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L.A. Times 2020-21 NBA season predictions: Lakers will repeat

Kyle Kuzma and his Lakers teammates celebrate after winning the NBA championship on Oct. 11, 2020, in Orlando, Fla.
The Times’ NBA crew believe the Lakers will celebrate another NBA championship to conclude the 2020-21 season.
(Wally Skalij / Los Angeles Times)

The Times’ NBA crew of Dan Woike, Broderick Turner and Andrew Greif forecast the postseason and major award winners:

PLAYOFF QUALIFIERS

(in order of seeding)

West

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Woike: Lakers, Clippers, Denver, Utah, Portland, Dallas, Phoenix, Golden State

Turner: Lakers, Clippers, Denver, Portland, Dallas, Utah, Golden State, Houston

Greif: Lakers, Clippers, Denver, Portland, Dallas, Utah, Phoenix, Houston,

East

Woike: Milwaukee, Boston, Miami, Brooklyn, Philadelphia, Toronto, Washington, Atlanta

Turner: Milwaukee, Brooklyn, Boston, Toronto, Philadelphia, Miami, Indiana, Atlanta

Greif: Milwaukee, Brooklyn, Boston, Miami, Philadelphia, Atlanta, Raptors, Indiana

Conference finals

Woike: Lakers over Clippers; Boston over Milwaukee

Turner: Lakers over Denver; Boston over Milwaukee

Greif: Lakers over Clippers; Milwaukee over Phila.

From the expected load management to the unknown of a pandemic-stricken season with no bubble protection, the 2020-21 NBA season will offer unique challenges.

NBA champion

Woike: Lakers

Turner: Lakers

Greif: Lakers

MOST VALUABLE PLAYER

(plus runner-up, 3rd)

Woike: Anthony Davis (Luka Doncic, Giannis Antetokounmpo)

Turner: Davis (Doncic, Antetokounmpo)

Greif: Doncic (Davis, Joel Embiid)

ROOKIE OF THE YEAR

Woike: Obi Toppin, New York

Turner: Anthony Edwards, Minnesota

Greif: Obi Toppin, New York


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