Who are you rooting for this season?
The 2021-2022 NBA season is in full swing, featuring the first normal, non-abbreviated schedule since 2018, with a full 82 regular season games and playoffs set to start on April 16th. Although the prestigious Finals tournament is still a few months away, as the season reaches its midpoint it is becoming more and more clear who the frontrunners are in both conferences. However, it is true that if the past has taught us anything, it’s that things can shift from one week to another, especially considering things like unexpected injuries and poor player performance.
Despite the unpredictable nature of the sport, there are a few franchises that have proven themselves to be serious and consistent fighters in the league this season. Read on to discover who we predict to be the top four most likely contenders for an NBA championship title in 2022.
The Nets were early favorites for a Finals win before the season even began and are remaining so with an impressive record of 25 wins and 13 losses. In fact, they are currently in a wonderful position to take it all home to Brooklyn according to NBA betting odds by expert pundits. The main reason for this is that the team has arguably the best player in professional basketball on their side, power forward Kevin Durant. The player was hugely influential last season where he led the Nets to nearly defeat the Bucks in the playoffs, despite playing without the other two members of the ‘Big Three’, Kyle Irving and James Harden. Nowadays, with Durant is averaging a whopping 29.9 points per game, the rest of the Eastern Conference will need to bring their very best to the court if they want a shot at the playoffs.
Golden State Warriors
On the opposite side of the country, the Warriors also have an elite scorer working overtime to put points on the board. Stephen Curry is this season’s MVP prime candidate, and with back-to-back wins thanks to his efforts it isn’t hard to see why. It should be noted that Warriors fans are no stranger to Finals appearances and victories, as the franchise has taken home an incredible five titles, the last of which was in 2018. It’s clear that in 2022 they are more determined than ever before to regain the playoff dominance they once knew. Not to mention the Dubs now have Klay Thomspon back, the league’s All-Star shooter. Supporters in the Golden State are looking forward to see what the coming weeks have in store as Curry and the rest of the squad continue the fight.
The Milwaukee Bucks were last year’s NBA champions, taking home their first title since 1971
It’s no secret that the Bucks are the defending NBA champions, having defeated the Phoenix Suns 4 games to 2 in an intense, nail-biting Finals series that had every fan on the edge of their seat. The franchise’s Greek-born power forward Giannis Antetokounmpo was a huge reason for their victory, and he was presented with both the MVP award and Defensive Player of the Year award for his elite contribution. This year, the ‘Greek Freak’ continues to showcase his incredible ball-handling skills and shooting proficiency, averaging 21.3 points per game for the Bucks. What’s more is that in last year’s playoffs, the player was averaging up to 30 points, so analysists predict that the team will have a good chance of appearing in another Finals series if Giannis can continue in this way.
The Suns’ need for revenge is perhaps their biggest driver this season. The franchise not only made it all the way up to the Finals last season, but also won the first two games against the Bucks. Therefore, it’s a no brainer that the franchise can do it again in 2022. A huge threat to the Warriors in the West, the Suns are tied with the California-based team with a 30-9 record. With a fresh roster of basketball talent and veterans who showcase impressive depth on the court, a postseason run is practically guaranteed for the team. Only time will tell if they’ll be able to secure a back-to-back Finals appearance and get the title that was stolen from them last season.