With the 2020-21 NBA postseason in full swing, more and more teams are starting to separate themselves as the true contenders to win it all. Everyone is hoping to take down LeBron James and the Los Angeles Lakers, as the powerhouse really wants to repeat as champs. Who will take home the Larry O’Brien trophy? In this piece, we offer up our NBA futures picks for the playoffs.
After they were able to not only add James Harden, but also Blake Griffin to their roster, the Brooklyn Nets surely became one of the most dangerous teams in the NBA. Now, Brooklyn is the new favorite to win the NBA Finals. Surprised? You shouldn’t be. This team already had Kyrie Irving and Kevin Durant. By adding Harden and Griffin, it really sent a message to the rest of the league.
Luckily for Brooklyn, the star players have been able to stay healthy thus far in the postseason. That of course needs to stay the same for the Nets to have a chance at winning the NBA Finals for the first time in franchise history. While Harden and Durant battled injuries throughout the regular season, they’ve looked superb thus far in the playoffs, especially going up against the Boston Celtics.
Per the Las Vegas sportsbooks, Brooklyn holds the No. 1 NBA playoffs odds at +200. Behind them, the Lakers are at +500, Utah is +500, Milwaukee is +550, the Clippers are +700 and the 76ers are also at +700 for their NBA odds. Midway through the season, the Lakers were expected to go on and repeat, but injuries have taken a toll on the squad. In Game 4 against the Phoenix Suns, Anthony Davis went down with a groin strain.
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His status for the rest of the series against Phoenix is a bit unclear. Groin strains are serious and it could sideline him for some games. That of course would be a disaster for James and head coach Frank Vogel. With that said, that’s not Brooklyn’s worry. They’re focused on taking down the Celtics and advancing to the next round of the Eastern Conference playoffs.
We think they’ll do just that. Not only that, we’re also going with the Nets as our pick to win the NBA Finals. When you have a team that loaded and that stacked, you’re going to put up some huge numbers and break other teams down. We’ve seen that throughout the playoffs and we don’t anticipate that to change over the next few weeks. If you agree that Brooklyn will win it all, place a bet with confidence.
In a bit of a shocking twist, the Suns are expected to eliminate the Lakers from the postseason. As of this writing, the two teams are locked in at 2-2 ahead of their Game 5 clash. However, Phoenix has all the confidence right now after they went to the Staples Center and defeated Los Angeles on its home floor 100-92 on Sunday. Now, LA will hope to bounce back.
As we mentioned above, though, Davis is hurt and it’s unknown if he’ll be able to give things a go for Game 5 or Game 6. With a groin strain, it’s surely a complex injury. Imagine if Vogel and Co. decide to rush him back and then this injury becomes a serious one. Davis has been listed as day-to-day, which in theory would give him a shot to suit up for the next game.
However, the Lakers would also be wise to give him some time off. Depending on how things play out in Game 5, though, it could force LA to speed things up with him. Without Davis in action, the offensive attack for the Lakers is completely different. Phoenix is simply too good for James to try and do everything on his own offensively. He needs his partner in crime.
LA is the underdog now, as Phoenix holds -178 odds to win the series, while LA has been listed at +142. This tells you that the Davis injury really has folks in Vegas nervous about the Lakers’ chances of overcoming this adversity. While betting against James, arguably the best player of all time, feels foolish, we’re picking Devin Booker and the Suns to taken them down and move on to the next round.
With us picking the Nets, we also are wondering the following: can Kevin Durant win NBA Finals MVP? If Durant goes on to do this, he would silence all of his haters across the country. It’s no secret Durant has become a bit of a villain among the fanbases in the NBA. When he left the Thunder to join the Warriors, people called him out left and right. He went on to win the NBA Finals with them.
Now, Durant is hoping to bring Brooklyn its first ever NBA Finals title. With us picking the Nets to win it all, that means we’re also going to rock with a Brooklyn player to win Finals MVP as well. Durant is the no-brainer decision here. When he’s healthy and on his game, Durant is without question one of the best players and shooters in the entire league. He’s lethal with the ball in his hands.
He holds the best NBA Finals MVP odds, as he’s been set at +410. Other guys in contention are Giannis Antetokounmpo, LeBron James, Donovan Mitchell, Joel Embiid, Harden, Hawhi Leonard and Irving. With that said, Durant is the straw that stirs the drink for the Nets. If they do indeed go on to be the champs, look for Durant to be named the MVP. He’ll surely have earned it.
With a background as a writer, Rodrigo has managed to bring together his hobbies and education writing sports content for various top-tier sites around the world.