Yes or No: Will These 8 Teams Make NBA Playoffs This Season?
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After a unique NBA betting season that stretched across nearly 11 months on the calendar, the association begins anew with the start of the 2020-21 campaign on Tuesday.
The Los Angeles Lakers, led by LeBron James and Anthony Davis, look to defend their NBA championship. Barring a massive downturn in health, we can safely assume the Lakers will at least reach the postseason. The postseason fate of other teams, however, is less clear.
Charlotte Hornets – No
The Hornets missed the 2020 playoffs by six games, but they’re a step or two from competing in what has become a deeper Eastern Conference. LaMelo Ball has great potential and Gordon Hayward is a key addition, but is he ready to be a clear No. 1 option with no true No. 2? Locked in at -475.
Minnesota Timberwolves – No
The Timberwolves are still trying to figure themselves out. They added Ricky Rubio to start at PG but have D’Angelo Russell, a PG, moving to SG. No. 1 overall pick Anthony Edwards needs to prove he can be the 20 ppg player he needs to be to help Karl-Anthony Towns. Locked in at -360.
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New Orleans Pelicans – Yes
The Pelicans were wildly young last year but had a solid offseason that included adding JJ Redick and Eric Bledsoe to go with core Zion Williamson, Lonzo Ball and Brandon Ingram. They played zero defense last season and it cost them. The hope is an extra year of experience has shown they need to bring it on both ends. The talent is there. Locked in at +132.
Indiana Pacers – Yes
The Pacers finished a solid 45-28 and as the No. 4 seed in the East last year, and there’s little reason they shouldn’t at least be a top-six team again this year. Malcolm Brodgon and Domantas Sabonis are legit, and T.J. Warren and Myles Turner have their game-leading moments. We need Victor Oladipo to fully return from his torn quad. If he does, this is a no-doubt playoff team. Locked in at -167.
Phoenix Suns – Yes
The Suns went 8-0 in the bubble with Devin Booker and Deandre Ayton leading the way. They added Chris Paul to take ball-handling burden from Booker, making Phoenix a dangerous team. I’m fading the Rockets and Warriors in favor of backing the Suns. Locked in at -130.
Golden State Warriors – No
Steph Curry is back and poised to return to form. But Draymond Green is a year older, Klay Thompson is out again and Kevin Durant isn’t walking through that door. No. 2 overall pick James Wiseman hasn’t played in the preseason and has just three college games under his belt. Locked in at +128.
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Memphis Grizzlies – Yes
It’s going to be exciting to see Year 2 of Ja Morant. There is a lot of help that needs to be added for the Grizzlies to be a true threat in the West. Memphis will be on the fringe of the postseason, but at these odds there is considerable value. Locked in at +180.
Bonus Pick: Houston Rockets – No
James Harden doesn’t want to be there and it wouldn’t be a shock to still see a trade. With a new coach, new philosophy and potentially the loss of its two superstars, Houston is on a cliff about to fall off into a rebuilding chasm. There are young, hungry teams waiting to take that playoff slot. Locked in at +115 with William Hill.
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