Tag: james

Basket Brawlers Fantasy Basketball Four-cast

Your personal fantasy basketball cheat sheetYour personal fantasy basketball cheat sheet

Welcome to the Basket Brawlers Fantasy Basketball Four-Cast! For the week of March 16th to 22nd (Saturday-Friday), we have the disco two – Rajan Sharma and Adam Johal giving you your fantasy basketball insights for week 2 of the fantasy basketball playoffs.

1) FANTASY LINE OF THE WEEK
2) FANTASY SLEEPER PICKUP OF THE WEEK*
*LESS THAN 20% OWNED IN 12 TEAM LEAGUES ON ESPN
3) TOP SELL HIGH CANDIDATES
4) TOP DROP CANDIDATES OF THE WEEK

1) Fantasy Line of the Week

Raj’s Pick:
James Harden, Houston Rockets
61Pts, 7 Reb, 1 Ast, 3 Stl, 19/34 Fg, 9/13 3PM, 14/17 Fts
03/22/2019 vs SAS
It was a career high tying night for The Beard who may have solidified his case for back-to-back MVP Awards after his game on Friday night vs the Spurs. His coach Mike D’Antoni may not be lying when he said the only man who can stop James Harden is the coach himself…. by benching him. Aside from that, Harden is as close to unguardable as there is in this league.

Johals’s Pick:
JaVale McGee, Los Angles Lakers
33Pts, 20 Reb, 6 Blk, 1 Stl, 15/20 Fg
03/22/2019 vs BKN

With the Lakers on the brink of elimination, JaVale came out with his best performance of the season. But as you probably expected, the Lakers still lost and are officially toast for the 2018-2019 season.

2) Fantasy Sleeper Pickup of the Week

Raj’s Pick:
Taurean Prince, Atlanta Hawks
24.8% Owned
15.3 Pts, 2.3 Ast, 3.3 Reb, 1.3 Stl, 3.0 3PM in the last 7 days


After spending much of the year on the IR, Prince finally appears to be healthy and producing the kind of stats owners were expecting when he was drafted in the top 80 this season. Look for him to close out the year strong for this red-hot Atlanta Hawks team

Johals’s Pick:
Emmanuel Mudiay, New York Knicks
16% Owned
17.8 Pts, 5 Ast, 2.8 Reb, 0.5 Blk, 1.5 3PM in the last 7 days


While the Knicks appear content with “Not Try’in for Zion”, Mudiay has been able to put up some impressive numbers of late, putting up 18 pts and 5 assists on 46% shooting over the last week.

3) Top Sell High Candidate

Raj’s Pick:
Kevin Love, Cleveland Cavaliers
With the Cavs firmly out of the playoff race, look for them to start reducing the workload off some of their vets down the stretch. Love has been playing great basketball of late, which doesnt bode well for the “Stop tryin for Zion” supporters in The Land

Johal’s Pick:
Bam Adebayo, Miami Heat
Bam has been on a tear of late, but as is with all Miami players, he will always be at risk of falling out of the rotation (see: Kelly Olynk).

4) Top Drop Candidate of the Week

Raj’s Pick:
Jabari Parker, Washington Wizards
This might seem crazy based on the numbers he has out up lately, but hear me out. His minutes have been cut by almost 12 per game over the last 2 contests as Washington has been said to be going with a Portis/Thomas Bryant frontcourt for the last 10 or so games, meaning Jabari will be riding a lot of pine. Dont say I didn’t warn you!

Johal’s Pick:
Hassan Whiteside, Miami Heat
Speaking of Heat rotations, Hassan Whiteside has moved to Miami’s bench, and it appears to be hitting the big man’s numbers hard, as he played just 5 minutes in games against the Wizards and Thunder this past week. While he can still be a sources for blocks, move off of him if there is someone better on your wire.

There you have it! Tune in again next week for your weekly Fantasy Basketball Fix!

Basket Brawlers Fantasy Basketball Four-cast

Your personal fantasy basketball cheat sheet

We’re back after a week off for the All-Star break and officially ready for the “second half” of the season to ramp up. Often in fantasy, you hear of players coming up huge in the sprint to the post-season, especially younger players finding their rhythm with the big boys. Free agent acquisitions become that much more important and could be the difference between an early fantasy play-offs exit and a potential title. With that in mind, let’s dive into this week’s Four-Cast with Raj, Dray, and Steve P.!

1) FANTASY LINE OF THE WEEK
2) FANTASY SLEEPER PICKUP OF THE WEEK*
*LESS THAN 20% OWNED IN 12 TEAM LEAGUES ON ESPN
3) TOP SELL HIGH CANDIDATES
4) TOP DROP CANDIDATES OF THE WEEK

1) Fantasy Line of the Week

Raj’s Pick:
Trae Young
49Pts, 8 Reb, 16 Ast, 1 Stl, 1 Blk, 17/33 Fg, 9/11 Fts, 6 3PM
03/02/2019 vs CHI

ICE TRAE THE GANG! Wow! The rookie sensation in Atlanta is out to prove to the world that he is every bit as good as rookie counter-part Luka Doncic. Ice Trae became the first rookie ever to record 45 points and 15 assists in the same game. Amazing!

