By Bombo Ponciano ‘John’ Melo Jr -November 26, 2020 | 10:13 AM
With the free agency already in roll, the NBA teams have either buff up or went naah.
So with the trades picking up the pace, and it seems it was done, let’s take a look at who’s the favorite to win the NBA 2020-2021 championship.
The Miami Heat is our fifth placer. The recently concluded season’s runner-ups have moved up to the rankings after not being in the top five last season. The Heat managed to shock the East and all of its contender to reach the Finals.
Erik Spoelstra, the Filipino-American head coach, and the front office had yet to sign significant players. Still, they could secure All-Star Bam Adebayo to re-sign with his five-year maximum contract extension worth $163 million. The core of the Heat has been retained.
The Brooklyn Nets take the four place.
Although they failed to reach the playoffs, the Nets are expected to create waves around the league this season as they got their superstars to catch healthy. Kevin Durant, who sat out for the whole season, will make his comeback and debut as a Net while Kyrie Irving played limited games last season due to injuries.
Other key players have recovered during the long lay-off.
The Nets will be a highlight reel team come the 2020-2021 season as they have two of the league’s most talented players. The isolation game of Durant and Irving will surely razzle and dazzle the fans.
However, it will be the thing to watch if they will compete in the last round of the playoffs, the Finals.
The Los Angeles Clippers dropped one place in the power rankings.
The team’s high expectation resulted in a hard fall as they exited in the second round of the playoffs after blowing a 3-1 series lead against the Denver Nuggets.
They still have two all-stars and two-way players Kawhi Leonard and Paul George, but a big blow hit the Clippers as Montrezl Harrell, the reigning Sixth Man of the Year, shifted team and went to their rival, the Los Angeles Lakers.
Giannis Antetokoumnpo and his Milwaukee Bucks are in second place in the power rankings.
Like the Clippers, Bucks had a failed expectation last season after being defeated by the Heat in the second round.
This season, they are aiming to make their expectation the same reality as they retool as the free agency began.
They now have a one-time All-Star Jrue Holiday on their side by trading several Bucks players. The Holiday will boost the starting five of the squad.Teams will now have three players to keep an eye on, the reigning back-to-back MVP Antetokoumnpo, his partner-in-crime Khris Middleton, and the newly acquired Holiday.
But despite the changes in the teams mentioned above, the defending NBA Champions Los Angeles Lakers remain tall above everybody.
The Lakers are the favorite as they try to make it back-to-back.
Aside from Lebron James, who has been dominating the league for a decade, and the prime Anthony Davis, the Lakers added deadly players on their roster. As mentioned earlier, Harrell will now play for the Lakers. He can replace Dwight Howard and Javale McGee, who will be playing in different teams next season. They got another agile big man and veteran in the name of Marc Gasol. The Lakers drafted Gasol before, but they immediately traded him for his brother Pau. Lastly, they were able to sign free agent Wesley Matthews. He last played for the Bucks and can be the replacement of Danny Green, who got traded.
The Lakers also acquired Dennis Schroder via trade, one of the finalists for the Sixth Man of the Year award.
The loss of Rajon Rondo and other players have been replaced with younger and more aggressive players.