Aidin Ebrahimi’s 2023-24 NBA W. Conf. Reg. Season Review

A look at every franchise with picks for the Team of the Year and Most Valuable Players

Posted on April 16, 2024


  By Aidin Ebrahimi, SuperWest Sports

The 2023-24 NBA regular season is officially over.

We’re now approaching the Play-In tournament and the Playoffs are just around the corner.

Here’s my review of this season’s NBA action, talking about every team with a look at my picks for the Team of the Year and MVP of the season.


The Highs

Minnesota Timberwolves, Alperen Sengun, Jonathan Kuminga

How things change in one year. One year ago, Rudy Gobert was fighting his teammates after an incredibly disappointing season that saw the Wolves go 42-40 and lose to the Nuggets 4-1 in the first round.

But this year, the team improved across the board, Gobert is about to win his fourth Defensive Player of the Year award, and they went 56-26 and clinched the third seed in the West.

Overcoming the Suns with a rusty Karl-Anthony Towns might be a tall task, but this team has proved people wrong all season long and there’s no reason to think they can’t do it again.

Alperen Sengun established himself as one of the NBA’s brightest stars this season, averaging 21.1 points, 9.3 rebounds, and 5.0 assists per game.

Sengun

Even though he missed the last 18 games of the campaign, Sengun should still consider 2023-24 as a massive success.

He went from a solid young player last season to an All-Star caliber player this season and now the future is bright in Houston for the first time since James Harden left town.

Jonathan Kuminga is another young star who has made strides to improve his game this year.

Kuminga had shown his ability as a scorer before this season, averaging 16.7 points per game while shooting 58.9% from the field and 43.7% from three.

Kuminga

He did that in the 40 games where he played over 25+ minutes in his first two years in the league. But he finally got an opportunity to showcase his skills this year and he made the most out of it.

He averaged 30.1 minutes a night from January 12 to April 7, averaging 20.1 points while shooting 55.3% from the field and 38% from deep during that span.

Last year, Steve Kerr barely played him even when the Lakers were outclassing the Warriors, but now there are no excuses and Kuminga should easily be the team’s second option.


The Lows

Memphis Grizzlies, Josh Giddey, Scoot Henderson

This season was just a living nightmare for the Grizzlies. Ja Morant was infamously suspended for 25 games due to his antics and then got hurt after just nine games.

Steven Adams lost the entire season due to injury and was traded, Brandon Clarke played in just six games, Derrick Rose and Marcus Smart both missed over 58 games, and Desmond Bane missed 40 games.

Giddey

The result was a disgusting 27-55 campaign, but the play of Jaren Jackson Jr., GG Jackson II, Vince Williams Jr., and Scotty Pippen Jr. should keep them optimistic for next season with a healthy Morant and Bane.

Speaking of living nightmares, how does having your squeaky-clean reputation ruined while becoming your team’s fourth most important player sound?

Henderson

Josh Giddey’s reputation has been ruined forever due to his alleged actions, and even though he was the second-best player on OKC last season, he regressed and now there are trade talks surrounding him.

Scoot Henderson also had a terrible rookie season, finishing the year with a PER of 9.5 and -1.7 Win Shares. Both Giddey and Henderson had some good performances to close out the year though, so they still have some hope left.


Another Year of California’s Rollercoasters

Golden State Warriors, LA Clippers, LA Lakers, Sacramento Kings

For the first time ever, all four California teams entered the NBA season with huge expectations.

The Warriors and Lakers are both trying to win their second ring of the 2020s, the Clippers look to finally make a run toward the title and break their curse, and the Kings want to build upon a wildly successful 2022-23 season.

There’s still a chance for any one of these teams to make it out of the West, but 3/4 of them are in the Play-In tournament, and the loser of Tuesday’s Warriors/Kings matchup will have to go home.

This was yet another frustrating season for the Dubs which saw inconsistent play from Klay Thompson, Andrew Wiggins, and the rest of the crew.

The Kings were the fifth seed by late February, but a poor run of form caused them to slip all the way to the ninth seed.

The Lakers won the inaugural In-Season tournament, but multiple losses right after that triumph have caused them to return to the Play-In tournament for the third time in four years.

The Clippers, meanwhile, had a wild season that saw them spend time as the 12th seed in mid-November and as the first seed in early February.

They ultimately won the division for only the third time in franchise history and are getting ready for what should be yet another entertaining series in the Mavericks/Clippers 2020s playoff rivalry.


Checking Up on the Other Stars

Victor Wembanyama, Devin Booker, Zion Williamson, Collin Sexton

Victor Wembanyama made his NBA debut this season and exceeded all expectations, becoming an NBA star right from the get-go.

Wembanyama

He averaged 21.4 PPG and led the league in blocks with 254 rejections. Since 2007-08, only 2015-16 Hassan Whiteside (269) had more blocks in a season than Wemby.

Williamson

And he did this in his rookie season on a terrible team. Zion Williamson can relate to the hype Wemby has received coming into the league, and the former first-overall pick had his healthiest season ever, playing in 70 games.

Even though it took a while for the old Zion to come back, he looked dominant at the season, averaging 25.2 points a night on 55.7% shooting in his last 19 games of the year.

Booker

Devin Booker had yet another great season, as he successfully transitioned from a shoot-first shooting guard to a point guard who still put up 27.1 points a night on 49.2% shooting.

Sexton

Booker averaged 6.9 assists per contest and had the third-fewest turnovers per game of his career (2.6).

Collin Sexton also learned how to take care of the ball this year (5.6 APG to 2.2 TPG in his last 55 games), an improvement that might have saved his career as he went from an afterthought to a star in Utah.


Best Team of the Season

The Denver Nuggets (57-25)

The Nuggets failed to get the first seed, but this was still a brilliant regular season, which showed everyone why they’re the defending NBA champs.

Nikola Jokic dominated like always, but Mike Malone and the rest of the team deserve a lot of credit for still producing despite losing some key pieces in the offseason and not replacing them with any big names.

Jamal Murray and Michael Porter Jr. combined to average 37.9 as they both shot over 48% from the field.

Denver Nuggets guard Jamal Murray | Petre Thomas/USA TODAY Sports

Aaron Gordon continued to be one of the most impactful two-way players in the world, Kentavious Caldwell-Pope shot 40.6% from deep.

Reggie Jackson went from undesirable to undeniable and stepped up many times when Murray was hurt.

Christian Braun showed improvement too, as he averaged a very efficient 14 PPG per 36 minutes over his last 19 games of the year.


MVPs of the Season

Nikola Jokic (Denver Nuggets)/Luka Doncic (Dallas Mavericks)

Just like last year I chose two MVPs, and while I said Jokic deserves MVP over Luka Doncic in my last column, this should take nothing away from Luka’s incredible campaign.

Luka became the first player in NBA history to average 33+ points, 9+ rebounds, and 9+ assists per game during a season.

He also had the most PPG+RPG+APG in a single season (52.9) since the NBA/ABA merger, surpassing the former record holder 2016-17.

Nuggets center Nikola Jokic | Brandon Dill/AP

Russell Westbrook who won MVP that season. 2023-24 Jokic also ranks 13th on that list (47.7) and his advanced stats are off the charts like always.

Jokic is now looking to go back-to-back and win his second NBA championship, while Luka is looking to finally get past the Clippers and win his first-ever ring.

But the West is stacked and the playoffs will be awesome. Let the playoffs commence.




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