Channing Frye says Pelicans will win West in response to fan asking who Cavs will face in Finals

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Stephen Lew-USA TODAY Sports

The 2022-23 season is already a few weeks in, and it seems like former Cleveland Cavaliers big man Channing Frye has seen enough games to feel that the Finals series will feature the New Orleans Pelicans.

The fan that asked Frye who he thinks will come out of the Western Conference this season seems to be pretty high on the Cavs.

Cleveland has indeed looked like a legitimate title contender for various reasons. For one, its roster features impressive depth and a great balance of offense and defense.

Donovan Mitchell and Darius Garland are leading the charge on offense. The two offensive-minded guards have already shown terrific chemistry early in the campaign.

Newcomer Mitchell has proven that he is one of most prolific scorers in the league, averaging 31.6 points per game to go along with 6.1 assists per contest.

As for Garland, his numbers and efficiency are a bit down from last season. But fans should note that he had to sit out some games earlier in the season due to an eye injury, resulting in missed opportunities to build chemistry with Mitchell and other Cavs players on the court.

Anchoring the defense are big men Jarrett Allen and Evan Mobley. The twin towers have been key in Cleveland registering a defensive rating of 108.8, good for fourth in the league so far in this campaign. Of course, other players have also contributed significantly on the defensive end of the court.

The Cavs currently stand at 8-5 and have a great chance of coming out on top of the Eastern Conference.

But, it is Frye’s “weird” choice for the Western Conference champs that might raise some eyebrows.

To be fair to New Orleans, it sports a similar record to that of the Cavs, winning eight of its first 14 matches. A glimpse at the roster shows the immense potential of the squad. Leading the Pelicans squadron are All-Stars Zion Williamson and Brandon Ingram, both of whom are scoring at least 21.2 points per game.

It will be interesting to see if the Pelicans can prove Frye’s prediction correct and make him look smart.

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Orel is a freelance writer who is passionate about the NBA. He has followed the league since the late '90s and found increased interest in it in 2003 – when an 18-year-old prodigy from Akron, Ohio took the league by storm.