The 2016-17 NBA season came to a close with the Golden State Warriors winning it all, thanks to Kevin Durant's performance that allowed him to take home Finals MVP honors. The Warriors' victory ended up shaking up the entire NBA this past offseason.

In what could go down as the craziest offseason in NBA history, a bunch of familiar faces are now in new places.

Chris Paul is now on the Houston Rockets with James Harden. Carmelo Anthony and Paul George both got traded to the Oklahoma City Thunder to team up with Russell Westbrook.

The Cavaliers landed Isaiah Thomas, Jae Crowder, Derrick Rose, Dwyane Wade and more while sending Kyrie Irving to the Boston Celtics. It could be LeBron's most complete team yet, but is it enough to take down the Warriors?

The Warriors made some additions of their own, such as Nick Young and Jordan Bell. Overall, they still have the main core intact. All in all, though, this season could very well end up being the fourth straight matchup between the Cavs and Dubs in the Finals.

The expectations are high for this year. A lot of players are on the rise, while many are trying to change their legacy too. So how will this season go? Let's take a look at my predictions.

Eastern Conference



Standings
1. Cleveland Cavaliers
2. Boston Celtics
3. Washington Wizards
4. Milwaukee Bucks
5. Toronto Raptors
6. Miami Heat
7. Charlotte Hornets
8. Philadelphia 76ers
9. Detroit Pistons
10. Indiana Pacers
11. Orlando Magic
12. Brooklyn Nets
13. New York Knicks
14. Atlanta Hawks
15. Chicago Bulls

First Round Playoffs
(1) Cavaliers over (8) 76ers, 4-0
(2) Celtics over (7) Hornets, 4-1
(3) Wizards over (6) Heat, 4-1
(4) Bucks over (5) Raptors, 4-3

Conference Semifinals
(1) Cavaliers over (4) Bucks, 4-0
(2) Celtics over (3) Wizards, 4-3

Conference Finals
(1) Cavaliers over (2) Celtics, 4-1

Western Conference



Standings
1. Golden State Warriors
2. Oklahoma City Thunder
3. Houston Rockets
4. San Antonio Spurs
5. Portland Trail Blazers
6. Minnesota Timberwolves
7. Los Angeles Clippers
8. Denver Nuggets
9. Utah Jazz
10. Memphis Grizzlies
11. New Orleans Pelicans
12. Dallas Mavericks
13. Sacramento Kings
14. Los Angeles Lakers
15. Phoenix Suns

First Round Playoffs
(1) Warriors over (8) Nuggets, 4-0
(2) Thunder over (7) Clippers, 4-0
(3) Rockets over (6) Timberwolves, 4-2
(4) Sours over (5) Blazers, 4-2

Conference Semfinals
(1) Warriors over (4) Spurs, 4-2
(2) Thunder over (3) Rockets, 4-3

Conference Finals
(1) Warriors over (2) Thunder, 4-3

Awards



MVP: LeBron James, Cleveland Cavaliers

Rookie of the Year: Ben Simmons, Philadelphia 76ers

Most Improved Player: D'Angelo Russell, Brooklyn Nets

Defensive Player of the Year: Rudy Gobert, Utah Jazz

6th Man of the Year: Lou Williams, Los Angeles Clippers

Coach of the Year: Brad Stevens, Boston Celtics

Executive of the Year: Sam Presti, Oklahoma City Thunder

NBA Finals: Warriors-Cavaliers IV



It'd be wise to not bet against the Golden State Warriors. I, for some reason, picked the Cleveland Cavaliers in 7 over the Warriors in last year's NBA Finals, but it ended up being a near-sweep.

LeBron is probably with the deepest team he's had ever, but this Warriors team will be back with better team chemistry, and they've been shown to be unstoppable since adding Kevin Durant.

Does LeBron have enough to beat the Warriors? Can he do enough by himself? It is very possible. I believe the series will be closer than last year, but I think I am going to go with the safe pick of the Warriors.

I do think the Warriors win in about six games, but I wouldn't be surprised if LBJ somehow does enough to push it to 7. It all depends on the matchups. Will the Cavs have Isaiah Thomas by then, or will he be traded during February's deadline?

I have the Cavs cruising through the playoffs, while the Warriors have some tough series against the Spurs and Thunder. Could the extra rest for Cleveland be enough to catch the Warriors off guard?

Whatever happens, I think the Cavs will put up a much better performance than last year. As for Golden State, I believe Stephen Curry will lead the team in scoring for this series.

He has a chip on his shoulder, as he has been flamed for underperforming in the Finals. He played well in last year's win, but it was overshadowed by KD.

Look for Curry to make a statement this series if the Warriors win it all, as he takes home MVP honors. I think Klay Thompson is a dark horse. I also think LeBron may still have a chance to win it even if he loses, similar to the 2015 Finals.

All in all, I hope at least this will be a competitive series. I think the Warriors take care of it in less than 6 games, but if this goes to 7.......

Prediction: Warriors in 6

Finals MVP: Stephen Curry



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