Site experts in the FanSided NBA Network weigh in on the biggest questions for the 2019-20 NBA season.
With the 2019-20 NBA season just days away we’ve turned to the FanSided NBA Network and our site experts to help us answer some of the biggest preseason questions. In all, 25 experts made their picks on some multiple choice-questions and sharing longer answers for others.
1. Who wins the 2019-20 NBA Rookie of the Year?
1. Zion Williamson — 13 votes
2. Ja Morant — 5
3. R.J. Barrett — 4
Others receiving votes: Brandon Clarke (1), Jarrett Culver (1), Rui Hachimura (1)
2. Hit us with the best possible nickname for Coby White
“The Hair Up There”
3. True or False: Willie Cauley-Stein leads the league in dunks this season
True — 1 vote
False — 24
3. What ends up being the Spurs’ most productive backcourt combination?
“I’ll defer to Gregg Popovich.”
“I am going to go with Dejounte Murray and Derrick White. Both of those guys are great defenders and will be a major net positive together.”
4. Who wins the 2019-20 MVP Award?
1. Stephen Curry — 7 votes
2. Giannis Antetokounmpo — 4
3. James Harden, LeBron James, Kawhi Leonard (tie) — 3
Others receiving votes: Anthony Davis (2), Nikola Jokic (1), Joel Embiid (1)
5. A year from now, how are we feeling about Trae Young?
“Exactly the same — enamored with his offense, disgusted by his defense.”
“He can be an elite scorer but needs a Klay to his Steph.”
“About the same we do now, a lot hype but no substance. Make no mistake, Young will be great in the league, but Atlanta made questionable roster building decisions this summer and nobody will take Ice Trae seriously until the Hawks start churning out tangible results.”
“After another season of impressive playmaking and 3-point bombs we’ll be talking about how he needs to invest his offseason improving defensively for the Hawks to take another step.”
6. How many 3-pointers does Giannis Antetokounmpo make this season?
1. Between 50 and 75 — 14 votes
2. Less than 50 — 6
3. Between 75-150 — 5
7. Who is the third-most important player on the Nuggets this season?
“Michael Porter Jr., only because he’s the only player (other than Nikola Jokic and Jamal Murray) that can raise the ceiling for this team.”
“Gary ‘Gary Harris’ Harris”
“Paul Millsap for his defense, toughness and versatility next to Nikola Jokic in the frontcourt. ”
“With Nikola Jokic and Jamal Murray firmly entrenched in the top two spots I’m torn between the under rated Gary Harris and essential all around game contributions of Paul Millsap. Harris keeps the offense honest with his constant movement and scoring potential while Millsap is the Swiss Army knife who captains the defense and seemingly delivers whatever is required on a nightly basis. Let’s give the nod to Millsap given the caveat ‘most important’.”
8. Who represents the Western Conference in the NBA Finals?
1. Los Angeles Clippers — 17 votes
2. Los Angeles Lakers — 3
3. Houston Rockets — 2
Others receiving votes: Portland Trail Blazers (1), Utah Jazz (1), Denver Nuggets (1)
9. Who defends Anthony Davis for the Clippers in a playoff series against the Lakers?
“Montrezl Harrell. But much like how the Raptors shut down Giannis last year, team defense and funneling Davis into bad shot situations is the only real way to defend him.”
10. How many 3-pointers does Ben Simmons make this season?
1. Less than 5 — 12 votes
2. Between 5 and 20 — 5
3. 0 (coward), More than 20 (tie) — 4
11. On paper, the Heat are the ____th best team in the Eastern Conference.
“The Heat should be slotted in the sixth spot in the East behind Milwaukee, Philadelphia, Boston, Indiana, and Toronto. Miami is one star short currently.”
“Barring trades — seventh, however I think Pat Riley will trade for Chris Paul prior to the deadline and they surge up the ladder post All-Star Break to finish fourth or fifth.”
12. Who represents the Eastern Conference in the NBA Finals?
1. Philadelphia 76ers — 12 votes
2. Milwaukee Bucks — 11
3. Boston Celtics, Miami Heat (tie) — 1
13. What’s the most interesting possible five-man unit the Magic can roll out?
“Fultz-Gordon-Isaac-Aminu-Bamba (all the length, who cares about shooting?)”
