NBA Playoffs 2020-2021: Lakers Favored To Repeat
16 December 2020
The 2020-2021 NBA season is fast approaching, which means that teams will look to rack up the wins for NBA Playoffs 2020-2021. As teams look to make the NBA Finals this season, it is worth taking a look at the favorites to win this year’s NBA title. Each of these teams will come into the season thinking that they have a chance to run through the NBA playoffs bracket and claim the first post-bubble title in the league.
Los Angeles Lakers +275
Last season, the Los Angeles Lakers made quick work of the NBA playoff schedule en route to their first championship since Kobe Bryant was a part of the team. The Lakers won each of their first three series in the NBA Finals bracket in five games before taking the Miami Heat out in a six game NBA Finals. With the same core being joined by some intriguing players, the Lakers are favorites to win the title again.
The biggest addition made by the Lakers was the duo of Dennis Schroder and Montrezl Harrell. Both key pieces off the bench for playoff teams last year, Schroder will provide a much needed spark at the point guard position while Harrell will provide a nice punch as a high-motor big off the bench.
LA Clippers +550
Last season, the LA Clippers were the second seed in the Western Conference but were knocked out in the second round of the playoffs. Reports of team chemistry issues combined with a poor performance against the Denver Nuggets led to Doc Rivers being fired. The question now is whether the Clippers can get better without the steady hands of Rivers to coach them.
If the Clippers are going to be better this year, Paul George simply has to perform better in the playoffs. George’s inconsistent shooting made the Clippers’ losses some of the most surprising NBA playoff scores in recent memory. If he can’t play up to the $200 million contract he signed when the playoffs come around, the Clippers are doomed to another disappointing year.
Milwaukee Bucks +550
The Milwaukee Bucks are in the same place as the Clippers this year, in that they need their star players to step up under the bright lights of the playoffs. Giannis Antetokounmpo is great, and a worthy two-time MVP. But his inability to shoot from distance makes him an easier guard in the playoffs, when defense is at its best.
The Bucks might lose Giannis for good after this season if they do not perform better in the playoffs than they have over the last couple of years. It will be interesting to see if that is adequate motivation for the rest of the players on the team to help their star see the full potential of their squad.
Brooklyn Nets +600
The only team on this list that was nowhere near it last year is the Brooklyn Nets. Last season, they were waiting for Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving to return from injury so they could take their place as contenders in the Eastern Conference. This year, Durant and Irving are both back on the floor for a Nets team that is much more dangerous than they’ve been since moving to Brooklyn from New Jersey.
The only question for the Nets this year is whether or not their top two players will be able to stay healthy. Durant and Irving have a history of injury concerns. But if they can avoid those and work well together this year, the Nets could go toe to toe with any team in the league.
Boston Celtics +1300
The young core of the Boston Celtics is a year older and a year more experienced. The problem for Boston is the fact that they may have missed their best chance of reaching the Finals last year. With no travel and no crowds to deal with, the Celtics fell short of the Finals by one round, losing to the Miami Heat in the Eastern Conference Finals.
This year, they will have to overcome the loss of Gordon Hayward, and the potential for more injury issues with Kemba Walker. But if Jaylen Brown and Jayson Tatum can deliver again this season, the Celtics should be up there with the Nets and Bucks among the East elite.
NBA Betting FAQ
The Warriors could very well get back into the playoffs this year after a year outside of them. Golden State has Steph Curry back healthy this year. Even though Klay Thompson is set to miss the upcoming season, the Warriors are definitely going to be better than they were a year ago both on the court and according to the NBA betting market.
The Rockets might end up missing the NBA playoffs this year. They traded away Russell Westbrook to get John Wall already. And they could be in the process of moving James Harden to another team as well. If that happens, the Rockets will end up nowhere near the postseason in 2020-2021.
The New Orleans Pelicans are right on the bubble as far as making the playoffs goes. They have a lot of talent, led by second year sensation Zion Williamson. But the Pelicans still might need more experience in order to consistently take on the best teams that the NBA has to offer. They will be one of the more intriguing teams to watch in the league for that reason.