The NBA season is in full swing and it is pretty clear that a potential finals matchup is not entirely predictable. There are quite a few teams that are positioned for championship success. In this piece, we are going to aim as best as possible to predict the potential matchup for the 2021 NBA Finals.
It is appropriate to remind all fans of how the playoff seeds will be determined for 2021. After the 72-game regular season has concluded, the six best teams in each conference will make the playoffs automatically. For teams that finish between 7th and 10th in each conference, they will get to compete in a play-in tournament. However, they are only eligible for this tournament if they are within four games in the standings at the end of the season.
The 7th seed will take on the 10th seed in the play-in tournament while the 8th seed takes on the 9th seed. The 9th and 10th seeded teams must beat the 7th and 8th seeded teams twice in order to advance. On the other hand, the 7th and 8th seeds only have to beat the 9th and 10th seeded teams one time.
In terms of favorites, the top 5 favorites to win the NBA Finals are the LA Lakers, Philadelphia 76ers, Brooklyn Nets, Milwaukee Bucks, and the Utah Jazz.
The Lakers are still considered the overall favorites based on the assumption that Anthony Davis will be back from his current injury soon. Odd-makers believe that LA is the best team in the league with the combination of Anthony Davis and LeBron James. The 76ers are not far behind them, with Joel Embiid having an MVP-caliber season and the team as a whole performing better than they have in almost a decade.
The Nets have recently added veteran Blake Griffin to their roster, touting an impressive starting lineup with James Harden, Kyrie Irving, Kevin Durant (when healthy), and DeAndre Jordan. They seem to have found their groove as well, currently atop the Eastern Conference standings with the Sixers close behind.
In spite of the Jazz are leading their conference, they are not in the top 4 in terms of favorites to win the championship by odd-makers. Right now, the odd-makers believe that the Nets and Lakers will be playing in the NBA Finals.