The Drive with Jody Oehler

The Drive with Jody Oehler

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Top5Thursday: Top 5 NBA Reboot Predictions

After months of nothingness, speculation and pessimism some how, some way the NBA is back.

In fact, our checklist of sports looks pretty good right now, not withstanding the continuing COVID outbreak in MLB:

MLB? Check. NBA? Check. NHL? Soon to be check. NFL Training Camps? Check.

We'll see how it all plays out but right now things are pretty good.

Without further ado and with the NBA officially back tonight, here is this week's Top 5 Thursday: Top 5 Biggest NBA Reboot Predictions.

5.Zion Will Be a Non-Factor

  • The sports media world can sometimes get bored and that was certainly true during the pandemic layoff. A popular topic was how the NBA had manipulated the reboot to include the Pelicans (true!) and that Zion Williamson was about to take over the NBA. That part is not true, at least according to me. The bubble is not Zion time. He's great but the Pelicans are probably going to miss the actual playoffs and there are several other young stars who are much more likely to own the bubble.

4.Toronto Will Make the Eastern Conference Finals

  • How could the team with the second best record in the East making the the conference finals be considered a big prediction? Because no one really knows they were the second best team in the East before the bubble. Pascal Siakam, notwithstanding a Devin Booker posterization, Kyle Lowry and Fred VanFleet give the Raptors a chance for an impressive playoff run a year after losing Kawhi Leonard. Also, they are the defending champs, which is all too easy to forget.

3.The Milwaukee Bucks Will Win the NBA Title

  • Again, this is not exactly groundbreaking. The Bucks have been the best team in the NBA most of the season and are the heavy favorite to win the East. Most people stop there believing the Bucks will succumb to the city of Los Angeles in the NBA Finals. Not me. The story of the NBA Bubble isn't going to be Zion, or AD, or Lebron, or Embiid or Kawhi or Paul George. Its going to be Giannis dominating the NBA and grabbing the title of best basketball player alive.

2.Luka Doncic Will Lead the Dallas Mavericks to the Western Conference Finals

  • The NBA Playoffs do not typically produce Cinderellas. The weirdness of the bubble with no home court advantages and no fans will produce some surprising results. The Dallas Mavericks will be that Cinderella this year led by their second year sensation Luka Doncic. Again, the league's focus is on Zion, Lebron and the Clippers and Luka will force his way into that conversation taking the Mavericks to the brink of the NBA Finals.

1.The Houston Rockets Will Win the West

  • Russell Westbrook could show up to any gym in any city, at any time and play like his life depended on it. Its that energy that will fuel a spectacular Rockets postseason. James Harden won't be shouldering the load and will flourish in the NBA playoffs for the first time in his career. The long reset helped mitigate the lack of Rockets depth that would've almost certainly undermined their postseason had the NBA played as usual. In a bubble, in a sprint, give me the Mike D'Antoni offense led by two of the absolute best offensive players in the NBA. Only Giannis can stop them now.

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