LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA - MARCH 06: Giannis Antetokounmpo #34 of the Milwaukee Bucks attempts to get open as LeBron James #23 of the Los Angeles Lakers defends during the third quarter at Staples Center on March 06, 2020 in Los Angeles, California

The 2021-22 NBA season is set to tip-off this week and is quickly shaping up to be one of the most exciting campaigns in recent years.

There are a plethora of unfolding storylines to keep an eye on over the season's duration, mainly the arms race for the championship in the Western Conference.

The LA Clippers went all in when acquiring star duo Kawhi Leonard and Paul George for the 2019-20 season and - thus far - haven't been rewarded for their squad gamble. With Leonard likely to miss the majority of the regular season with an ACL injury, the hopes of 'Clipper Nation' rely on PG and the gang.

Conversely, The cross-town rival LA Lakers are looking to push for another title before the living legend, LeBron James, decides to call time on his career.

Then there are the various redemption arcs of the Golden State Warriors, Denver Nuggets, and Pheonix Suns to keep an eye on, in addition to the likely super-emergence of young MVP candidate, Luka Dončić, and his Dallas Mavericks.

In the East, we have the ‘Greek Freak' - Giannis Antetokounmpo - and the Milwaukee Bucks looking to defend their throne against all-comers, especially the loaded Brooklyn Nets (depending on how the Kyrie Irving vaccine situation plays out).

For the Aussies, Olympic hero, Patty Mills, makes his debut for the Nets, while in Philadelphia, former #1 draft pick and current outcast is still awaiting a result of his trade request and holdout. Rookie Josh Giddey has the opportunity to start at point guard for the Oklahoma City Thunder, Jock Landale gets his oppouurtunity to fill a front-court position in San Antonio, while free agent Aron Baynes has been ruled out for the season following a neck injury suffered with the Boomers in Tokyo.

With all this excitement for the upcoming season, the team at Zero Hoops have given their early predictions for the NBA 2021-22 end-of-season awards.

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Nick Splitter (@nicksplitter)

MVP: Joel Embiid

Defensive Player of the Year: Joel Embiid

Rookie of the Year: Josh Giddey

Most Improved: Otto Porter Jr

Sixth Man: Tyler Herro

Coach of the Year: Monty Williams

NBA Champions: Brooklyn Nets

Mitch Keating (@MitchKeat)

MVP: Luka Dončić

Defensive Player of the Year: Joel Embiid

Rookie of the Year: Cade Cunningham

Most Improved: Shai Gilgeous-Alexander

Sixth Man: Coby White

Coach of the Year: Rick Carlisle

NBA Champions: Brooklyn Nets

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Scott Pryde (@sk_pryde)

MVP: Luka Doncic

Defensive Player of the Year: Rudy Gobert

Rookie of the Year: Josh Giddey

Most Improved: Shai Gilgeous-Alexander

Sixth Man: Derrick Rose

Coach of the Year: Quin Snyder

NBA Champions: Utah Jazz

Jake Benoiton (@JakeBenoiton)

MVP: Luka Dončić

Defensive Player of the Year: Giannis Antetokounmpo

Rookie of the Year: Cade Cunningham

Most Improved: Tyler Herro

Sixth Man: Tyler Herro

Coach of the Year: Billy Donovan

NBA Champions: Los Angeles Lakers

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Ed Carmine (@ed_carmine)

MVP: Luka Dončić

Defensive Player of the Year: Bam Adebayo

Rookie of the Year: Cade Cunningham

Most Improved: Michael Porter Jr.

Sixth Man: Derrick Rose

Coach of the Year: Rick Carlisle

NBA Champions: Milwaukee Bucks

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Cameron Grimes (@CameronGrimes)

MVP: Kevin Durant

Defensive Player of the Year: Giannis Antetokounmpo

Rookie of the Year: Josh Giddey

Most Improved: Ben Simmons 

Sixth Man: Michael Porter Jr.

Coach of the Year: Rick Carlisle

NBA Champions: Brooklyn Nets

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Harris Maglis 

MVP: Stephen Curry

Defensive Player of the Year: Ben Simmons

Rookie of the Year: Cade Cunningham

Most Improved: OG Anunoby

Sixth Man: Derrick Rose

Coach of the Year: Steve Nash

NBA Champions: Golden State Warriors

The predictions that our team has made see some overlap when it comes to the MVP, Rookie of the Year, and Coach of the Year predictions but vary when taking into account the rest of the awards and eventual Champions.

The 2021-22 NBA season will surely be a can't-miss spectacle with many twists and turns as each franchise battles for supremacy.

Let us know who you think will take home the end-of-season awards in the comments below!