The Circuit 2021-22 NBA 1st Quarter Polls

Updated: Sep 21

The NBA is roughly 25% through the season, and now it’s time to look back at what The Circuit predicted and see what we got right and more importantly, what we got very, very wrong.

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Thanksgiving marks the (rough) 1st quarter mark of the NBA season. All 30 teams are somewhere between 19-22 games after this weekend, so it’s time to check in and see how our predictions are going and make some new ones!


Three things we were big RIGHT on...

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1- The Warriors Are Title Contenders

I predicted the Warriors to make the Finals, but even I have to admit I didn’t think they would be this good. I thought they would be a little better than .500 until Klay came back and then would take off, but it turns out they’re just fine without an all-time great. This team will be frightening when he gets back after Christmas.


2- The Charlotte Hornets Would Be Much Improved

I thought the Hornets would be an improved playoff team, but they have looked like a borderline top-4 seed in the East this season. I expected LaMelo to be big-time, but Bridges emerging as a superstar has Charlotte thinking about postseason success for the first time since… Well, since I’ve been alive.


3- Luke Walton Would Be Fired

Okay… I didn’t think that he would be fired 15 games into the season. But I did predict we would win the Stan Van Gundy Award for worst coach in the league, and I think getting fired 15 games in just about wraps that award up for him.


Three things we were big WRONG on…

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1- The Lakers Would Be A Good Regular Season Team

I have always been dubious of how the Lakers would perform in the playoffs with Westbrook, but I assumed his energy and ferocity would help Los Angeles win regular-season games, especially when LeBron and AD missed games. But Westbrook has been a disaster, and this team looks rudderless. At this rate, they’ll be lucky to make the playoffs.


2- The Wizards Would Be Awful

I still don’t understand why I was wrong about this. This team shouldn’t be a top-4 seed in the East, and I still don’t think they will be. But I have to give credit where credit is due, and they have far exceeded my expectations.


3- Evan Mobley Wouldn’t Be The Best Rookie

It’s not that I thought Mobley would be bad, I just thought Jalen Green would be the best of this class. Boy was I wrong. Evan Mobley looks like a young Kevin Garnett, and has the Cavs thinking playoffs for the first time since LeBron left the second time.


Updated Standings & Playoffs Predictions

Eastern Conference

1- Brooklyn Nets

2- Miami Heat

3- Milwaukee Bucks

4- Chicago Bulls

5- Washington Wizards

6- Charlotte Hornets

7- Boston Celtics

8- Philadelphia 76ers

9- Atlanta Hawks

10- New York Knicks

11- Cleveland Cavaliers

12- Toronto Raptors

13- Indiana Pacers

14- Detroit Pistons

15- Orlando Magic


Western Conference

1- Golden State Warriors

2- Utah Jazz

3- Phoenix Suns

4- Dallas Mavericks

5- Denver Nuggets

6- Los Angeles Lakers

7- Memphis Grizzlies

8- Los Angeles Clippers

9- Portland Blazers

10- Minnesota Wolves

11- San Antonio Spurs

12- Sacramento Kings

13- Oklahoma City Thunder

14- New Orleans Pelicans

15- Houston Rockets


1st Round:

1 Brooklyn Nets def 9 Atlanta Hawks 4-1

2 Miami Heat def 8 Philadelphia 76ers 4-3

3 Milwaukee Bucks def 6 Charlotte Hornets 4-0

4 Chicago Bulls def 5 Washington Wizards 4-2


1 Golden State Warriors def 10 Minnesota Wolves 4-1

2 Utah Jazz def 7 Memphis Grizzlies 4-2

6 Los Angeles Lakers def 3 Phoenix Suns 4-2

5 Denver Nuggets def 4 Dallas Mavericks 4-2


2nd Round:

1 Brooklyn Nets def 4 Chicago Bulls 4-1

3 Milwaukee Bucks def 2 Miami Heat 4-2


1 Golden State Warriors def 5 Denver Nuggets 4-3

6 Los Angeles Lakers def 2 Utah Jazz 4-2


Conference Finals:

1 Brooklyn Nets def 3 Milwaukee Bucks 4-3


1 Golden State Warriors def 6 Los Angeles Lakers 4-1


NBA Finals:

1 Golden State Warriors def 1 Brooklyn Nets 4-3 (Finals MVP: Steph Curry)

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Regular Season Awards

MVP:

Steph Curry (Golden State Warriors)

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Curry is running away with this award. The Warriors are dominating and Steph is Stephing.

