Kyle Covers – Kofsports
NBA Season Restart
It has finally happened. We have our first real glimmer of hope that professional sports in the U.S. are coming back and the NBA season is set to resume on July 31. While this plan is far from a definite, this is a HUGE step in the right direction to get professional sports started again in the U.S. Don’t get me wrong… waking up at 5:30 to watch a Korean baseball game is fun and all. It is just impossible for the KBO to replicate the excitement level that an NBA game can give you. Maybe another factor has to do with the games being at 5:30 AM instead of 7PM and on. For whatever the reason, it appears we may no longer have to lose out on the great sport of basketball.
It appears we will be having a 22 team restart with playoff positions still in reach for several teams. Evan Abrams in the Action Network says, “The season will resume July 31 in Orlando, Florida, and will include 22 teams-the 16 teams currently in the playoffs plus the Pelicans, Blazers, Suns, Kings, Spurs and Wizards.”
The plan was voted on by each team
This NBA season start up plan was well taken by every team in the league except the Portland Trailblazers, who were the only team that decided to vote against the plan. There will be 8 regular season games played before finalizing the field of 16. The seeding will be very interesting for teams, as several teams have gotten stronger health wise with the recent layoff. One interesting team was the Brooklyn Nets. Can you imagine if Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving came back healthy after the layoff and played? Before the pandemic, you could have landed quite the number on their finals chances. Unfortunately we will not be able to see this as Durant has already come out and squashed that idea. Let’s take a look at the top 10 best odds to win the Championship from Fanduel sports odds.
NBA Playoff Odds
Milwaukee Bucks +240
Los Angeles Lakers +270
Los Angeles Clippers +340
Houston Rockets +1200
Boston Celtics +2000
Toronto Raptors +2400
Denver Nuggets +2500
Miami Heat +2700
Philadelphia 76ers +2700
Utah Jazz +2900
Best Value: Los Angeles Clippers
I was surprised to see how high the Clippers were at +340. I think this break serves the Clippers great, as Paul George has been beat up all year with injuries including back and hamstring problems. It is also always nice to rest Kawhi Leonard, who everyone knows his story with quad injuries. The complimentary pieces are there for the Clippers, with a very good/clutch shooter in Lou Williams, and everyone’s worst nightmare to defend Patrick Beverley. To me, this is still the team to beat in the West and in the Finals. Having a healthy Paul George and Kawhi Leonard on the same team is going to make for a very scary team when play does resume.
Questionable Odds: Milwaukee Bucks
The Milwaukee Bucks are +240 (favorites) to win the NBA Finals. There’s no doubt this is a very strong team and they are certainly capable of winning the Finals. Giannis Antetokounmpo himself is good enough to at least get them to the Finals. What the Bucks really need is their supporting cast to come out to play. When shooters like Middleton and DiVincenzo are on, and Bledsoe is scoring and distributing the ball effectively, they make for a very tough out.
What I worry about is how inflated their odds are because of the ease of the Eastern Conference. Are the Bucks really the best team in the league? Or are their odds inflated because their chances of making the Finals are so strong. If you were to put the Bucks in the Western Conference, do you think they would still be favored? I could make an argument that they are the 2nd or 3rd best team in the West.
We don’t know all the affects this COVID layoff could potentially have on teams, but with the Bucks in the East, they really should make the Finals. The Bucks will have to get by teams like the Celtics, Raptors, Heat, and 76ers. Any of these teams can present a problem for the Bucks, but on paper they are certainly the power of the East. I think there is much better value on the betting board than the Bucks due to teams out West like the Lakers and Clippers.
NBA Season Sleeper Team: Miami Heat
The Miami Heat are a team that could surprise people in the Playoffs and win a round is the Miami Heat. Can proximity to home play a factor in this very odd season? I feel as if being only a little over 3 hours away from home, or a very quick plane ride from home can be very beneficial for a team like this.
This team is young, but also has the star power with Jimmy Butler. Butler alone has the potential to steal you a game or two when he is fully motivated. Does he get a boost mentally with his time off? Tyler Herro is also an emerging “star”, and he had plenty of fun reaching out to various Instagram models during this quarantine. I will never judge a kid for “shooting his shot”, especially before he can legally shoot a shot in a bar. Let me be clear that I am not picking the Heat to win the Finals. However I do think they could catch a team sleeping in the first round where they will most likely be underdogs.
We can’t wait for the NBA season to get going again, it’s been a LONG wait. I appreciate everyone reading this post, and please check out www.kofsports.com for more content! Be sure to stay up to date on sports updates HERE.