• Kory Waldron/Marc Cantave

OTG's Full-Court Press: Week 1


Kory Waldron and Marc Cantave debate the hottest topic around the NBA!

Which NBA player is being slept on this season?

Marc Cantave:

Sleeper Player: Thaddeus Young

Thaddeus Young was acquired by the Indiana Pacers this offseason and will be looking to make a fresh start. Young is probably the most underrated pickup of the offseason. He is only 28 years old and after being trapped in a win-less situation the past few years, expect him to have a very productive season. He also fits well with the Pacers new style of play and doesn’t need the ball to be productive.Expect Young to have a greater impact than most people believe and expect the Pacers to make some noise.

Kory Waldron:

Although I do love you for picking Thaddeus Young and I do believe he’ll have a nice season. I think a sleeper player to watch out for comes from Los Angeles.

Sleeper Player: Jordan Clarkson

Clarkson is fresh off re-signing with the Los Angeles Lakers on a four year, 50 million dollar deal. Surprisingly to some, Walton has decided to play Clarkson off the bench to start this season, and I think it's perfect. Clarkson coming off the bench gives him more room to control the offense, while playing alongside proven scorer Lou Williams. Prime example game one of the NBA season, Clarkson had 25 points off the bench. Now I don’t expect this production all season, but I do expect a consistent amount of production.

Marc Cantave:

Clarkson is a great player, but I think the Lakers will be more focused on developing D'Angelo Russell and integrating Brandon Ingram into the NBA.

Who wins MVP?

Marc Cantave:

MVP: Kevin Durant

Like everyone else, I was initially leaning towards Russell Westbrook, but Kevin Durant has emerged as my favorite to win MVP. Durant has been excoriated all summer and fall due to his decision to leave the Oklahoma City Thunder. His comments didn't make it better either, but I believe he will use this hate as motivation. Since the Warriors will have a great record, Durant can definitely win the award.

Kory Waldron:

Yikes, Durant? My friend how many basketballs do you think they play with. The Warriors will be extremely good and Durant is going to be a huge part of that. I just don’t see how he’ll get enough touches all season long to put up MVP numbers.

Marc Cantave:

It’s funny because when I initially made the MVP pick it was before the season started, but now I am more convinced that Durant will win MVP. He’s off to a great start and he’s adjusting well. Just wait and see.

Kory Waldron:

MVP: Damian Lillard

Everyone overlooks Lillard year after year, even myself have at times (I’m not perfect.) This year I won’t. Lillard has gotten better each year in the league and while I don’t think the Portland Trail Blazers are contenders in the West. Portland has a leader with a chip on his shoulder and this is another year for Dame DOLLA to prove the critics and the league wrong!

Marc Cantave:

Love me some Damian Lillard, but I don’t think his team repeats that same level of success it did last year. He will put up some great numbers, but I believe he won’t win it this year.

Who wins Rookie of the Year?

Marc Cantave:

Rookie of the Year: Joel Embiid

If you follow me on Twitter, this should come as no surprise. Embiid has been a promising player for years. The problem is he could never find his way onto the court. Well Embiid is healthy now and even with the limited minutes, expect him to win Rookie of the Year. He had a great preseason and with Nerlens Noel and Ben Simmons out due to injury, expect him to have a greater impact. Embiid is a great player on both ends and for that reason, he will come away with the award.

Kory Waldron:

I agree with this wholeheartedly, it’s been an agonizing time for the Sixers and the fan base. Despite Sam Hinkie failing as the Sixers General Manager, his one true claim to fame could be the selection of Joel Embiid. “Trust the Process” right? Well after missing his first two seasons due to injuries; that time is now. Embiid should bring some excitement back to Philadelphia.

Who wins Most Improved Player of the Year?

Marc Cantave:

Most Improved Player: Devin Booker

Devin Booker has been raved about all offseason and I am on that bandwagon. Booker averaged 13 points last season and it's not insane that he could increase that to 18 or 19 points per game. He can definitely make a CJ McCollum type of leap and I fully expect him to do so.

Kory Waldron:

I like Booker, no question he could have a breakout second year.

