Who's been the most surprising team in the league so far this year, specifically in the East?

“The surprise has been the Cleveland Cavaliers, just seeing what they're dealing with injury wise. Seeing how Donovan Mitchell has kept them afloat.”

“He's not getting a lot of love and I don't hear people talking about MVP or all NBA, but to be second in the East with that team and what they've been through and how he's guided them and what he's doing, that's been really, really impressive.”

“I think he should get more love.”

Recently there was some beef online between JJ Reddick and Patrick Beverley having some words on new Milwaukee Bucks coach Doc Rivers, what are your thoughts were on that little exchange?

“I definitely saw it, I don't have many thoughts on the whole JJ-Pat Bev part, but to the JJ-Doc situation, I felt what JJ was saying, to be honest.”

“If you look in history, it's always been something didn't go right or whatever, I'm not saying Doc’s not a heck of a coach, he's a Hall of Fame coach.”

“But when it comes to actually when it's in the public and when he's asked the question about why this happened, why that happened, it always seemed to be a reason why it happened, so I definitely feel JJ on that.”

“It has nothing to do with like I said, Doc’s, actual coaching ability. It's just what it is.”

Do you think with that mid-season coaching change with the Bucks it's going to be more of the same with Doc in terms of making these excuses in the way that it sort of comes out or do you think the bucks can put it together and make a deep run this year?

“First off, I was surprised the coaching change happened, they have one of the best records in the league.”

“Usually even with a first-year guy, let's say he's struggling in there, a little above 500, you would say, OK, he's working out the kinks.”

“It's his first year, let him go through a playoff and see how he adjusts or what happens, because the Bucks are one of those teams that no matter what, they're going to be judged on their playoff success, so I was surprised about that happening.”

“I'll say the pressure is on now on both of them to make it happen, the Bucks and Doc, because now you have a readymade team, you have a readymade coach, there's no excuses.”

“You got Dame Lillard, you’ve got Giannis, you got the pieces around them, there are no excuses, so I think it has to happen this year for sure.”

Do you think this is the Boston Celtics’ year? Is there a team that can beat them in a seven-game series, when healthy?

“I'm sure there's a team that can, but I think this is Boston's year.”

“The way they're put together, they got Jrue Holiday and Porzingis and they’ve got more talent, but they actually got more mature, and I think some of their shortcomings were turnovers at crucial moments and not as much flow with their offense.”

“Maybe too many threes and not diversifying that way and Jrue Holiday plays inside the three line.”

“Porzingis can play in or out, he can post up, he can go to the mid post, if a lull is coming, his scoring can get them through that lull by going inside and slowing the game down.”

“I think this is Boston’s year, they have the best starting five.”

“Obviously, Tatum is sharing the ball at a higher rate and he's allowing other guys to be stars in their roles and he's still being the superstar he is.”

“Boston is ready to make it happen this year.”

What do you make of the Chicago Bulls’ season so far?

“It's been disappointing, Chicago was how Sacramento was the feel-good team last year, Chicago was that a couple years ago.”

“Lonzo was healthy, you had Alex Caruso, you had Zach LaVine and DeMar DeRozan together, and they had that feel-good team.”

“They just lost all that momentum; they've lost all of it.”

“Injuries happen, you can't control that but the other part of it is just where they are going.”

“Now it doesn't seem like DeMar, Zach and that crew are the best fit for each other.”

“Coby White has gotten better, so that's going to change people's roles a little bit.”

“They're low key in transition right now, I saw they lost to Detroit, but they have to figure out where they want to go, but like I said, White rising up has been a really cool thing for them and for him as well.”

Do you think they should move on from Zach Lavine's contract or what do you think is the best course of action for them there in the offseason?

“I'm not sure, but obviously if Zach's involved in a trade, you can get a bunch of pieces, so, it depends on which route you want to go.”

“Zach would be a great number two, number three guy, depending on where he goes.”

Let's just throw out a team like The Lakers, he'll be a great number three option for them, but he can go somewhere else and be a great number two option on a winning team.”

