We all can't wait to see the replay of last year's NBA finals between the Miami Heat and the LA Lakers. The first game of the season will occur in Los Angeles on February 21, when Heat visits the champions, probably hoping to get a little revenge for the loss in the finals.
Of course, that won't cover up the fact that the Larry O'Brien trophy ended in LA, but anyway, a win against the purple and gold at STAPLES is always a big deal.
These two sides have solid chances of reaching the finals once again. The LAL is the top favorite in the Western Conference, while on the other side, the Heat is among the best sides in the East.
Lakers' odds to take the West sit at 7/5, ahead of the local rivals, the Clippers, 13/4. Utah Jazz comes next 17/2, the Dallas Mavericks with 9/1 are fourth, and the Denver Nuggets fifth, 11/1, As for the Heat, Erik Spoelstra's side is fifth in the East with 9/1, behind the Brooklyn Nets, 8/5 the Milwaukee Bucks, 10/3, 76ers 11/2, and the Boston Celtics, 7/1. You will find more interesting offers in the NBA betting section.
All eyes in this match will be pointed towards LeBron James and Jimmy Butler, who had some ferocious battles in the finals. At some points, Jimmy B outplayed King James, who later got the MVP award, but the fact that Heat had too many injured players eventually took its toll. The Lakers had a deeper roster, and that was what mattered in the crucial matches.
Heat is a unit that plays team basketball, and they don't have some standout names, which is why every absence on their roster means a lot. On the other side, LAL has two big MVP favorites, with numerous sidekicks, and one or two injuries (unless they are Bron or AD) are easy to compensate.
Once mentioning those MVP honors, LBJ is the second favorite to take the honors, with the odds for that at 7/1. Luka Doncic is the No.1 with 4/1, ahead of Kevin Durant, 6/1. Giannis Antetokounmpo 13/2, and superb Nikola Jokic 7/1 are behind the Lakers' superstar, and Steph Curry closes the echelon of the top contenders with 9/1. After these guys, the first one is LeBron's teammate Anthony Davis with 20/1. Heat's players with the best prospects of becoming the MVP are Butler and Bam Adebayo both 100/1.
When mentioning Davis, per many experts, the Eyebrow is the guy who should be credited for the Lakers' last title, even though James received the honors and all the media attention. Meanwhile, AD was grinding and scoring points, and each time he played under the expectations, the Lakers would lose the game.
A lot of things will depend upon the performances of the players from the bench. Once we say that, the two names we think of are Goran Dragic on one, and Montrezl Harrell on the other side.
Now, these two guys are in contention to win the NBA Sixth Man of the Year Award. Harrell, by the way, is the latest winner. He and Dennis Schroder fit in perfectly, and the two already created a partnership that takes over the LAL's offense once LeBron and AD have to rest.
It's no wonder why he takes a high third place among those who are chasing this award, tied with Shake Milton from Philadelphia with the odds of 10/1. Utah's Jordan Clarkson is 15/8, Chris Boucher is 5/1, and after him come Dragic and Milton. Lou Williams, the three-time winner, is 20/1, the same as his former teammate, now the Lakers' player, Harrell.
We hope to see both teams with all the players available so that there aren't any alibies for the losing side. This will be a high-intensity game, with both the Lakers and the Heat aiming a win, and having them in the best shape with all superstars would make this contest spectacular.