Photo: CBS Sports

Dray’s Pick:
James Harden
58Pts, 7 Reb, 10 Ast, 4 Stl, 1 Blk, 16/32 Fg, 18/18 Fts, 8 3PM

02/28/2019 vs MIA

Yuck. What’s there left to say about this guy? The threes are deep, the upside is undeniable, the FTs don’t miss, and he’s getting you defensive stats (without diving into the long discussion of his defense). Is he the runaway back to back MVP? We’ll have to see how the Rockets finish but he’s my front runner.

Steve P.’s Pick:
Mitchell Robinson
17Pts, 14 Reb, 3 Stl, 6 Blk, 67% FG, 83% FT
02/26/2019 vs ORL
Myles Turner loses his reign as Blocks King as soon as Mitchell Robinson plays 30mpg consistently.

2) Fantasy Sleeper Pickup of the Week

Raj’s Pick:
Tyus Jones, Minnesota Timberwolves
1.4% Owned
8.5 Pts, 7.8 Ast, 2.3 Reb, 2.3 Stl, 0.5 3PM in the last 7 days

With the health of point guards Derrick Rose and Jeff Teague always in question, Jones provides a safe net for any owner looking for additional assists down the stretch,

Dray’s Pick:
Cody Zeller, Charlotte Hornets
19.6% Owned
16.5 Pts, 9.0 Reb, 1.8 Ast, 1.0 Stl, 1.0 Blk over the last 7 days


This guy has been floating around the FA cut-off of your league all season probably. He’s been plugged in on Sundays (if you’re a daily lock league), and maybe even stuck on someone’s roster for a week or two. Ghost Face Zeller is no slouch, and has been putting up the numbers recently to prove it. If you need a solid center with a great schedule and all the opportunity they can get, go get this guy and feel good about bolstering your roster.

Steve P.’s Pick:
Jalen Brunson, Dallas Mavericks
1.0% Owned
15 Pts, 3.3 Ast, 3.0 Reb, 1.0 Stl, 2.0 3PM in the last 7 days


This is a deep sleeper but could pay dividends very quickly. In his last 4 games he has seen his minutes increase, and with that his stats have improven across the board, culminating in the very tasty 24 pts, 5 assists, 3 steals and 3 threes line. Keep an eye on how he does in the next couple games and be prepared to snag him if he keeps producing. He reminds me a little of Tyler Ulis in Phoenix from a couple years ago, who exploded in the last few weeks of the fantasy season to be a major asset. With the Mavs season all-but-officially done, they will look to develop their young guys for a strong season next year.

3) Top Sell High Candidate

Raj’s Pick:
Bobby Portis, Washington Wizards
Bobby came out firing on all cylinders at the beginning of his tenure with the Wizards and has since cooled off. If there is an owner that would be willing to pay top dollar for him, now is the time to sell! The Wizards are going nowhere – fast.

Dray’s Pick:
Zach LaVine, Chicago Bulls
Zach just put up 47 in the 4OT game vs. Atlanta the other night, and man oh man is that a good time to sell high. The Bulls should be fully embracing the tank soon, and with an injury prone stud like LaVine, you can bet there’s going to be games off down the stretch.

Photos: NBA.com

Steve P.’s Pick:
Trae Young, Atlanta Hawks
This dude is the hottest player on earth right now. Over the last two weeks he is the NUMBER 3 PLAYER IN 8 CAT. Crazy how much he has improved. That said, this may be the perfect opportunity to sell high if you can somehow convince an owner to give up a perennial top 15 player for him. Think a Damian Lillard or a Kyrie. Trae is super fun but he has to come down to earth a little. He is currently shooting 47% on 23 FGA/game, where for the season he is at 41%. That seems unsustainable..

4) Top Drop Candidate of the Week

Raj’s Pick:
Javale McGee, Los Angeles Lakers
Mr Shaqtin a Fool himself is once again in the dog house. After it looked like he had the starting center spot locked in for the rest of the season, McGee has failed to reach the 20 minute mark the last 4 games with the Lakers going small. Feel free to cut him loose.

Johal’s Pick:
Noah Vonleh, New York Knicks
Vonleh had a nice run for the Knicks but the porzingus trade has stunted his production with deandre jordan in the fold. Rookie Mitchell Robinson also encroaches on his minutes so feel free to cut toes with the journeyman forward

Dray’s Pick:
Dario Saric, Minnesota Timberwolves
Dario has not panned out to be what we were all hoping after a hot start in the NBA for the European. When he was traded to Minni, I genuinely believed he would turn it around. If you’ve been patient enough to hold out for that 5-6 games he looked great, I feel bad for you because he’s back to where he’s been all season. It’s time to part ways with the Homie and get some hot new thing off the wire.

That’s all we have this week gentlemen. Sound off in comments with questions or opinions!

