These 6 NBA teams have already established an identity (and locks for the playoffs)

 

The NBA season is a little over twenty games in and ticking along nicely. Though it’s relatively still, we can really see which teams are coming together and those that have established an identity on both sides of the court; enough so to make some safe predictions for teams that are all but locks for the postseason.

Golden State Warriors The Golden State Warriors could sometimes slip through the cracks but, right now, they look like the real deal to make it to the post season. We are witnessing another historic season out of Steph Curry. Curry is playing at a level even beyond the MVP award right now and those around him is one of the best group that he has ever played with and in a system that maximizes talent. This is all without Klay Thompson active too. The Warriors are not only looking playoff bound, but an early favorite for the championship.

Phoenix Suns Over in the Western Conference again we expect the Phoenix Suns will be making it back in. After losing 3 of their first four games, the Suns are riding a 14-game win streak and, despite getting little media coverage, the duo of Chris Paul and Devin Booker are still one of the most formidable backcourts in the league. We can’t forget their supporting cast either, which makes them not only a playoff contender but a Championship dark horse as well.

Miami Heat Going back into the Eastern Conference now, we think that the Miami Heat are good value to make the cut. They have been a strong team the last two years now with Jimmy Butler, Duncan Robinson, Tyler Herro and Bam Adebayo bolstering their roster. Throw in the likes of Kyle Lowry and PJ Tucker, who joined in the offseason, and you’ve got a stellar team. They seem to have a fantastic chemistry too so it’s hard to see them missing out.

Brooklyn Nets Without a doubt, the Brooklyn Nets will be stamping their ticket into the postseason in a few months. Even though they are playing without Kyrie Irving their roster is incredibly deep behind the superstar duo of Kevin Durant and James Harden. Those wo alone are more than enough to warrant a playoff spot. Add on some excellent role players like Lamarcus Aldridge and Patty Mills then you have yourself a championship contender. If Irving comes back then this is a locked in NBA Finals squad – assuming they all stay healthy.

Los Angeles Lakers The Los Angeles Lakers are another team that is odds on to make the postseason even with a middling 10-10 record. Yes, they have struggled the majority of the season, but LeBron James won’t be missing the post season, not with this talented of a roster. They may not be a top three seed like everybody was expecting but James, Anthony Davis and Russell Westbrook are strong enough to get them in at some point.

Milwaukee Bucks You would think the defending NBA champions would be much higher on this list, but they’ve been hit by injuries early on. Despite the next level play of two-time league MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo, the Bucks have struggled on and off. Even with a rocky road, the Bucks have slowly righted the ship thanks to the return of Khris Middleton and Jrue Holiday.

The best of the rest

Outside of those teams it gets messy but for you can still hazard a guess who enters the mix and who doesn’t. In the East, you have the Chicago Bulls, New York Knicks, the Atlanta Hawks, and Boston Celtics. Then flipping over to the West, there is the Denver Nuggets, the Utah Jazz, the Dallas Mavericks, the Los Angeles Clippers and the Portland Trail Blazers. Even the Memphis Grizzlies deserve an honorable mention behind the amazing play of Ja Morant.

Final Thoughts

There you have it, our view on how the NBA playoff picture will shape up. It seems we are up for a very interesting playoff showdown when the regular season finishes.

Meanwhile, don’t forget to check the latest NBA trade rumors as well, to keep yourself in track of possible changes in the team’s rosters: https://edge.twinspires.com/nba/trade-rumors/

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2019 NBA Futures: All roads lead though the West (again)

The last time an NBA team was swept in the finals was back in 2007 … it was the Cleveland Cavaliers getting trounced by a younger Tim Duncan and the San Antonio Spurs. Well, unfortunately for the town of Cleveland, not only do they own the Browns, but they own two of the nine NBA finals sweeps—and they are back to back.

The problem isn’t with the Cleveland Cavaliers though. The issue is that the Golden State Warriors look like basketball playing robots from another dimension, a superhuman one. And things don’t look like they are going to change much over in ‘The Town.’ Kevin Durant has stated that he is going to resign for another season. You better believe that the nucleus that makes up these unstoppable Warriors of Golden State will stay intact; they want the three-peat.

Futures Odds on the 2019 NBA Title

After checking Bookmaker a few days ago, we found odds on all of the teams and their implied probability to win the NBA Title in 2019. The top ten candidates according to Las Vegas and top online sites like Bookmaker are:

  • Golden State: +120 (45.5%)
  • Houston +450 (18.2%)
  • Philadelphia +500 (16.7%)
  • Boston Celtics + 650 (13.3%)
  • Los Angeles Lakers + 1400 (6.7%)
  • San Antonio Spurs +2000 (4.8%)
  • Cleveland Cavaliers +2500 (3.8%)
  • Miami Heat +5000 (2.0%)
  • New Orleans Pelicans +5000 (2.0%)
  • Oklahoma City Thunder +5000 (2.0%)

The funny thing is that as of today, the sportsbooks have pulled the NBA Futures lines —don’t worry they will put them back up soon—so we have to assume that they have received some information that is critical to their mathematical process.

Of course, we see that the Warriors once again lead the way. They are far and away favorites to win in 2019. But what is most interesting to me is the fact that the Las Angeles Lakers are suddenly in the conversation. This leads me to believe that there is some insider info telling the money people in Vegas that Lebron will land in LA.

