NBA Tipoff: 2015-16 preview and predictions

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The time is finally come -- NBA basketball is back. After a long and eventful offseason, sneakers shall squeak, basketballs will be dribbled and Joey Crawford T's will fly once again.

The Chicago Bulls will host the Cleveland Cavaliers on TNT at 8 p.m. ET, followed by a banner-raising affair in Northern California as the Golden State Warriors take on Anthony Davis and the New Orleans Pelicans.

The day of the season opener tends to act as the unofficial filing day for season predictions, so before tonight's games tip off, we present to you our officially official predictions for the 2015-16 NBA season.

It's important to remember that there are as many as five teams that have a realistic shot at coming out of the Western Conference to take on the Cleveland Cavaliers in the NBA Finals. The call was tough, but our Western Conference champ is the Los Angeles Clippers.

And once the championship series is underway, we don't think it'll be long before a long-tortured city can finally rejoice. The Cavs will knock off the Clips in seven games, earning Cleveland its first championship since 1964.

Take a look at the complete bracket below, followed by the league's top awards.

​MVP: Anthony Davis, New Orleans

Rookie of the Year: Jahlil Okafor, Philadelphia

Sixth Man of the Year: Isaiah Thomas, Boston

Defensive Player of the Year: Rudy Gobert, Utah

Most Improved Player: C.J. McCollum, Portland

Coach of the Year: Quin Snyder, Utah

NEXT: We rank the top 50 players in the NBA:

50 best NBA players this year
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NBA Tipoff: 2015-16 preview and predictions

50. Al Jefferson

(Photo by Zhong Zhi/Getty Images)

49. Andrew Wiggins

(Photo by David Sherman/NBAE via Getty Images)

48. Danny Green

(Photo by Rocky Widner/NBAE via Getty Images)

47. Khris Middleton

(AP Photo/Morry Gash)

46. Derrick Rose

(Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)

45. Zach Randolph

(AP Photo/Brandon Dill)

44. Greg Monroe

(Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images)

43. Andre Iguodala

(AP Photo/Ben Margot)

42. Pau Gasol

(AP Photo/Kamil Krzaczynski)

41. Goran Dragic

(Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)

40. Joakim Noah

(AP Photo/David Zalubowski)

39. Eric Bledsoe

(Photo by Barry Gossage/NBAE via Getty Images)

38. Brook Lopez

(AP Photo/Paul Sancya)

37. Derrick Favors

(Photo by Melissa Majchrzak/NBAE via Getty Images)

36. Kyle Lowry

(Melissa Renwick/Toronto Star via Getty Images)

35. Gordon Hayward

(Photo by Melissa Majchrzak/NBAE via Getty Images

34. Paul Millsap

(Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)

33. Dirk Nowitzki

(Photo by David Liam Kyle/NBAE via Getty Images)

32. Rudy Gobert

(AP Photo/Rick Bowmer)

31. Andre Drummond

(Photo by Rocky Widner/Getty Images)

30. Jeff Teague

(Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)

29. Dwyane Wade

(AP Photo/Todd Kirkland)

28. DeAndre Jordan

(AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)

27. Mike Conley

(Photo by Noah Graham/NBAE via Getty Images)

26. Serge Ibaka

(Photo by Melissa Majchrzak/NBAE via Getty Images)

25. Al Horford

(AP Photo/John Bazemore)

24. Dwight Howard

(Photo by Bill Baptist/NBAE via Getty Images)

23. Klay Thompson

(AP Photo/Ben Margot)

22. Draymond Green

(AP Photo/David J. Phillip)

21. Kyrie Irving

(AP Photo/Tony Dejak)

20. Paul George

(Photo by Ron Hoskins/NBAE via Getty Images)

19. Tim Duncan

(AP Photo/Darren Abate)

18. Chris Bosh

(AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)

17. Kevin Love

(AP Photo/Charles Krupa, File)

16. Damian Lillard

(AP Photo/Kelvin Kuo)

15. LaMarcus Aldridge

(AP Photo/Darren Abate)

14. Carmelo Anthony

(Photo by Nathaniel S. Butler/NBAE via Getty Images)

13. Jimmy Butler

(Photo by Jesse D. Garrabrant/NBAE via Getty Images)

12. DeMarcus Cousins

(AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli)

11. John Wall

(Photo by Ned Dishman/NBAE via Getty Images)

10. Kawhi Leonard

(Photo by Issac Baldizon/NBAE via Getty Images)

9. Marc Gasol

(AP Photo/Mark Humphrey)

8. Blake Griffin

(Photo by ChinaFotoPress/ChinaFotoPress via Getty Images)

7. Chris Paul

(AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)

6. Russell Westbrook

(AP Photo/Rick Bowmer)

5. James Harden

(AP Photo/Brandon Dill)

4. Stephen Curry

(Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)

3. Anthony Davis

(AP Photo/Gary McCullough)

2. Kevin Durant

(Photo by J Pat Carter/Getty Images)

1. LeBron James

(AP Photo/John Minchillo)


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