Every yr, earlier than the beginning of the NBA season, a panel of ESPN’s basketball specialists take part in a ballot the place they try to predict which teams and players will take home the league’s largest awards, together with the Most Valuable Player Award, the Rookie of the Year Award and, after all, the NBA championship.
Last yr, they predicted that the the Los Angeles Lakers would end with the fifth-best report within the Western Conference behind the Denver Nuggets, LA Clippers, Houston Rockets and Utah Jazz. They additionally gave the Lakers the fourth-best odds to win all of it behind the Clippers, Milwaukee Bucks and Philadelphia 76ers.
As everyone knows now, the sort of us at ESPN have been simply barely off in their predictions.
The Lakers completed the 2019-20 season ason with the perfect report within the Western Conference and the third-best report within the NBA. Following their profitable regular season marketing campaign, the Lakers cruised to their seventeenth NBA title, winning all however one of their playoff series in 5 games.
Simply put, they have been the perfect team within the league, they usually bought even higher within the offseason, at the very least on paper. For that motive, the specialists at ESPN aren’t overthinking their for the NBA champion this yr — the Lakers are the favorites by a large margin:
1. Los Angeles Lakers: 132 points (86% first-place votes)
2. Milwaukee Bucks: 50 points (7% first-place votes)
3. LA Clippers: 30 points (7% first-place votes)
To give a bit context as to how favorited they’re in comparison with final yr, the two teams with essentially the most first-place votes have been separated by 32 points. This yr, the Lakers and the Bucks are separated by a whopping 82 points.
ESPN’s specialists have been fallacious earlier than, however in our personal professional opinion, they bought it proper this yr.