Nets and Lakers Current Favorites to Win NBA Title
Both the Nets and Lakers have gone through their issues, especially when it pertains to injuries. James Harden and Kevin Durant have missed significant time and Anthony Davis and LeBron James have spent time recovering from their injuries. In Philadelphia, Joel Embiid missed three weeks with a knee injury and Ben Simmons has been sidelined more often than the 76ers have hoped. Injuries are bound to happen, but regardless of the injuries, lines.com have the Nets and Lakers are favorites to play in the NBA Finals with the Nets coming on top.
When running on all cylinders, the Nets have the most potent offense in the NBA. The problem is getting Harden, Durant, and Kyrie Irving on the floor all the at same time. The trio is averaging a combined 80 points per game, but have played in only 101 games out of a possible 177 (had they all played in every game). Defensively, the Nets have been less than stellar, and one must wonder if a team can win an NBA title with all offense. We may soon find out.
Los Angeles Lakers
Despite a third-place record in the Western Division and likely fifth-seed in the Western Conference, the oddsmakers see the Lakers in the NBA Finals. Surely, it’s due to the expected returns and dominance of the frontcourt duo of LeBron James and Anthony Davis, who are averaging 46 points per game. The road to the NBA Finals would be to win every series without homecourt advantage, but who will bet against James?
Los Angeles Clippers
The Clippers are third in the Western Conference, but many believe they have the top team in the NBA. Kawhi Leonard and Paul George are as potent an offensive duo as any two in the NBA. The Clippers are a dynamic three-point shooting team, hitting 42 percent for the season and their team is deep with the likes of Marcus Morris, Serge Ibaka, and Reggie Williams.
Although a chance at the number one seed in the Eastern Conference, the Bucks haven’t been as dominating this season. Two-time reigning MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo is averaging 28.5 points and 11.3 rebounds per game. Add in Khris Middleton and Jrue Holiday and the Bucks have enough weapons to go toe-to-toe with the 76ers or the Nets in the conference finals.
The Jazz still have the best record in the NBA. They have six players averaging in double-digits scoring led by Donovan Mitchell at 26.4 points per game. Jordan Clarkson, Mike Conley, and Bojan Bogdanovic combine to add nearly 50 and Rudy Gobert is earning his contract, averaging 14.5 points and 13.6 rebounds per game. Do they have enough to get past more playoff savvy teams in Los Angeles?
The 76ers are on a recent mini-slide but still are at the top of the Eastern Conference. There is no question the offense goes through Joel Embiid, who is averaging 30 points and 11 rebounds per game. He’s a top candidate for league MVP despite missing 18 games. Tobias Harris adds 20 per game, while Danny Green, Seth Curry, and Furkan Korkmaz can hit from long range. Veterans Georg Hill and Dwight Howard are solid in their roles, while Matisse Thybulle has been a defensive stalwart along with Ben Simmons. The 76ers have a shot if they stay healthy.