The Wesleyan Argus | Changing of the Guard: 2022-23 NBA Season Preview

By | September 20, 2022

c/o Kevin Jairaj

c/o Kevin Jairaj

The 2022-2023 NBA season marks an enormous energy shift within the league. As perennial greats like LeBron James and Kevin Durant, who dominated the 2010s, enter the twilight of their respective careers, a brand new technology of stars is about to take the reins. This new guard, led by superhuman jumpers like Ja Morant and positionless giants like Nikola Jokić, is quickly altering the way in which coaches and gamers take into consideration the sport and strategize. With the intention to sustain with this fast-paced and dynamic NBA, I’ve written a fast preview of the upcoming season, together with main storylines and my private predictions (primarily based on rosters, accidents, and biased opinions) for every of the 30 groups. in (roughly) 30 phrases or much less.

1. Atlanta Hawks: 45W, 37L

Atlanta has two of probably the most thrilling younger guards in Trae Younger and offseason signing Dejounte Murray. If they’ll share the backcourt, the Hawks ought to safe a match spot.

2. Boston Celtics: 54 F, 28 L

The Celtics had been midway to the gate final yr earlier than Stephen Curry shut it within the Finals. With guard Malcolm Brogdon added to the record of acquainted faces, revenge could possibly be theirs.

3. Brooklyn Nets: 49W, 33L

For 3 years, Nets followers and critics have been shouting “Championship or bust!” Now, with getting old stars on skinny ice and a traditionally harm staff, that notion holds true: something aside from a hoop means utter failure.

4. Charlotte Hornet: 36W, 46L

Miles Bridges should face the implications of his actions (he was charged with home violence in June). Charlotte ought to depend on her different gamers and present no tolerance for this conduct.

5. Chicago Bulls: 43F, 39L

The X issue for this staff is the well being of its level guard, Lonzo Ball. With Ball on the sphere to enhance common scorers DeMar DeRozan and Zach Lavine, Chicago is a power, however with out Ball, Bulls followers ought to put together for a median season.

6. Cleveland Cavaliers: 50W, 32L

Darius Garland, Evan Mobley, Jarrett Allen and now Donovan Mitchell? The Cavs have the makings of an excellent staff with this roster and can go deep into the playoffs for years to return.

7. Dallas Mavericks: 48 F, 34 L

This yr asks the query: “How a lot can Luka Dončić make?” The reply: not sufficient. Even with Luka because the MVP favourite, the Mavericks lack the supporting forged of a typical champion.

8. Denver Nuggets: 49W, 33L

The Mile-Excessive Metropolis have excessive hopes as their stars Jamal Murray and Michael Porter Jr. return from harm to hitch reigning two-time MVP Nikola Jokić. Jokić is establishing himself as an all-time nice, and with that greatness comes common season success, however after an early exit from the playoffs final yr, he must show he can dominate within the playoffs too.

9. Detroit Pistons: 31W, 51L

The Pistons landed level guard Kemba Walker within the offseason, and with him alongside a proficient younger core, the long run is shiny in Detroit. The current? Not likely.

ten. Golden State Warriors: 59W, 23L

The Warriors saga continues! Golden State is turning into one of many best dynasties in NBA historical past, and this yr Stephen Curry hopes so as to add a fifth ring to his assortment.

11. Houston Rockets: 22W, 60L

The Rockets have promising kids in Jalen Inexperienced and this yr’s No. 3 Jabari Smith Jr., however they’re nonetheless in a rebuild that can take time.

12. Indiana Pacers: 25W, 57L

There’s little left for this Pacers staff after dropping Domantas Sabonis and Caris Levert. A significant improve from third-year guard Tyrese Haliburton might give Indiana hope for the long run, however for now, they’re going to have to start a full rebuild.

13. Los Angeles Mowers: 52W, 30L

The Clippers have been a “what if?” staff for a number of years now. They’ve greater than sufficient expertise with superstars Kawhi Leanard and Paul George, however they have not reached their championship potential. With a wonderfully wholesome staff, this could possibly be their yr.

