The new NBA season gets underway this week and the question everyone is asking is, can anyone stop the Golden State Warriors?
The Californian franchise (4/7 to be crowned champions) have reached the last four NBA finals, lifting the trophy on three occasions – including last year, thanks to a 4-0 series win over Cleveland Cavaliers.
Los Angeles Lakers – Winner @ 11/1
The biggest story of the post-season has been LeBron James’ high-profile move to LA, joining up with the 16-time champions the Lakers.
Some have questioned whether this move is more to help LeBron’s off-court profile, but he is a winner and it’s unlikely he will have considered a switch to LA unless he felt like they could challenge for the big prize.
The Lakers haven’t won the NBA title for ten years but are 11/1 fourth favourites to be crowned champions this year and for LeBron to win the title with a three different team.
Luke Walton’s men, who finished third in the Pacific Division last season, are currently 7/1 to win the Western Conference.
We’ll get a better idea of how the Lakers might fare on Friday, when they kick off their campaign with a trip to Portland to face the Trail Blazers – who finished third in the Western Conference last term and are 2/3 to beat the Lakers in their opener.
Charlotte Hornets – Southeast Division Winner @ 12/1
The last team to reach the finals prior for four years in a row, prior to the Golden State – Cleveland dynasty, were the Miami Heat.
Their Southeast division has been strong for the last decade, with Orlando Magic also making the finals in 2009.
This year though could see the emergence of another team from that division, with the Charlotte Hornets looking to collect their first title of any sort.
The post-season addition of veteran point guard Tony Parker from San Antonio make the Hornets an interesting prospect.
Anthony Davis – Regular Season MVP @ 4/1
The New Orleans Pelicans surprised many by reaching the play-offs in the 2017-18 campaign and one of their shining lights was Anthony Davis.
The power forward/center averaged 28.1 points per game last term and is a five-time NBA All Star.
New Orleans have struggled in pre-season and Davis has shown before that he is a man for the big occasion, with the 25-year-old set to be helped by highly-rated newcomer Julius Randle.
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