The 2022-23 NBA Season is almost upon us with the pre-season games starting this week.

Who is favored to win this year? Here are our picks:

Golden State Warriors. The defending champions certainly deserve our respect and they have totally earned the gravitas. They bucked the loss of two time Finals MVP Kevin Durant in 2019 and came back to win another chip three years later.

Behind that resurgence is Steph Curry, currently the NBA’s best player. Some of you will probably have an issue with that, but that’s alright. To me, that accolade should go to Finals MVP of the championship team, which means you are the best player on the best team for that season.

With Klay Thompson regaining his old deadly form and young guns like James Wiseman and Jordan Poole coming into their own, you have a young, talented team ready and hungry to defend their crown.

The scary thing about the Warriors is that they were not even at their best iteration last year. With the added confidence that a championship pedigree brings, this will be without a shadow of a doubt, the team to beat this season.

Boston Celtics. Of course, last year’s runner-up is still right up there in terms of title contention. But with the chaos brought about by Ime Udoka’s suspension, you can never really tell how that affects a team with a very young core.

Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown, the teams’ resident superstars, are still 23 and 25 years of age, respectively, and have not even reached their peak yet. I think much of last year’s success came about because of Udoka’s brilliance and this team will most likely feel that void.

Milwaukee Bucks. Don’t forget that Giannis Antetokounmpo is just two years removed from his championship season and this talented 27-year-old has been constantly improving every year.

They lost to the Boston Celtics at the Eastern Conference semifinals but they actually put up a better regular season record than the prior year when they became champions.

Co-star Khris Middleton hurt his back and missed the playoffs last year. With a healthy roster, Giannis and company could prove to be a nightmare matchup for the Golden State Warriors with their size and upset the championship cart.

Brooklyn Nets. To say that last year’s season was tumultuous for the Nets would be gross understatement. Kevin Durant will always be one of the greatest talents we have ever seen, but even he can’t do it by all lonesome self. On and off the court, everything went awry for the Nets last year.

This year in terms of talent, the Nets don’t have to do anything else except play together as one healthy, talented unit. And that’s good enough to win the chip

Next week: The Dark Horses.

Last Round. It’s on a dear friend and kumpare, Eddy Basa, who celebrates his birthday this week. Cheers, Pre!