How Wrong Can We Be While Predicting An Entire NBA Season

How Wrong Can We Be While Predicting An Entire NBA Season

This season had a lot of ups and downs. Not to mention there were a lot of unpredictabilities as well. Starting from the top of the league to the MVP award to the championship, there were no clear lock in the start of the season.

If you look back in the starting of the season, there were a lot of wrong predications going on. For starters Sporting News had given the list of their winners for the seasons. Some of these predictions were close but others were way off.

Predicted MVP: Giannis Antetokounmpo
Actual MVP: Nikola Jokic

In the beginning of the season, it was predicted that Giannis Antetokounmpo would finish as the MVP. Well Giannis did have an MVP caliber season as he had put up averages of 29.9 points, 11.6 rebounds, 5.8 assists, 1.1 steals and 1.4 blocks per game. Giannis ended third in terms of voting.

The other two players who were above him where Joel Embiid and Nikola Jokic which ended close in terms of voting as well. Nikola Jokic ended as the recipient of the award and rightfully so. His impact in the game and carrying an injury riddled Denver Nuggets to the playoffs with averages of 27.1 points, 13.8 rebounds, 7.9 assists and 1.5 steals per game.

Predicted Rookie of the Year: Jalen Green
Actual Rookie of the Year: Scottie Barnes

This time the Rookie of the Year award had an unpredicted run as well. Many thought Jalen Green would be making a lot of impact with his athleticism. Green did end up in the top 5 of the list. However, there were more players better than him as he averaged 17.3 points, 3.4 rebounds and 2.6 assists per game in a rebuilding Rockets’ team.

The top 3 of the Rookie of the Year race were Cade Cunningham, Evan Mobley and Scottie Barnes. Cade had a good season with Detroit making him the best player of the team. Evan Mobley helped Cleveland Cavaliers reach the Play-In Tournament. But huge props to Scottie Barnes who is one of the best players of the Toronto Raptors and the only rookie to make the playoffs. Barnes put up averages of 15.3 points, 7.5 rebounds, 3.5 assists and 1.1 steals per game deserving of the award.

Predicted Defensive Player of the Year: Rudy Gobert
Actual Defensive Player of the Year: Marcus Smart

Rudy Gobert was predicted to win the Defensive Player of the Year again and he was runners up of the awards. Gobert finished the season with 15.6 points, 14.7 rebounds and 2.1 blocks per game. He was the defensive anchor of the 5th seeded Utah Jazz.

The victor of this award was Marcus Smart of the Boston Celtics as he played a crucial role in making sure that the Celtics’ defense was suffocating for the opponents. It was because of his defensive prowess that the Celtics finished as the 2nd seed in the East. Smart ended with 12.1 points, 3.8 rebounds, 5.9 assists and 1.7 steals per game.

NBA Finalists: Lakers vs Nets
Actual Finalists: Warriors vs Celtics

The Los Angeles Lakers were predicted to be in the top of the Western Conference and eventually would crush the playoffs. Wow! So much was riding for the Lakers but they ended up with not making even the Play-In tournament. Instead it was the Golden State Warriors who were predicted to not even making the play-in tournament, crush everyone who were in their path to make the NBA Finals.

In the East, the Brooklyn Nets were predicted to come out of the East. Early in the season, the Nets were in fact the top-seeded team with Durant, Harden and Irving working as a trio. Then the vaccine mandate happened and Irving had to sit down. Following him was KD who suffered an injury. Seeing this Harden left and the Nets ended up in the Play-In tournament. The Actual winners who were the Boston Celtics destroyed everyone the predicted winner with ease.

Predicted NBA Champion: Brooklyn Nets
Actual NBA Champion: Golden State Warriors

The Brooklyn Nets were supposed to be the victor considering how their squad was built up. It was assumed that Durant would beat LeBron James in the Finals and become a 3-time NBA Champion with the squad he had. The problem was mainly pointed towards Russell Westbrook who was assumed to be the problem for Lakers demise. That became true as Lakers missed the playoffs.

The Winner turned out to be the Golden State Warriors. Thompson’s return and the Warriors young core development turned out to be huge boon for them. The moves they had made put them in a position to win the Championship. Most of the credit should go to Stephen Curry who was sensational in carrying his team to the promiseland.

As you can see, predictions are meant to be wrong and most of the time because media feel like they have to stick with their picks so they end up criticizing the victors. However, it cannot be denied that the NBA is fun because of this very reason. With the free agency signings it will be interesting to predict the winners again and be proved wrong again once the season ends.

“Ladies and gentleman you have witnessed the 2nd greatest performance in NBA history.” That’s the way Soham was introduced to the world of Basketball. He is an ardent fan of the game capturing every moment, whether it be the long and turbulent regular season or the nail-biting playoff series. His perspective as a player provides valuable insight to the game. A follower of Kobe Bryant, he brings his mamba mentality in gathering every piece of information of the NBA.