Among all the Robert Sarver selling the Suns and Ime Udoka’s year-long suspension drama, the fact that NBA games are just around the corner has taken a back seat. Many star players are returning from injuries and that means a new order of title favorites. Here are the top 5 title contenders for the 22/23 NBA season.
1. The Golden State Warriors – 6.50
You wanna be the champion? Defeat the champion. The Warriors lost Gary Payton II and responded with Donte DiVincenzo. Golden State has proven time and time again that fitting into their system is just as important as being talented. That’s why Kelly Oubre didn’t work and DiVincenzo will.
That being said, the championship lineup is back with another big difference. Klay will truly be 100% from day one of the season. Is there anything else you need to hear?
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2. The Boston Celtics – 7.00
The Celts? Are the odds makers crazy? Not only was their head coach suspended with much drama surrounding the team, but Danilo Gallinari tore himself and Robert Williams III shortly after joining the team. had to have an operation on his knee. On top of that, Danny Ainge has found the perfect man to fill Udoka’s place – Will Hardy is the head coach of the Utah Jazz.
Why does Vegas hold the Celtics so high? Jayson Tatum and Jalen Brown with serious Finals experience, that’s why. Don’t forget Marcus Smart, Al Horford, Malcolm Brogdon and the fact that they seem to have the best man in Grant Williams to thwart Giannis. Once Williams III. returns, the Celtics still have what it takes to be a defensive juggernaut, and we all know what they say about defense — it wins championships.
3. Brooklyn Networks – 8.00
The NBA’s soap opera team, the Nets, has had a dramatic offseason. I get the job. As long as you have Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving on your team, you are a title contender. But these guys are so unpredictable, I would stay away from this one. The “if they’re on the pitch” part is a huge “if”. Did I mention Ben Simmons is her third husband?
4. Los Angeles Clippers – 8.50
If you want to take on one of the top 5 contenders, the Clippers are my pick. It’s not just about Kawhi Leonard and Paul George. If there’s a title contender that boasts insane depth, it’s the Clippers. Ready?
John Wall, Reggie Jackson, Terance Mann, Norman Powell, Ivica Zubac, Nicolas Batum, Robert Covington, Marcus Morris Sr., Luke Kennard. The Clippers have 11 real NBA players on their roster. That means Kawhi and PG13 can manage minutes, minimize the risk of injury and be ready when it counts. By the way, I didn’t think it was possible, but Kawhi got even stronger.
5. Milwaukee Bucks – 8.50
Best player in basketball Giannis Antetokounmpo, best full-back in Jrue Holiday and Khris Middleton come back to dump those clutch shots in the 4th when everyone is panicking about Giannis. The Bucks are champions who have had their bad year and are ready to claim the title again.
Just to point out how insanely competitive the NBA is going to be this year, I’m going to list teams that didn’t crack the top 5 and can legitimately win the title. The Suns (best regular season record last year), Mavericks (Luka Doncic), Nuggets (Jokic, Murray comes back), Grizzlies (Ja Morant and second-lowest team after the Clippers), Heat (Jimmy “Mr. Playoffs” Butler, Kyle Lowry in Form, Bam Adebayo and Erik Spoelstra) and the 76ers (Embiid & Harden, the deadliest pick and roll in the NBA).