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Mentz’s Minute: 2012-13 NBA season predictions

October 25th, 2012

Summer has passed, fall is nearing its end and unfortunately, winter is on its way. You’d be hard pressed to find anyone who dislikes the winter weather as much as I do, but there is one thing that gets me through those slush-filled, windy winter months: basketball season. Therefore, let me be the first to say, welcome back, NBA. Without further adieu, here are my season predictions for the upcoming NBA season.

MVP: Kevin Durant, Oklahoma City Thunder. For the second straight season, I’m taking KD to win the MVP. He’s the best player on planet Earth not named LeBron James, and the scary part is that he’s only 24 years old. Durant is a safe pick to win MVP for this year and any season in the near future.

Sixth man of the year: Jason Terry, Boston Celtics. Terry left the Mavericks during the offseason and signed with the Celtics to fill the void that was left by Ray Allen going to Miami. Terry signing with Boston was easily one of the most underrated moves of the off-season, and he’ll add more experience, outside shooting and depth to a Celtics team that will need it.

Defensive player of the year: Dwight Howard, Los Angeles Lakers. The newly acquired center made his Lakers debut this past Sunday in a preaseason game against the Sacramento Kings – and he looked  really good. Howard won this award three straight years from 2009-11. Had he not been injured in 2012, forcing him to get back surgery over the summer, he probably would have won it again. Howard will have a significant impact on shoring up an aging Lakers defense.

Most-improved Player: Kyrie Irving, Cleveland Cavaliers. As impressive as Irving was in his rookie season, he’s only scratched the surface in terms of his potential. Those who have watched Irving play at all know that he’s about as talented as they come, and he’s still got room to grow. Mark my words: Irving will be considered a top-15 player in the NBA by the end of the season.

Rookie of the year: Anthony Davis, New Orleans Hornets. The unibrow himself will help revitalize the lowly Hornets while he’s on his way to becoming a dominant big man. This kid is going to be special, and his rookie season will be a fun one to watch. Playing with Eric Gordon and fellow rookie Austin Rivers won’t hurt, either.

NBA Finals champion: Oklahoma City Thunder over the Miami Heat in seven games. These two teams met in the Finals last season and have the makeup to meet in the Finals every year for the next few seasons, at least. This time around, the Thunder get revenge in a classic seven-game series.