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Sports Gazette NBA Writers Poll 17/18 Part 5: Champion Picks

With the start of the NBA regular season on the horizon, the writers of the Sports Gazette have come together to provide their thoughts on the season to come. In part 5, we decide who we believe will be hoisting the Larry O’Brien trophy come the end of the season.


Matt Horsman

1. Golden State Warriors (3pts)
2. Cleveland Cavaliers (2pts)
3. Oklahoma City Thunder (1pts)

It pains me to say that the Warriors are going to be completely untouchable again this season. With Cleveland weakened by the departure of Kyrie and the Spurs almost admitting defeat already by having a quiet offseason, I just can’t see past Golden State.

A weak East will allow Lebron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers with an easy route to the finals again, but my surprise pick is for the Thunder (not the Spurs or the Rockets) to get to the Western Conference finals. There is something tantalising about their new look big three, and injury dependent, if they click this team could go far.


Louis Olvera

1. Golden State Warriors (3pts)
2. Cleveland Cavaliers (2pts)
3. San Antonio Spurs (1pt)

Many teams have improved over the summer, but people have perhaps forgotten that no one can touch Stephen Curry and co. They boast four superstars in their starting line-up, and retained most of their rotation. It is almost a lock that they will win their third championship in four years and officially become a dynasty.

In the East, it will be the Cavaliers while James is still there. His supporting cast is even better this year but still not enough to beat the Warriors. Meanwhile for the Spurs, Coach Popovich will set a new NBA record of having 21 consecutive winning seasons in the league (out of 22).

Ben Morse

1. Golden State Warriors (3pts)
2. Boston Celtics (2pts)
3. Oklahoma City Thunder (1pt)

It is impossible to look past the Golden State Warriors here. Not only have they retained their four superstars, but they have also kept hold of the majority of the supporting cast which helped them to romp to the title last season. I think only injury to one or more of the superstars can derail the Warriors’ season.

I’m going bold by picking the Celtics to win the Eastern Conference over the Cavaliers. I feel Kyrie Irving is an upgrade over Isaiah Thomas, Gordon Hayward is an all-round baller and they still have Al Horford.

The Thunder are my team, and I really hope they challenge the Warriors. Russell Westbrook is a stud and the addition of Paul George and Melo has added a supporting cast that will compliment Westbrook nicely.


James Pike

1. Golden State Warriors (3pts)
2. Cleveland Cavaliers (2pts)
3. Boston Celtics (1pt)

There’s no reason to think that Golden State can’t win their third title in the last four seasons. The success of their retooling last offseason was verified in their Finals victory over the Cavaliers.

To their credit, Cleveland have addressed the lack of bench depth this offseason with the additions of Derrick Rose and Dwayne Wade, but when the Warriors have a trio as deadly as Durant, Thompson and Curry, does it matter? Never mind that this could be the Cavaliers’ last season in their championship window (more on that below), so it is a massive season ahead for the city by Lake Erie.

With all the changes, Boston still feels a little young to compete for an NBA title, but there’s no reason why Kyrie Irving shouldn’t be there for the next decade. The Celtics will change shape around him, but people should get used to seeing them in this category, because Danny Ainge has pulled some General Manager wizardry again and the Celtics will be competitive for a long time.


Adam Samuel

1. Golden State Warriors (3pts)
2. Oklahoma City Thunder (2pts)
3. Cleveland Cavaliers (1pt)

Despite the many scene shifting trades and signings that were made in the offseason, it remains annoyingly implausible to bet against anyone other than the Warriors. Kevin Durant’s (weak) move last summer has seismically shifted the direction of the league for the worse. Another tainted championship for KD seems well on the cards.

Oklahoma’s new big three will take their time to gel, but when they do they will only add to an outrageously exciting Western Conference. Meanwhile, the Cavs get on my list by virtue of playing in the terrible Eastern Conference – that being said, for me they are the sixth or seventh best team in the league.

OVERALL

1st – Golden State Warriors (15pts)
2nd – Cleveland Cavaliers (7pts)
3rd – Oklahoma City Thunder (4pts)

POLL SECTIONS

Part 1: Best Offseason Move

Part 2: Most Disappointing Team

Part 3: Number One Picks

Part 4: Rookie of the Year

Part 6: Most Valuable Player

Adam Samuel
Adam, 23, is a recent graduate of Bournemouth University, where he attained a bachelor of science degree in Sports Management. Following this, he found his way into sports journalism, writing regularly for a football-centred website and having his articles read by over four million people. Growing up in the London borough of Barking and Dagenham, Adam thrived on the playing fields, participating in academy-level football for several years and competing as a national level track and field athlete. Further, he flourished academically, being voted head boy by his peers in his final year of secondary school. In this role, he enjoyed his first experience in a writing capacity, contributing a weekly article to the school newsletter. Other sports in which he holds a great interest include basketball, American football, boxing, cricket and handball to name but a few. Having determined to forge a career in multimedia journalism, Adam is now undertaking a Masters degree in Sports Journalism at St Mary’s University. Twitter: @adamsamuell Email: adam-samuel@hotmail.com
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