While Steph Curry, Kevin Durant and the rest of the perennially-powerful Golden State Warriors are once again prohibitive favorites to win their third straight NBA Championship, but the Dubs have had more struggles this season than in any other during their five-year run of franchise excellence.
That fact means the Warriors could very well get upset in their quest for a three-peat and if that happens, it will almost assuredly take another elite title favorite to pull off the feat. If you want to know whether the Warriors are going to fulfill their championship hopes or you believe the Dubs could get upset, then let’s take a look at the top contenders to do just that!
2019 NBA Championship Odds Favorites to Win
The Trail Blazers are on the rise in https://t.co/fBlzboleKU‘s latest power rankings!✍️ @johnschuhmann: https://t.co/26WiAO3K67 pic.twitter.com/cHPXNm59Bh— NBA TV (@NBATV) 25 de febrero de 2019
- Golden State Warriors 2/5
- Milwaukee Bucks 10/1
- Toronto Raptors 10/1
- Boston Celtics 15/1
- Philadelphia 76ers 15/1
Golden State Warriors
The Warriors (43-17) are sitting atop the Western Conference, 1.5 games up on second place Denver and they’ve won seven of their last 10 at the time of this writing. More importantly, the Dubs have gone 18-4 since the start of the calendar year and now have the look of a team that is more focused than they’ve been all season long. While the Warriors clearly have some issues this season that they haven’t had to deal with in years past, the bottom line is that the Warriors are still loaded with talent and now have a big man in DeMarcus Cousins that is capable of dominating when the occasion calls for it. Golden State ranks first in scoring (118.8 ppg) and a decent, but not great, 19th in points allowed (112.0 ppg). Until I see otherwise, the Dubs are the pick to get it done – again!
The Bucks (46-14) have the best record in all of basketball, but that’s not what’s most important right now if you ask me. The bigger worry for all of Milwaukee’s potential postseason opponents is the fact that the Bucks are now brimming with talent, they play a cohesive brand of basketball at both ends of the floor and they have arguably the game’s best player in superstar forward Giannis ‘The Greek Freak’ Antetokounmpo (27.7 points, 12.7 rebounds, 6.0 assists). Milwaukee ranks a stellar second in scoring (117.0 ppg) and an equally impressive eighth in points allowed (107.3 ppg). Six players average double figures in scoring for Milwaukee and that doesn’t even include wily veterans like Ersan Ilyasova, Tony Snell and George Hill. Still, the Bucks are going to be in a fight or two at the very least to win the East!
The Raptors (44-17) rank sixth in scoring (114.1 ppg) and an encouraging 10th in points allowed (108.9 ppg) and now, they don’t have to deal with LeBron James in the postseason, not to mention that all-star forward Kawhi Leonard is way better than former franchise star DeMar DeRozan. A mind-boggling seven players average double figures in scoring for the Raptors and Danny Green is just off the mark at 9.9 points per game. More importantly, Toronto now has some newfound mental fortitude, not to mention they made a sweet addition by trading for veteran center Marc Gasol just prior to the trade deadline.
The Celtics (37-23) might have entered the regular season as the prohibitive favorites to win the Eastern Conference, but they largely struggled early on before recently finding the form that everyone expected to see from them this season. Boston ranks a modest 12th in scoring (112.8 ppg) while also ranking an encouraging fifth in points allowed (106.8 ppg). Boston has six players that average double digits in scoring and two more that put up just under 9.0 points per contest, but Boston just doesn’t have the same look and feel as they did a year ago, although that could change prior to the postseason.
The Sixers (39-22) rank a modest 20th in points allowed (112.3 ppg), but Philly also ranks a stellar fourth in scoring (115.7 ppg), sixth in field goal percentage and eighth in three-point shooting. Ironically, the Sixers also rank a solid eighth in field goal defense and stupendous second in defending the three-point shot. Five players average double figures in scoring, but this is a team that lacks depth and quality on the bench and that’s why Philly is going to come up short. Well, that – and Jimmy Butler’s sh*##y attitude.