With the NBA ready to resume in less than 4 weeks, there are still lots of uncertainty and questions that have yet to be answered. One of the biggest questions is what an isolated restart without fans will look like? On top of that, how will players perform without the comfort of their fans rooting them on. On the one hand, this may make games more competitive since no team has home court advantage and everyone is on an even playing field. However, on the other hand, some players may play more poorly without a crowd to perform to.
Another question yet to be answered is who has been working out and staying in shape over the last 4 months. We see disciplined players like LeBron working out and staying ready, but can the same really be said for the rest of the league? It will be interesting to see who is ready to go, and who has not been keeping in game shape.
Thirdly, 25 out of 351 players have already tested positive for Covid-19. What will happen if players are not following the leagues guidelines, and decide not to quarantine? This will surely lead to an increase in the number of positive tests, and if it starts to get out of hand Adam Silver will likely make a decision on cancelling the NBA Season for good.
Our prediction is that the season will start on July 30 and finish sometime in late September or early October. The Milwaukee Bucks are the clear favorites in the East and the Lakers are the front-runners in the West. What will be interesting to see is how the Bucks can perform in this new format, and whether they can hold off the Celtics, 76ers, and Raptors.
The Lakers recently added JR Smith and look poised to make a deep run in the playoffs. We believe the Lakers will very likely make it to the Western Conference Finals and then into the Finals. Lebron looks more focused than ever and is ready with Anthony Davis to put them over the top.
Whatever happens, we will be watching with the return on July 30th. The league has lots of fresh, exciting talent, especially in the western conference with guys like Ja Morant, Zion Williamson, and Luka Doncic. What will be most fun to watch is if any of them can break through this year and make a real statement. Stay tuned….
With the 2020-2021 NFL season set to begin in less than one week there will be many things to look out for. Most notably are all the offseason changes that have been made and how that will affect teams in the regular season as well as in the playoffs.
Perhaps the team with the most drastic of changes and also the biggest expectations heading into the new year are the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Tom Brady is 43 years old and entering his 20th season in the NFL. Everyone will be watching to see if he can continue to play and win at an elite level with a new team and in a new environment. If there is one thing Tom Brady has proved however over the years, it's to never count him out because just when you think he can't win, he will prove you wrong. Another thing to look out for with Tampa Bay are the weapons Tom Brady will be surrounded with. Mike Evans and Chris Godwin are two of the top wide receivers in the league and talent Tom Brady has not had in New England for years. On top of this Rob Gronkowski will be back in action as well as the new signing of running back Leonard Fournette. Any way you slice it up, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers look ready to make a deep run in this year's NFL season.
Another team to watch out for and keep your eyes on are the New England Patriots. New England still has one of the best defenses in the league and although they no longer have Tom Brady, never underestimate Bill Bellicheck and whatever tricks he has up his sleeve. The addition of Cam Newton was a great calculated pickup that will give the Patriots a quarterback who is a dual threat in the running and passing game. One thing a lot of people don't know is that Bill Bellicheck’s respect and admiration for Cam Newton’s game goes back a long way. In late 2017 Bellicheck said this about the quarterback “I think when you’re talking about mobile quarterbacks — guys that are tough to handle, can throw, run, make good decisions … — I would put him at the top of the list...not saying there aren’t a lot of other good players that do that, but I would say of all the guys we played recently in the last couple of years, I think he’s the hardest guy to (defend). He makes good decisions, can run. He’s strong. He’s hard to tackle. He can do a lot of different things. He can beat you in a lot of different ways. We saw that in the game in 2013. I would put him at the top of the list. I’m not saying the other guys aren’t a problem, because they are. But he’s maybe public enemy No. 1.” This is high praise coming from coach Bellicheck and it would seem like he knows what he's doing here. Combine that with a hungry Cam Newton who is eager to prove to the world that he is still a superstar quarterback in the league and that is why we consider the Patriots a team to watch out for.
As far as the rest of the league goes, we certainly predict that some of the top teams in the league from the 2019-2020 NFL season will continue to stay on top this year. Teams like the Kansas City Chiefs, Baltimore Ravens, New Orleans Saints, and San Francisco 49ers will all play well, win games, and be hard teams to defeat barring any significant injuries. Look for Patrick Mahomes to continue making a name for himself and leading his team deep into the playoffs once again. Likewise, watch out for Lamar Jackson to have another dominant regular season and lead his team into the playoffs once again. Only this time we will see if they are able to have a deeper run.
Overall, we are excited for the start of the 2020-2021 NFL season and can’t wait to see what teams and players are ready to surprise the league!
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