The Pharcyde’s Pick for the 2022-23 NBA Season


Photo courtesy of USA Today

Cleveland Cavaliers guards Darius Garland and newly traded Donovan Mitchell congratulate each other during a preseason game.

With all of the trades and signings this summer, the 2022-23 season is almost underway. We are set for a fun and exciting season ahead of us, where teams battle for places in their division and fight for the top. 

Moving into the future of the NBA, the talent and the competition gets harder than in the previous season. Junior Christian Balesteri is excited about this season. 

“I think this season will be a very exciting season because of the new players from the draft and the changes in teams from last year,” said Balesteri.

Although players in the NBA have their eyes on winning the NBA Finals, the seeding comes from their success during the regular season. Sophomore Owen Rinehart has belief in the Celtics this year. 

“The Celtics are looking like a young and strong team and will have the best record this year,” said Rinehart, “They are filled with viable superstars. 

Every year a player wins the MVP, coming from who is the best-performing player in the regular season.  Sophomore James Marshall thinks Giannis Antentokoumpo will win MVP.   

“I think Giannis will win MVP this year,” said Marshall, “He is so powerful and gets to the basket with ease. He’s him.”

When teams have an entire offseason to heal their players, sign free agents, and draft new rookies, the team that the entire league knows can change quickly. The prior season was rough with injuries for the New Orleans Pelicans, but senior Callahan Pirozzi thinks they can turn it around. 

“The New Orleans Pelicans will be the most surprising team in the NBA this season,” said Pirozzi, “Getting back Zion Williamson will be the most massive upgrade from last season. They have two other all-star caliber players CJ McCollum and Brandon Ingram. The Pelicans have great role players in Herb Jones, Trey Murphy, Jose Alvarado, and Larry Nance. I believe they’ll be a top 3 seed in the West and win a series in the playoffs with a legitimate chance to win the NBA finals.”

Teams during the offseason made trades, signings, and progression with their players and look to surprise the league. Freshman Reece Hoben thinks Darius Garland will surprise everybody this year.  

“I am a strong believer in Darius Garland this year,” said Hoben, “He had a breakout season last year, and now with Donovan Mitchell on the Cavaliers, they should be considered title contenders.”

Every year, a new rookie shows out to be one of the league’s superstars. Junior Andrew Lappin is a strong believer in Jake Laravia, a power forward from the Deamon Deacons. 

“The 19th overall pick for the Grizzlies via the T-Wolves Jake Laravia will be the best rookie this season,” said Lappin, “Laravia averaged about 15 PPG, 7 RPG, and 4 APG in his only year with the Demon Deacons of Wake Forest this past college basketball season leading them to a 25-win season. It is their best season since when John Collins was on the Deamon Deacons. Laravia showed his offensive ability to work in the paint and on the perimeter.”

When the new season comes around, teams strive to get better in a way to make a push for the title, the NBA Finals. Pirozzi believes in the Clippers and their two superstars leading this team. 

“I believe the Los Angeles Clippers will win the NBA Finals this season. They’re the deepest team in the league with two superstar players and one of the best coaches in the NBA. Also, I have faith that they will continue to add at the trade deadline and in the buy-out market,” said Pirozzi. 

Here are The Pharcyde’s predictions for the conferences:


  1. Denver Nuggets: 57-25
  2. Phoenix Suns: 55-27
  3. Golden State Warriors: 52-30
  4. New Orleans Pelicans: 48-34
  5. Dallas Mavericks: 47-35
  6. Memphis Grizzlies: 46-36
  7. Los Angeles Clippers: 43-39
  8. Los Angeles Lakers: 41-41

Western Conference Finals: Nuggets vs Grizzlies: Nuggets in 6


  1. Boston Celtics: 59-23
  2. Atlanta Hawks: 55-27
  3. Cleveland Cavaliers:  54-28 
  4. Philadelphia 76ers: 50-32 (76ers won tie)
  5. Brooklyn Nets: 50-32 (Nets lost tie)
  6. Milwaukee Bucks: 48-34
  7. Chicago Bulls: 46-36
  8. Miami Heat: 43-39

Eastern Conference Finals: Celtics vs Cavaliers: Celtics in 6

NBA Finals: Celtics vs Nuggets: Celtics in 6