The 2019-20 NBA preseason has concluded, and the games that count are less than a week away. Which players and teams will stand above the rest months from now?

The 2019-20 NBA preseason came to a close on Friday night. That means that the time for preparation is over. October 22 marks to beginning of a marathon for the league’s 30 teams. There will be plenty of ups and downs along the way, culminating in the association’s 74th champion being crowned.

Who do I think that champion will be? Which players will stand out above the rest along the way, collecting an award as a reward for their efforts? Here are my predictions for the 2019-20 NBA award winners and the 2020 NBA Playoffs.

Be sure to check out my Eastern Conference and Western Conference prediction articles, as my picks are based off of the results from those pieces. Do you agree with my selections? Let me know in the comments!

Award Winners

Most Valuable Player

Anthony Davis, Lakers
The MVP race will have plenty of worthy candidates this season. That includes Davis’ teammate LeBron James. However, I think that AD’s presence is what will truly push the Lakers to the best record in the Western Conference for the first time since 2010. His multi-faceted skillset at his size and proficiency is rare, and I think his production during the season will be strong enough to get the voters’ attention.

Rookie of the Year

Zion Williamson, Pelicans
Barring any long-term injury, I think this is a foregone conclusion. He has the size, the ability, and the temperament to dominate over the course of an 82-game season. Zion is another rarity, and I think that will play out in the stats and will be recognized by the voters.

Sixth Man of the Year

Lou Williams, Clippers
Other players may rise to challenge for this title, but here at the beginning of the season, it’s best to go with the safe bet. Williams is a player that is more than capable of being a starter, but has carved out a niche for bringing pain from off the pine. As the Clippers stepped up to a new level of contention, I think that Lou-Will’s production will hold steady and aid his team to one of the league’s best records.

Defensive Player of the Year

Rudy Gobert, Jazz
As I did in my EuroLeague predictions article, I’m going to go with the tall rim protector. The Jazz took steps this offense to improve offensively, but they are very much still a defensive team, and their anchor is this man. There are plenty of other high-level defenders that could make a case for this award, but I think Gobert will once again prove this year that his defense will be the most impactful.

Most Improved Player of the Year

Lonzo Ball, Pelicans
I always felt that Lonzo has received a lot of undue flak because of the antics of his father. Sadly, his injuries have piled on to the rough start he’s had to his career. Now, on a new team away from his hometown, Ball will be able to finally show people what makes him such a special playmaker.

Coach of the Year

Brett Brown, 76ers
There are always plenty of worthy candidates for this award every season. But I think the Sixers will finish with the East’s best record this year — would be the first time since 2000-01 — so I think that Brown will earn the award. He has coached this team during their darkest days, and will have finally led them to the top of the conference table. I think his perseverance through it all will be rewarded with some hardware.

All-NBA Teams

First Team
Giannis Antetokoumpo, F, Bucks
Anthony Davis, F, Lakers
Joel Embiid, C, 76ers
James Harden, G Rockets
LeBron James, G, Lakers

Second Team
Paul George, F, Clippers
Kawhi Leonard, F, Clippers
Nikola Jokic, C, Nuggets
Stephen Curry, G, Warriors
Damian Lillard, G, Trail Blazers

Third Team
Blake Griffin, F, Pistons
Pascal Siakam, F, Raptors
Rudy Gobert, C, Jazz
Russell Westbrook, G, Rockets
Ben Simmons, G, 76ers

All-Defensive Teams

First Team
Giannis Antetokounmpo, F, Bucks
Anthony Davis, F, Lakers
Rudy Gobert, C, Jazz
Jrue Holiday, G, Pelicans
Patrick Beverley, G, Clippers

Second Team
Paul George, F, Clippers
Kawhi Leonard, F, Clippers
Andre Drummond, C, Pistons
Marcus Smart, G, Celtics
Eric Bledsoe, G, Bucks

All-Rookie Teams

First Team
Zion Williamson, F, Pelicans
Ja Morant, G, Grizzlies
De’Andre Hunter, F, Hawks
RJ Barrett, G, Knicks
Darius Garland, G, Cavaliers

Second Team
Coby White, G, Bulls
Goga Bitadze, C, Pacers
Matisse Thybulle, G, 76ers
Rui Hachimura, F, Wizards
Jarrett Culver, F, Timberwolves

2020 NBA Playoffs

First Round

Eastern Conference
76ers def. Magic, 4-2
Pacers def. Nets, 4-3
Bucks def. Celtics, 4-2
Raptors def. Pistons, 4-3

Western Conference
Lakers def. Spurs, 4-0
Jazz def. Rockets, 4-3
Nuggets def. Trail Blazers, 4-3
Clippers def. Warriors, 4-2

Conference Semifinals

Eastern Conference
76ers def. Pacers, 4-1
Bucks def. Raptors, 4-2

Western Conference
Lakers def. Jazz, 4-2
Clippers def. Nuggets, 4-2

Conference Finals

76ers def. Bucks, 4-2
Lakers def. Clippers, 4-3

2020 NBA Finals

Lakers def. 76ers, 4-2
LeBron James, Finals MVP