The 2021-22 season of the NBA is finally underway. After two shortened seasons due to the pandemic, the league has returned to its regular 82-game schedule for the first season since 2018-19. The regular season started in October and is scheduled to end on April 10, 2022. The playoffs are slated for April 16, and the 2022 NBA All-Star Weekend will be held through February 18 to 20, at Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse, in Cleveland, Ohio.
The National Basketball Association is also celebrating its 75th anniversary this year, with several events and festivities planned for the 2021-22 season, as well as a list of the 75 best players in league history, picked by a panel of current and past players, coaches, general managers, executives, and media analysts.
The 2021-22 NBA season was expected to be one of the most exciting in recent years, following one of the busiest offseasons in the past decade, in which numerous superstars moved around the league and a new scenario for the title contention was established. The Milwaukee Bucks are the defending champions, however, the Brooklyn Nets remain a powerhouse in the Eastern Conference with two of the best players on the planet. In the Western Conference, the Los Angeles Lakers made some big additions to their roster, but have been struggling to find consistency. The Golden State Warriors, on the other hand, have been in terrific form, despite Klay Thompson still being sidelined.
Fans of basketball can already place wagers, or even claim a special bonus code on https://www.us-bookies.com/bet365-bonus-code/ to bet on the outright winner of the 2021-22 NBA Championship, as the Brooklyn Nets are the odds-on favorites to win the title, at +240 odds. With a significant drop off in odds, the Los Angeles Lakers are the second-favorites closely followed by the Golden State Warriors, both at +700 odds. Giannis Antetokounmpo and the Milwaukee Bucks are also among the favorites to claim the title, at +800 odds.
The battle for the top of the Eastern Conference has been an interesting one so far, with the Brooklyn Nets, the Miami Heat, and the Chicago Bulls – who have been sensational in this season start – all fighting for first place.
It comes as no surprise that the Nets are the clear favorites to win the Eastern Conference, and also the 2021-22 NBA Championship. With two amazing players in Kevin Durant and James Harden – three if you count Kyrie Irving, who has been away from the team due to his reluctance in getting vaccinated – the Nets certainly have firepower to bring down defenses in this league. Last season, however, they struggled with injuries and COVID-related absences, which culminated in their defeat to the Bucks in the conference semifinals. So it remains a question of being healthy, and if they manage to do it, the Nets are perfectly capable of capturing this title.
With the arrival of Grayson Allen, Rodney Hood, and the return of George Hill, the Milwaukee Bucks were able to improve one of the weak spots in their roster: the shooting squad. Despite the departure of P.J. Tucker, the Bucks’ managed to retain most of the roster from the title campaign, and their defense is still one of the best in the league, which certainly makes them serious contenders in the Eastern Conference.
Historically the most challenging conference in the NBA, the Western Conference is poised for a great contention in the 2021-22, with the Golden State Warriors back in the title race, the Los Angeles Lakers with a brand new roster, and the Utah Jazz, who finished last season with the best record in the league, looking to achieve bigger things.
After a disappointing season last year, Lakers’ GM Rob Pelinka promoted a complete overhaul of the team roster, trading away core players like Kyle Kuzma and Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, and signing several veterans such as Russell Westbrook, Carmelo Anthony, and Dwight Howard. However, the team has been struggling as Frank Vogel seeks to improve the team chemistry and find the best rotation. Despite that, the Lakers remain one of the favorites to win the Western Conference, currently at +340 odds.
But the odds-on favorites to win the conference are the Golden State Warriors, who have been displaying outstanding performances, with Stephen Curry carrying the team to the top of conference standings and a 15-2 record. What has impressed the most about the Warriors so far is their ability to come up big and win games even without Klay Thompson. Which leaves us wondering… what will this team be able to accomplish once Thompson returns to action?