NBA season

2023-24 NBA Guide. Likely two-peat, MVP Clash, Key Dates, and Projection

The 78th edition of the NBA started on the 24th of October. On day one, the Los Angeles Lakers played against the Denver Nuggets and the Phoenix Suns versus the Golden State Warriors. With many great rookies joining the league, it excites us more than ever. San Antonio Spurs fans were the ones who have been waiting for this season the most, and the reason is simple – Victor Wembanyama, aka the generational talent and the most tremendous talent since LeBron James joined the NBA in 2003.

Big signings such as Bradley Beal, Kristaps Porzingis, Fred VanVleet, Chris Paul, and Jrue Holiday changed their respective clubs. Considering all these transfers, the 2023-24 NBA season will be much more exciting, and let us lead you through the 2023-24 NBA Guide.

2023-24 NBA Favourites, Likely Two-Peat

Winning the title this year signifies that the Denver Nuggets have the opportunity to repeat their success. The owner of this club – Stanley Kroenke, knows how to make his organisation stand out. The Denver Nuggets won the title in basketball, the Colorado Avalanche lifted the Stanley Cup in 2021-22, and the U.K.’s Arsenal soccer club almost won the Premier League last year.

Denver Nuggets

The Champs have maintained the core. Two-time MVP, aka should have been three-time – Nikola Jokic, healthy Jamal Murray, Michael Porter Jr., Aaron Gordon, and Kentavious Caldwell-Pope are all in Denver and ready to begin their quest for the title defence. The age average is only 26.5, so this team has quite a chance to repeat their success. The only loss this offseason is Bruce Brown, who joined the likes of Tyrese Haliburton in the Indiana Pacers. Out of their first nine games, they won eight and have the best percentage in the league so far.

Denver only signed Justin Holiday and many other young players. Reggie Jackson and DeAndre Jordan have extended their contracts. It will be challenging to win the title again because the last team to do so was the Golden State Warriors (2017, 2018). Their most prominent strength is their culture, fans, two MVP-calibre players, and chemistry. Last season, the Nuggets won 53 games and stayed on top of the Western Conference Mountain.

Milwaukee Bucks

With the arrival of Damian Lillard, the Milwaukee Bucks have improved their superstar power. Alongside the Greek Freak, this team has as high of a chance as in the previous seasons. After 11 years spent in Oregon, he decided finally to leave. At first, everyone thought he was going to Miami, but unexpectedly, the Milwaukee Bucks stepped in. However, Damian Lillard did not start the way he should have started. Throughout the first seven games, Dame scores only 24.3 points per game, and of course, he did not play many games, but we must dig deeper to understand the situation better.

He does not look comfortable in the present system, and he is not doing well doing the successful things he did in Portland. He does not shoot threes well – only 29.3% from downtown, and as a matter of fact, this is the worst percentage in his career. His second worst was seen in the 2021-22 season when he shot 32.4%. D. Lillard averages 2.6 turnovers per game, even though he has Giannis on his team. His start to the season is as bad as three years ago when his numbers were similar.

No one can forget that Milwaukee folks lost Jrue Holiday, who joined the Boston Celtics instead. A defensive-minded player is a loss, and it is one reason they might not go all the way. They not only lost their main defensive point guard – but also a few valuable rotational pieces. Joe Ingles, Goran Dragic, Jevon Carter, and Grayson Allen are the ones who left the organization. A few new crew members who can have an impact on the way the team plays are Cameron Payne and Malik Beasley. C. Payne played for the Suns, and M. Beasley for the LA Lakers. Last season, the Milwaukee Bucks won 58 games and stayed on top in the Eastern Conference. There is no doubt that the team lost many sticky defenders, but the offensive threat has increased.

