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Neel and Rohan predict: Golden State Warriors to win it all

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Rohan Bhatia

It’s only a few weeks into the NBA season, and we are already witnessing the emergence of playoff frontrunners. With fresh rivalries like the Golden State Warriors and Sacramento Kings, or the Boston Celtics and Miami Heat, the league is filled with action and drama.

The 2023-2024 NBA season will be like no other. With many contenders for the championship trophy and harsh competition throughout the league, top teams will truly need to earn their playoff spots. 

Some teams will be stronger than others due to new additions in the offseason, including Chris Paul joining the Warriors, Damian Lillard joining the Bucks, James Harden going  to the Clippers and Jordan Poole being shipped off to the Wizards. 

Despite the fact that the season has just started, we plan to predict the top three teams by record for each conference and predict the winners of the Western and Eastern conference playoffs. 

In the Western Conference, we are confident the Warriors will win the division title thanks to their offseason trades and playoff experience. However, for the top three spots record wise, we think the Denver Nuggets will come in first place, followed by the Golden State Warriors and then the Dallas Mavericks. 

These three teams will fall ahead of other competition such as the Los Angeles Lakers, Los Angeles Clippers and Phoenix Suns due to their playoff records in previous years and the additions of Kyrie Irving to the Mavericks and Chris Paul to the Warriors.

The Nuggets are on track to win the Western conference in the regular season due to their playoff reputation as finals winners in 2023 and the strong roster depth. Poole was a major component of the Warriors offense before his trade. 

He was a better scorer than Paul, though Paul has proven to be a better playmaker by  controlling a secondary team. Paul will lead a much slower-paced offense compared to the fast-paced offense trademarked by Stephen Curry. More importantly, Paul will boost the Warriors offense through the minutes they are on the court without star point guard Curry. 

The Warriors’ offense is typically dependent  on Curry being on the court, but Paul will help lift this pressure. Though the Mavericks were limited at the end of last year’s season with Luka Doncic and Kyrie Irving both fighting for ball control, they are proving to be an elite team this season. Their teamwork thus far has been exemplary, and we think they will continue to push towards the second place spot in the Western Conference.

In the East, we predict the Milwaukee Bucks will win the conference championship. Additionally, the top three playoff spots will include the Celtics in first, the Bucks in second and the Sixers in third. With the recent addition of Damian Lillard, the Bucks are an elite team with unmatched skill in their top players. Lillard will complement Giannis Antetokounmpo, as the latter will no longer have to create shots on his own, creating a smoother offense for the Bucks as they potentially sail to the finals. 

However, because of the current rampage the Celtics and the 76ers are on to start the season, there will be no lack of competition between these teams. The Celtics small forward Jayson Tatum will be an honorary MVP shout as he leads his team through his expert leadership and elite point making ability. 

But beyond Tatum, the Celtics have quality through and through; Jrue Holiday and Derrick White will command defense with Jaylen Brown to top it all off. The Sixers have the commanding presence of Joel Embiid; his love for the team kept him in Philly despite interest for a trade. Furthermore, rising star Tyrese Maxey will grow into his role, and help push the Sixers along. 

In the finals the Golden State Warriors will win it all. Aside from the multitude of biases we might have as fully fledged Warriors fans, we truly believe Steph Curry and CP3 will bring the Bay what may be its last title under the Splash Brothers’s reign. And though Curry is 36 years old, never count out the Warriors when it comes to postseason basketball.

 

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About the Contributors
Rohan Bhatia, Sports Editor
Neel Sharma, Sports Editor
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