With 7 Players, Boston Celtics Have The Most Players in ESPN’s Best NBA Players List

Even though ESPN hasn’t fully released their annual list of The 100 Best NBA Players of the 2022-23 Season, the Boston Celtics have locked up having the most players on the controversial list.

With Grant Williams barely cracking the list at #99, the newly acquired Malcolm Brogdon (#65), all the way to Jayson Tatum at #7, the Celtics have 7% of the league’s one hundred best players according to ESPN’s experts and scribes Kendra Andrews, Tim Bontemps, Jamal Collier, Jonathan Givony, Andrew Lopez, Tim McMahon, Kevin Pelton, and Ohm Youngmisuk.

Rank Celtic Player Team
#7 Jayson Tatum Boston Celtics
#22 Jaylen Brown Boston Celtics
#34 Marcus Smart Boston Celtics
#58 Robert Williams III Boston Celtics
#70 Al Horford Boston Celtics
#87 Malcolm Brogdon Boston Celtics
#99 Grant Williams Boston Celtics

According to most NBA watchers, talking heads, and gg bet, the Celtics are one of the favorites to go deep into the playoffs again this season. Last season they made the NBA Finals with one of the tightest rotations in the league. With the addition of Brogdon, they’ve added depth without sacrificing any of their core eight players from last season (including Derek White and Payton Pritchard).

The team with the second-most players? It’s not the franchise you think it would be. The only team with six players on ESPN’s list is the Cleveland Cavaliers. After having a surprising season that saw Darius Garland and Jarrett Allen make the NBA All-Star team, the team added another All-Star in Donovan Mitchell. You add to that Evan Mobley, Caris Levert and Kevin Love, and you have a really talented Cavs team going into 2023.

Rank Cavs Player Team
24 Donovan Mitchell Cleveland Cavs
36 Evan Mobley Cleveland Cavs
46 Darius Garland Cleveland Cavs
52 Jarrett Allen Cleveland Cavs
80 Caris LeVert Cleveland Cavs
97 Kevin Love Cleveland Cavs

Surprisingly, Mobley ranked higher (#36) than both Garland (#46) and Allen (#52), that’s how much potential the ESPN head think the second year 6-11 forward has coming into the season.

Teams With 5 Players, 1 Player

After the Celtics and Cavs, there are three teams with five players on ESPN’s list. That includes the Golden State Warriors (Steph Curry, Klay Thompson, Draymond Green, Andrew Wiggins and Jordan Poole), the Memphis Grizzlies (Ja Morant, Jaren Jackson Jr., Desmond Bane, Dillon Brooks, and Brandon Clarke) and the Atlanta Hawks with Bogdan Bogdanovic, Clint Capela, Dejounte Murray, John Collins and Trae Young.

There were only two teams that had just one player on ESPN’s list. The first one is no surprise; the sole Houston Rocket on the list is Jalen Green (#62).

The Charlotte Hornets were the other team; represented by just NBA All-Star LaMelo Ball (#41). The Hornets surely would have had two with Miles Bridges who had a career year last season. However, Bridges immediate future in the NBA is cloudy after off-court troubles this off-season with felony charges of domestic violence and child abuse. ESPN chose not to include Bridges in this year’s rankings because they don’t think he’ll be suiting up this season.

Exclusions Impact ESPN’s List 

These type of exclusions are saved for players with injuries as they did with Kawhi Leonard in last season’s list and is the reason why they left rookie Chet Holmgren off the list who will miss the 2022-23 season due to a foot injury.

Had Bridges and Holmgren not missed this upcoming season, it would have impacted this list of teams with the most representation. With those two, it would have pushed Grant Williams (#99) off the list and the Boston Celtics would have tied the Cavs with six players on the list (with Kevin Love barely making the list at #100).

It would have also forced Bogdan Bogdanovic (#100) off the list, too. Meaning only the Warriors and Grizzlies would have five players on the list.

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The 6 obvious reasons why the Golden State Warriors will be much better in 2023

As you all know the Golden State Warriors won the 2022 NBA Championship. Even without Klay Thompson for the first half of the 2021-22 season, the Dubs started out really strong before Draymond Green got injured, Steph had an very un-Steph five week stretch where he wasn’t hitting the shots we came to expect, and the eventual return of Klay messed with the team’s chemistry.

With all those late-season struggles, there were a lot of open questions about Golden State going into the 2022 NBA playoffs. In many ways, the Warriors had favorable match-ups during the postseason and that allowed the team to get healthy, back into shape, build chemistry and for Steve Kerr to find the right combinations. 

Whatever excuses some may come up with, Golden State worked out the kinks a defeated the Denver Nuggets, Memphis Grizzlies, Dallas Mavericks and Boston Celtics for their fourth NBA championship in the last eight seasons. 

