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NBA 2022-23 Predictions – Can Curry And The Warriors Go Back-To-Back?

Steph Curry of Golden State Warriors
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Another NBA season is finally upon us, and the 2022-23 campaign could be one of the most wide-open battles in recent memory. Unlike the years gone by, there are no true super teams in basketball in 2022, with plenty of parity across the two conferences and as many as ten teams that can conceivably be playing in the Finals in June.

Kawhi Leonard’s return from injury makes the Los Angeles Clippers a significant threat again, and the Nets, Nuggets, Celtics, and 76ers have all made significant off-season moves to improve their title odds. Meanwhile, Anthony Davis’ resurgence and pre-season form are a major boost to Lebron James and the LA Lakers, while the defending champions Golden State Warriors are only likely to get better under the leadership of Steph Curry.

This year has all the makings of a special season of basketball, and here are our Man’s Life predictions for the 2022/23 NBA campaign.

NBA 2022-23 Predictions: Can Curry and Warriors go back-to-back?

MVP – Joel Embiid (Philadelphia 76ers)

 

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Voter fatigue is real in the NBA, that is one of the reasons why Lebron James has just four MVP trophies. Nikola Jokic has been the MVP for the past two seasons, but the Serbian superstar will have to produce another gigantic leap in performance this campaign to earn a third consecutive trophy. Joel Embiid has finished runners-up to Jokic in the past two years and had a solid case to be the winner last season. If both players deliver a similar level of performance this campaign, we could see voters’ side with Embiid, giving the Cameroonian centre his maiden MVP award.

With James Harden, Tyrese Maxey and an improved supporting cast, the 76ers should be among the top three seeds in the East this season. As long as Embiid plays more than 65 games and stays injury free, he should be the favourite to get his hands on the MVP trophy.

Other contenders: Nikola Jokic (Denver Nuggets), Giannis Antetokounmpo (Milwaukee Bucks), Lebron James (LA Lakers)

Sixth man of the year – Jordan Poole (Golden State Warriors)

 

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It has been an incredible couple of months for Jordan Poole in the NBA, with the 28th pick in the 2019 draft helping the Golden State Warriors regain their title in 2022 before securing a four-year extension worth $123 million. Unlike last year when Thompson was injured, Poole will be coming off the bench in the 2022/23 season for the Warriors as the secondary playmaker behind Steph Curry. Considering his explosion as a scorer and creator over the past year, expect Poole to lead the league in bench scoring this season and be one of the most impactful sixth men in the league.

Other contenders: Malcolm Brogdon (Boston Celtics), Kevin Love (Cleveland Cavaliers)

Most improved player – Anthony Edwards (Minnesota Timberwolves)

 

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The first pick in the 2020 NBA draft is primed to explode this season in the NBA. The Timberwolves were a mediocre-at-best team in Edwards’ first two campaigns in the league, but the addition of Rudy Gobert has catapulted this team into playoff contention and can only benefit the 21-year-old shooting guard. With his explosive athleticism and smooth shooting stroke, Edwards is one of the most natural scorers in basketball and could breach the 25-points-per-game barrier this season.

Other contenders: Tyrese Maxey (Philadelphia 76ers), Tyrese Haliburton (Indiana Pacers)

Defensive Player of the Year – Ben Simmons (Brooklyn Nets)

 

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It has been a tough past year for Ben Simmons, with the Australian native becoming the pantomime villain of the NBA after his actions in Philadelphia. However, Simmons has found himself in a great landing spot in Brooklyn and playing alongside Kyrie Irving and Kevin Durant could help get the best out of the former number-one pick. Simmons is one of the most versatile defenders in the NBA, capable of guarding positions one through five without much trouble. With Durant and Irving taking the offensive burden off Simmons in Brooklyn, the 26-year-old can focus on the defensive end this season as he looks to repair his broken reputation in the league.

Other contenders: Draymond Green (Golden State Warriors), Anthony Davis (LA Lakers) 

NBA Finalists and Champions – Golden State Warriors beat the Philadelphia 76ers (4-2)

 

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Steph Curry and the Golden State Warriors are on a mission to win as many titles as possible and standing in October, it’s difficult to see many teams stopping them. The Warriors have the most championship experience, one of the deepest benches with at least seven starter quality players, and one of the top 15 players in NBA history in Steph Curry.

Philadelphia, on the other hand, has one of the most dominant forces in basketball in Joel Embiid, an elite creator in James Harden, one of the rising stars in the NBA in Tyrese Maxey and a much-improved roster with the additions of PJ Tucker and Danuel House. The 76ers will face competition from the Nets, Celtics, and Bucks to come out of the East, but their depth and star power may be too much for the competition this year.

In a Finals setting, though, the Golden State Warriors have an edge due to the questions surrounding Harden’s playoff performances and Doc Rivers’ coaching. Eventually, the title could come down to which basketball team is best equipped to stop the other team’s star player and which of Steph Curry or Joel Embiid can lead their team to victory.

 

[Featured Image Credit: NBA]

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