (31, 216 centimeters) and Carl Anthony Towns (28, 213 centimeters) are solid. They have an average of 12.1 points, 1.3 assists, 11.7 rebounds (4th overall), 2.2 block shots (5th overall), 22 points, 3 assists, 9 rebounds, 1 steal, and 0.8 block shots, but since they have different styles of play, synergy in terms of combination is also high.
Veteran point guard Mike Conley (36 cm, 185 cm) is displaying his signature game management and passing game, while Cinderella Naz Reid (24, 206 cm) from Summer Camp has also made a good contribution in height and scoring. Oklahoma City is particularly good in areas where younger players’ blood stands out.