Fantasy teams have long been chosen and the draft is a distant memory. A handful of teams and players are looking to bounce back from mistakes made last season.
If you’re trying to figure out your own NBA picks, you’ve got a lot of factors to consider.
Some of the winners from last year are safe bets to end up winning again in 2018. Because of a few team shakeups and some restructuring, we could see the 2018 playoffs looking a whole lot different than what happened in 2017.
The sure things from last year might be outdone by some of the feistier teams looking for a comeback. In no particular order, here are six NBA picks for who might end up bringing home the trophy in 2018.
1. San Antonio Spurs
Last season, Kawhi Leonard was the glue holding the Spurs together. In May 2017’s Western Conference Finals, San Antonio was up on the boards by 20 points. Then, right before the final quarter, Kawhi Leonard’s ankle gave out.
The Spurs spent the rest of that game fumbling, trying to fill in the gap that the forward left behind. They ended up getting easily swept by Golden State, with Leonard riding the bench.
The Spurs have spent the last 20 years as one of the most competitive franchises and consistent NBA picks for a championship shot. But when a team that seems to perform so well suddenly falters without their star player, it’s hard to tell how strong the team is.
That fateful series last season ended with three starters benched for injuries. After a restful summer, this team could be back and ready to contend for the title. We could even see Leonard as a contender for MVP.
2. Philadelphia 76ers
With a recently recovered bench, including Ben Simmons and Joel Embiid, the 76ers are ready to bounce back from last year’s rocky season. Brett Brown is a fantastic coach but struggled by having a troubled team.
With everyone ready to play and his young talent having some experience under their belts, Coach Brown is sure to lead a strong team into the playoffs this year.
If the team stays healthy, we should see a lot of competitive games with some of the stronger teams in the league. While not every predictor is rating Philadelphia as one of their top NBA picks, strong coaching and a great bench will take them far.
Let’s just keep our fingers crossed that everyone stays healthy. Check out our live picks to see if anything changes last minute.
3. Golden State Warriors
They might seem like the most obvious pick, as the Warriors have won three championships in the last four years. But even the Chicago Bulls under Michael Jordan had a limit to their winning streak.
With every one of the top NBA picks looking at their playbook, we could see some tough competition for the 2018 season. Some teams become a little arrogant or complacent when they win too often.
A hungrier team could knock them off the top of the hill. An injury to Steph Curry or KD could change everything in an instant. The Warriors without Curry to pull them out of a rut could tumble from the top spot faster than you think.
4. Oklahoma City Thunder
The OKC Thunder is one of those teams taking dead aim at the Warriors. With an oppressive offense, they’ve got scoring power to give any team in the NBA a run for their money.
Carmelo Anthony and Russell Westbrook have got the skills to put the numbers up and could end up matching the abilities of the Warriors this year. They’ve got the speed and size that a lot of competitors are missing.
They’ve also got a bench where nearly every one of these powerful players is comfortable shooting from anywhere on the court.
While OKC might not have the big stars that other teams have, it’s only a matter of time before that changes. We could see OKC emerge as one of the teams to beat in the 2018 season.
5. Boston Celtics
The Boston Celtics have been playoff contenders just about every year since the 80s. They’re a tough team to play and the 2018 roster is no exception. Kyrie Irving and Gordon Hayward are some of the most athletic and powerful players in the NBA today.
They’ll continue to be challenged in the east by Cleveland, so long as LeBron James is on their roster. But by building a strong team of starters and a mix of strength and shooting skill, they’re sure to close the gap between the teams.
Expect Boston to do well in the playoffs and end up in a battle for the championship.
6. Utah Jazz
Don’t be surprised if the Jazz end up turning a few heads this year.
Rudy Gobert plays the kind of balanced offensive and defensive game that veteran NBA picks dream of. With the help of Ricky Rubio to set an example for their younger talent, there’s some serious leadership on the court.
Gobert is an underrated player and is soon to become one of the best centers playing in the NBA today. Watch as he expands his offensive reach while still being one of the best defenders in the Western Conference.
So Many Great NBA Picks
There are some other great teams sure to be fun to watch this season.
Cleveland, Charlotte, and Houston show some great teamwork on the court and might upend everyone’s list of projections. Toronto could end up bringing the trophy up north to Canada, with the way their team has been playing
If you’re still trying to decide on this year’s best NBA picks, contact us for an updated list of who’s hot and who’s not.