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Denver Stiffs 2018-19 season preview roundtable

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We’ve gathered the staff together to make predictions for the upcoming season, ranging from award winners to division winners.

Portland Trail Blazers v Denver Nuggets Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images

The 2018-19 NBA season begins tonight so the Denver Stiffs are here to put their predictions in writing, with a whole slew of guesses. Tomorrow we’ll drop our Denver Nuggets predictions. Make your predictions in the comment section below!

Want to walk down memory lane for last season? Check those out here.

NBA MVP

By Daniel Lewis

Kawhi Leonard. I think that with the change to the Eastern Conference and his desire to show that he’s still the player he used to be, Kawhi is about to have a monster season. The Raptors have a new head coach, who can craft an offense around Kawhi’s ability to attack off the dribble, and they could have a fearsome defense. Kawhi would have to lead the Raptors to the best record in the league, which is only possible because of their conference affiliation, and lead the Raptors to one of the top three defenses in the league.

Daniel Lewis Jeremy Poley Ryan Blackburn Zach Mikash Kayla Osby Adam Mares Gordon Gross
Kawhi Leonard
James Harden
Giannis Antetokounmpo
LeBron James
LeBron James
Giannis Antetokounmpo
LeBron James

Most Improved Player

By Jeremy Poley

Kevin Love - This guy used to be thought of as one of the top 10 players in the NBA. It’s been about five years since that was the predominant thought - the exact same amount of time it’s been since he last played without LeBron. Being on a team without LeBron, without any serious post-season aspirations, becoming the #1 shooting option, and playing 34+ mpg again will see this 30 year old stud with gas left in his tank return to familiar all-star statistical heights.

Daniel Lewis Jeremy Poley Ryan Blackburn Zach Mikash Kayla Osby Adam Mares Gordon Gross
Jamal Murray
Kevin Love
Brandon Ingram
Jamal Murray
Jamal Murray
Lonzo Ball
Julius Randle

Defensive Player of the Year

By Zach Mikash

Joel Embiid. Embiid is one of the biggest rising stars in the NBA and his defense is a big reason. The risk with picking him for a season long award is obviously whether or not he will stay healthy all year but if he does then he’ll be an absolute monster statistically on the defensive end as well as being an absolute monster in general on the defensive end which should be enough to win this award.

Daniel Lewis Jeremy Poley Ryan Blackburn Zach Mikash Kayla Osby Adam Mares Gordon Gross
Anthony Davis
Rudy Gobert
Anthony Davis
Joel Embiid
Clint Capela
Joel Embiid
Rudy Gobert

Rookie of the Year

By Gordon Gross

Luka Doncic. He’s the most ready for immediate impact. He’s been playing against grown-ass men for years already and he’s completely unafraid. He’ll get lots of minutes with plenty of shots on a non-playoff team. It’s all part of the recipe.

Daniel Lewis Jeremy Poley Ryan Blackburn Zach Mikash Kayla Osby Adam Mares Gordon Gross
DeAndre Ayton
Luka Doncic
Luka Doncic
Luka Doncic
DeAndre Ayton
Luka Doncic
Luka Doncic
Beijing Ducks v Dallas Mavericks Photo by Richard Rodriguez/Getty Images

Sixth Man of the Year

By Kayla Osby

Carmelo Anthony will potentially be coming off the bench for the first time in his career this season, and it could go one of two ways. He could be exactly what the Houston Rockets’ bench needs and could dominate second units with his scoring ability, or he could fade into oblivion as James Harden and Chris Paul steal the show. However, I’ll have some faith in Melo and say that he will be able to make a case as the sixth man of the year on the Rockets this year.

Daniel Lewis Jeremy Poley Ryan Blackburn Zach Mikash Kayla Osby Adam Mares Gordon Gross
Tyreke Evans
Lou Williams
J.J. Redick
Tyreke Evans
Carmelo Anthony
Lou Williams
Lou Williams

Coach of the Year

By Jeremy Poley

Brad Stevens - After a slow and consistent build of his first professional NBA team, Stevens finally gets to the big show and competes in the NBA finals. He’ll have proved his coaching ilk more than the coach of the unquestionably most talented roster in the NBA - the Golden State Warriors.