Basket Brawlers Fantasy Basketball Four-Cast

Your personal fantasy basketball cheat sheet

Hello ball fans and welcome to the February 2nd – 9th Four-Cast! Today you have Steve P., Steve G., and Dray bringing you your four picks to help tune in your fantasy games.

1) FANTASY LINE OF THE WEEK
2) FANTASY SLEEPER PICKUP OF THE WEEK*
*LESS THAN 20% OWNED IN 12 TEAM LEAGUES ON ESPN
3) TOP SELL HIGH CANDIDATES
4) TOP DROP CANDIDATES OF THE WEEK

1) Fantasy Line of the Week

Steve G.’s Pick:
James Harden
43 Pts, 12 Reb, 5 Ast, 6 Stl, 4 Blk 12/22 Fg, 15/15 Ft, 4 threes
02/02/2019 vs. Utah

It doesn’t come as a surprise when Harden eclipses 30, 40 or even 50 points these days, but when you do that and add in 1st team all defensive numbers that’s just ridiculous! If you consider 3 pointers made as a stat category, Harden was 1 block and 1 three shy of a 6 x 5 line on this night. Make sure you tune in next week for another segment of the “James Harden Fantasy Line of the Week”.

Dray’s Pick:
Joel Embiid
37 Pts, 13 Reb, 2 Ast, 1 Stl, 3 Blk, 14/15 FT, 10/20 Fg, 3 threes

02/05/2019 vs TOR

He’s a mouthpiece and backs it up with games like this. The effort may have come in a lost but I’ll be damned if getting 14/15 FT and 3 3PM with the typical high rebound and block output from a big man doesn’t make you smile.

Steve P.’s Pick:
Myles Turner
17 Pts, 4 Stl, 6 Blk, 3 threes, 7/8Fg

02/07/2019 vs LAC

Harden had another potential line of the year, but for sake of intrigue I feel it’s important to mention Myles Turner’s 10 stock line with 3’s and amazing %’s to boot. Stellar work boy.

2) Fantasy Sleeper Pickup of the Week

Steve G.’s Pick:
Tyler Johnson, Phoenix Suns
8% Owned

Once again, the NBA trade deadline has caused a state of chaos in the fantasy basketball world. With super teams being created all over the league, many player’s fantasy value spontaneously plummet or skyrocket due to these deals. One good thing about the NBA trade deadline is that it usually creates diamonds in the rough which can be found in the fallout of these deals. Tyler Johnson is a prime example of this. With Phoenix having very few reliable backcourt players other than Devin Booker, Johnson should be able to carve out a larger role than he had in Miami which will allow him to hold value in competitive 12 team leagues for the rest of the season.

Dray’s Pick:
Mitchell Robinson, New York Knicks 
4.2% Owned

More trade deadline chaos here, although I would like to make a note that Robinson was coming on beforehand. Robinson is averaging 2.5 Blks over the last 7 days, and now with Deandre Jordan to learn from I think we’ll see the other facets of his game explode. The Knicks are obviously the bottom of the barrel and have a lot of motivation to develop their young guys, so go get this guy while you can.

Steve P.’s Pick:
Shai Gilgeous-Alexander (LA Clippers)
18.9% Owned


The world is about to be Gorgeous-Alexander’s playground. The Clippers clearly showed their intention to groom their young core with the deadline moves they made, and SGA has a pretty clear path to 28+ minutes per night. When he plays 28 minutes per night – which has happened 22 times – he averages 14-4-4 with 1.5 steals, 0.7 blocks and 0.7 threes. That smells like top 75 value the rest of the way to me.

3) Top Sell High Candidate

Steve G.’s Pick:
Josh Jackson, Phoenix Suns

Josh Jackson has shown flashes of fantasy stud potential in the past, and this time is no different. Just a fleeting moment of brilliance before Devin Booker and T.J. Warren come back from injury and nose dive his usage and minutes. See if you can swing a deal that nets you a steady top 50 player while Jackson is briefly playing like one.

Dray’s Pick:
Anthony Davis, New Orleans Pelicans

Well, he was here last week and he’s here again. Now that we know he’s not moving, the Pelicans will be playing him the league-assigned minimum of 25 minutes, not including the inevitable injury times. Dump this asset while he still holds value, unlike the Pelicans.

Steve P.’s Pick:
Lauri Markkanen, Chicago Bulls

In 8-cat he is the 12th best player over the last week, averaging 30pts and 12 rpg with 3+ threes. He’s really, really, really good, but this level of production is not sustainable over the long run. Add in OPJ, and a weak 3-3-3 playoff schedule, and he makes for a perfect sell high if you can flip him for a consistent Top 35 player.

4) Top Drop Candidate of the Week

Steve G.’s Pick:
Tyreke Evans, Indiana Pacers

The moment Oladipo went down with his knee injury most normal people gasped and began tweeting prayers and well wishes to him. Fantasy basketball fanatics on the other hand, immediately rushed to the waiver wire to grab Tyreke Evans. Since moving into the starting lineup Evans has managed to get injured once, average 6.6 ppg and lose a large majority of his minutes to Corey Joseph. If those aren’t good enough reasons to drop him, I will add one more; the Pacers are the front runners to sign Wesley Matthews.

Dray’s Pick:
Reggie Bullock, LA Lakers

Bullock was looking good this year on a Piston’s team in need of someone at the wing spot, but now that he’s been shipped off to LA he’ll be buried in the depth charts. To be fair he won’t play his first game till tomorrow (Sunday, February 10th), but I don’t like the way it’s looking with Ingram, KCP, LeBron, and Hart. Drop him if he doesn’t perform.

Steve P.’s Pick:
Marvin Bagley, Sacramento Kings

It looked like he was lined up for a strong end to the season, armed with ample playing time and a 4-4-4 playoff schedule. Then the Kings’ Kangzed and disrupted their beautiful chemistry by trading for Harry Barnes? He looks to take significant minutes away from Bagley so the dream of the rookie carrying squads in the playoffs is shattered. Buh. Bye. Bagley.


That’s all we have for this week fantasy fans! Tune in for our power rankings coming up Monday.

The Impact of a King

Obviously, LeBron is a major piece of whatever team he belongs to. Even still, it’s astonishing how much of an impact he has when he gets sidelined.

LeBron has been out since December 25th and since then, the Lakers are 4-7. Believe it or not, that’s actually one of the better records by a LeBron team when he is removed from action.

TeamRecord
2018-2019 LA Lakers4-7
2017-2018 Cleveland CavaliersDid not miss a game
2016-2017 Cleveland Cavaliers0-8
2015-2016 Cleveland Cavaliers1-5

It’s surprising that those Cavalier teams with Kyrie and Kevin Love couldn’t secure a few more wins with the King off the court. To be fair, those two were rested with LeBron for some of those games, but it almost seems like teams become complacent when you lean on the King. You know on any given night that LeBron could easily get a triple-double, so I believe that players start to let off the throttle. When LeBron is sitting, the floor falls out beneath them and they can’t find a way to fill the gap.

Photo credit to NBA.com

Whether you agree with my theory or not, it holds true that a young team who are trying to make a name for themselves may be more likely to break through this barrier and scrap out a few wins without him. As a Lakers fan, you should be happy with their record sans-LeBron. He’s cleared for practice starting next week, and you hope that the young guns carry some of this swagger through when he’s back.

LeGM

LeBron does much more than just impact the team in the W column, he has also been a tampering GM if you’d believe a small portion of the leagues managers. People love to joke that LeBron controls a team top down. When he returned to Cleveland, it was somewhat plausible. Now Magic is the boss but people still think that LeBron himself is driving the acquisition of the Brow, stating that he wants to play with MVP candidate Anthony Davis after the upcoming off-season.

That’s because he is, and it’s completely allowed.

If any other player was recruiting top tier talent in this fashion, GMs wouldn’t even flinch. But because LeBron is believed to have a significant amount of pull in the front office, people are clambering for a tampering crack-down on the King. Rightfully so, LeBron responded as follows:

Asked by reporters after the Lakers’ 112-104 win over Davis and the Pelicans if in hindsight his comments were “wrong,” James shot back, “No, of course not.”
“Ask me would I like to play with Kevin Durant? Ask me right now,” he told the press scrum around his locker.
“Would you like to play with Kevin Durant?” a reporter asked.
“Absolutely,” James said. “Ask me if I would like to play with Jimmy Butler.”
“Would you like to play with Jimmy Butler?” the reporter asked.
“Ask me about Kyrie Irving,” James said. “Giannis [Antetokounmpo]. Ask me about [Joel] Embiid. Ben Simmons. Go ahead. All of them. Luka Doncic. Ask me right now. Come on guys, it is not rocket science. It is not rocket science. These are great players. Absolutely, I would want to play with a lot of great players, that is just who I am. So? People get caught up in bunches. Sometimes they wish they could control what you say and they can’t control me. At all. And I play by the rules.”

https://www.washingtonpost.com/sports/2018/12/22/lebron-james-shrugs-off-anthony-davis-tampering-talk-i-play-by-rules/?noredirect=on&utm_term=.366170648c0b

Anthony Davis’ upcoming off-season has been a hot topic this season; even Kevin Garnett has stated that AD needs to go play with LeBron.

Regardless of whether Kawhi, AD, KD, or anyone else decides to take their talents to Hollywood, LeBron is playing some of the best basketball we’ve ever seen. He’s performed better through the first 30 games with the Lakers than any other team in his past. Every year people think he’ll drop off, and every year he outperforms himself. All I can say is, Lakers fans must be happy campers right now. The Lakers are locked in for four more years of LeBron and starting next year they’ll have more cap space than Anthony Davis has eyebrow. I wouldn’t be surprised to see them take a title with LeBron on the roster.

