NBA fans are in pain right now. COVID-19 pandemics had shut down their league in the moments when everything was about to become more intense and interesting.
The battle for the playoffs was ahead of us, all the teams were shifting into a higher gear. All those players who were preserving their strength for the important challenges were starting to catch their rhythm and to heat up.
However, Corona managed to ruin everything and to freeze the current season, with the note that there might be some kind of a comeback in the near future. What would that look like, we still don’t know, because the heads of the competition have various plans for different scenarios.
Commissioner Adam Silver was talking about that on several occasions, trying to explain that many factors influence the decision on which plan would be picked.
The majority of the NBA community members were eager to see what would be the format of the playoffs, but that, too, can’t be revealed now. Everyone is anxious when it comes to the playoffs. The hype surrounding the Clippers and the Lakers on the West and the Milwaukee Bucks and the rest of the contenders on the East was reaching the red zone when the hiatus stopped.
The Bucks were the No.1 favorite to take the title with odds set at 9/4. Los Angeles Lakers were slightly behind at 5/2, while Clippers sat at 3/1, according to the bookies. These three teams are above all others, and the next best thing which comes along after them are the Houston Rockets 12/1, the Denver Nuggets, 16/1, and the Celtics and 76ers at 18/1. For more odds find the best and new UK Bookmakers for 2020 by following this link.
As you can see from these numbers, the competition in the Western Conference is much better than in the East. Lakers and Clippers with their super-teams are the main reasons for that, but also, we can’t neglect Houston Rockets with Harden and Westbrook, as well as the attractive Denver Nuggets led by Nikola Jokic.
All these guys are top-caliber players surrounded by superb sidekicks which is why the path to the Western Conference title could be even more interesting than the Larry O’Brien Trophy.
As we said, all the eyes are pointed towards the LA teams. LeBron and AD on one side, and Kawhi and Paul George on the other.
The oddsmakers are giving a small edge to the purple and gold once talking about the conference title. LAL is 6/4 to win it, while on the other side, the Clippers are 19/10. Houston with two former MVP players and their small-ball basketball is at 7/1, while Nuggets are at 12/1. Utah is 15/1.
The Lakers are pressured to win the title, as they are aware of LeBron’s age. It is becoming a problem, and even though nobody stated that out loud, King James is nearing the end of his career, meaning that the team needs to use him now in the best possible way. Also, one more thing which creates a lot of pressure on the purple and gold is Kobe Bryant’s death.
Arguably one of the best players of all time was massive moral support for the Lakers’ players who would often seek advice from Black Mamba. It is because of this that the entire LAL crew has an enormous motive to attack the title. Kobe was the guy who marked the whole chapter in the history of the league.
All this creates a heavy burden for the Lakers, and that is something other teams could use as the advantage. Especially the ones like Denver or Utah, who are entering the playoffs relaxed, and aren’t favored by the public.
Things are different in the East, where one team stands far above all others. Milwaukee is the absolute favorite to win the conference with the odds at 1/2. Giannis and the boys are looking pretty sharp this season, and they seem more than determined to go after the title. Philadelphia 76ers are second 6/1, Miami Heat are 13/2, Boston 15/2 same as the reigning champions the Raptors. Far behind all these teams are the Pacers with 25/1, and the Nets at 45/1.
We can say that the same situation is with the MVP race, where the last year’s winner Giannis is pretty near of defending the throne. Bookies set the odds at 1/5 for his back-to-back victory. LeBron is at 9/2 and in between the Bucks’ leader and the rest. After him comes Luka Docic with 25/1, James Harden at 45/1, and Anthony Davis at 50/1. Damian Lillard is priced at 75/1.