14. Los Angeles Lakers: 42W, 40L

How lengthy can LeBron James defy his age? Perhaps eternally, however I believe a slight drop in LeBron’s potential this yr will harm the Lakers’ possibilities of making the playoffs.

15. Memphis Grizzlies: 50W, 32L

Ja Morant’s electrifying dunks are well worth the ticket value alone, however the Grizzlies aren’t overhyped. I would not be stunned if Memphis leads the West on the finish of the season.

16. Miami Warmth: 49W, 33L

After reaching the Finals two years in the past, the Warmth had been shut however in the end unable to win the championship. The Jap Convention may be very proficient, however Miami has an opportunity.

17. Milwaukee Bucks: 53 W 29, L

The Giannis Antetokounmpo present continues, and whereas there was little change to the facet that received all of it two years in the past, they’re simply as aggressive and succesful.

18. Minnesota Timberwolves: 48 F, 34 L

The ferocity of Anthony Edwards, the capturing of Karl-Anthony Cities, the demise of D’Angelo Russell, and now the protection of the French seven-footer Rudy Gobert? Beware Minnesota come playoff time.

19. New Orleans Pelicans 41 W, 41 L

New Orleans has realized that Zion Williamson is way from superhuman. Since coming into the league, he is been plagued with accidents on a regular basis, but when he can keep wholesome all yr, the Pelicans may shock us.

20. New York Knicks: 39 F, 43 L

The Knicks brought about a stir once they signed underrated guard Jalen Brunson, however they proceed to be a below-average staff. A bounce from RJ Barrett is their solely hope.

21. Oklahoma Metropolis Thunder: 25W, 57L

OKC followers may really feel determined after Chet Holmgren, the quantity two in final yr’s draft, suffered a season-ending foot harm, however they should not despair. The Thunder have 22 draft picks over the following 4 years along with a plethora of younger expertise. They’re virtually assured to be the staff of the long run. Somebody wants to offer normal supervisor Sam Presti a increase.

22. Orlando Magic: 24W, 58L

Orlando has been stagnating within the backside half of the Jap Convention for a few years. With the current addition of a number of younger franchise gamers, there may be hope, however hope would not win basketball video games. For now, the Magic should wait.

23. Philadelphia 76ers: 50W, 32L

After final yr’s drama-filled season wherein administration had an Alamo showdown with Ben Simmons, the Sixers look ahead to taking part in a profitable season of basketball with little outdoors noise.

24. Phoenix Suns: 54W, 28L

The Suns are the common season dominators with a 115-39 file the previous two seasons. If that success can carry over into the playoffs, a hoop could possibly be imminent.

25. Portland Path Blazers: 38W, 44L

The Trailblazers have put their cash on franchise level guard Damian Lillard for years to return, however with out large enchancment from Anfernee Simons, they are not a playoff staff.

26. Sacramento Kings: 30F, 52L

The Kings have a promising lineup in Domantas Sabonis and De’Aaron Fox, however they should show they’ve extra depth earlier than I can predict any significant success.

27. San Antonio Spurs: 22W, 60L

The rebuilding Spurs have their eye on one prize: Victor Wembanyama, one of the best participant within the draft class of 2023. Both manner, this season will not be enjoyable for Spurs followers.

28. Toronto Raptors: 44 F, 38 L

Toronto have plateaued after profitable the championship in 2019. Whereas they anticipate particular person enchancment from second Scottie Barnes, the highest of the East merely has no room for them.

29. Utah Jazz: 24F, 58L

Music is lifeless for Jazz as Donovan Mitchell and Rudy Gobert left by way of commerce and free company. They should construct from scratch.

30. Washington Wizards: 34 F, 48 L

Over the summer season, the Wizards locked Bradley Beal right into a five-year, $251 million deal. Now that he is secure, they should discover extra items to place themselves within the operating.

And with that, I coated all 30 groups. Final Sunday marked a month earlier than the NBA denouncement, and it is sure to be an unimaginable season. Put together to be wowed by new stars arriving with big egos and a burning need to win, and remember to cherish the established gamers as they start their farewell excursions.

Ethan Lee could be contacted at [email protected]