The Golden State Warriors (2-to-5 odds) are still the prohibitive favorites to repeat as NBA champions this season. Furthermore despite what the team does by season’s end and how they have started the 2017-18 campaign they will likely be the chalk for in the 2018-19 futures. Odds to Win 2018 NBA Championship (November 7, 2017).
The San Antonio Spurs laid down this offseason. Also after being swept by the Warriors in the Conference Finals their only significant move, and calling the addition of Rudy Gay significant, is a stretch.
The Houston Rockets, Oklahoma City Thunder and Denver Nuggets all worked hard this past summer to improve their rosters. But the Warriors are still the best team in the West for some time to come. Consequentially evidence contrary to what Golden State has done, save Kevin Durant, building blocks of the NBA future are not created through the draft alone. The Thunder didn’t rest on the sole contributions of MVP Russell Westbrook. Had they held serve and not added depth and talent to the roster this past summer the chances were good they would have been one-and-done in the postseason. That occurrence would likely have seen Westbrook looking forward to being a free agent.
The Rockets could have closed their eyes and made claim that James Harden is in fact a leader of men but instead of playing the role of the Globe Trotters and throwing up three-point shots at a historic rate for the second straight season they went out and added veteran leadership in Chris Paul.
Denver’s offseason additions and signings are more long-term than the rest of the west. After missing the playoffs by a mere one game last season the Nuggets are primed to be a part of the 2018 postseason. They return a young core that features center Nikola Jokic and the backcourt tandem of Gary Harris and Jamal Murray. They addition of All-Star power forward Paul Millsap pushes the team into playoff contention.
It’s too early to call the Eastern Conference wide open just three weeks into the regular season but it is fact. While Boston has found away to utilize the current roster under the leadership of Brad Stevens the loss of free-agent Gordon Hayward is too large to overcome across 82 games.
The league, especially Eastern franchises, are taking LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers to school early on. The aging and injury riddled Cavs lineup is suffering from sedentary rotations. The league is taking King James and his teammates to task in transition so far this season. The game plan when facing Cleveland? Push the pace.
Eastern Conference through Nov. 7, 2017
New York 5-4
Charlotte 5 5
Miami 4 6
Atlanta 2 9
Western Conference Standings through Nov. 7, 2017
Oklahoma City 4-5
Golden State 8-3
L.A. Clippers 5-4
L.A. Lakers 5-5
San Antonio 6-4
New Orleans 5-5
There is a lot of basketball yet to be played in 2017 and then in 2018. But that hasn’t prevented the World’s Largest Race and Sportsbook from providing National Basketball Association faithful with updated Odds to Win 2018 NBA Title.
Odds to Win 2018 NBA Championship (November 7, 2017)