Outrights to win the NBA Title
For the fourth straight season, the Golden State Warriors enter the year as the favourites to win the NBA title. The Warriors are the best team of this decade and only got better adding DeMarcus Cousins in the offseason. While he is not expected to play for a few months, the Warriors are still the best bet to win the title, even in a loaded Western Conference. However, where Jimmy Butler is traded could shake up some of the odds entering the season.
- Western Conference Teams have won four of the last five NBA Titles
- Eight of the last 11 NBA Finals Winners finished as a #1 Seed in their Conference
- LeBron James has played in eight straight NBA Finals
- Golden State Warriors (-222) on Sports Interaction to win NBA Finals
- Boston Celtics (+500) and Houston Rockets (+900) top competition
Best Bet to Win NBA Finals: Golden State Warriors
Even though the Golden State Warriors only won 58 games in 2018 (third most in the NBA), they still won the NBA Championship. The combination of Steph Curry, Kevin Durant, Klay Thompson, Draymond Green and Andre Iguodala is the best lineup in the league, capable of scoring and defending at level-best levels.
“Golden State Warriors will try and become the first team since the Los Angeles Lakers in 2000-2002 to win three straight Finals.”
The addition of DeMarcus Cousins only makes the Warriors better. Cousins averaged 25-10 before his injury (which expects to keep him out of the lineup until January or February). If Cousins is committed to winning over anything else when he returns from injury, Golden State is without comparison this season.
Warriors Biggest Challenger: Boston Celtics
The Boston Celtics open the season with the second best odds on Sports Interaction of winning the NBA Finals. Without LeBron in the Eastern Conference anymore, the path to the Finals is easier for the Celtics. The Celtics also have a history of playing this iteration of the Golden State Warriors very well, including handing the Warriors their only regular-season home loss in their 73-9 season in 2015-16.
The Celtics need health to win the NBA Finals. Kyrie Irving missed at least 22 games in two of the last three seasons, plus all of the 2018 NBA playoffs. The Celtics have a deep enough roster to push anyone in the Eastern Conference without Irving. However, to take down one of the juggernauts in the West (the Warriors or even the Houston Rockets), they need Irving to be fully healthy from April to June.
What about Jimmy Butler
As news breaks about the tumultuous relationship between Jimmy Butler and the Minnesota Timberwolves, one has to wonder, whether the potential of a Jimmy Butler trade can have an effect on NBA futures. While Butler has publically expressed interest in joining the Los Angeles Clippers, New York Knicks and Brooklyn, none of those teams have a realistic shot at the NBA Finals even with Jimmy Butler.
However, if Jimmy Butler goes to a title contender, then the Warriors could face some fierce competition. Both the Philadelphia 76ers (+1500) and Toronto Raptors (+1300) have interest in the All-Star. If either team lands Butler, they could have the lockdown defender, capable of creating his own shots needed to challenge the Golden State Warriors.
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