Low and behold, Bookmaker just released odds on where Lebron James will go this offseason, and the Lakers are -140 favorites. The next closest team is Philly at +400. This means Las Vegas believes that there is a 58.3% chance that Lebron will sign with Luke and the lakers.

With all of this back-room yammering that must be going on about the Lakers and Lebron. I still don’t see how this would make them real contenders. Lebron had Love, Korver, Smith, Hill, Thompson, and a slew of other talented players and still could take down the Warriors. How would going to a team that plays very little defense be any better?

It is all about those little intangible things that create a rare occurrence of dynamics that make the best team. It isn’t always the best player or best players … but the best team. The only other teams that currently have this type of intangible thing going are the Rockets and the Raptors. The Raptors know who they are, but they just don’t quite have the talent to beat Golden State. The Rockets, on the other hand, might have taken down GSW if Chris Paul the 3rd didn’t go down and miss Game 7.

Futures Assessment

Looking at where the futures were (it remains to be seen what they become), I believe that the Rockets should actually be closer to +250 and then everyone else nudged back some more … the closest competition out of the east right now shouldn’t be set higher than +600 (six to one). Maybe if Lebron goes to the 76ers, they might have a shot. But again how will he mesh? Philly has a good thing going on. Would Lebron just be a cog in their wheel?

In 2019 all roads lead through Houston and Golden State. Whoever wins the West wins again.

 

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Despite NBA Title, Kevin Durant makes Cleveland Cavs underdogs in 2017

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What is Stephen Curry’s ethnicity and race?

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NBA releases ‘Geeked Up’ Golden State Warriors championship t-shirt

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Awesome Steph Curry “DUBS” mural found in Oakland

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Andre Iguodola deserved the NBA Finals MVP because WINNING

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Cavs’ 7-Man Rotation Will Cost Them 2015 NBA Championship

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My mom isn’t surprised that the Cavs beat the Warriors (again)

In the late 1980’s, my sister and I took an interest in basketball. With NBA on the television all the time, my mom also became a hoops fan (in addition to loving Knots Landing). Continue reading “My mom isn’t surprised that the Cavs beat the Warriors (again)”

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Which travel was worse: Lebron James’ stroll or Kendrick Perkins’ dancing?

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Is Finnerty’s the best bar to watch the Golden State Warriors in New York City?

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Here’s why Steph Curry is already the best three-point shooter in NBA history

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Steph Curry nails back-breaking 60 foot shot vs. Memphis Grizzlies

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Steph Curry takes 2014-15 MVP despite Mike Crispino’s 5th place vote

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Yes, Steph Curry is the best shooter in all of NBA history

This story is about a week old now, but it’s worth posting. Steph Curry reportedly hit 77 consecutive three-point shots during a practice last week. Continue reading “Yes, Steph Curry is the best shooter in all of NBA history”

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The other ‘Splash Brother’: Klay Thompson’s exceptional season deserves first billing, too

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Steph Curry toys with Oklahoma City Thunder

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Steph Curry drops Chris Paul with double behind-the-back dribble

Breaking someone’s ankles or making an opponent fall with a quick change of direction has been overblown over the years. Continue reading “Steph Curry drops Chris Paul with double behind-the-back dribble”

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Video: Jeremy Lin blocks Draymond Green’s layup into the stands

Against the Golden State Warriors, the 6-3 Jeremy Lin chased down the 6-7 Draymond Green for a shocking block. Continue reading “Video: Jeremy Lin blocks Draymond Green’s layup into the stands”

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Steph Curry freezes Russell Westbrook with one-handed yo-yo dribble

Kyrie Irving has the best handles in the NBA in the I’m-going-to-rock-your-ankles kind of way, but Steph Curry has the trickiest moves. Continue reading “Steph Curry freezes Russell Westbrook with one-handed yo-yo dribble”

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Jeremy Lin, Rockets go BASKETBALLISTIC vs. Warriors

I know I am not the most credible person to give truthful critiques of Jeremy Lin, but…. MAN JEREMY LIN WAS PRETTY AWESOME TONIGHT! Against the Golden State Warriors, one of the teams that released him before he went basketballistic on the whole fucking world last year, he scored 28 points, hitting 5-8 threes, and passed for 9 assists.

God, I love long sentences and Jeremy Lin. I love Jeremy Lin video highlights even more.

I’m not going to say it I’m not going to say it…. fuck it… Lin’s performance tonight comes one year (+one day) when he came off the bench in the breakout game that gave birth to that beautiful baby we refer to as Linsanity.

Oh, besides Jeremy Lin being BADAZZZ, the Houston Rockets hit 23/37 three pointers – tying the NBA all-time record and their 140 points is a Toyota Center record.

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Jeremy Lin is Asian?

Why didn’t anyone tell me that Jeremy Lin is Asian? You see, I don’t see color. I’m colorblind (not like, really, but the super liberal definition); when I see a minority, I see a naked, transparent-colored mannequin.

February 12 is going to be Asian Heritage Night when the Houston Rockets visit the Golden State Warriors in Oakland. HOORAY! Isn’t it LOL that these are the two teams that let Lin go previous to Linsanity? Now his face is plastered on posters and junk.

Jeremy Lin hosts Asian Heritage Night with Houston visits Golden State

Postgame Q&A? Maybe I’ll be able to get close enough for a quick smell. Continue reading “Jeremy Lin is Asian?”

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