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The Gator's Eye

The Student News Site of Green Level High School

The Gator's Eye

The Student News Site of Green Level High School

The Gator's Eye

2023 NBA Season Preview


The NBA regular season kicked off on Tuesday Night with the Nuggets beating the Lakers and the Suns taking down the Warriors. Many star players changed teams this off-season, the greatest prospect since Lebron is set to make his debut and the Nuggets will look to avenge the title. Here is my tier list of teams and who Green Level thinks will win the NBA Finals. 

The Favorites – Nuggets, Celtics, Suns, Bucks, Warriors

Each one of these teams has one of the best players in the league on their team and they got better in the offseason. The Nuggets are the reigning champions and they have the reigning Finals MVP in Nikola Jokic along with Jamal Murry and Michael Porter Jr. setup to repeat. The Celtics lost Marcus Smart but they added Jrue Holiday and Kristaps Porzingis to a team already loaded with Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown. The Suns added another prolific scorer in Bradley Beal to replace Chris Paul. Kevin Durant and Devin Booker will continue to be one of the league’s best duos. The Bucks added Damian Lilliard via trade with the Blazers while losing Jrue Holiday. Giannis remains a top 3 player in the league and Khris Middleton is an insanely good 3rd option on your team and Brook Lopez is one of the best defensive big men in the league. The Warriors will look to win one more championship this year before their dynasty comes to a close. They added Chris Paul this offseason to an already electric backcourt with Steph Curry and Klay Thompson. Draymond Green and Kevon Looney will anchor the frontcourt and Steve Kerr is seeking to win his 5th championship as the Warriors head coach. 

The Contenders – Lakers, Cavaliers, Grizzlies, Clippers

The Lakers will still have the elite duo of Anthony Davis and Lebron James. The concern with them is can they stay healthy and will Lebron begin to regress this year? Austin Reaves will be important to this team also as a key third option and floor general. The Cavaliers are loaded talent wise but they are young. Donovan Mitchell, Darius Garland, Evan Mobley, Jarrett Allen and Isaac Okoro is a great starting lineup to have. The guards are going to put up a lot of points and the bigs are going to play great defense but can they put it all together? The Grizzlies added Marcus Smart this offseason and he will fit perfectly with the scrappy and defensive minded team. Ja Morant is one of the best young players in the league but he has to stay out of trouble off the court if the Grizzlies want a shot at winning the title. As long as the Clippers have Kawhi Leonard and Paul George they will be a threat in the West. They need these guys to stay healthy to have a true chance to win it all. 

Dark Horses –  Heat, Thunder, Timberwolves

The Heat are always in the conversation to get the big names in free agency but were not able to acquire any of them this offseason. They retain essentially the same core from the team that made the Finals last year but are still being a little slept on. This team will go as far as Jimmy Butler will take them. He has a nice supporting cast of Bam Adebayo and Tyler Herro but they lost key role players Gabe Vincent and Max Strus from last year. The Thunder are finally back in the conversation of being contenders, led by 2022 First Team All-NBA Guard Shai-Gilgeous Alexander. They are a young team but absolutely loaded with talent. Jalen Williams and Josh Giddey both averaged over 14 points per game last year. 2022 #2 pick in the NBA Draft, Chet Holmgren missed all of last season but is set to make his rookie debut this year. Lu Dort is also a solid scorer and a great perimeter defender. Rookie G Cason Wallace had a great summer league and will look to get in the rotation and contribute early. This team is very deep and is ready and hungry to win now. The final dark horse team is the Minnesota Timerwolves. This team is led by G Anthony Edwards who will look to make himself one of the best players in the NBA this year. Karl-Anthony Towns and Rudy Gobert headline one of the best frontcourts in the NBA but will have to address the concerns about their ability to play together. 

First Round Exits – Nets, Knicks, Pelicans, Kings

These teams will be solid this season but nothing special. The Nets will be led by Mikal Bridges and Cameron Johnson. Nic Claxton will also be in the DPOY conversation. I think the Knicks are pretty overrated right now. A core of Julius Randle, Jalen Brunson and RJ Barrett is nothing special. They have a lot of good role players and they could definitely end up overperforming my projections. The Pelicans are a team that has a lot of talent but have never been able to put it together. They need Zion Williamson to stay healthy and they have to improve their defense from last year. Brandon Ingram and CJ McCollum will continue to be prolific scorers. The Kings had an amazing season last year, winning the 3rd seed in the West. I think they will regress some but they will still be a lock to make the playoffs with the duo Domantas Sabonis and De’Aaron Fox. Malik Monk and Keegan Murray will also put up points for this team but they will need a defensive boost from guys like Davion Mitchell. 

Possible Play Ins – Pacers, Hawks, Jazz, Bulls, Spurs, Raptors, Trail Blazers

These teams can be grouped into 3 different categories. The Paces, Hawks and Bulls retain essentially the same core they have had for a while with a couple of borderline stars on their team but they cannot get over the hump and win a playoff series. The Trail Blazers and Spurs are oozing with young talent as they have the #1 and #2 overall picks from the 2023 NBA Draft. Finally the Jazz and Raptors are also young teams that have recently lost one of their best players. The Jazz lost Donovan Mitchell a year ago but have had new young guys step up like Lauri Markannen and Walker Kessler. The Raptors recently lost Fred Vanvleet but they still have Scottie Barnes and Pascal Siakam to lead the charge. 

Bottom Feeders – Magic, Wizards, Hornets, Pistons, Rockets

Some people think the Magic will improve this year with Paolo Banchero and Franz Wagner continuing to emerge as young stars. I still think this team is too guard-heavy and will underperform their expectations. The Wizards acquired Jordan Poole this offseason but other than him they will struggle to put up points. The Pistons are still very young and Cade Cunnigham will have to put this team on his back. The Rockets added Fred VanVleet and Dillon Brooks this offseason but I still think this team will struggle without a true #1 scorer. Jalen Green needs to take a big jump if this team wants to make the playoffs.

Green Level Predictions

I went around Green Level and asked people who they thought were going to win the NBA Finals, these are the results that I got.

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About the Contributor
A. Langdon
Hi, my name is Andrew Langdon. I am a junior at Green Level. I am a member of the football team. I enjoy playing sports, listening to music and hanging out with my friends. I hope to write articles and make videos covering sports throughout the school.