Boston Celtics

Last year, the Boston Celtics team was one win away from becoming the first team in the history of the NBA to get back into the series, being down 0-3. They managed to tie the series but lost in game seven. In the offseason, they lost Marcus Smart, the former DPOY award winner named in honour of Hakeem Olajuwon, who joined the Memphis Grizzlies. J. Holiday compensates for the loss of M. Smart as he can do many defensive duties but also add some more offensive efficiency. Nevertheless, they lost one more defensive stronghold in G. Williams, who joined the Dallas Mavericks. They gave up Robert Williams and Malcolm Brogdon to get Kristaps, and the Latvian international added good shooting that Boston did not have earlier.

The best business the Celtics did this summer was Jaylen Brown and his brand-new contract extension. The Boston Celtics star received a super-max contract extension, $304 million over five years, that set the new financial record in the history of the NBA. It tops the $276 million extension for Denver Nuggets centre Nikola Jokic. Payton Pritchard also stayed with the team, a player who always does his best coming off the bench. From the perspective, everything looks like they are the best team, with one of the best depths, but since K. Porzingis is an injury-prone type of player – the situation is always tricky with him. Last season, the Celtics won 57 games and stayed in second place in the Eastern Conference. They can achieve it all, but as we mentioned before, the biggest question is – can they survive the regular season, stay healthy, and thoroughly utilise their talent?

2023-24 NBA MVP Clash

Every year, fans have the pleasure of guessing the possible MVP winner. It is not exceptional this year. The league not only added additional talented players who have the potential to win an award one day but also a few other star players popped on the list again. Let us dive deeper and look at who has the chance to lift an award. According to the last year, we created the list to present the MVP challengers.

Nikola Jokic

The 2022-23 NBA champion, two-time MVP, is the real deal in the NBA. The reason why this 28-year-old is the favourite again – is that he has all the tools in his arsenal to be unstoppable. His passing, shooting, vision, size, and age make him the most prolific centre in NBA history. We can argue that athleticism is his biggest Achilles heel, but his IQ, outstanding decision-making, and system knowledge make him one of the most sumptuous.

The Serbian international is as dominant as he was in the previous seasons. He scored 262 points, and only Curry has more with 270. Jokic snatched a Double-Double in all nine games and dished out 72 passes. He hit a three-point shot in every game, and his 3pt rate is 38.7%. The way he anticipates situations two and three steps ahead and foresees the outcome on the court even before it happens – verifies he will be a contender in every season he plays in.

Entertaining fact: In 2012, after Jokic signed to play for the youth team Mega Vizura, Branislav Vićentić – a Serbian coach and a former player, asked a track and field coach to test his strength and endurance. It did not go well. Jokic could not perform ten sit-ups or ten push-ups. “I do not comprehend if this is for real or if he is making a joke,” the coach told Vićentić. He asked Jokic himself if it was real, and he acknowledged – it was.

Stephen Curry

The vet on this checklist, the best 3-point sharpshooter in history, four-time NBA champion (2015, 2017, 2018, 2022), and two-time MVP – has rejuvenated. His longevity, fitness level, elite shooting, and unique movement make him one of the favourites to win the third MVP trophy.

With the arrival of Chris Paul, they can help S. Curry run off-ball screens so that he creates more options to shoot from better places on the court. Jonathan Kuminga, Andrew Wiggins, Usman Garuba, Kevon Looney, Draymond Green, and Gary Payton II will do their assignments defensively. This aspect will open the hands to be the leading fellow, and with improved defence and focused offence by Steph, he can do all sorts of wild things.

His 3-point percentage this season is as high as 47.3%. He almost averages 30 points per game and is in the fourth position in the league. S. Curry makes 5.9 three-pointers per game and remains the most accurate shooter in the NBA. If he can keep these scoring statistics and help his team win, he has the status to receive yet another MVP award.

Giannis Antetokounmpo

The Greek Freak is one of the players who can win both – MVP and DPOY. The most valuable player in 2019 and 2020 wants to win it for the third time in his career. The 2021 NBA champion and Finals MVP received a much-needed change in their locker room. Damian Lillard will distribute the ball better than Jrue Holiday, and his shooting ability, which attracts many defenders – will create additional chances for Giannis to score more points.

