2020 NBA Title Hunt Update

2020 NBA Title Hunt Update

The 2019-2020 NBA season is in mid-season form with the All-Star game on the horizon making it a perfect time to check in on the latest NBA Title odds and which teams are in the playoff hunt and more.

2020 NBA Title Hunt Update

Last season’s NBA Champion Toronto Raptors may be Kawhi-less but they in the top ten on the NBA Title odds board barely clocking in at tenth. The 2020 NBA Title favorites are the Los Angeles Lakers followed by the Milwaukee Bucks and Los Angeles Clippers both with in striking distance.

2020 NBA Title Odds

  • Los Angeles Lakers +260
  • Milwaukee Bucks +325
  • Los Angeles Clippers +350
  • Houston Rockets +1300
  • Utah Jazz +1500
  • Philadelphia 76ers +1550
  • Denver Nuggets +1650
  • Boston Celtics +2200
  • Dallas Mavericks +2650
  • Toronto Raptors +3000
  • Miami Heat +3250
  • Indiana Pacers +6000
  • New Orleans Pelicans +10000
  • Brooklyn Nets +12500
  • Portland Trail Blazers +15000
  • Oklahoma City Thunder +22000
  • San Antonio Spurs +35000
  • Orlando Magic +40000
  • Memphis Grizzlies +50000
  • Phoenix Suns +100000
  • Sacramento Kings +150000
  • Detroit Pistons +200000
  • Minnesota Timberwolves +250000
  • Chicago Bulls +350000
  • Golden State Warriors +500000
  • Cleveland Cavaliers +999900
  • Charlotte Hornets +999900
  • Atlanta Hawks +999900
  • New York Knicks +999900
  • Washington Wizards +999900

The Best in the Business

  • Milwaukee Bucks
  • Los Angeles Lakers
  • LA Clippers

While the Los Angeles Lakers and Clippers entered the regular season as the two most talked about teams and top two prohibitive favorites thanks to their respective offseason additions of Anthony Davis and Kawhi Leonard respectively, it is Giannis Antetokounmpo and the Bucks have been the best team in the league – period. Milwaukee ranks first in scoring (119.9 ppg) and first in defensive field goal percentage (41.2%). While LeBron James and the Lakers could use the tragic death of Kobe Bryant as motivational fuel and the Clippers are led by a two-time Finals MVP that raises his game each and every postseason, the Bucks have the look of a team that is going to be difficult, if not impossible, for anyone to beat, despite their lack of a second superstar.

They’ve Got a Shot

  • Denver Nuggets
  • Toronto Raptors
  • Boston Celtics
  • Utah Jazz
  • Houston Rockets

After finishing second to Golden State in the Western Conference a year ago, but falling short of reaching the conference finals, Denver is right back in the championship mix in the loaded Western Conference. All-star center Nikola Jokic is playing lights out and the play of second-year forward Michael Porter Jr. give the Nuggets another clearly, versatile weapon. Recent wins over the Bucks, Jazz and Rockets suggests Denver and their fifth-ranked defense could beat anyone. Toronto has been surprisingly solid despite losing Leonard in free agency after winning it all last season. Pascal Siakim is back to being healthy and Fred Van Vleet is a seriously underrated ‘monster killer’. Toronto ranks fourth in points allowed and second in defensive field goal percentage and the Raptors will definitely challenge for their second straight conference crown at the very least.
Boston looks a lot like the dangerous group of young stars they did two years ago and even though the C’s could probably use some size in the frontcourt, they rank a stellar second in points allowed (105.3 ppg). Utah has a well-rounded roster featuring one, still-blossoming all-star in Donovan Mitchell, another all-star player that might be the best defensive player in the league and a cast of other competent performers that make them look dangerous at the very least. Houston has a pair of former league MVP’s in James Harden and Russell Westbrook and they rank second in scoring (118.7 ppg). Unfortunately, the Rockets are almost completely inept defensively (again) and look like a team destined to come up short of its championship aspirations – again.

Under The Radar Contenders

  • Miami Heat
  • Dallas Mavericks
  • Oklahoma City Thunder

Miami has overachieved since the start of the regular season thanks to the unorthodox ‘leadership’ of gritty veteran Jimmy Butler first and foremost. Unfortunately, the Heat are still lacking quality depth, although their hard-nosed ways could see them pull off at least one postseason upset. Dallas has an undeniable superstar in do-it-all forward Luka Doncic. Now, if only Kristaps Porzingis would show up, even semi-consistently. Oklahoma City has also surprised in a big way after moving Paul George in their massive trade with the Clippers. The bad news is that the Thunder’s three best players are all point guards (Chris Paul, Shai Gilgeous-Alexander and Dennis Schroeder).

It Could Happen

  • Portland Trail Blazers
  • Indiana Pacers
  • Philadelphia 76ers

The Blazers are heating up nicely thanks to Damian Lillard’s historic six-game run and the on-going chemistry improvement after adding veterans, Carmelo Anthony and Trevor Ariza. Right now, I’m thinking each of the aforementioned Western Conference playoff contenders should be wary of the red-hot Blazers. The Pacers might not be getting a whole lot of national media attention, but I love their well-composed roster and I believe they could really challenge in the East if Victor Oladipo becomes a factor later in the season as he makes his way back from a horrific injury that cost him a year. In Philly, the 76ers are underachieving and it’s not because of a lack of talent, at least not with the starting five. The bad news is that the Sixers are razor thin on the bench once you get past impressive rookie Matisse Thybulle.

Bettor Luck Next Year

  • Golden State Warriors
  • Memphis Grizzlies
  • Brooklyn Nets
  • Phoenix Suns
  • New Orleans Pelicans
  • San Antonio Spurs
  • Atlanta Hawks

If you’re taking pleasure in Golden State’s demise after they basically ruled the league for the past five years, then you’d better enjoy it now because, come next season, the Dubs could easily be right back in the championship mix, after pretty much ‘tanking’ this year because of a series of what looks like now, perfectly-timed injuries that will give them a high draft pick in this summer’s NBA Draft. Memphis has an unadulterated star in gifted rookie point guard Ja Morant while Brooklyn will have Kevin Durant on the court to pair with the talented, but enigmatic Kyrie Irving (ugh). I expect the Suns to be way better in year 2 of the Monty Williams era and the future looks bright in New Orleans as long as Zion Williamson can stay healthy. The Spurs still have Gregg Popovich leading them and Atlanta has some excellent young talent, starting with sweet-shooting point guard Trae Young.

Re-build or Bust

  • Orlando Magic
  • Chicago Bulls
  • Sacramento Kings
  • Minnesota Timberwolves
  • Washington Wizards
  • Detroit Pistons
  • Charlotte Hornets
  • New York Knicks
  • Cleveland Cavaliers

While each of these struggling franchise has some glimmer of positive vibes (Karl Anthony Towns, Bradley Beal, Coby White and Collin Sexton) each organization is clearly a couple of years away from challenging for anything significant. Sure, a playoff berth could potentially be in the works for one or more of these teams come next season, but I definitely wouldn’t bet the farm on it!