The NBA Playoffs begin today and we are going to take a look at some of the teams that have good odds to win the NBA Championship.
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Western Conference Contenders:
San Antonio Spurs – This is probably a last gasp for the title. Tim Duncan and Manu Ginobilli are approaching the age where they production typically goes down. The last time the Spurs won it all was in 2007. They will be looking for their fourth winner in nine years.
Los Angeles Lakers – Kobe Bryant takes over this time of the year. The Lakers are 16-1 since the All Star game and they vie for their third in a row. One of the keys to success is if Andrew Bynum is healthy or not. Look for help from Pau Gasol and Lamar Odom for another deep run.
Dallas Mavericks – Dirk Nowitzki and Jason Kidd are both having great seasons and this may be enough to make the hunger turn into an enjoyable ending. Nowitzki is shooting 52% from the field and averages near 23 points a game.
Oklahoma City Thunder – This is a very young and talented team that scare the heebie-jeebies out of the teams they play. Russell Westbrook and Kevin Durant anchor this team. Durant led the league in scoring this season and with help from Kendrick Perkins and Nate Robinson this team may flourish. They do lack playoff experience but plenty of talent.
Eastern Conference Contenders:
Chicago Bulls – This team is for real and they are a legitimate contender to win it all. This team is led by Derrick Rose and his 25 points per game along with just under 8 assists per game. This team is the best defensive team in the playoffs and you know what they say about that. Chicago will be going for it to return to the glory days.
Boston Celtics – The Celtics took a chance to trade away some of its stability and may have gotten burned by it. Since trading Perkins and Robinson to the Thunder they have gone 10-8 and may struggle to get back to their performance in 2010 and back to the championship game. They still have great players in Garnett and Ray Allen but they miss that inside presence.
Miami Heat – This was the team everyone said would run away with it. They have had great success with the additions of LeBron James and Chris Bosh to compliment Dwayne Wade but they are not invincible. The Heat has failed to live up to expectations so far, especially against elite opposition, but with three of the league’s premier players in their ranks will undoubtedly be a major contender in the playoffs. Getting them in a 7-game series will be difficult for the opponents.
Orlando Magic – This is another team that would be tough to handle in a series. This team ended fourth in their conference and the main offensive abilities fall on the backs of Dwight Howard and Jameer Neslon.
ODDS: Keep checking the odds as they change many times before the start of game.
In the Western Conference, the Lakers are the favorites at -155 — The Spurs are the second favorite at +300, with the Dallas Mavericks and Oklahoma City coming in at +630. And out in the Eastern Conference, the top two favorites are the Miami Heat and the Chicago Bulls, tabbed at +160 each. Last year’s Eastern Conference champs, the Celtics, come in at +300.