“Then you have DeMar, so you keep Zach, you have DeMar, who can fit in so many different situations.”

“He can go to a team and be the great vet and still produce. He can go to the team and be a third option as well.”

“So, they're really, really good players, I'm just not sure how much they fit together at this point with how the team is set up.”

With Jalen Brunson being such a good leader and the season that they've been having, I'm curious what your take is on the New York Knicks and how far you think they can go, especially with some of these moves that they've made adding a couple of guys at the deadline.

“Yeah, I love the moves they made.”

“The Knicks are interesting because they can be a team that could definitely get to the playoffs, but I could see them struggling if it's the wrong matchup, but I can also see them going on a run if it's the right couple of matchups.”

“The way they're built with OG, Julius comes back healthy, Brunson could have been all-star last year.”

“Their team is set up really nicely, they bought into what Tibbs is doing, he's done a great job with those guys putting them in position.”

“Now it's just about getting healthy and making that run and peaking at the right time.”

“They have the ingredients, and we all know when New York is raucous, it's a tough place to play.”

“I went to a playoff game there last year and it was unbelievable, Cleveland didn't have a chance because they were playing against the Knicks, but they felt like they were playing against the whole city, which was really cool.”

Many people feel the All-Star game was lackluster. What your take was on the game?

“It was disappointing, and it's been disappointing for the last few years if I'm being honest.”

“I dreamed about playing in the All-Star game because it was like, OK, you're recognized as the best of the best but you get a chance to play against the best at the highest level, or one game when the you got the best in the sport, and the whole world is watching and you guys are going at it.”

“That part of competition is lacking and the fact that we say oh, we don't want to get hurt, you can get hurt anywhere, it happens.”

“You can get hurt in pick up, you can get hurt in the game, you can get hurt working out by yourself.”

“I see guys go harder in workouts by themselves on the court than they do with the best players in the world.”

“That's disappointing because what are we teaching the younger generation that's watching the game?

“What do we say? I coach kids, what am I telling them? Oh yeah, such and such is a great player, but he's not going to play hard when it comes to an exhibition or All-Star game.”

“He's not going to compete, that's not what we're teaching and it's so much bigger than just that game.”

“It's about the game itself and where it's going because these are the leaders of the game right now, and what kind of tone are we setting for the next generation? That part bothers me.”

2024 NBA Sixth Man of the Year Prediction and Picks

As a 3-time 6th Man of the Year, the award is considered your award by a lot of people. As an expert on the subject, who do you like for 6th man of the year this year, who are your front runners?

“I like Malik Monk (SAC) at (-275) always. I love how he plays.”

Norman Powell (LAC) at (+700) will get consideration and Bobby Portis (MIL) at (+2500) will be in the mix depending on how Milwaukee ends up.”

“It's an individual award but it's a team award because you can have a guy averaging 20 off the bench but then they're not winning so you can't be in the mix if your team is not winning.”

“So those guys I said are having a great season along with winning, which is more important than anything.”

2024 NBA Rookie of the Year Prediction and Picks

In terms of an award that is definitely an individual award, rookie of the Year. I imagine your pick is probably Victor Wembanyama, but I don't want to poison the well just yet. Is there anybody else that You think potentially deserves that award?

“I think Chet’s right there as well. It's just tough when you factor in winning, it's just tough not to have Chet Holmgren right there as well.”

“Victor Wembanyama is a whole different type of creative player, like he's a whole different thing and he's going to be the face of the league for a long, long time and I think Chet can be one of the faces of the league for sure, but it's just hard to just ignore a person that's number two.”

“There were a couple of All-Stars I should’ve made, especially the first one when I was with the Knicks and they were like, yeah, you got the numbers, but your team’s not winning, and I totally understood.”

“I was like, OK, I get it, they follow each other.”

“But we can't ignore Chet being #2 on a team that's number two in in the West at that and he's a huge, huge piece of that.”

“Let this next month play out, I don't think it's a lock, I really don't think it's a lock either way.”

