“The Crown’s” John Flynn Predicts 2015-16 NBA Season
The Golden State Warriors put together one of the greatest seasons of all time. They were clearly the team with the most talent and depth at every position in the league. They were also the luckiest as well. Every single one of their key contributors this season stayed healthy all year.
Stephen Curry is the best shooter in basketball, and he looked unstoppable during the playoffs. They were true champions. But, there is one other team from the Western Conference that has what it takes to win a championship in June.
They are the Oklahoma City Thunder. Since they made the move to Seattle, the Thunder have been doomed to seven years of disappointment. However, this is a talented team that I think will finally find a way stay healthy this season. Their big three, Kevin Durant, Russell Westbrook, and Serge Ibaka are on my list for the 15 to 20 most talented players in the league. Russell Westbrook is my pick for league MVP. Also, what a move signing the former Florida coach that took the Gators to back-to-back national championships in Billy Donovan. He is smart, and has a special feel of the basketball. He helped Providence to the Final Four in 1987, and the Knicks selected him in the NBA Draft. I think the Thunder should win around 59 games.
Other teams that I expect to have strong seasons from the West this year include San Antonio, whom I think will be a bit overhyped this year despite signing Portland star LaMarcus Aldridge and still having their core playmakers from their NBA title two years ago.
Meanwhile, it is wide open in the East. Practically every top contender is dealing with injury issues. Derrick Rose had another injury, LeBron James of the Cavaliers has back spasms and is missing the remainder of the preseason, which may be a big deal, especially early in the season.
But, there are sleeper teams from the East. The Knicks, who posted the worst record in the league and in franchise history a year ago, have played well during the preseason and have looked good in the process, and now that Derek Fisher has coaching experience, he’ll be able to manage games better than he did last year.
The 76ers shouldn’t fare as badly as last year now that they have Jahlil Okafor, who I though was the top player in the NBA draft last year.
Okafor is going to be a great fit for the Sixers once they start winning in about a year or two and complete their rebuilding stage.