Every season there are only a couple of teams that are in serious contention for the NBA championship. As the season progresses, certain teams will go on winning streaks and show their ability to win games even on off nights and for a couple weeks or a month will enter the conversation as potential NBA championship contenders and the pretenders.
Seasoned NBA fans that have paid attention to the league over the years know that even though the Vegas odds, the betting chances, the casino ohne deutsche lizenz, and the sports books may fluctuate based on how a team performs over the season, that there are only a handful of teams that have a real chance at winning the NBA title.
Going into this next season those teams are, in alphabetical order, the Boston Celtics, Golden State Warriors, Los Angeles Clippers, Milwaukee Bucks. and Phoenix Suns. Why? Because they’ve proven they can win over the last several seasons, have players that have won championships or experience in the NBA Finals, and just as important: continuity.
That’s not to say that another team might not sneak their way into the Finals, but as far as who is going to end up with the title, it’s very very very likely that it’ll be one of those five teams above.
Who Are The Pretenders?
Whenever preseason predictions come out, we talk about the contenders and the pretenders. How I define pretenders are those teams that play well during the regular season; have a great record, but just don’t have the personnel, the experience, the shot selection, the know-how, the coaching, etc. to actually compete deep into the NBA Playoffs. Pretenders have approximately ZERO chance of winning an NBA championship – no matter how much they won in the regular season.These five teams are the biggest pretenders going into the 2022-23 NBA season.
Chicago Bulls: Another team that played well during the season – well enough for DeMar DeRozan to sneak into the conversation for league MVP, but the simple fact here is that the Bulls aren’t tough enough. They have no problem putting the ball in the basket, but the toughness of their two leaders DeRozan and Zach LaVine aren’t going to be enough to really grind it out deep into the playoffs. We just can’t see a team midrange and “step back jumper” their way into the NBA Finals, must less win it.
Minnesota Timberwolves: Even with their acquisition of Rudy Gobert, Minnesota won’t win an NBA championship this year. As much as they showed they could make some noise in the post season, we learned more about their GLARING faults they we took note of the positives. It was Karl Anthony-Towns continued boneheaded fouling, D’Angelo Russell’s non-existent defense, and Anthony Edwards’ inconsistency. Until they tighten all that up, they’re going nowhere fast. Odds are last year was fool’s good.
Dallas Mavericks No doubt Luka Doncic is a force to be reckon with, but the one word here is experience. Even Luka said it himself in last season’s playoff series against the Warriors when he flat out told the media “I’m still learning.”
“I think the first two quarters, I played very bad. That’s on me. But I’m still learning. I think after this season is done, whatever we are, I think we’re going to look back and learn a lot of things.”
Enough said. The Mavs have a bright future, they just have to go through the process and continue building up their roster.
Los Angeles Lakers Any team with LeBron James can make the NBA Finals right? That’s been proven not to be true in the majority of the four years that LeBron James has been in Los Angeles. As the roster is currently constructed, with Russell Westbrook, there are just way too many question marks on the team. Even if Westbrook accepts a smaller role and decides to use his abilities to fill in the major gaps the Lakers have; it’s going to be another season before we actually see the Purple and Gold actually compete. That’s a big IF.
If we had a little more room, we would have written the Memphis Grizzlies into this piece. They’re a young brash team that don’t know what they don’t know — and even then pushed the Warriors to the brink. All that said, an immature Timberwolves team, a pretender if we’ve ever seen one, was able to push the Grizzlies to the brink. That about says it all. Can Ja Morant, Desmond Bane, and Jaren Jackson Jr. take a step back in terms of their confidence to see the bigger picture.
So if you and your co-workers or friends are betting people and must put down money on a team – stay with the Bucks, Warriors, Clippers, Celtics or Suns.