“Fultz, Fournier, Aminu, Isaac, Bomba (interesting being the key descriptor)”
14. By the end of this season, Andrew Wiggins is .
1. “just, like, kind of depressing.” — 19 votes
2. “the worst contract in the NBA.” — 5
3. “a candidate for Most Improved Player” — 1
15. What should be the theme song for Pascal Siakam’s new adventure as a primary scoring option?
“Any Weird Al Yankovic song, his game is so unorthodox.”
“Elton John’s Rocket Man but change the refrain to…
And I think I might have cried at the parade
I never thought that I would see that day
But we’re not done up here in Toronto
Oh no no no. We got Siakam
Si-a-kammmm. Dunking on the head of everyone!!”
“Higher Ground by Stevie Wonder”
16. Which spicy chicken sandwich will best represent Markelle Fultz’s first full season in Orlando?
1. A Chipotle veggie burrito — 11 votes
2. Wendy’s — 9
3. Chik-fil-A — 3
Others receiving votes: Popeye’s (2)
17. Who do the 76ers miss more this season — Jimmy Butler or J.J. Redick?
“J.J. Redick. His outside shooting was crucial for floor-spacing”
“J.J. Redick. While Butler is the far and away better player, the 76ers’ roster makeup allows for them to make up more for Butler’s game. However, they’re weakest aspect is perimeter shooting, which is Redick’s specialty, of course.”
“J.J. Redick. People miss Jimmy Butler like they miss a bad wart. It made for cool stories to your friends, but was hell for you.”
18. How long will the Pacers stick with both Domantas Sabonis and Myles Turner in the starting lineup?
1. Until the end of January — 14 votes
2. Until the end of April — 7
3. Until the end of October — 3
Others receiving votes: “Until Sabonis is wearing ski goggles and holding the Larry O’Brien Trophy over his head while Turner sprays him with champagne” — 1
19. Is there any scenario but a Finals appearance that the Blazers can consider a success this season?
“Portland has made the playoffs in six straight seasons and made it to the Western Conference Finals (WCF) for the first time since 2000. That was a seven-game series loss to the Lakers. But the year before that, they were swept in the WCF by the Spurs. With Jusuf Nurkic expected back later in the season and Hassan Whiteside as a stop-gap, making the playoffs is well within reach. The Trail Blazers have a long history of making the playoffs but their last Finals trip was in 1992 so I wouldn’t say it is Finals-or-bust but being competitive in the WCF would be a more than a successful season.”
“Absolutely. For starters, Jusuf Nurkic recovering from that horrific leg injury and proving he can still play up to his full potential is huge. Zach Collins, Anfernee Simons and Gary Trent Jr. will all have a chance to step up in a big way this season. Even if the Blazers fall short of their goals this year, they have $50 million coming off the books and the young core will get an additional year of development before Dame and CJ’s bloated extensions kick in.”
“A WCF appearance again would be a miracle, considering the upgrades some teams have made. Success? Maybe not quite, but close.”
20. Who leads the Rockets in clutch field goal attempts this season?
1. James Harden — 18 votes
2. Russell Westbrook — 6
21. Who wins the 2019-20 Defensive Player of the Year Award?
1. Rudy Gobert — 12 votes
2. Draymond Green — 4
3. Giannis Antetokounmpo, Paul George — 3
Others receiving votes: Myles Turner (2), Hassan Whiteside (1), Anthony Davis (1), Andre Drummond (1)
22. Why does the universe keep turning Bradley Beal’s lemonade back into lemons?
“Because the Wizards franchise will be cursed forever until it reinstates the old Bullets nickname.”
“The Wizards can’t have nice things”
“He should try making juice out of grapefruit. It is so much more refreshing.”
23. Who is the second-most important player on the Celtics this season?
1. Jayson Tatum — 15 votes
2. Gordon Hayward — 5
3. Kemba Walker — 3
Others receiving votes: Jaylen Brown (1), Marcus Smart (1)
24. Who plays in more regular-season wins this season?
1. Anthony Davis — 21 votes
2. Zion Williamson — 4
25. When people call Terry Rozier “Scary Terry” this year, will it be:
1. “sarcastic” — 12 votes
2. “ironic” — 8
3. “literal” — 5
26. Who plays in more regular-season wins this season?
1. Kemba Walker — 16 votes
2. Kyrie Irving — 8