On this episode of The HoopsHype Podcast, Alex Kennedy is joined by USA TODAY Sports’ Trysta Krick. They project who will win the NBA’s major awards this season and then make some bold predictions about the 2019-20 campaign. Time-stamps are below!
3:00: This year’s Most Valuable Player race will be intense with stars like Stephen Curry, Giannis Antetokounmpo, Kawhi Leonard, LeBron James, James Harden and Anthony Davis in the mix. Alex and Trysta each share their MVP prediction and reasoning.
8:30: All eyes will be on Zion Williamson during his first NBA season, but he’s not a lock to win Rookie of the Year if he’s sidelined for a significant portion of the year. Alex and Trysta share their ROY picks and discuss how Zion’s injury opens the door for other candidates.
13:15: Will Rudy Gobert win his third-straight Defensive Player of the Year award? Could we see Kawhi Leonard add a third DPOY trophy to his collection? Alex and Trysta each give their DPOY prediction.
16:20: It wouldn’t surprise anyone if Lou Williams wins Sixth Man of the Year for an NBA-record fourth time this season. However, Alex and Trysta both believe a certain Eastern Conference guard can beat out Williams.
20:30: Most Improved Player can be difficult to predict since it’s often a surprise when the top candidates emerge, but Alex makes the case for Dejounte Murray and Trysta argues for Jayson Tatum.
25:15: Trysta believes that Hassan Whiteside’s change of scenery to Portland will be excellent for him and that he could garner Most-Improved-Player consideration (even if he doesn’t ultimately win the award).
30:25: Who will win the Coach of the Year award this season? Trysta goes out on a limb and predicts that Toronto Raptors head coach Nick Nurse will win it, while Alex gives a more conservative pick.
36:35: Alex and Trysta agree on their Executive of the Year pick and they both explain why they believe New Orleans Pelicans GM David Griffin is the current front-runner for the award.
38:05: At this point, Alex and Trysta exchange bold predictions for the upcoming season. Trysta drops a bombshell: She has the Toronto Raptors advancing to the NBA Finals for the second-straight year!
43:55: The San Antonio Spurs have made the playoffs for 22 consecutive seasons, which is tied for the longest streak in NBA history. Alex predicts that San Antonio will miss the postseason for the first time in over two decades because the Western Conference is overflowing with talent.
47:55: Trysta’s next prediction is that Mike D’Antoni will be out as head coach of the Houston Rockets at some point in the next year. People close to D’Antoni told Trysta that the head coach had no say in the decision to acquire Russell Westbrook and, while D’Antoni has said the right things publicly, he and his inner circle weren’t crazy about the move. Couple that with his contract situation and D’Antoni may not stay in Houston long-term.
50:35: Alex predicts that Ben Simmons will make 15-20 three-pointers this season. If Brook Lopez can make 187 three-pointers last season after not hitting a single three in his first six years in the NBA, it’s certainly possible. Hell, even Marquese Chriss hit 16 threes last year. Simmons put in the work and everyone in Philly’s organization is supporting him. Plus, defenses are going to leave him wide open so the opportunities will be there.
54:35: Trysta predicts that even after adding Kyrie Irving, DeAndre Jordan and Taurean Prince, the Brooklyn Nets won’t show significant improvement this year She has this team winning around 42-45 games again and finishing around the fifth or sixth seed in the Eastern Conference. She doesn’t believe Brooklyn will take a step forward until Kevin Durant returns.
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