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NBA Playoff Odds: Post-Deadline Edition

Sascha Paruk

by Sascha Paruk in NBA Basketball

Updated Jan 17, 2018 · 9:39 AM PST

DeMarcus Cousins with Sacramento
scott mecum (Flickr) [CC BY 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)]

After the trade deadline, consensus was that the Pelicans had won the day with the coup that landed them DeMarcus Cousins in exchange for Buddy Hield. Cousins was going to team with Anthony Davis in the New Orleans frontcourt, giving the Pels the new version of the Twin Towers.

Three games into the Cousins/Davis era, it looks like the Twin Towers need a couple smaller outbuildings to really dominate the skyline. The team was absolutely roasted at home by the Rockets in Cousins’ debut (129-99). That was excusable; Houston is a quality team and it was always going to take a bit of time to figure out how Boogie and Davis would work together.

But things haven’t improved since. They fell to the 23-35 Mavericks in their next outing. Then they lost to the Thunder last night, and now sit 3.5 games back of the final playoff spot in the West, with four teams sitting between themselves and the eighth-seeded Nuggets.

In reality, it looks like some less heralded deadline moves may be the ones that pay the biggest dividends.

The Raptors acquisitions of Serge Ibaka and PJ Tucker are helping immensely as their star backcourt of Kyle Lowry and DeMar DeRozan battle injuries. Houston is 2-0 since acquiring Lou Williams, who’s poured in 44 points in his first two games, lightening the offensive load on James Harden. Russell Westbrook and OKC are also 2-0 post-deadline, which saw them pluck Doug McDermott and Taj Gibson from the Bulls. Neither was spectacular in either game, but both are positive additions to a team that is so reliant on a single player.

What does the title landscape look like after the deadline? The Warriors are still the massive favorites, given their four-game lead on the Spurs and their dominance at home. The Rockets have jumped a bit, though, and are closing the gap on the Spurs for the third-favorite in the West.

Meanwhile, in the East, the Cavs are still untouchable at the top, while the Celtics keep their grip on no. 2 even though they didn’t make any deals at the deadline. Given today’s news that Lowry is set for wrist surgery, the Raptors’ odds remain pretty long in spite of encouraging play from Ibaka and Tucker.

2017 NBA Title Odds (post-trade deadline)

Golden State Warriors: 4/5
Cleveland Cavaliers: 6/1
San Antonio Spurs: 12/1
Houston Rockets: 18/1
Boston Celtics: 25/1
Washington Wizards: 28/1
Toronto Raptors: 38/1
Los Angeles Clippers: 50/1
Utah Jazz: 60/1
Oklahoma City Thunder: 90/1
Memphis Grizzlies: 100/1
Atlanta Hawks: 110/1
New Orleans Pelicans: 120/1
Chicago Bulls: 125/1
Indiana Pacers: 125/1
Detroit Pistons: 175/1
Miami Heat: 175/1
Denver Nuggets: 200/1
Milwaukee Bucks: 200/1
Charlotte Hornets: 250/1
Dallas Mavericks: 250/1
Minnesota Timberwolves: 250/1
Portland Trail Blazers: 250/1
New York Knicks: 500/1
Philadelphia 76ers: 1000/1
Sacramento Kings: 1000/1
Los Angeles Lakers: 2000/1
Orlando Magic: 2000/1
Phoenix Suns: 2500/1
Brooklyn Nets: 5000/1

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