The Warriors 2022 Weaknesses Will Be Their 2023 Strengths 

The scary thing is that with all the things that were working against the Warriors this season are strengths going into the 2023 season. Here’s five reasons why the Golden State Warriors will be better next season and are regarded as the favorites by the best basketball betting site to not only be one of the best teams next season, but win the 2023 NBA championship.

1. Improved Health: Due to two major injuries, Klay Thompson missed more than two full NBA season. Curry missed nearly a full season in 2019 after injuring his hand, and Draymond Green was in and out of the lineup this season. Barring any other injury going into the 2022-23 season, the Warriors big three will be healthy for the first time since mid-2019 and when those three are playing with one another, the Warriors are always formidable.

2. Together: Not only will they not be injured, they will be health together. Up until the first round of the 2022 NBA playoffs, the trio of Curry, Thompson and Draymond had only played 11 minutes together in the last three seasons.

That won’t be the case for the upcoming season.

3. Locked Up: Continuity is important on any team and that’s looking like a hge plus for the Warriors next season. Save for Otto Porter Jr., the core of the Golden State team that played the most minutes in the playoff run will be back. Every indication is that the Warriors will do their best to bring back Kevon Looney and Gary Payton II. Those two along with the Klay, Steph and Draymond, Andrew Wiggins, and Jordan Poole, you have seven of their main rotation players returning. 

4. Greedy Just because you win a championship, doesn’t mean you’re satisfied. There’s an excitement that continues onto the next season after a successful title run. At least that’s what Steve Kerr’s experience has been:

“Yeah, my experience is when you win a championship you get better the next year,” Kerr said. “If you keep going after that, it starts to wear you out. That third year for us, trying to get a three-peat in ’19 was brutally difficult.

“But whether I was a player or now as a coach, you win that first one, there’s a freedom that comes with it. There’s an excitement, and that carries over into the second year.”

And Kerr should know, he’s experienced the ups-and-downs of having won nine NBA championships as a player (5) and coach (4).

5. Getting Younger: Yes Curry, Thompson and Green are all 32 years or older, but that doesn’t mean the rotation will be older overall. We will expect the 23-year old Jordan Poole, the 19-year old Jonathan Kuminga and Moses Moody, we well as former #2 overall pick James Wiseman (21) to log significant minutes come 2023. And the Warriors will have a full season to integrate these younger, talented players into their system of ball movement.

The Warriors have the luxury to allow Wiseman, Kuminga and Poole to make mistakes while still winning games. 

5. More Experienced: At times, Warriors fans were frustrated with Andrew Wiggins, Looney 6nd Poole as they learned the Warriors system and figure when to do their thing. All that frustration with ill-timed shots (Poole), missed layups (Looney), and lack of aggressiveness (Wiggins) paid off as they, for the most part, finally solved how best to leverage their strengths within the Warriors system. 

Not everything will be full-on rosy for the Warriors. As we mentioned their trio are all on the older side and the younger guys are still very inexperienced.. However I don’t think anyone would argue — based off what the team went through the last couple seasons — there are certainly more positives for Golden State to look forward to.

 

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With Finnerty’s closed, Plug Uglies is now THE Golden State Warriors bar in New York City

Pre-pandemic, Finnerty’s was the unofficial Golden State Warriors Bar in New York City — at least in Manhattan. The bar definitely had a local vibe and would begin to fill up an hour or two before big games. It wasn’t just for the Warriors, but would bring Bay Area sports fans for 49ers and Giants games, too.

Unfortunately Finnerty’s bar has permanently closed, so where do Golden State Warriors fans that live in NYC go to watch Dubs games with other fans? That’s a question that’s been asked several times over on Reddit without many solid answers.

Plug Uglies is the GSW Bar in NYC?

One name that does pop up a couple times is Plug Uglies located in Gramercy. Owned by the same people that ran Finnerty’s, it seems like this bar is the way to go. The bar’s website is pretty bare bones and doesn’t give any hints that it’s a Warriors bar. They do link off to their social media and going by their Instagram and Twitter, there’s definitely a Golden State presence. Here’s their Instagram:

Looking good, but maybe the social media person favors the Warriors? I’d like some more proof that Plug Uglies is the GSW NYC bar of choice. So we went to their Twitter and their most recent tweet on Plug Uglies’ Twitter account shows a bunch of Golden State fans celebrating a Steph Curry three pointer during the 2022 NBA Finals:

That all but confirms that at least Plug Uglies’ social media person is a Golden State Warriors fan and that’s good enough for me. Though reviews say that Plug Uglies doesn’t have the same vibe – according to redditors at least — it looks like Plug Uglies brings in Golden State fans for the NBA Playoffs and NBA Finals. We’ll see you there. Go DUBS!

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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)

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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

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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

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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

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