BasketBrawler’s Pre-Season Award Predictions

By Rajan Sharma

If this off-season has taught us anything, it is that the NBA is a 12-month sport. There have been no breaks in the action as we went from another Golden State Warriors Championship to the NBA draft that saw DeAndre Ayton go 1st overall and the Dallas Mavericks and Atlanta Hawks exchange future studs Luka Doncic and Trae Young, to a free agency period that saw the best player in the world – Lebron James – take his talents to Hollywood, to the end of the summer drama with Jimmy Butler taking the entire Wolves organization hostage and terrorizing everyone and their grandmothers on the practice courts.

The NBA is one giant soap opera, and I love every second of it. But with that being said, every good soap opera needs a star-studded cast to take it to the top. That’s where I have turned to the Basket Brawler’s own panel of basketball analysts and experts to see who they believe will walk away with the hardware this season with each of the top regular season awards. Joining me on the panel today will be our local Seattle Supersonics enthusiast Draydan Power, Basket Brawlers Fantasy League Defending Champion Adam Johal, the Tech Guru and lead analytics expert Adam Kroon, the Give N’Go Podcast’s own Jordan Taylor, and Fantasy Basketball Analyst Extraordinaire Steven Petterson.

So, without further a due, lets see who the Basket Brawlers expert panel has chosen to take home the hardware in this upcoming NBA Season!

Most Improved Player Award

Rajan Sharma’s pick – Myles Turner (Indiana Pacers)
After having a disappointing season last year, Myles Turner has completely changed his diet and body in anticipation of a big bounce back season. Myles Turner is the ideal big man in today’s NBA. He is long, athletic, protects the rim, and he has an outside jumper. Look for Turner to help the Pacers build on an impressive 7-game playoff series loss to the Cleveland Cavaliers and take a run at the Eastern Conference crown now vacated by The King.

Draydan Power’s Pick –  Jamal Murray (Denver Nuggets)
The blue arrow has already taken a leap forward after a great finish to last year’s campaign. He was heating up after the All-Star break and was absolutely electric to watch during the OT thriller against the T-Wolves last season. A big piece of me would of loved to have seen the Nuggets in the playoffs just to see what he could do, but regardless, he’s geared up to continue his rapid rise with a huge year this year. Even though IT is there, I don’t think it will affect his play time and I can’t wait to watch him, Jokic, and Millsap make a splash in the high elevation.

Adam Johal’s Pick – Myles Turner (Indiana Pacers)
Myles Turner was a hot choice for MIP heading into the 2017 season, but injuries led him to regress a bit in his third year.  Turner has dedicated his summer to his conditioning and appears to be in much better shape than his previous three seasons. Like his teammate Victor Oladipo, Myles Turns looks to translate his improved conditioning onto the court for 2019.

Steven Petterson’s Pick – Josh Richardson (Miami Heat)
Josh Richardson will be an All Star in the East this year. Book it. Spoelstra, Pat Riley, and Richardson himself have all been hyping him up as a break out player this year and his final two preseason games showed why. He is controlling the floor and scoring at will. Richardson has stated he hopes to reach 18ppg this year and I believe he will do it as he grows in to a force to be reckoned with and shows everyone why Riley was so hesitant to include him in a potential Butler trade.

Adam Kroon’s Pick – JaVale McGee (Los Angles Lakers)
Playing with Rondo and LeBron is going to revitalize his career. I have nothing else to say, but lob city just switched LA teams

Jordan Taylor’s Pick – Giannis Antetokounmpo (Milwaukee Bucks)
If you had Victor Oladipo winning this award at the start of the season, I have some stocks and bonds I want you to take a look at. After preseason I really don’t see alot of players looking like they will take a major step forward. Some that come to mind would be Miami Heats Josh Richardson, the guard-forward was a nice surprise last year and many news outlets have lavished over his off season training. When your part of the package for a potential jimmy butler trade, better believe this guy can ball. Other player consideration I have were Atlanta’s John Collins, a cheap pick in itself as players in their second year make incremental improvements to their game. Finally someone you cannot leave out of the conversation is Giannis, all preseason has taught us is that he truly deserves that number one overall fantasy spot. Is this the year he goes from all-star to better than LeBron? He is a legitimate shot at both MVP and MIP. 
Winner: Giannis Snub: Josh Richardson

Defensive Player of the Year Award

Rajan Sharma’s pick: Kevin Durant (Golden State Warriors)
Adding to my theory of a good storyline, this one is just too juicy to pass up. Kevin Durant has already made it known during the off-season that he wants more respect for the work he puts in on the defensive end of the court, and blames the fact that people “hate” him for the reason he doesn’t get his proper recognition on that end of the court. The Slim Reaper averaged nearly 2 blocks and 1 steal per game last season, along with having one of the best rim defense statistics in the entire league. This is the year that Durant finally breaks though and adds to his already impressive resume.

