Rising NBA stars compete for playoffs

The race is on to determine the next rising NBA star. This year, the Cleveland Cavaliers top the eastern bracket with 29 wins and 11 loses. The Golden State Warriors are leading the western conference, and boast a four game winning streak.

With playoffs just around the corner, predictions are already being made as to who will take home the championship. Unlike last year when they lost to the Cleveland Cavaliers, Golden State is predicted to pull out a national championship. The Oklahoma City Thunder has shown quite an improvement since Kevin Durant moved to Golden State, with Russell Westbrook having one of the best years of his career. Some think that the San Antonio Spurs might also have a chance at the playoffs.

The MVP competition might turn some heads this year, as multiple players show talent within their divisions and teams. The award has gone to a person on the championship team in years past, but the voters might select someone not in the winning team this year.

Several JBU students responded to the update and shared their predictions for the winner of the 2017 NBA Finals.

“I don’t like the Cavaliers, but they will probably win the championship,” Matt Logan, sophomore business major and Denver Nuggets fan, said.

“It’s sad that there are only two teams that can win this year,” Caleb Hoenshell, senior digital video major and Los Angeles Clippers fan, said. “I think the Spurs might have a chance but I think the Warriors will win the championship.”

Josiah Coroama, sophomore youth ministry major and Oklahoma City Thunder fan, loves to watch his team.

“The absence of Durant is bad, but it also helps with Westbrook’s historic season,” Coroama said.

With 21 double-doubles, Westbrook’s season has been one to remember. Durant and Westbrook played together for eight years, and when Durant left, Westbrook stepped up and was recognized by the NBA community for his leadership on the team.

“Cleveland is more stable and older with having LeBron, who is a historic player, than Golden State because they are unpredictable,” Coroama said. 

Coroama predicts that the Oklahoma City Thunder could make it to the playoffs if they can beat the Utah Jazz. If they win, their ranking will improve. He also predicts that the Thunder could possibly make it to the playoffs, but will not win. He has hope they will be able to win in a couple of years.

Coroama also discussed the MVP award, “I think Westbrook has a chance, but his turnovers might hurt him. But I think he has a good chance of winning the MVP.”

Westbrook is the top scorer for the Thunder. James Harden, player for the Houston Rockets, has 13 double-doubles and is also a contender for the award.

It is still early in the season, and predictions can change before the playoffs start on April 15. 

CHRISTIE NICHOLAS/TheThreefoldAdvocate