Nets' NBA championship odds continue to tumble following Harden trade
Nearly a week since the blockbuster trade that shipped James Harden and Paul Millsap to Philadelphia, the Brooklyn Nets have tumbled from the top of the NBA championship odds board and now sit behind the Golden State Warriors and Phoenix Suns.
NBA Championship 2021/2022
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Golden State Warriors
Los Angeles Lakers
The Nets, who acquired Ben Simmons, Seth Curry, Andre Drummond, and two first-round draft picks from the Sixers, were the co-favorites (+450) with Golden State to win the 2022 NBA title at the end of last week.
Phoenix rises above Brooklyn
Since last Thursday’s trade, Brooklyn has dropped games to the Washington Wizards and the East’s top team, the Miami Heat, before crushing the lowly Sacramento Kings on Valentine’s Day.
With Kevin Durant also missing from the lineup while he nurses a sprained MCL, the Nets’ championship odds have increased to +600, while the Suns’ six-game win streak has moved them ahead of Brooklyn, at +450 odds.
The Warriors remain the frontrunner at +400 odds but currently sit five-and-a-half games behind first-place Phoenix in the West.
Celtics see movement amid nine-game win streak
Over in the East, the Boston Celtics are another team that has experienced a significant shift on the championship odds board.
Before the trade deadline, Boston was listed as a +6000 longshot to hoist the Larry O'Brien Trophy, but is now a +3000 choice, as well as a +1300 contender to claim the Eastern Conference title, behind Brooklyn (+260), the Milwaukee Bucks (+275), the 76ers (+300), and the Miami Heat (+550).
Eastern Conference Winner 2021/2022
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In the past month, Boston defeated a slew of sub-.500 teams and blew out shorthanded Miami and Brooklyn teams. But on Tuesday, the Celtics made a statement with their ninth straight win, as they beat Philadelphia, 135-87, which marked the largest margin of victory in a rivalry series that has been played 457 times.
Recent acquisition Derrick White recorded 11 points and two assists, one steal, and a block coming off the bench, while backup center Daniel Theis, who was also acquired at the trade deadline, posted five points, nine rebounds, four blocks, and two assists.
White and Theis have helped bolster Boston's depth since their arrival. White ranks first on the team in plus/minus (+66) since joining the Celtics, and Theis is a solid replacement on defense when Robert Williams is out of the lineup.
The Celtics now sit just three-and-a-half games behind the Heat and currently own the sixth seed in the East.
The Bucks are the second choice out of the East to claim the 2022 NBA championship, and sit one-and-a-half games behind first place. They are just a half-game ahead of the fourth-place Cleveland Cavaliers (+4000), who entered the 2021-22 season as a +50000 mega-longshot to contend for a championship.