Draydan Power’s Pick – Kawhi Leonard (Toronto Raptors)
After what most people consider to be a Twilight Zone season for Kawhi, he needs to come back and make a big splash in the worst way. I truly believe that Kawhi will be in the running for MVP but won’t quite close it out (spoiler – I’m betting that will go to the other DPOTY candidate). All the pressure is on the Raps after firing Dwayne Casey and giving up DeMar DeRozan for a Kawhi rental, so expect him to come out gangbusters. I hope to see a Kawhi with a chip on his shoulder, getting down and dirty on both ends of the floor and carrying the Raptors to a deep playoff run.

Adam Johal’s Pick – Kawhi Leonard (Toronto Raptors)
Amongst the players with the most to prove this season, Kawhi has to be near the top of the list.  Fans and journalists around the NBA have seemed to forgot the level Leonard was playing at prior to his injury last season.  Kawhi will once again have to prove why he is one of the greatest two-way players in NBA history, and in a weaker conference, I think he will certainly do that.

Steven Petterson’s Pick – Ben Simmons (Philadelphia 76ers)
This is a real, dark-horse pick. It’s weird to think that Simmons is only in his second year in the league, but I believe we are going to see some considerable growth – specifically on the defensive end. Last year Simmons was a strong force on the defensive end and from what I have seen in preseason he looks extra committed to that side of the floor this year. He locks in, guards with intensity, and smothers opposing guards. I think this year people realize how much of an asset Ben Simmons’ defence is. Does he win the award? Maybe it’s a season or two early… But if he does, I told you so.

Adam Kroon’s Pick – Rudy Gobert (Utah Jazz)
No one will challenge the throne. We’re looking at another Ben Wallace type run for DPOY with Gobert. No surprise here whatsoever.

Jordan Taylor’s Pick – Rudy Gobert (Utah Jazz)
Defensive player of the year is always a hard one. Mainly due to stats not having as much of impact when being factored into voting. Short and quick: were looking at back to back award from the Utah Jazz center Rudy Gobert, something we have not had in at least 4 years. He’s got it all defensively, and with a clean bill of health relative to last year. He’s primed to patrol the paint erasing opponents shot attempts with his quick feet.
Winner: Rudy Gobert Snub: Drummond Green

Coach of the Year Award

Rajan Sharma’s pick: Nick Nurse (Toronto Raptors)
Adding to the story line and what I feel will be a special season North of the Border, first year head coach will take home the Coach of the Year honours after leading the Raptors to 60+ wins and a 1st seed in the Eastern Conference. All the attention seems to be on the Boston Celtics and Philadelphia 76ers coming in to the season and the Raptors will once again fly under the radar and take the crown out East. For those unfamiliar with Nick Nurse, his peers voted him as the most likely best future bench boss when he was an assistant last year. He is an analytical genius and an intelligent basketball mind who likes to experiment and think outside the box. Having come from the Houston Rockets system previously, Nurse is an advocate for high efficiency shots and this new look Raptors team may be even better on both ends of the floor with Kawhi Leonard. I fully expect them to finish top 5 in both offense and defense this upcoming season.

Draydan Power’s Pick –Brad Stevens (Boston Celtics)
He could of easily won it last year as well. Brad took a team of rookies and sophomores to the Eastern Conference Finals, pushing LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers to 7 games without the help of their two All-Stars, Kyrie Irving and Gordon Hayward. People have been spouting off all summer with questions of “What do you do now when you developed so much young raw talent and now have to add two All-Stars!?”. Boo-hoo what a tough problem to have. Even if it was a problem, I would trust Brad to figure it out and incorporate everyone as needed while getting players up and down the bench to buy in to the system. This guy is for real and this will be the first of many awards for him.

Adam Johal’s Pick – Mike Budenholzer (Milwaukee Bucks)
Coach Bud has had of history of making rosters with less than stellar talent perform beyond their capabilities.  Now that he has a roster equipped with a bonafide superstar in Giannis, Mike Budenholzer is ready to show the league what a full roster is capable of under his system.

Steven Petterson’s Pick – Mike Budenholzer (Milwaukee Bucks)
Unlocking Giannis Antetokounmpo’s full potential and unleashing a fast, free-flowing, high octane offense is going to make Budenholzer look like a genius. I see him as being for Giannis what D’Antoni was for Harden. Giannis was already fairly successful while being held back by Kidd, and he will be unleashed now. Budenholzer and Giannis will lead the Bucks further than anyone currently anticipates, and Coach Bud will be rewarded for it.

Adam Kroon’s Pick – Brett Brown (Philadelphia 76ers)
With another year of Simmons and Embiid blossoming under his tutelage, we’re going to see the Sixers make the Raptors and Celtics feel hot under the collar. Looking for 50 wins this year is the next step for this team, and hopefully a nice trophy for coach Brown.

