What will the NBA awards races look like in 2022?
Denver Nuggets star Nikola Jokic edged out a host of contenders, including two-time defending MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo, for the NBA's top honor in 2021, but Antetokounmpo went on to bring a title to Milwaukee and was named Finals MVP. Brooklyn Nets star Kevin Durant should be healthy again and surely ready to avenge his team's last-second loss to the Bucks in Game 7 of the Eastern Conference finals.
Cade Cunningham and Jalen Green, the No. 1 and No. 2 overall picks in 2021, respectively, lead a strong class competing for Rookie of the Year honors. Cunningham and Green join the Detroit Pistons and Houston Rockets, teams looking to build around their young talent.
Can second-year Nets head coach Steve Nash take home the Coach of the Year honor with a healthy trio of Durant, James Harden and Kyrie Irving? He'll face tough competition from Miami Heat coach Erik Spoelstra, whose team added Kyle Lowry in free agency, along with Phoenix Suns coach Monty Williams and a deep field of candidates.
The NBA awards, however, don't compare to winning a title. The Nets' superstar trio should help them be the top contender all season, but LeBron James and the Los Angeles Lakers retooled to compete for the Larry O'Brien trophy, too. And they'll each have to get past tough competition in conference foes.
Our expert panel is predicting the NBA awards, along with which teams will win each conference and eventually the NBA title.