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2021-22 NBA Predictions – Can The Lakers Make It To Another Final?

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Another NBA season is finally around the corner as the 75th anniversary year of the National Basketball Association tips off on the 19th of October with the defending champions Milwaukee Bucks taking on the Brooklyn Nets in a rematch of last season’s epic Eastern Conference Semifinals.

The championship race is as wide open as it can be in 2022 with plenty of chaos across the board, and to help guide you through all the drama here are our Man’s Life NBA predictions for the upcoming season.

NBA Finals – Los Angeles Lakers (2) vs (4) Milwaukee Bucks 


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With so many variables in play, it’s almost impossible to predict who will still be playing come June, but the two teams I have gone for are the Los Angeles Lakers and the Milwaukee Bucks. In the West, it is much harder to pick a finalist due to the plethora of contending teams but it is incredibly difficult to bet against the Lakers and LeBron James, who continues to defy father time and logic at age 36.

The Lakers acquired Russell Westbrook over the off-season to add a third all-star alongside Davis and James, and although the fit is questionable concerning who handles the ball and lack of shooting, you would expect Frank Vogel and the team to figure things out, come the postseason.

In the East, it’s much more straightforward with the Bucks and Nets likely to go up against each other in the Conference Finals. Although the Bucks had injuries and luck on their side in 2021 on their route to the championship, I’m favouring them to run it back this season due to the uncertainty surrounding the Nets and their third all-star Kyrie Irving. The Bucks were the best defensive team last season and with Giannis Antetokounmpo, they have the greatest player in the league who somehow, still might be getting better. 

Most Valuable Player – Kevin Durant (Brooklyn Nets)


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Luka Doncic, Giannis Antetokounmpo, Joel Embiid, Steph Curry and Nikola Jokic are all excellent candidates for the 2022 NBA MVP, but my MVP for the 75th anniversary season is Kevin Durant. Despite having the most efficient scoring season of his career, Durant played only 30-odd regular-season games as he recovered from a year-long absence due to an Achilles injury. However, with an excellent post-season and an Olympic Gold Medal run with Team USA, KD is at the peak of his powers and will carry the burden for the Nets this season in the absence of Kyrie Irving.

Most Improved Player – Jordan Poole (Golden State Warriors)


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Jordan Poole’s impressive rise since coming in the league in 2019 has been a sight to behold, and the shooting guard could be in line for a breakout season. Poole averaged an impressive 20.5 points on 53% shooting in the Warriors’ final six games to end last season, and looked even better in preseason where he averaged 21 points on 50% shooting. 

With Klay Thompson out until at least Christmas, Poole will be entrusted with a starting role for the Warriors, and the man from Michigan could be considered as a genuine building block as the team look to push for another title run.

The 22-year-old is playing with a renewed confidence, and with an improved handle and increased effort on the defensive end, Poole could be one to watch in the MIP race this season.

Defensive Player of the Year – Rudy Gobert (Utah Jazz)


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Rudy Gobert has dominated the Defensive Player of the Year award for the past few seasons, and the Stifle Tower has to be the favourite in 2022 to win it for a record-tying fourth time. Last season, Gobert finished in the top three in rebounds, blocks and defensive rating, and the Frenchman has shown no signs of slowing down. Gobert is the most dominant rim protector the modern NBA has ever seen, and the Utah Jazz are projected to be amongst the top five defensive teams in the league, largely due to his prowess on that side of the floor.


[Image Credit: NBA]