Daniel Lewis Jeremy Poley Ryan Blackburn Zach Mikash Kayla Osby Adam Mares Gordon Gross
Quin Snyder
Brad Stevens
Michael Malone
Brad Stevens
Brad Stevens
Mike Budenholzer
Quin Snyder

GM of the Year

By Daniel Lewis

Magic Johnson. He signed LeBron James and the Meme Squad - if they make the playoffs, he’s going to be heralded for turning around the Lakers. In reality, he was the lucky guy to be in charge when James became a free agent and wanted to live near Hollywood so he can develop his media empire. The Lakers continue to fall up.

Daniel Lewis Jeremy Poley Ryan Blackburn Zach Mikash Kayla Osby Adam Mares Gordon Gross
Magic Johnson
Jon Horst
Masai Ujiri
Magic Johnson
Sam Presti
Masai Ujiri
Danny Ainge

With the No. 1 pick in the 2019 draft, which team will be making that pick?

By Gordon Gross

Atlanta Hawks. I can’t pick the Sacramento Kings because they can’t even win the lottery, so the Hawks seem a likely choice as they break in some new gunner options and are set up to pick high right out of the gate.

Daniel Lewis Jeremy Poley Ryan Blackburn Zach Mikash Kayla Osby Adam Mares Gordon Gross
New York Knicks
Brooklyn Nets
Atlanta Hawks
Philadelphia 76ers
Sacramento Kings
Atlanta Hawks
Atlanta Hawks
NBA: Preseason-Atlanta Hawks at Memphis Grizzlies Justin Ford-USA TODAY Sports

Northwest Division Champ

By Zach Mikash

Utah Jazz. Utah is the best team in the best division in basketball. It could easily be any of the 5 NW teams (well, maybe not the Timberwolves) but with Utah’s defense and Donovan Mitchell with another year under his belt I think they have to be the favorites.

Daniel Lewis Jeremy Poley Ryan Blackburn Zach Mikash Kayla Osby Adam Mares Gordon Gross
Oklahoma City Thunder
Utah Jazz
Utah Jazz
Utah Jazz
Utah Jazz
Utah Jazz
Utah Jazz

Pacific Division Champ

Daniel Lewis Jeremy Poley Ryan Blackburn Zach Mikash Kayla Osby Adam Mares Gordon Gross
Golden State Warriors
Golden State Warriors
Golden State Warriors
Golden State Warriors
Golden State Warriors
Golden State Warriors
Golden State Warriors

Southwest Division Champ

Daniel Lewis Jeremy Poley Ryan Blackburn Zach Mikash Kayla Osby Adam Mares Gordon Gross
Houston Rockets
Houston Rockets
Houston Rockets
Houston Rockets
Houston Rockets
Houston Rockets
Houston Rockets

Atlantic Division Champ

Daniel Lewis Jeremy Poley Ryan Blackburn Zach Mikash Kayla Osby Adam Mares Gordon Gross
Toronto Raptors
Boston Celtics
Toronto Raptors
Boston Celtics
Boston Celtics
Boston Celtics
Boston Celtics

Central Division Champ

Daniel Lewis Jeremy Poley Ryan Blackburn Zach Mikash Kayla Osby Adam Mares Gordon Gross
Indiana Pacers
Milwaukee Bucks
Indiana Pacers
Milwaukee Bucks
Milwaukee Bucks
Milwaukee Bucks
Milwaukee Bucks
NBA: Preseason-Indiana Pacers at Houston Rockets Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

Western Conference Finals

Daniel Lewis Jeremy Poley Ryan Blackburn Zach Mikash Kayla Osby Adam Mares Gordon Gross
Jazz vs Warriors
Warriors vs Rockets
Warriors vs Rockets
Jazz vs Warriors
Warriors vs Rockets
Warriors vs Rockets
Warriors vs Rockets

Eastern Conference Finals

Daniel Lewis Jeremy Poley Ryan Blackburn Zach Mikash Kayla Osby Adam Mares Gordon Gross
Celtics vs Raptors
Celtics vs 76ers
Celtics vs Bucks
Celtics vs Raptors
Celtics vs Raptors
Celtics vs Raptors
Celtics vs Bucks

NBA Finals Champion

Daniel Lewis Jeremy Poley Ryan Blackburn Zach Mikash Kayla Osby Adam Mares Gordon Gross
Warriors over Celtics
Warriors over Celtics
Warriors over Celtics
Warriors over Celtics
Warriors over Celtics
Warriors over Celtics
Warriors over Celtics
NBA: Preseason-Los Angeles Lakers at Golden State Warriors Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports