The NBA season has at least one more game left in it before it’s all wrapped up, as the Cleveland Cavaliers will try and avoid a deciding fourth game loss to the Golden State Warriors in game five of the NBA Finals Monday in Oakland.
With the Warriors up 3-1, it seems easy to think ahead already to next season, and what’s going to happen in the NBA landscape with teams making trades, free agent pickups and draft picks.
If you check out online basketball betting odds from CrownBet, you can see that it will again be the Warriors and Cavs as heavy favorites to meet next season.
That’s not going to stop other NBA teams from looking to shorten the gap, and today we look at five teams that are poised to try and make it to the promised land of the NBA Finals in 2018.
1. San Antonio Spurs
The Spurs were the closest thing in the West to giving the Warriors a run for their money but key injuries, when it mattered the most, derailed their run to playing the Cavs. Look for much of the same from the Spurs, and they should be right back at the top in the West, and will give the Warriors a fight to the Finals as long as they are healthy.
2. Boston Celtics
The club that met up with the Cavs in the East Finals, they too were hit with the injury bug as they lost superstar guard Isaiah Thomas early in the series. They were no match for LeBron James and company, losing a game at home so badly they trailed by 50 at one point. Expect Boston Celtics with the first pick to make a deal to get more picks and players down the road. They will be a healthy force again in the East.
3. Los Angeles Clippers
The window on this super talented team is closing, and this might be the last run for a Clippers team that many felt were going to be the Warriors of the mid 2010’s. The team with Chris Paul and Blake Griffin might have to say, ‘so long’ after next year; patience is growing thin for Los Angeles Clippers, who keep falling short. Look for a focused group to make another run in the West, but again to fall short.
4. Toronto Raptors
This was a team that took the Cavs to six games in the East Finals two years ago, and with DeMar DeRozen, Kyle Lowery and maybe a piece in free agency or the draft, expect Toronto to be a club that is going to get overlooked but be a team that will put up a fight in the East.
5. Milwaukee Bucks
This is a dark horse for sure, but a surprise team that reached the postseason and gave the Raptors a fight. Don’t assume the Bucks are going to go away quietly, and they might be the most up and coming team in the group of five that with a player or two added will only be better next season.