NBA

2016-17 NBA Season Predictions: LeBron James making his 8th NBA Finals appearance, wins 4th NBA championship title

LeBron James of the Cleveland Cavaliers (Photo courtesy: Keith Allison/Wikimedia Commons)

LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers will be entering the 2016-17 NBA season with the goal of defending the title. ‘The King’ is set to make his 8th NBA Finals appearance and win his 4th NBA championship title.

The return of LeBron James to ‘The Forest City’ gave hope to the Cleveland Cavaliers of ending their title drought. The Cavaliers have managed to make it to the finals since the return of ‘The King’ and eventually won their first NBA championship title last season.

The Cavaliers are yet to bring back the core players behind their recent achievement. After losing guard Matthew Dellavedova and center Timofey Mozgov in free agency, J.R. Smith has not yet signed a new deal in Cleveland. However, reports claimed that the mercurial shooter has nowhere to go and will be back with the Cavaliers soon.

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Despite losing two of their important bench players, the Cavaliers’ ‘Big Three’ remains intact. They also added Chris Andersen and Mike Dunleavy, providing the Cavaliers a veteran presence and experienced backup players. Most NBA teams in the Eastern Conference have managed to make major upgrades on their rosters to give LeBron James and the Cavaliers a threat in the upcoming season.

The New York Knicks created their own ‘Super Team’ surrounding Carmelo Anthony quality players like Derrick Rose, Joakim Noah, Courtney Lee, and Brandon Jennings. The Boston Celtics added Al Horford to give boost in their frontcourt. Paul George and the improved Indiana Pacers believe that they are ready to challenge the Cavaliers in the East.

In the ESPN Summer Forecast, LeBron James and the Cavaliers are still expected to top the Eastern Conference. ‘The King’ is still considered the best basketball player in the planet right now and the only thing that could stop him from his dominance is injury.

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The addition of Kevin Durant in the 73-9 win Golden State Warriors made them the most favorite team to dominate the Western Conference and even the NBA Finals. However, the acquisition of KD gives James more chances to win the Most Valuable Player trophy next season.

According to ESPN’s Zach Lowe, only Kawhi Leonard is expected to give LeBron James a tough battle as next season’s MVP.

“But it’s not as if Chill-Mode LeBron puts up some ho-hum 16-6-5 stat line. He’s going to post crazy numbers, orchestrate Cleveland’s offense for long stretches and get (deserved) recognition for being an all-encompassing force stabilizing an otherwise volatile franchise. He cares about the MVP, and if he’s healthy, I bet he’ll play in enough games — about 70 — to present a strong dossier.” Lowe said.

It may be too early to predict which teams and players will dominate the 2016-17 NBA season. However, if LeBron James remains healthy there is greater chance that he will make it to the NBA Finals for the 8th time and could possibly win his 4th NBA championship title.

Photo courtesy: Keith Allison/Wikimedia Commons

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