- The Bucks are the current favorite to win the Larry O’Brien Trophy entering the second half of the NBA season
- The Lakers and Clippers have the next best odds to win the title
- Who is the best bet to capture the 2020 NBA Championship?
It was a very exciting first half of the 2019-20 NBA season and by no surprise, the Los Angeles Lakers and Los Angeles Clippers have emerged as legitimate title contenders. But Giannis Antetokounmpo and the Milwaukee Bucks aren’t going to go down without a fight, currently flaunting the best record in the association at 46-8.
They’re also proving they have what it takes to win a title this year after bowing out in the Eastern Conference Finals last season against the eventual champions, the Toronto Raptors.
LeBron and AD have led the Lakers to a fantastic season so far, with the second-best record in the league at 41-12. Meanwhile, Kawhi Leonard and Paul George’s Clippers aren’t far behind at 37-18.
2020 NBA Championship Title Odds
|Los Angeles Lakers||+275|
|Los Angeles Clippers||+350|
Odds taken Feb. 16th
Lakers are Living up to Expectations
All the discussion coming into this season was not if, but what Los Angeles team would bring a title back to the city.
Looking at the first half, the Lakers currently look like the better bet and have the shorter price in the NBA Championship odds. LeBron and co. have been utterly dominant, heading into the second half with a 7-3 record in their last ten contests. They sit in the top five in the league in both offensive and defensive rating, while also shooting an NBA-best 48.8 percent from the field.
Both Anthony Davis and James are averaging over 25 points each per night, while LeBron is dishing out a league-best 10.8 assists per game, the most dimes he’s averaged in a single season in his illustrious career. Between Davis, Dwight Howard, and Javale McGee, LA has great length all over the floor, recording 6.8 blocks per contest, which is first in the association.
Clips Handed Blow with George Injury
The Clippers have had their struggles this year, but as a whole, they’ve still been an impactful team in a very competitive Western Conference. They head into the second half with a 6-4 record in their last ten games.
The injury bug has once again plagued Paul George though, as he reaggravated his left hamstring against the Celtics last week. On a positive note, Doc River’s team has beaten the Lakers both times they’ve played them this season. The thing about the Clippers that separates them from other teams in the NBA is the fantastic second unit they have.
Aside from Kawhi Leonard and Paul George, who are averaging 27.2 and 21.7 points respectively, Lou Williams and Montrezl Harrell are both scoring just under 20 a game off the bench. These two are key to LA’s success and are a huge reason the Clips are first in bench scoring and bench minutes per game. The deep roster that Rivers has to pick from will definitely be important when it comes to playoff basketball. We all know what Kawhi is capable of in the postseason, so anything is possible for the Clips this year. But without Paul George healthy, it’s going to be a daunting task to compete for a title.
Milwaukee Looks Unstoppable
The Bucks have loudly inserted their name into title discussions with their red-hot first half, going 46-8. They’ve lost just twice in their last ten and are just twelve wins off their total amount of victories from all of last season already. Giannis Antetokounmpo continues to prove he’s one of the league’s most unstoppable forces, averaging 30 points, 13.5 boards, and 5.8 assists per night.
Khris Middleton and Eric Bledsoe are also pouring in points, scoring 20.4 and 15.4 a night. The Bucks are scoring an NBA-best 119.6 points per game while shooting 48 percent from the field as a team, second to the Lakers. They also have a solid bench, with three different second unit players all averaging around ten points per contest. Mike Budenholzer’s squad also has the best defensive rating in the league, hugely because of the Greek Freak’s fantastic coverage on the defensive end.
The Bucks Have What it Takes
It’s hard to look past LeBron James and Kawhi Leonard when it comes to the playoffs because both are so clutch at the most crucial moments. But Milwaukee already proved last year that they’re a force to be reckoned with, losing to the Raptors in seven games, just missing the NBA Finals. However this year, they look just one step ahead in every category and practically no one has been able to stop them. With Antetokounmpo even more of a complete player than last year at both ends of the court, I believe it’s going to be very hard for anyone to beat Milwaukee in the postseason.
Pick: Milwaukee +250