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The Charger Account

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The Charger Account

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NBA Season Preview Vol.2

Image+via+The+Ringer%2C+NBA+superstars+in+comic+style+collage.
Image via The Ringer, NBA superstars in comic style collage.

As the 2023-2024 NBA preseason comes to a close, and with the NBA regular season right around the corner, it is a perfect time to do season predictions and previews for each of the 30 teams in the NBA. Thes predictions and previews will be divided into the 6 divisions of the NBA; Pacific, Northwest, Southwest, Atlantic, Central, and Southeast. How will some teams live up to the expectations they set last year? How will some teams fall? Let’s continue this series by going over the Northwest division in this Volume. 

 

Denver Nuggets:

The 2022-2023 NBA season could not have gone any better for the Denver Nuggets, they won it all, and they did it convincingly. They went 16-5 in their spectacular playoff run, capping it off in a gentleman’s sweep over the Miami Heat. Over the offseason, they really didn’t do too much, and they really didn’t have to. They picked up free agent Justin Holiday, and re-signed Reggie Jackson and DeAndre Jordan. Even though they did not really change up the roster too much, they are still in the top tier of championship favorites this offseason. They still have their 2 stars in Nikola Jokic and Jamal Murray,  along with their deep selection of quality players that they have throughout the team. Since the start of the decade, and even 2019,  there has been a new champion each year, will the Denver Nuggets break the streak this year?

 

Record Prediction: 58-24

 

Minnesota Timberwolves:

The 2022-2023 NBA season was a little short of expectations for the Minnesota Timberwolves that they had set when they acquired the defensive force of Rudy Gobert. It was expected that Gobert would be a huge help for them, but when it came to it being put into action, it didn’t really work out too well. While they didn’t do terrible, as they did end up as the 8th seed, it definitely wasn’t what they were expecting going in. With that being said, coming out of the 2022-2023 season and going into the 2023-2024 season, their expectations are just about where they were at the end of last season; above average, maybe even a playoff team, but definitely not a contender. However, some bright spots will definitely emerge from star guard Anthony Edwards, but it is unlikely that he will be able to lead a team to the Finals, maybe the second round. This could change if they decide to ship someone like Karl Anthony Towns or Rudy Gobert, but it wouldn’t propel them into a contender. 

 

Record Prediction: 45-37

 

Oklahoma City Thunder:

Before the start of last season, the number two overall pick of the 2022 NBA draft Chet Holmgren broke his foot in an offseason exhibition game. We won’t know how much it affected the Thunder until this season, as he is coming back this year and performed great in his preseason games. Back to last year. They performed above expectations by quite a bit. For a part of the season it seemed like they potentially may make the playoffs, and they even made the play-in tournament, but they did not make it into the playoffs, ending with the 10th seed. They did this due to the emergence of Shai Gilgeous Alexander, as he was fourth in the league in Points Per Game, with 31.4. Over the offseason, the Thunder didn’t add too much, but some key players that they did acquire were Victor Oladipo and Davis Bertans. Going into the season, it seems like they will be better than last year, but it won’t show as much in the standings, as the OKC Thunder will likely end up as a playoff contender, and at or above .500. 

 

Record Prediction: 43-39

 

Portland Trail Blazers

To say the 2022-2023 season was underwhelming for the Portland Trail Blazers would be an understatement. For the second consecutive year, they finished with the 13th seed in the western conference.  Their Star player Damian Lillard battled injuries all year long, but thankfully for Portland, they have a promising future with the emergence of Anfernee Simons and great play from Jerami Grant. However, the promising future was not enough for Damian Lillard. Lillard, has been a lifelong Portland Trail Blazer since 2012 and has been through thick and thin. He went to the playoffs with them for 8 straight years, and only 1 conference finals appearance to show for it. So this offseason he decided to do something about it, he demanded a trade from Portland, and got traded to the Milwaukee Bucks. It was a three team trade between the Milwaukee Bucks, Portland Trail Blazers, and the Phoenix Suns. Portland sent out Damian Lillard (to Bucks) , Keon Johnson (to Suns) , Nassir Little (to Suns) , and Jusuf Nurkic (to Suns). In return they got Deandre Ayton (via Suns), Toumani Camara (via Suns), Jrue Holiday (via Bucks), along with 3 first round picks from Milwaukee. So going into the 2023-2024 season, it is a completely different team compared to last year. With this, they definitely won’t be competing for a championship, and they probably won’t even be competing for a playoff spot. If anything they will be competing for the number one spot in next year’s NBA draft. 

 

Record Prediction: 26-56

 

Utah Jazz:

The 2022-2023 season for the Utah Jazz was a huge surprise all around. After trading their 2 franchise players Donovan Mitchell and Rudy Gobert in the offseason of 2022, it was expected that Utah was going to be at the bottom of the western conference standings. This was because of the emergence of all star Lauri Markkanen, he went from 15 points per game, to 26, he shot around 50% from the field, and 40% from the three point line, not only this but he got his first all star appearance of his career and won the Most Improved Player award. Another key player who had a great season was rookie Walker Kessler, who finished third in rookie of the year voting. Additionally, guard Jordan Clarkson improved greatly from the prior year. All of this led them to starting last season really strong, and early on had one of the best records in the western conference. That title however was short lived and their elite play fell back down to earth, and eventually over the season ended up only three games outside of the play-in tournament. They really didn’t do too much over the offseason, but one great thing they did was acquire Hawks forward John Collins. Going into the 2023-2024 season, it seems as if they will be at just around the same spot as they were last year, 30+ wins and competing for a play-in spot, but nothing spectacular.

 

Record Prediction: 34-48

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