How did the NBA top a seven-game series that featured, arguably, its top two players? By having the best player not in the series join forces with the loser. Cavalier fans finally got to enjoy a championship, but the joy was short-lived. Kevin Durant bolted Oklahoma City to team up with Stephen Curry and the rest of the Golden State Warriors. According to NBA betting predictions, can this be the first step towards a finals trilogy between Golden State and Cleveland?
LeBron tries to run the East, again
Whether with the Heat or Cavaliers, LeBron James has laid waste to the rest of the Eastern Conference for six straight seasons. James will take aim at his fifth Most Valuable Player award this winter. Cleveland has plenty of talent surrounding James, including Kyrie Irving, Kevin Love, and Tristan Thompson. The Cavaliers won’t have to look very far for challengers.
Within the division, the Pacers offer an intriguing lineup that includes Paul George, Myles Turner, and Jeff Teague. The Raptors surprised many by pushing Cleveland to six games in the Eastern Conference Finals, and with Kyle Lowry and DeMar DeRozan back again, confidence is high in Toronto. The Celtics brought in Al Horford to pair with a talented roster that includes Isiah Thomas and Avery Bradley.
Who can challenge the Warriors out West?
With Durant in the fold, the Warriors have another weapon that can create matchup problems. When healthy, the Golden State features a starting lineup that includes Curry, Durant, Klay Thompson, and Draymond Green. Not too many weak spots within that group! Getting out the Western Conference has never been easy and this year should be no exception.
The Spurs, who opened the season with a blowout win over Golden State, added Pau Gasol to a team that already had Kawhi Leonard and Tony Parker. The Western Conference has young talent throughout, particularly in places like Portland (Damian Lillard), Utah (Rodney Hood and Rudy Gobert), and Minnesota (Zach Lavine and Karl-Anthony Towns).
Thanks to an impressive array of talent, NBA predictions for 2016 are anyone’s guess. Buckle up basketball fans – a lot will happen before June.
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