The NBA’s play-in tournament has been very exciting through the first two days. Though it opened with an Indiana Pacers blowout win over the Charlotte Hornets, the last several games have all been close. And it is safe to say that the creator will not be fired.
Now that the Los Angeles Lakers are finally in the playoff bracket, we can take their candidacy seriously. Let’s check out some of the updated odds to win the 2021 NBA Title.
Brooklyn Nets: +200
The Brooklyn Nets are a hot commodity and should be feared by everybody from the outside. They have got nothing but elite playmakers and scorers at pretty much every position. The team does not have a single weak link, and all three of their stars have been to at least one NBA Finals, with three championship victories between them.
With Blake Griffin, they have a very unique stretch five that has had a terrific career to date. And in Nicolas Claxton, they have an elite young rim protector. The rotation will likely be nine or 10 players, with Mike James possibly being left behind, though he has been a great addition to the group.
The only way the Nets don’t win is if one of the big three gets hurt or if they run out of steam too early, which is unlikely.
Los Angeles Lakers: +400
After taking down the Golden State Warriors in a thriller, the L.A. Lakers have qualified as the #7 seed in the West. And they will be facing a team lacking in playoff experience. Torrey Craig, Jae Crowder, and Chris Paul are the only Phoenix Suns players with legitimate reps in the later-season contests.
This will make their battle with the Lakers very tough, so we’ll have to see how they handle them. The Lakers played small ball for much of the second half, with Anthony Davis logging the final 17 minutes of the game at the center position. The fact that he and LeBron proved how durable they could be is a reminder of why they won the title last season.
They could well come out and do it again. Nobody wants to face this team right now. Alex Caruso is also playing defense at a ridiculous level. Simply ridiculous.
Los Angeles Clippers: +550
The #4 seed in the West wants to win a championship. The L.A. Clippers have never even made it past the second round. Not in 50 years of being a franchise. So, what makes this year different for them? Just like in 2020, they face the Mavericks in round one.
They still have Paul George and Kawhi Leonard, who learned a lot about themselves in blowing a 3-1 lead to the Denver Nuggets. They have Rajon Rondo here, ready to make plays at the point guard spot. Nicolas Batum has been very good this season, while Serge Ibaka is finally healthy and ready to spread the floor.
If they want to win a title, they’ll need Patrick Beverley to stay healthy and for the other guards on the team to stay at their best. The #4 seed has a real chance to run the West, though there are also no easy matchups. Good luck to them.