A look at who will win the next NBA title. Clue: Nets or Lakers
Posted On July 22, 2021
Giannis Antetokounmpo celebrated all night long, then the next morning he ordered a mini “50 pieces” chicken from Chik-Fil-A to commemorate his 50-point championship performance in Game 6 of the NBA Finals.
But with Thursday’s parade through downtown Milwaukee, Antetokounmpo and the Bucks understand the party has to end at some point.
“It’s going to be a quick turnaround,” Antetokounmpo said Tuesday night. “You know, we’re going to be back and a lot of people are going to sue us, and we have to be ready for that. We have to be ready. “
Confetti had continued to fall from the rafters of the Fiserv Forum on Tuesday when sports betting began emailing their punters’ favorites to win the 2012-22 NBA Championship.
And the Bucks aren’t even the favorites or even the second-best favorite to win the title, according to punters.
The Brooklyn Nets have the best odds at 13/4, followed by the Los Angeles Lakers at 5/1 then the Bucks at 7/1 just ahead of Western Conference champion Phoenix Suns who is at 9/2.
Let’s take a look too soon – before the draft, before free will – at the top contenders for next season.
COVID-19 injuries and health and safety protocols throughout the season, but especially in the playoffs, have had the best of the Nets. They were without Kyrie Irving and James Harden for part of the playoffs and didn’t have Irving for the Bucks Series ending.
If they’re healthy with Irving, Harden and Kevin Durant, the Nets have the talent to win the Eastern Conference. Reinforcing the front court is a priority for Brooklyn during the offseason.
the Los Angeles Lakers
The Lakers are another team that needs good health if they are to attempt another title, and it starts with LeBron James and Anthony Davis. Injuries pushed the Lakers to the seventh seed, and Phoenix was just too many.
Los Angeles also needs improvements in other areas: 3-point shooting and play-making, including determining what it will do at point guard.
With Antetokounmpo, Khris Middleton, Jrue Holiday, Brook Lopez, Pat Connaughton, Donte DiVincenzo stranded for next season, the Bucks will be in contention again and with all the experience of knowing what it takes to win a title. They also have some off-season work to do, like figuring out how they want to pay Bobby Portis Jr. if he turns down his option year and what to do with free agent PJ Tucker.
The Suns will look to build on this impressive Finals run and look to finish the job next season. Chris Paul can retire from the final year of his contract (he would earn $ 44.2 million next season) and become a free agent. If Paul isn’t back, getting another guard alongside Devin Booker is a top priority. Developing or adding depth to the low position is another priority, and the Suns have several free agents, including Cameron Payne. General manager James Jones has work to do in the offseason to keep the Suns on top of the West.
The seeded 76ers lost in the Eastern Conference semifinals. With Joel Embiid and a solid depth around him, the Sixers are a contender in the East. But the main focus of the Philadelphia offseason will be on Ben Simmons and what Philadelphia decides to do: keep him and hope for improvement with his shot or trade him for a top scorer who probably doesn’t have the same defensive skills. or happening that Simmons?
The Jazz had the best regular season NBA record and lost in the Western semifinals. Injuries hurt jazz in the playoffs as well, but there is still work to be done with the roster. It’s a great starting point with Donovan Mitchell and Rudy Gobert, and Utah has complementary players who can score and defend. But Mike Conley’s free will and depth are two areas GM Justin Zanik needs to address.
Los Angeles Clippers
The Clippers have reached the conference final for the first time in franchise history. So there has been progress. But they failed to beat the Suns to reach the final with Ty Lue in his first season as head coach of the Clippers. Kawhi Leonard can be a free agent and re-signing him is the No.1 priority. 1. But that’s not the only free agent problem: Reggie Jackson, who has enjoyed strong playoffs, and Nic Batum, who provided veteran depth in a role that works for the Clippers, are also top performers. free agents. Having a healthy Serge Ibaka, if he stays with the Clippers, will help too.
Atlanta had a surprising run to the Eastern Conference Finals and now the expectations are different. Getting DeAndre Hunter and Cam Reddish 100% healthy will help the Hawks, and the continuous improvement of point guard Trae Young will make the Hawks a strong team. The main problem for Hawks: will they re-sign John Collins or determine that they won’t spend the money to keep him? He will be a restricted free agent and teams looking for a goalscorer with a competent defense will be making offers. Will the Hawks match an offer and keep a key element?