The 2020-21 NBA season is in the books but we’re already looking ahead to next season. In the meantime, the NBA Draft is only days away.
Milwaukee Bucks: NBA Champions
Giannis Antetokounmpo in Game 6 of the NBA Finals:
The NBA Finals record for most points in a title clinching win is 50 by Bob Pettit in 1958.
— Micah Adams (@MicahAdams13) July 21, 2021
The NBA Finals MVP led his Milwaukee Bucks to a series-clinching 105-98 win in a performance that will be remembered for the ages. He’d already added a block to the all-time highlights list this series, but it’s his 50-burger that will last the longest in the memory banks. Antetokounmpo came up with the goods when it counted. Most notably, he connected on 17 of his 19 free throws.
For the Phoenix Suns, it’s one that got away. Having led the series 2-0 after two games, the Suns lost four games on the bounce for the first time all season. It couldn’t have come at a worse time. For Chris Paul, in particular. He has silenced most of the critics on his career, but he has picked up an unwanted playoff record.
Chris Paul’s teams blown leads:
2-0 vs Spurs in 2008
2-0 vs Grizzlies in 2013
3-1 vs Rockets in 2015
2-0 vs Blazers in 2016 (broken hand)
3-2 vs Warriors in 2018 (hamstring)
2-0 vs Bucks in 2021
He is the first player ever to blow four 2-0 leads in a best-of-7 series. pic.twitter.com/HZ6GZQaUZZ
— StatMuse (@statmuse) July 21, 2021
The Bucks have been building for this over the last three seasons. As the super teams formed around them, Milwaukee stuck with their 15th pick from the 2013 NBA Draft and put the right pieces around him to win a title. Now, they’re at $10 to do it again in 2022.
2021-22 Championship Odds
While the Utah Jazz surprised to be the best regular-season team in the NBA, they’re out at $15 alongside the LA Clippers and Golden State Warriors. The Phoenix Suns are slightly shorter at $13 to go one better next season. A lot can happen with the Philadelphia 76ers between now and June, 2022. Still, their $17 keeps them among the list of contenders. How Jamal Murray recovers from his ACL injury will determine which way the Denver Nuggets’ $26 goes.
NBA Championship Odds (July, 2021)
|Eastern Conference||Western Conference|
|Brooklyn Nets – $3.10||Los Angeles Lakers – $7.50|
|Milwaukee Bucks – $10||Phoenix Suns – $13|
|Philadelphia 76ers – $17||LA Clippers – $15|
|Atlanta Hawks – $41||Golden State Warriors – $15|
|Miami Heat – $41||Utah Jazz – $15|
|Boston Celtics – $51||Denver Nuggets – $26|
|New York Knicks – $101||Dallas Mavericks – $34|
|Toronto Raptors – $101||Portland Trail Blazers – $76|
|Indiana Pacers – $126||Memphis Grizzlies – $101|
|Washington Wizards – $126||New Orleans Pelicans – $101|
|Charlotte Hornets – $151||San Antonio Spurs – $226|
|Chicago Bulls – $151||Minnesota Timberwolves – $276|
|Cleveland Cavaliers – $501||Sacramento Kings – $276|
|Detroit Pistons – $501||Houston Rockets – $501|
|Orlando Magic – $501||Oklahoma City Thunder – $501|
2021 NBA Draft
There is little argument over the #1 overall pick in the 2021 NBA Draft. The Detroit Pistons are expected to select Oklahoma State’s Cade Cunningham with the first pick on the night ($1.03). Likewise, Jalen Green’s name is the most likely to be called at #2 ($1.45).
There is some discussion between Evan Mobley ($1.57) and Jalen Suggs ($4.33) at #3. Should the Cleveland Cavaliers select Mobley and the Toronto Raptors, Suggs, the $2.52 favourites for the First Four (Exact Order) will come in while Cunningham/Green/Suggs/Mobley is on the second line at $4.65.
Jonathan Kuminga is one of the more interesting names on the list. He was once considered a bolter for the #1 pick after dominating the G-League Bubble early but concerns around his offensive efficiency have seen him drop down the list. His draft position line is at 6.5. While being drafted 6th or earlier is the favourite at $1.83, the Warriors are a good chance of picking him up with the 7th pick (O6.5 – $1.89).