2021-22 NBA Season: favorites to reach The Finals

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With free agency finally in the books and several stars finding new homes, we can start looking ahead to the upcoming NBA season, in which a new landscape for the championship race has been established. Many title contenders were able to significantly improve their rosters, therefore the 2021-22 NBA Season is expected to be one of the most exciting in recent years.

The Brooklyn Nets remain a powerhouse in the Eastern Conference, with three of the best players in the league in Kevin Durant, Kyrie Irving, and James Harden. The Los Angeles Lakers made some big roster additions in their squad, by bringing the likes of Russell Westbrook, Carmelo Anthony, and Dwight Howard. After winning their first title in 50 years last season, the Bucks are poised for another strong year defensively and will certainly fight for the championship. 

Fans of the Brooklyn Nets can already place some wagers, or even claim the new Pointsbet sign up code to bet on the team, as the Nets are currently the odds-on favorites to win the 2021-22 NBA Championship, at +220 odds. The Los Angeles Lakers are just behind, with +380 odds to claim their 18th NBA title. With a large drop off in odds, the Milwaukee Bucks are at +900 odds to win back-to-back titles. With Klay Thompson’s return from injury, the Golden State Warriors are expected to get back to title contention, and are currently at +1000 odds to win it all.

Brooklyn Nets at the top of the chain

It’s no surprise that the Nets are the clear favorites to win the title in the upcoming season. Especially given Durant, Irving, and Harden played just eight regular-season games together this past season, as the team struggled with injuries throughout the season. Despite all that, they still finished the regular season with the No. 2 seed in the conference. If the Nets remain healthy in the next season, they are capable of ravaging defenses in the Eastern Conference.

For the upcoming season, the Nets were able to re-sign Kevin Durant on a four-year, $198 million maximum extension, and brought in Olympic medalist Patty Mills from the San Antonio Spurs, and veteran power forward Paul Millsap. Even though DeAndre Jordan and Jeff Green departed, the team was able to fill these spots, and will certainly be the team to beat in the 2021-22 season.

“I’m very excited about the additions that we made to this roster,” said Nets’ general manager Sean Marks. “I think we can all look at it and say they were certainly focused in one area, and that was on a defensive-minded standpoint. […] We wanted to make sure we were deep, we wanted to make sure we were healthy, and certainly address some of those needs.”

A revamped Los Angeles Lakers

After a disappointing season, Lakers general manager Rob Pelinka promoted a complete overhaul of the team roster, trading several core members such as Kyle Kuzma and Montrezl Harrell, and bringing in several veterans, including All-Star point guard Russell Westbrook, Dwight Howard, Carmelo Anthony, and DeAndre Jordan. Ahead of the next season, the Lakers are the second favorites to win the championship, but it’s still to be proven that a squad full of veterans can fight for the title in the long run.

“Opportunity,” Pelinka said about the motivations behind these drastic roster changes. “I think it was an opportunity to make an aggressive move that we felt like bettered our probability to bring the 18th title to the Los Angeles Lakers. And when an opportunity like that comes, you’re thoughtful, you analyze it, you look at the pros and cons and then you make a decision. […] we felt like this was an opportunity to maximize our ability to do what we’re obsessed to do and that’s to bring an 18th title to this city.”

Giannis and the Bucks are back at it

Entering the season at +900 odds to win a consecutive title, Giannis Antetokounmpo and the Milwaukee Bucks certainly have what it takes to accomplish the feat. The team was able to improve its shooting squad, by adding Grayson Allen, Rodney Hood, and bringing back George Hill. 

Despite the departure of P.J. Tucker, their defense remains one of the best in the league, as general manager Jon Horst was able to retain most of the roster from the title campaign, including head coach Mike Budenholzer, who signed a multi-year contract extension with the Bucks.

“Bud is a great coach and a fantastic partner to work with every day as we build a team that consistently competes for championships,” said Horst. “We’re extremely grateful for the leadership Bud provides and we look forward to building on the success we’ve had over the last three years and congratulate Bud on this well-deserved extension.”

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