Forget the Bucks; Nets open as 2022 NBA Championship favorites
The Milwaukee Bucks are your 2021 NBA champions after a thrilling Game 6 victory over the Phoenix Suns. It was an incredible turnaround for the Bucks after they lost the first two games of the series.
Milwaukee fans should enjoy every moment of their team's victory because it may not happen again next season according to the latest odds available at TwinSpires Sports. Our oddsmakers have installed the Brooklyn Nets as the favorites to hoist the Larry O'Brien Trophy in 2022.
NBA Championship 2021/2022
Thu, June 2 2022, 10:00 AM
Los Angeles Lakers
Golden State Warriors
Los Angeles Clippers
Brooklyn will return with a vengeance
Flashback to June 10: The Nets are up 2-0 on the Bucks with a chance to take a commanding lead in the series. The Bucks somehow held on for a narrow 86-83 win, and that missed opportunity came back to haunt the Nets the following game when Kyrie Irving went down with an injury and never returned.
It's hard to say with any certainty that Brooklyn would have won with a healthy Irving, but it certainly would have helped. Looking at the roster for next season, the Nets have the core "Big 3" of Irving, Kevin Durant, and James Harden along with supporting players Joe Harris, DeAndre Jordan, Landry Shamet, Nicolas Claxton, and Alize Johnson.
Spencer Dinwiddie also has a player option to return, which may be tough to turn down if he truly wants to win a ring. Veterans Jeff Green and Blake Griffin will both be free agents, and Brooklyn will certainly try to retain them given their strong postseason performances.
The Nets' projected roster will be tough to beat if the team's core players can remain healthy. Brooklyn's Big 3 will also have an extra year of experience playing together, which could be a huge asset when you consider how well Miami's Big 3 performed during their second season together in 2011-12.
The Lakers cannot be forgotten
Remember the 2020 NBA champion Los Angeles Lakers with LeBron James and Anthony Davis? Oh yeah, that team will be back and will presumably be healthy in 2022. Losing Davis in the first round series with the Suns was a crushing blow that James & Co. could not overcome. The Lakers were up 2-1 in that series before AD's injury.
"It gets better every day. Any movement starts from the groin area. Walking, whatever it is, it always aggravates that area. The treatment helps, the exercises help. I'm getting better, hopefully tomorrow I can get cleared."— ClutchPoints (@ClutchPointsApp) June 2, 2021
Anthony Davis on his groin injury. #Lakers pic.twitter.com/RIYeT1abKM
Looking at their roster for next season, the Lakers will return James, Davis, Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, Marc Gasol, and Kyle Kuzma. Montrezl Harrell also has a player option in his contract to return. This leaves the Lakers with options in the free agency and the trade market.
Damian Lillard and Ben Simmons are two names that are swirling around the rumor mill for the Lakers. Either player would instantly change the league landscape if they end up in L.A.
The Bucks are still Champs
The Lakers and Nets have super-talented rosters, but the Bucks are the defending champions and still have Giannis. In fact, only P.J. Tucker is without a current contract from Milwaukee's top nine rotation players.
As long as the Bucks have Giannis, Middleton, and a plethora of role players, they deserve to be considered title favorites.