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The Student News Site of The Bishop's School

The Tower

The Student News Site of The Bishop's School

The Tower

The Student News Site of The Bishop's School

The Tower

The Ultimate Showdown: Student Predictions on the NBA Playoffs

Bishop’s students predict which team they think will win the 2024 NBA championship
Luming Wang (’27)
Thousands of fans root for their team during the NBA playoffs, a time where the atmosphere is electric with very high stakes.

The lights dim around the area so only the court is lit. Lights dance on the floor, flashing bright. Players come out one by one, and fans cheer so loud that the commentators are hard to hear. This may be in the Boston Celtics arena or the Denver Nuggets arena, but no matter the place, all fans are just as eager to watch their team get one step closer to winning the National Basketball Association (NBA) Championship. From veterans to rising stars, the players have one goal, to win the Larry O’Brien Championship Trophy.

The 2023-2024 NBA playoffs have 16 teams that are competing for the championship trophy: From the Eastern Conference, the Boston Celtics, New York Knicks, Milwaukee Bucks, Cleveland Cavaliers, Orlando Magic, Indiana Pacers, Philadelphia 76ers, and Miami Heat. From the Western Conference, the Oklahoma City Thunder, Denver Nuggets, Minnesota Timberwolves, Los Angeles Clippers, Dallas Mavericks, Phoenix Suns, Los Angeles Lakers, and New Orleans Pelicans. Each team has a chance to be the 2024 NBA champion. 

While there are eight teams in total that make it to the playoffs, the top six teams with the best win-loss regular season record from each conference are guaranteed to be in the playoffs, while the seventh through tenth seeds play in a play-in tournament to determine the seventh and eighth seed with a single elimination game. With all eight seeds decided, the first plays the eight, the second plays the seventh, and so on, playing in a best out of seven game series. 

The Denver Nuggets, the second seed in the western conference, with Nikola Jokić, are a team to keep an eye on. They were the 2023 NBA champions and are hungry to win again this year. Angela An (‘27) said, “I think the Nuggets can win back to back. They have the experience, the skill, the consistency, and the bench.” Lukas Sieffert (‘27) also believes the Nuggets can win again: “I’m a big SGA (Shai Gilgeous-Alexander) fan but you can’t deny how dominant the Nuggets are… I think Murray and Jokić are the best duo in the NBA. Their reverse pick and roll is unguardable.” In a recent Tower poll, 17% of 36 respondents believe that the Nuggets could repeat again, the second most popular option.

In the playoffs in previous years, Jokić and Murray have played 53 games with a 32 to 21 record, have averaged 51.7 points, 17 rebounds, 14.2 assist, and a 50 field goal percentage. These stats prove that these two are one of the greatest duos in the playoffs this season. Both players are fairly young and have a bright future ahead of them, maybe even taking home another ring.

Another championship contender is the Boston Celtics, who are the number one seed in the East. They have completely dominated the Eastern Conference, with the second seed being the New York Knicks, who have lost 14 more games than the Celtics. Sydney Mafong (‘26) said, “I think the Celtics will win because they have a strong and balanced team with Tatum (Jayson Tatum), Brown (Jaylen Brown), and Holiday (Jrue Holiday). I would normally say the Bucks because I’m a big Giannis (Giannis Antetokounmpo) fan but they haven’t been winning since they got Doc Rivers (Glenn Anton “Doc” Rivers).” Almost 30% of polled Bishop’s students believe that the Boston Celtics, the most chosen team in the poll, could win the NBA Championship.

This regular season, Jayson Tatum, who plays the small forward position on the Celtics, had a pretty good season with an average of 26.9 points per game, 8.1 rebounds per game, and a 47.1 field goal percentage, according to Statmuse. With Jayson Tatum, Jaylen Brown, and Jrue Holiday, the Celtics have the highest offensive rating in the NBA

The Minnesota Timberwolves are the third seed in the Western Conference and have a chance at winning the NBA championship. Kent Isakari (‘27) believes that the Timberwolves can take home the trophy, “I believe that Ant (Karl-Anthony Towns) is only going to go up in skill… The Wolves are only looking up from here with their rise to greatness continuing from here as they have already won 14 more games than they did last year.” The Timberwolves being the third seed definitely surprised many fans as last year they were the eight seed. With the momentum they have got going into the playoffs, they could pose a real threat to the other teams.

In addition to the Larry O’Brien Championship Trophy, there are additional awards such as the Most Valuable Player (MVP). This season, players had to play at least 20 minutes in at least 65 regular season games to be eligible for the MVP award and other awards. According to the NBA MVP Ladder, Nikola Jokić, Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, and Luka Dončić are the top three contenders for the award. On the topic of the MVP this season, Angela said, “Nikola has a good chance because of his handles, assists, blocks, and three-pointers.” 

According to StatMuse, during the regular season Jokić averaged 26.4 points per game, 9.0 assists per game, a 58.3 field goal percentage, and a 35.9 three point percentage. He is a good offensive and defensive player, and could be the 2024 MVP. 

Lukas disagreed and said, “I definitely have Luka Dončić but I think he’ll get snubbed and Jokić will win.” Dončić has also had a great regular season with an average of 33.9 points per game, 9.8 assists per game, a 48.7 field goal percentage, and a 38.2 three point percentage. The answers from the poll show that it is a very close race for MVP between Jokić and Dončić with 30.6% of students believing that Dončić would be MVP and 33.3% believing that Jokić would win MVP. 

The 2023-2024 playoffs are just as exciting as any other year with tons of stars competing for the glory of winning a championship. But, there will only be one winner. Who will take home the Larry O’Brien Championship Trophy this year?

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About the Contributor
Luming Wang
Luming Wang, Staff Writer
Luming Wang is a freshman and a staff writer for The Tower. During her freetime, Luming likes to play tennis, watch Marvel movies, and cheer on her favorite NBA team: the Golden State Warriors. Her favorite Marvel movies are “Spider-Man: No Way Home” and “Captain America and The Winter Soldier”. At school, Luming enjoys math and spending time with her friends. 

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