2022-2023 NBA Preview


Ari Shemesh and Isaac Shrader

The 2022-23 NBA season has begun, and 30 teams are ready to give it their all in order to take home the famed Larry O’Brien trophy. Team Tower has carefully selected their predictions for this highly anticipated season. As the NBA’s 74th season kicks off, here are the Tower’s NBA season predictions. 


Eastern Conference

Atlantic Division: Philadelphia 76ers

If they can remain healthy, the Philadelphia 76ers have one of the most well-rounded rosters in the NBA. Due to the fact this is James Harden’s first full year with the team, many have high expectations for him. Last season, averaging 22 points and 10 assists, Harden proved that he was still a superstar caliber player. Along with the new addition of Harden, the young star, Tyrese Maxey, also demonstrated his unique playmaking ability and deep three point range. Additionally, Philadelphia’s other starters and supporting cast, in Tobias Harris, P.J. Tucker, Matisse Thybulle, and Georges Niang, all have proven their worth behind the three point line. To help set all of these open shots up, Joel Embiid, who last year, led the league in points per game, takes up a lot of extra attention inside the paint

Central Division- Milwaukee Bucks

The Milwaukee Bucks are a dominant team that shows off their strength physically and mentally. Their ability to score in the paint with 2-time MVP and star-player Giannis Antetokounmpo is unmatched, and they have the stellar defense to back it up. Their 3-point scoring is steadily improving, which presents a new threat their opponents must account for. The Bucks did not make major changes to their team in the offseason, so their playoff-caliber lineup is already set and revving to take back their title. 

Southwest- Atlanta Hawks

After last year’s disappointing loss to the Miami Heat in the first round of the playoffs, the Hawks made some very significant pick-ups, most notably Dejounte Murray. Last season Murray led the Spurs to the Play-In tournament, where they lost to the Pelicans, but he averaged 21 points, 9 assists, and 2 steals. His passing ability and skillful perimeter defense will help set up the Hawks’ scorers for easier shot opportunities. Trae Young, who led the league in total points last season, is still a young and developing player with a deep threat scoring ability. This fast-paced offense will be backed up by the strong defensive leader, Clint Capela, who averaged 1.5 blocks per game last year. 


Western Conference

Northwest- Denver Nuggets

Last season, multiple key players on the Nuggets were injured before or early on in the season, including Jamal Murray and Michael Porter Jr. With these two scoring sensations unable to play, Jokic put the team on his back and carried them to the playoffs, where they lost to the Golden State Warriors. After being nominated for his second consecutive MVP award, averaging 27 points, 14 rebounds, 8 assists, 1 block and 2 steals. Now, with the return of Murray and Porter Jr., many NBA fans are expecting a very successful season from the Nuggets. 

Pacific- Los Angeles Clippers

Last year, the Clippers dealt with many injuries, which included the loss of superstar Kawhi Leonard for the entire season, and Paul George for a large portion of it. This drop in scoring ability led Reggie Jackson to one of his best scoring seasons. Once George returned, the Clippers season began to look up, but even with this help, the Clippers lost to the Timberwolves in the Play-in tournament. Now that Kawhi is finally making his return to the court, the Clippers’ are capable of becoming the best team in Los Angeles. Last time Kawhi played, back in the 2021 postseason, he averaged 30 points, 8 rebounds, 2 steals, and 1 block. The Clippers will most likely ease him back into the game by slowly adding more minutes. Once he is back to playing 30+ minutes per game, his huge offensive and defensive workload will surely lead the Clippers deeper into the playoffs. 

Southwest- New Orleans Pelicans

Last year, the Pelicans’ young roster, led by Brandon Ingram and CJ McCollum, had a shockingly successful season. Near the end of the season, a young defensive star in Jose Alvarado emerged and took the league by surprise with his unique style of defense. The Pelicans played a hard-fought series against the number one seeded Suns, but unfortunately, they lost in six games. However, they managed to make it this far without one of their biggest offensive and defensive weapons in Zion Williamson. In the short period of time in which Zion played, he showed the league how truly dominant he could be. Now that he is returning, the expectations for the Pelicans this season are very high. Brandon Ingram and CJ McCollum will both have great seasons offensively, with Williamson and Alvarado holding down the defensive side of the ball, the sky’s the limit. 