Jordan Taylor’s Pick – Mike D’Antoni (Houston Rockets)
Coach of the year; definition; which team with the best roster finishes top 3 in the conference while not underperforming or over achieving. Check the history, I ain’t lying. Would love to see Denver Nuggets Head coach Mike Malone win. He has done amazing work out their with that young team and they are primed for a David vs. Goliath playoff first round if they can make it in the ever talented western conference.
Winner: Mike D’Antoni Snub: Michael Malone

6th Man of the Year Award

Rajan Sharma’s pick: Tyreke Evans (Indiana Pacers)
Tyreke “The Freak” Evans had a bit of a resurgent year last season – posting his best campaign since he put up 20/5/5 in his rookie year. Make no mistake about it that last season was no fluke. Tyreke displayed elite ball handling and court vision, an improved jump shot, and leadership qualities that we had not seen from him before. With the Pacers looking to take the next step in to one of the Eastern Conference’s elite teams, look for Evans to bring a spark off the bench and even close out games with fellow dynamic scorer Victor Oladipo.

Draydan Power’s Pick – Eric Gordon (Houston Rockets)
Call me safe with some of these picks. Eric Gordon was runner up last year and much like Brad Stevens, I don’t think anyone would of been too surprised to see him win. His touches will definitely go down with Melo in town, but this guy balls out against any starting or secondary unit in the league. He’s a huge reason the Rockets had and will have so much success, so look for him to put in another phenomenal year. If he stays healthy, he’s a top pick.

Adam Johal’s Pick – Dennis Schroeder (OKC Thunder)
The Thunder have been longing for the days of James Harden when they had elite scoring off the bench. Dennis Schroeder is clearly not on the level of Harden, but his ability to score off the bench and potentially play alongside Russ could vault him to the top of the SMOTY race

Steven Petterson’s Pick – Terry Rozier (Boston Celtics)
Terry Rozier is coming for his money. With his contract ending after this year, Rozier has already stated that he is going to play so well that Coach Stevens won’t be able to take him off the floor. I envision a ton of games where Rozier’s tenacity and drive propel him to be on the floor when the game is on the line. Will he get enough minutes behind Kyrie to have the stats needed for a 6th Man award? Debatable. But I think Scary Terry is going to force himself into this conversation one way or another, in his quest for a massive pay-raise in 2019.

Adam Kroon’s Pick – Carmelo Anthony (Houston Rockets)
He did not go quietly into the night. He did not want this. Holy fuck he’s good at it. Whodathunkit? Lou Will will have competition this year in Carmelo now that he’s deemed playing off the bench to be possible. Look for him to drop at least 8 long 2s a game with a couple boards and minimal defense to help the Rockets lose to the Warriors in the Western Conference Finals again this year.

Jordan Taylor’s Pick – JJ Reddick (Philadelphia 76ers)
6th man of the year, as I write this Jamal Crawford still remains without a team in October and you can never count this perennial award winner out of the conversation. Most of my early picks have become full time starters on their teams this year (Denver’s Will Barton to name one). I’m not fond of LA Clippers Lou Will, into reason why is there are alot of capable mouths to feed in LAs step child NBA team. Bother their draft picks look good and Patrick Beverly and Avery Bradley appear healthy and ready to go this season. My dark horse for this award resides on the city of brotherly love. Preseason has shown us Brett Brown is starting to have more faith in second year point guard Markelle Fultz, he has been playing well in response after being inserted into the starting lineup during ore season. The odd man out becomes my NBA look alike: JJ Reddick. A starter in his own right, I see him leading the 76ers second unit on A nightly basis while maintain similar scoring averages to last season. A victim. Of circumstance, but hey bringing a trophy home to wifey should take the sting off.
Winner: JJ Reddick Snub: Eric Gordon

Rookie of the Year Award

Rajan Sharma’s pick: Luka Doncic (Dallas Mavericks)
This one was an easy choice for me. Luka is the best rookie prospect we’ve seen from Europe in a long time. Luka just has that special IT factor in his game that will translate beautifully to the NBA after winning Euroleague MVP last year as a 19 year old Phenom. There is just something with how in control Luka plays that separates him from the rest of the rookie pack. Some may say he is too slow, but he moves just at the right pace, he is never in a rush, and gets to any spot he wants on the floor with a James Harden-esque play style. Couple that with his elite playmaking and court vision and you have the makings of a perennial all star in this league for many years to come! I am all aboard this hype train!

Draydan Power’s Pick Deandre Ayton (Phoenix Suns)
It’s a stacked rookie class again this year, but the era of the big man is ready to make a come back. Deandre Ayton has impressed everyone this pre-season by looking like a man among boys…probably because that’s exactly what he is. I am a big believer that it will transition well into the regular season and we will see Ayton get as many touches and looks as he can handle with Booker out to begin the season. Oh, and when Booker is back, he’ll be a full-time glass cleaner on both ends of the floor. He’s my man for ROY.

Adam Johal’s Pick – Luka Doncic (Dallas Mavericks) 
This year’s crop of rookies are extremely talented with the likes of DeAndre Ayton, Jaren Jackson Jr, Trae Young, and Miles Bridges.  However, amongst all rookies, Luka Doncic appears to be the most NBA ready, and more importantly, has the best roster around him. Often, success of rookies – and NBA players in general – depends on fit. Luka will slot into the point forward role will targets like DeAndre Jordan, DSJ, Wes Mathews and Harrison Barnes around him.  Expect big things from Luka in his first year.

Steven Petterson’s Pick – Luka Doncic (Dallas Mavericks)
Luka is going to make Atlanta look like fools. It will be a strong two way battle between him and Ayton, but Luka will prevail. His long tenure in the European professional leagues will help him battle through the trials of a long 82 game season, giving him a sustainable edge over Ayton. His highlight plays, and already-signature, behind-the-back drives will be on Sportscenter reels all season.

Adam Kroon’s Pick – Luka Doncic (Dallas Mavericks)
Serbian National Team coach and current Phoenix Head Coach was quoted as saying that Luka would be like a wolf among children this season. Former Euro League MVP Doncic will prove all the haters, including the Hawks front office, completely wrong.

Jordan Taylor’s Pick – DeAndre Ayton (Phoenix Suns)
ROY this year more than ever will be about oppurtunity on the team your drafted by. You have to consider depth, coaching staff, and team expectations. PHX Deandre Ayton fits the bill. With little depth behind him, Ayton will demand heavy minutes from the get go. The suns have no expectations going in and this will allow Ayton to flourish as a legitimate player. Other notables to watch will be Dallas Mavericks Luca Doncic and Atlanta’s Trae Young, no depth on either team behind them, but I only see their roles as ok players and not spectacular like Ayton. Not to take away from their talents, they could definitely have the better careers. Time will only tell.
Winner: DeAndre Ayton Snub: Ben Simmons :smirk:

Most Valuable Player of the Year

Rajan Sharma’s pick: Kawhi Leonard (Toronto Raptors)
This was probably the hardest award to choose from. Its hard to bet against the King, and we all know what James Harden and Anthony Davis are all about…. But the NBA award voters love a good story and this one fits the mould. Disgruntled Superstar leaves San Antonio on bad terms and returns to the league to lead the Toronto Raptors to their first 60+ win season in Franchise history. All the talk around the Raptors will be about whether Kawhi will stay or will he go, but make no mistake about it – Kawhi will be on a mission this season to prove that he has still got it! Voters LOVE a first time award winner, and with all signs pointing to Kawhi being happy so far in Toronto, im expecting him to take the league by storm! The Raptors will improve on their 59-23 season last year and I expect Kawhi to laugh all the way to his first MVP award of his career.

Draydan Power’s Pick – Anthony Davis (New Orleans Pelicans)
As I said above, it’s all about the big men. AD nearly won it last year with his incredible performance after the All-Star break to close out the season with Boogie on the sidelines. The dude has a new agent and has not been shy about his feelings towards leaving if there isn’t success in New Orleans. He knows what he’s capable of doing to the best talent in the league and he will do everything in his power to bring success to the Big Easy, or at the very least, cement himself as a top player in today’s game as he looks to move on. Side note: if he didn’t win the MVP (and even if he does), he’s a good bid for DPOTY as well.

Adam Johal’s Pick – LeBron James (Los Angles Lakers)
I really wanted to pick Giannis here, but this season seems ripe for the King.  LeBron’s Lakers have a better roster than his Cleveland team last season and I fully expect the Lakers to usher in a new era of showtime basketball.  While some (ludicrously) have the Lakers finishing as low as 9th, I think the Lakers will finish top 3 in the West – thrusting LeBron to the top of the MVP conversation for 2019.

Steven Petterson’s Pick – Giannis Antetokounmpo (Milwaukee Bucks)
The Greek Freak is coming for everyone this year. At 23 years old, Giannis is ready to take his reign as one of the best players in the league (and make about 8 league members look foolish too). In Milwaukee’s new system his full range of talent will be on display, and it is going to horrify every opposing team all season long. 30-7-7, with Giannis pushing Milwaukee to the 3rd seed in the East – you heard it here first.

Adam Kroon’s Pick – Anthony Davis (New Orleans Pelicans)
This is a contract year for the Brow, and if he wants to get max dollars while not playing for the Pelicans, he’s going to need to blow up and carry the Pels into the playoffs. Without Boogie to help in the last year’s playoff push, we saw Davis pull a LeBron like carry-my-team-on-my-shoulders move. I think we’re going to see a carry over of that Anthony Davis this year.

Jordan Taylor’s Pick – LeBron James (Los Angles Lakers)
The MVP race remains ideally the same horse and pony show after the dust settled on the major off season moves over the summer. The likes of James Harden, LeBron James, and Anthony Davis will continue to reign supreme as upper level players. My guess is the enamour of LeBron in LA is to much for the voting board and the king continues his tyrant rule over the NBA. Let’s not forget that there is always the outliers in teir two that could shake up the status quo: Kevin Durant, kawhi Leonard, and Giannis.
Winner: LeBron James Snub: Giannis


Well, there you have it! Who do you think got it right? Do you agree or disagree with any of these rankings? Hit us up in the comments and let us know what you think!