He will keep more energy throughout the matches and will use that defensively. Seven games down, and that already shines in the statistical department. As his fitness level is higher – he can defend the paint better – and averages 1.4 blocks per game. Last year, he did not even reach one – 0.8. If he can raise his free throw and 3-point percentage, he can be the main favourite to get the award.

Luka Doncic

Dallas Mavericks is rolling this year – they are in the second position in the Western Conference alongside the Denver Nuggets. Six wins out of eight is a magnificent number compared to the last season, when they did not even make the playoffs. Nevertheless, the problems might occur in the future months because their starting schedule is the sixth easiest in the NBA. As his most prominent concern is defence – additional help from Dante Exum and Grant Williams will be massive.

Finally, he can be successful team-wise and stop worrying about defence. The descending defensive absence is observable in steals data. Luka averages 1.4 per game, but before the last game, it was equal to 1.0. In the past two years, he averaged 1.4 and 1.2, and it should decline as he will spend more time concentrating on the offensive end. The only way for him to win the MVP award is to win as many games as possible in the regular season, win the In-Season Tournament, and go deep in the Playoffs – then it will be convincing enough to acquire votes.

2023-24 Other Notable MVP Caliber Players

Other notable stars we must mention are the legend himself – LeBron James, current MVP Joel Embiid, Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, Anthony, aka eyebrow, Davis, Jayson Tatum, and co. James’ involvement has reduced at the start of the season. He attempts fewer shots and tries to involve other teammates. For example, on the 27th of October, he attempted just eight shots in the first three quarters against the Suns.

His level of scoring has decreased massively compared with other seasons. He averages 24.4 points per game, the lowest amount since his rookie season when he averaged 20.9. Despite all that, he will be a contender for as much as he plays.

Key dates for 2023-24 NBA Season

NBA season started on the 24th of October, and here is the list of the NBA fixtures that will guide you throughout the year.

24th of October – the start of the NBA Regular Season
3rd of November – first day of the NBA In-Season Tournament
9th of December – the final day of the NBA In-Season Tournament
16th and 18th of February – the NBA All-Star Game
14th of April – the end of the NBA Regular Season
16th and 19th of April – the NBA Play-In Tournament
20th of April – the start of the NBA Playoffs
12th of May – the NBA Draft Lottery
6th of June – the first game of the NBA Finals
27th of June – the NBA draft

2023 NBA In-Season Tournament

The most prominent addition this offseason is the brand new In-Season Tournament. The cup contest will last during the regular season and feature all 30 NBA teams competing for a new championship title. The goal is to provide additional excitement and engagement for fans, especially during the early part of the regular season, which has suffered in recent years.
Each group of the cup contest consists of six different pools with five teams apiece, and teams are from the same conference but not necessarily the same division.

Teams will play four group games, matching up with each team in their pool once, with winners advancing to a single-elimination stage. Each squad will have to play at least 80 games on their initial regular-season schedule, while those who do not qualify for elimination games in the tournament will have two more games added. The two teams who compete for the championship will play 83 total regular-season games. Collected statistics will count towards the regular season totals – aside from the championship game. The tournament began on the 3rd of November. The championship game is on the 9th of December and the Final Four will take place at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas.

2023-24 NBA Season Projection

The Colorado team is the biggest favourite to win because they kept every important piece from last season. If Jamal Murray and co can stay healthy – this team is the most feared. Another similar duo, who have the power under the basket and exemplary shooting, is the Milwaukee Bucks. Giannis and Lillard are the ones who can offer something similar this year. Besides these two, we have the quartet in Clippers, ageing – but experienced Dubs, LA, aka enhanced depth, Lakers, fortified Celtics, full-season Luka and Kyrie duo in Dallas, and mega-trio in Phoenix. At least we comprehend it will not be tedious, and many teams can win at the end of the season.

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