In this article, we will try to predict the 2020 NBA Champion. The NBA odds to win championship give us 10 teams that are more likely than the others to compete for the trophy- Los Angeles Clippers, Los Angeles Lakers, Milwaukee Bucks, Houston Rockets, Philadelphia 76ers, Denver Nuggets, Golden State Warriors, Utah Jazz, Boston Celtics and the Brooklyn Nets.
We will start with the biggest favorite according to NBA final odds Vegas and an off-season champion- the Los Angeles Clippers. They played very pleasing basketball last year and they managed to acquire Paul George and Kawhi Leonard during the summer. With Doc Rivers on the sidelines, I expect this team to be very efficient next year. However, the pressure will be intense as anything but an NBA championship will be a failure because they are favorite against any team in the NBA finals series odds.
The Los Angeles Lakers also had a very interesting summer, acquiring Danny Green, Anthony Davis, and some role players. I believe that the Lakers will certainly be better than last year and we must not forget that they were a playoff team until LeBron got hurt. There is no guarantee that this won’t happen again but they will certainly make the playoffs this year and they are expected to be one of the top 4 Western Conference seeds as we see at NBA championship odds Vegas.
The Milwaukee Bucks had a very good 2017-2018 NBA regular season as they finished with over 60 wins and got the top seed in the Eastern Conference. Giannis got the NBA MVP award last year and his go-to guy Khris Middleton had a fantastic season. Malcolm Brogdon left the team but overall, they still look the ones to beat in the East. Most surely, they will get the top seed of the Conference and will have a home-court advantage throughout probably the whole playoffs and that make them top 3 favorite in the NBA Championship current odds.
The Houston Rockets are very interesting this year simply because they traded away Chris Paul for Russell Westbrook. They brought him back together with his former Oklahoma City Thunder teammate James Harden. These two won the MVP awards in 2017 and 2018. There are questions whether they will be effective on the court together as they rely on having the ball in their hands heavily. We shouldn’t forget that the Rockets were close to eliminating the Golden State Warriors two years ago with Kevin Durant and all their key players healthy. I believe that they will be one of the top 2 seeds in the West and they have a great shot at the NBA Championship this year- a shot like never before.
The Philadelphia 76ers built the team for their potential Eastern Conference Finals matchup with the Bucks. Not only they kept both Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons, but they also added more length and spacing in the face of Al Horford who is a very experienced player. Trey Burke will be Simmons’ backup at the point guard position. He was terrific in his first few seasons in Utah. If Burke and Horford are the answers to their problems, they will not face any difficulties, at least getting to the NBA Finals.
The Denver Nuggets had a great regular season last year, finishing near the Western Conference top, however, they didn’t manage to get past the Portland Trail Blazers. The lack of experience they had proved to be too much for them to overcome any difficulties in 2019. Nikola Jokic is probably the best passing big man we have ever seen and he is arguably the best big man we have today along with Joel Embiid.
Jamal Murray is one of the most exciting point guards in the league and I’m sure that he will develop into an All-star but he was dominated by Damian Lillard and CJ McCollum in last year’s playoffs. Considering that he will either have to face them again or Steph Curry or Westbrook and Harden, I’m not sure how much he can be of help this year. Still, the Nuggets are one of the favorites to at least get to the Conference semi-finals. We all saw what happened last year when many key players got injured- the Raptors took advantage.
The Golden State Warriors are questioned by almost anybody. The experts are saying that their dynasty is over. I believe, however, that it is far from over. Klay Thompson may not be playing at all this year but they added DeAngelo Russell into the mix. He can have trade value at the end of February if Klay is about to return. Draymond will have more power in the locker room now with Kevin Durant gone and the Warriors also managed to keep a key role player such as Kevon Looney. They added Alec Burks and Willie-Cauley Stein to the roster and I believe that they have more depth than ever. We are all blessed that Kevin Durant left because Steph Curry will be the offense’s vocal point and we all know what a monster he is when he is getting most of the shots.
The Utah Jazz are my ‘dark horse’ pick to win the NBA Finals. Of course, it sounds like blasphemy but they had a great off-season where they noted their needs and resolve their issues. Donovan Mitchell didn’t have a good backup last year and that is why they added a veteran like Mike Conley Jr. They got rid of Derrick Favors and replaced him with a much cheaper player- Ed Davis. It is fair to say that Ed Davis is 90% of Derrick Favors, so they did not lose much. They also lacked points and they addressed their need of a natural shooter by signing Bojan Bogdanovic who averaged 20 points per game last season for the Pacers.
The Boston Celtics lost too much offensive prowess in the postseason and I am not sure if they will be able to compensate it with their new signing. Kyrie Irving, Terry Rozier, and Al Horford. They managed to get Romeo Langford through the draft. He has raw skills that they can develop. They also signed Enes Kanter who averaged 13.1 points per game and 8.6 rebounds last year. I believe that the chemistry will be better with Kyrie gone, however, they also lost too much skillset and experience.
The Brooklyn Nets had a very good season last year and they even managed to give the 76ers some trouble by winning the first game and giving them headaches in the next few. They are also one of the winners of the 2019 off-season. They signed both Kyrie Irving and Kevin Durant but it is important to mention that Durant will miss the whole season due to injury. Kyrie will lead the team in the new season but I am not sure if they will be able to get past the second Eastern Conference round.
Prediction: The Clippers will certainly be in the mix and I believe that Paul George and Kawhi Leonard fit perfectly together. Lou Williams is probably the best 6th man in the league and he will continue to contribute on offense. I believe in their hype mostly because we are talking about Kawhi and Paul George who are hard-working guys.
My ‘dark horse’ pick, as I mentioned above, is Utah. They addressed their needs and they will certainly be a much better side this year. I am sure that they will cause trouble for the other teams in the NBA and with a bit of luck, they may end up in the Finals.
The Houston Rockets also have a shot at the Championship because they will rely on Harden and Westbrook to get the job done- two very effective offensive players. Clint Capela is also there to protect the paint and if the offense gets going the way Mike D’Anthony wants it to be run, they can easily become unstoppable.