Most Improved Player: Myles Turner

I was down on Turner on draft night, I thought Larry Bird made a mistake. I made the mistake in doubting Larry Legend. This kid, (I can say that by the way he’s younger than me) Turner just has this fire that can’t be explained. He works hard and already one game into the 2016-2017 season he drops 30 points and 16 rebounds. Now he won’t average 30 and 16, but he’ll be the standout sidekick to Paul George.

Marc Cantave:

Turner definitely has the skill set to win this award and he should not be overlooked as he will play a huge part in the Pacers success.

Who wins Defensive Player of the Year?

Marc Cantave:

Defensive Player of the Year: Kawhi Leonard

At this point, is there anyone stopping him from getting this award? Don't answer that it's a rhetorical question because I believe he can win this award the next two years. An elite defender on a great team will always be noticed and Leonard is the best defender in the NBA. Draymond Green has a chance to pry that award out of his hands, but I believe that award will stay on a Spurs player for this upcoming season.

Kory Waldron:

Defensive Player of the Year: DeAndre Jordan

Personally I think Kawhi is almost like the “safe choice,” he’s won it twice. Back to back years a matter of fact. I have the Clippers doing big things this year and finishing second in the West. I think that only happens with Jordan being the best we’ve seen which for him starts on the defensive end.

Marc Cantave:

I think the reason why Jordan has yet to win this award is because he doesn’t stay on the floor long enough. Jordan is not usually in during the pivotal moments due to his horrendous free throw shooting. If he gets better at that, maybe he will play more which will give him more chances to make a defensive impact. But it’s Deandre, so don’t hold your breath.

Who wins Coach of the Year?

Marc Cantave:

Coach of the Year: Nate McMillan (Indiana Pacers)

As you can tell by the sleeper player debate, I have a lot of faith in the Indiana Pacers. You would've thought I was the Pacers fan of this debating duo. Well I do not believe in giving the Coach of the Year award to teams that everyone knows will be great. So that rules out Popovich, Kerr, Lue, and Rivers. After that I believe that the Pacers will make the biggest impact and since Nate is the first year head coach, he will come away with the Coach of the Year award.

Kory Waldron:

Coach of the Year: Quin Synder (Utah Jazz)

I love the Pacer love you’re showing! I just think Utah could be something very special this season. In the tough Western Conference, I see Utah as a 5/6th seed, after a couple seasons just outside the playoff. I think this is a no doubt the year with Synder finally having a point guard in George Hill and some scoring depth on the roster.

Marc Cantave:

Everyone is showing love for Utah, but I don’t believe it’s their year this year. We will have to see.

Who wins Sixth Man of the Year?

Marc Cantave:

Sixth Man of the Year: Eric Gordon

For the moment, Gordon will be starting, but once Patrick Beverley returns Gordon will be one of the better bench players in the NBA. Gordon can score the ball and is a great player, but just like my pick for ROTY, injuries are a concern. If healthy, Gordon will be a scoring machine on a team that is expected to score a lot of points.

Kory Waldron:

Sixth Man of the Year: Brandon Jennings

I feel as if I’m going to regret saying or picking anything positive in regard to the New York Knicks. With that being said I pick Brandon Jennings, I like your pick of Eric Gordon, but his health scares me though. Jennings is going to be one if not the only scoring threat off the Knicks bench this season.

Marc Cantave:

I actually like this pick and believe Jennings can make an impact, but I believe the Rockets will be a tad bit more successful than the Knicks.

The most important question, who wins it all?

Kory Waldron:

Not sure this is really even a question anymore. However, it’s something that needs to be predicted. I’m going with the Golden State Warriors vs the Cleveland Cavaliers for the third straight year. These two teams are simply the best teams in the league right now until shown/proven otherwise. I’m also going with the Cavs to win it all and repeat. I’ve learned many lessons in life and picking against LeBron James has been the one of the hardest lessons I’ve had to learn.

Marc Cantave:

I’m actually 2 for 4 when picking against Lebron (Spurs and Warriors split) and this year I will again, but only if certain things happen. I have the Warriors beating the Cavs in this year’s finals, but only if they make certain moves by the deadline. Warriors are depleted in the frontline and are soft as Cottonelle tissues in the paint. If they can fix that problem, then they can defeat the Cavs, but as presently constructed I would have to give the edge to the Cavs.

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