The NBA season is just around the corner. But, even though training camp hasn’t even started, people are already looking forward to who’s going to end up on top and take the Lary O’Brien trophy home.
Oddsmakers have spoken loud and clear and have already established their favorites. Those who enjoy betting on futures are set to spend plenty of time breaking down rosters, schedules, potential moves, needs, style, and just about everything they need before submitting their wagers.
Needless to say, it’s still way too early and there are countless things that could go right or wrong and completely affect the outcome of a season. But, all things considered, these should be the 5 biggest favorites for the 2022 NBA championship.
5. Utah Jazz
As per usual, not many people think the Utah Jazz are for real. Then again, we’re talking about the team that finished the 2020-21 season with the best record in the league, and they were a key injury away from moving on in the playoffs.
Mike Conley being out in the playoffs played a huge part in the Jazz’s fate. But this is a team that’s been together for quite some time, they’re balanced in the offensive end of the floor and have a perennial Defensive Player of the Year candidate in Rudy Gobert. Donovan Mitchell will be a full-go to start the season, so you’ve got to like their chances.
4. Los Angeles Clippers
Once again, we find a team that was hampered by injuries last season. Tyronn Lue did a great job of making the Los Angeles Clippers one of the teams to beat in the Western Conference, especially in terms of mankind adjustments, motivating them, and making sure they didn’t choke like the year before.
But even with a red-hot Paul George, the Clippers couldn’t overcome Kawhi Leonard’s injury. They pushed the Phoenix Suns and looked like they could’ve made the NBA Finals with a healthy Kawhi, so you can’t rule them out this season.
3. Milwaukee Bucks
Once again, people are sleeping on the Milwaukee Bucks. If not so often that you see the reigning NBA Champions not leading the race to win back-to-back rings, but that just tells you enough about how competitive the NBA is going to be next season.
The Bucks have one of the best cores in the league in Giannis Antetokounmpo, Jrue Holiday, and Khris Middleton. Moreover, it seems like coach Mike Budenholzer finally silenced his critics with his key adjustments in the NBA Finals. This team is locked and loaded on both ends of the floor and they always have a chip on their shoulders.
2. Los Angeles Lakers
The new-look Los Angeles Lakers are perhaps the most revamped squad in all the Association. They made some key additions in Russell Westbrook, Carmelo Anthony, Rajon Rondo, Dwight Howard, Trevor Ariza, Wayne Ellington, Kris Dunn, and Malik Monk.
Add LeBron James and Anthony Davis to that mix and you know they’re always going to be a clear-cut favorite to win it all. Besides their fit on the court, the biggest question mark with this Lakers team is whether they’ll be able to stay healthy, as they’re way older than league average. Barring injury, they look like the team to beat in the West.
1. Brooklyn Nets
The Brooklyn Nets were inches away from beating the team that eventually won the NBA Championship. And that was with a clearly limited James Harden and without Kyrie Irving on the floor. That should tell you everything you need to know about this team and the scariest part is that they’ve only gotten better.
The Nets added some backcourt depth in Patty Mills, got LaMarcus Aldridge back, and also signed Paul Millsap. Also, every team that has Kevin Durant at the helm is going to be a big candidate, and the Nets have a video-game-like roster no other team will want to go against.