“We need to let this next month play out and see what happens.”

2024 NBA MVP Prediction and Picks

What about the ultimate individual award? The MVP. What is your take there?

“Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, Jayson Tatum, and Joker (Nikola Jokić) for me are probably the top three.”

“What SGA is doing is just incredible, he's shooting 54% as a guard and he's averaging over 2 steals a game.”

“He's averaging 31 points, 6 assists, 5 boards and the thing that's really crazy about it is he's doing that as a young player in the league, who's trying to establish himself, but he's not taking away from everybody else, and his team is #2 in the West, so, he got to get his props there.”

“With Tatum, he's the best player on the best team in the league, he's not averaging over 30 like he could, but the sacrifice he's given in leading his team and he's still so young.”

“If Tatum wins MVP, everybody would look at the totality of what he's done in His career.”

Five-time All-Star, All-Star MVP and been to the finals, been to the Eastern Conference finals in different years, like he's done some things, so he's right there.”

“Joker’s just so good. It's a joke. It really is a joke how good he is.”

“He's playing the game backwards and when I say that I mean most people that average that many points, they're trying to score.”

“He's trying to score last; he's trying to set everybody else up and he hates attention, he's just balling, and he'll always be there.”

“Giannis Antetokounmpo is having a crazy year as well; the league right now is in a special place as far as how guys are so talented.”

And that's not even mentioning the guy who scored 73 points in the game this year.

“Yeah, and Luka Dončić, how can we not talk about Luka? Luka is so good.”

“It's like he's been here before, what I mean by that is, he plays with such wisdom and such pace and he's such a savant.”

“He's unbothered, I may have never seen a more unbothered player, like you can't bother Luka whatsoever.”

“His pace is so good, he makes his pace, your pace and that's what's crazy about him.”

“He can always just lure you to sleep then explode and he's a wizard, he's one of the smartest basketball players to ever play already at this young age.”

2024 NBA Finals Predictions

Who comes out of the East and makes the finals and then who will they be playing in the finals from the West?

“I got Boston Celtics (-110) in the East.”

“In the West, I have the Phoenix Suns (+750), I feel like they've been struggling in the season. Obviously the fourth quarter struggles, but I don't think they'll stand pat, I think Royce O'Neale was a sneaky pickup.”

“I also think that Phoenix has built for the playoffs, and with Kevin Durant, he won't have the best season per se, but I still feel like he's one of the best players if not the best player in the game, so I just trust him in the playoffs and I trust Booker in the playoffs.”

“Bradley Beal has been a perfect third option, he does a great job playing off of those two.”

“I don't think they're done yet and I think they can make a run.”

Alan Iverson was talking about who has the best handles ever, and he claimed that Kyrie Irving is the official handles king. As someone who is considered on the Mount Rushmore of the NBA's greatest ball handlers, who is the all-time NBA handles King?

“Well, AI is definitely validated to say that because he has the certifications.”

“You can't be mad at anybody saying Kyrie Irving, Kyrie is a wizard, he does things that just leave your jaw dropped. Like how did he do it?”

“I grew up on Isiah Thomas with the Pistons, that was the first person I seen that was mesmerizing with the handle, so, he'll always be that for me.”

“But if you say Kyrie, OK, I get it, obviously, he's number one or one A.”

“Then you have Isiah from the Pistons, I think you have white chocolate, Jason Williams who doesn't get enough love in that.”

“Then you have the Steph Currys, the Chris Pauls, Rafer Alstons, Rod Stricklands, and Baron Davis’.”

“There's so many guys that can really handle the rock with Alan Iverson of course, but I think if anybody says Kyrie, you can be like, OK, they know what they're talking about because Kyrie is top shelf.”

Bet on NBA odds at Betway 

Find season-long NBA odds on Betway sportsbook. You'll find all the latest spreads, totals, money lines, and parlays. Missed tip-off? No problem, Betway also offers live betting. All your NBA betting needs are covered in our online sportsbook.

Visit Betway’s NBA picks page for picks and predictions throughout the season.