2- Kevin Durant (Brooklyn Nets)

3- Jimmy Butler (Miami Heat)

4- Nikola Jokic (Denver Nuggets)

5- Paul George (Los Angeles Clippers)


Defensive Player of the Year:

Draymond Green (Golden State Warriors)

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Much like with Steph, Green is returning to 2016 form and helping lead a league-best Warriors team.

2- Rudy Gobert (Utah Jazz)

3- Evan Mobley (Cleveland Cavaliers)

4- Matisse Thybulle (Philadelphia 76ers)

5- Paul George (Los Angeles Clippers)


Coach of the Year:

Billy Donovan (Chicago Bulls)

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This was close. Unseld and Kerr have done really well, and Monty Williams is maneuvering a minefield in Phoenix. But the Bulls are playing well defensively, so Donovan wins the award.

2- Steve Kerr (Golden State Warriors)

3- Wes Unseld Jr. (Washington Wizards)

4- Monty Williams (Phoenix Suns)

5- Steve Nash (Brooklyn Nets)


Rookie of the Year:

Evan Mobley (Cleveland Cavaliers)

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No discussion needed. It’s Mobley with a bullet.

2- Josh Giddey (Oklahoma City Thunder)

3- Franz Wagner (Orlando Magic)

4- Jalen Green (Houston Rockets)

5- Scottie Barnes (Toronto Raptors)


Sixth Man of the Year:

Carmelo Anthony (Los Angeles Lakers)

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The best Laker this year has been… Melo? He’s been playing great, too bad none of his teammates are.

2- Tyler Herro (Miami Heat)

3- Montrezl Harrell (Washington Wizards)

4- Dennis Schroeder (Boston Celtics)

5- Jordan Clarkson (Utah Jazz)


Stan Van Gundy Coaching Award (Worst coaching job):

Luke Walton (Sacramento Kings)

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Nailed it.

2- Frank Vogel (Los Angeles Lakers)

3- Willie Green (New Orleans Pelicans)


Allen Iverson Award (Most exciting player to watch):

Ja Morant (Memphis Grizzlies)

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Ball has played really well, but Morant seems to be making the leap to All-NBA.

2- LaMelo Ball (Charlotte Hornets)

3- Kevin Durant (Brooklyn Nets)


Rasheed Wallace Award (Most impactful trade/buyout player):

Ben Simmons (Philadelphia 76ers to Minnesota Wolves)

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Clearly Beal isn’t going anywhere, so Simmons is now the best potential trade target available.

2- Kevin Love (Cleveland Cavaliers to Portland Blazers)

3- Christian Wood (Houston Rockets to Dallas Mavericks)


Jeremy Lin Award (Hottest 2-week stretch from a random player):

Alex Caruso (Chicago Bulls)

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He seems to fit the Lin archetype perfectly. Can’t believe I missed this in preseason!

2- Jordan Poole (Golden State Warriors)

3- Bruce Brown (Brooklyn Nets)


1st Team All-NBA:

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G- Steph Curry (Golden State Warriors)

G- Jimmy Butler (Miami Heat)

F- Paul George (Los Angeles Clippers)

F- Kevin Durant (Brooklyn Nets)

C- Nikola Jokic (Denver Nuggets)


2nd Team All-NBA:

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G- Luka Doncic (Dallas Mavericks)

G- Ja Morant (Memphis Grizzlies)

F- Zach LaVine (Chicago Bulls)

F- Anthony Davis (Los Angeles Lakers)

C- Rudy Gobert (Utah Jazz)


3rd Team All-NBA:

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c

G- LaMelo Ball (Charlotte Hornets)

G- Bradley Beal (Washington Wizards)

F- Draymond Green (Golden State Warriors)

F- Miles Bridges (Charlotte Hornets)

C- Joel Embiid (Philadelphia 76ers)


There you have it! Our updated polls for the 2021-22 NBA season. Make sure to check back in regularly at The Circuit to see what we got right, and more importantly, what we got very very wrong.



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