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Previewing The NBA Finals

Anyone who follows basketball in the USA will know that the end of the standard season is fast approaching. By early April all of the matches will have been completed and it will be time for the finals, or playoffs, to begin.

This is super exciting for fans hoping to see their team progress and be crowned best of the season, especially as it’s well known for its surprise results. So, although the first or second seeded team does generally tend to win there can be some major upsets along the way.

The format of the playoffs

The is organised into two different leagues, the Eastern and the Western Conferences. The top eight teams from each of these go into the playoffs.

Then there are four rounds which gradually cut down the teams to the final two in the final. In all of the rounds, the format is the best of seven games with the first team to achieve four victories either moving on to the next round or becoming overall champions.

The final consists of the most successful team from the Eastern Conference taking on their equals from the Western Conference to see who can win the best of seven games.

Who might win?

Even though we are still a couple of months off from the final, already predictions are being made. Of the sixteen teams, who will be slugging it out for the ultimate prize in US basketball, five are outstanding prospects.

1. Boston Celtics

Last year’s runners-up, losing 2-4 to the Golden State Warriors, the Boston team are clear favorites in the NBA finals odds to make good on their challenge in 2023. At the start of March they were sitting in second place in the Eastern Conference with a 46-21 win/lose record and looking like a team with what it takes to prevail. Key players on the team include Malcolm Brogdon, Derrick White, Grant Williams, Marcus Smart, Al Horford and Robert Williams. They also boast the top scorer for the season, Jayson Tatum, who will be looking to top 2,000 points by the end of the playoffs.

2. Phoenix Suns

From the Western Conference, a heavily fancied side is the Phoenix Suns. While their 37-29 record is nowhere near as good as the Celtics’ they have a very strong squad that has battled through all season in the face of some fairly serious injury issues. Star players including Devin Booker and the highly experienced Chris Paul have missed out on a lot games. But by acquiring forward Kevin Durant this year from the Brooklyn Nets they have greatly strengthened the team. Providing these three are all match fit, the Suns could well be rising to greatness.


3. Milwaukee Bucks

This is the team that leads the Eastern Conference, one place above the Boston Celtics. At 48-18 their record is marginally better but they still lag slightly behind their rivals in the playoffs betting. Their star player is undoubtedly Giannis Antetokounmpo who also had the honor of leading the winning team in a very high-scoring All-Star Game in February 2023. He is also supported in the Bucks by a very strong team that includes Jevon Carter, Grayson Allen, Jae Crowder and Brook Lopez. The team’s overall experience and ability to bounce back from many challenging situations puts them in a great position to succeed.

4. Denver Nuggets

Heading up the Western Conference above the Sacramento Kings, the Denver Nuggets are also hotly tipped to be in the playoffs mix. They are very fortunate to have a reigning twice-winning Most Valued Player in the shape of Nikola Jokic, and one who has a good chance of claiming it for the third time. Alongside Jokic other standout team members include Jamal Murray, Michael Porter Jr., Kentavious Caldwell-Pope and Bruce Brown. Working together, they make a quite formidable unit that is as strong in attack as it is in defense – an undoubtedly winning combination.

5. Philadelphia 76ers

Anyone who’s looking for a wildcard choice capable of springing some big surprises could do well to consider the Philadelphia 76ers. They had a fantastic start to the season but 2023 started badly for them with three big losses. That said, the players they have on the roster are capable of great things. Joel Embiid and James Harden make for a dynamic center-forward/point guard combination and PJ Tucker is also able to make some real game-changing contributions. So plenty of people are hoping that the team’s shaky time is behind them now and that they can finish the season even more strongly than they started it.

So start to get yourself ready for all the thrills of what promises to be a classic series of playoff games, culminating in the crowning of the undisputed team of the year.

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