Postseason Champions

Eastern Conference Champion- Milwaukee Bucks

Having won a ring one season ago, the Bucks will surely be fighting as hard as they can to get another, especially after the disappointing loss against the Celtics in the Eastern Conference Semifinals. Giannis has proven to the entire league that he is one of the most dominant players of all time, and he is still getting better. His passing and shooting abilities have consistently improved over the course of the last few seasons. The Bucks organization did not make too many changes in the off-season, meaning the players will already understand each other’s play styles and possess exceptional chemistry. The Buck’s unyielding offense and unbreaking defensive abilities will prove to be a problem for anyone unfortunate enough to play them in the postseason. 

Western Conference Champion- Warriors

The Warriors are fresh off of an NBA Finals win and will be looking to reclaim that title in any way they can. Despite not winning their division, the Warrior’s unwavering playoff ability will bring home a Western Conference Championship once again. After two large contract extensions in the offseason, and slight alterations to the roster through the loss of Gary Payton II and Otto Porter Jr, the Warriors still possess their championship-caliber team which will take them deep into the playoffs. The Warriors contain a strong scoring core, the defense required to neutralize formidable foes, as well as a strong coaching staff that supports all of their players. This is a team not to be reckoned with. 

NBA Finals Champion- Milwaukee Bucks

The Bucks’ fast-paced and intense offensive play style will be too much for the Warriors. Giannis is too physical of a player and the Warriors, like most teams, do not have anyone able to defend such a strong and explosive athlete. Their shooting ability would also be a big factor, as a lot of the defensive attention would be focused on Giannis in the paint. Khris Middleton, Jrue Holiday, and Brook Lopez are a few of the players on the Bucks who would get a lot of points due to the double teams on Giannis. The Bucks defense also outmatches the Warriors. Jrue Holiday is one of the best defensive guards in the league, so he would be able to stop Curry or Klay on multiple possessions per game. Last season, Giannis averaged 1.5 blocks per game, so he would be able to prevent the Warrior’s bigger bodies from scoring in the paint. Due to their overwhelming offensive and defensive abilities, the Bucks would beat the Warriors in five or six games.


Player Awards

Scoring Leader- Luka Doncic

The Maverick’s top player, and star point guard is poised for a season full of high-scoring games. After coming off a season where he placed 3rd in points per game, and 7th in total points scored, Doncic is predicted to sky-rocket in his point totals due to the significant lack of star scorers surrounding him. Doncic will have to rely on his unique scoring ability to help the Mavs finish the season with a winning record. As long as Doncic can meet his already defined expectation as a player who can make the difficult shots he takes, he will have no trouble securing the top spot on the scoring list.

MVP- Luka Doncic

Luka is coming off of an incredible 2021-2022 season, where he led his team to beat the number one seeded Suns. Unfortunately, he was not able to carry his team past the Warriors in the Western Conference Finals. Luka’s scoring ability is an obvious reason as to why he could win MVP, but he is much more than just a scorer. Although the Mavericks roster does not consist of many star scorers, Luka is a game manager and improves the play of others around him. He draws so much attention from other team’s defenses, which often leaves a man open, and due to his incredible court vision, he racks up assists well. This passing ability is a key factor in the Mavericks success. These unique set of skills will surely help Luka lead his team deep into the playoffs.  

Rookie of the Year- Paolo Banchero

The first pick in the NBA draft will also turn out to be first on the Rookie Ladder. Duke-graduate and power forward, Paolo Banthero, is a prolific mid-range scorer and smart player. His one-year stint at Duke led him to average 17.2 points per game, along with 7.8 rebounds per game and 3.2 assists per game. These stats impressed the Orlando front office, who took Banchero with the 1st overall pick in the draft. Paolo Banthero’s addition to the Orlando Magic provides them with a much needed physical power forward, as well as more young blood on the team. Paolo Banthero’s ability to put up points at the forward position, will contribute greatly to winning Rookie of the Year. 

6th Man of the Year- Jordan Poole

After making a splash in the league last year with his deep three point shots and his exciting playstyle, Jordan Poole is ready to show out again and win the honorable 6th Man of the Year Award. Last season, Poole averaged 18.5 points per game and a .448 field goal percentage. Jordan Poole will solidify his spot as the third Splash Brother on the Warriors. A young player with still room to improve, this season is the perfect opportunity to put the league on notice. As the Warriors make yet another run at the NBA title, Jordan Poole will be an integral piece to their success as the backbone of the bench unit.

Most Improved Player- Tyrese Maxey

A young talent in the making, Tyrese Maxey has made a name for himself through his 3-point shooting along with his passing and defensive ability. Maxey’s stats last season were nothing to laugh at, but as a young player, his rate of improvement will increase exponentially with the offense built for him. Maxey is expected to increase his points per game by five and be a top perimeter defender for the 76ers this season.