The 2021 NBA season is in full swing with most teams having already played 30 games. The standings have taken shape and we now have a clearer idea of how the season will pan out. Los Angeles Lakers are still the favourites to win the NBA Championship despite Utah Jazz’s incredible start.
Lakers have a 22-8 record at the time of writing, enough for second place in the Western Conference and second in the league overall. The latest NBA online betting odds price the Lakers as +260 favorites to win back-to-back NBA Championship titles.
The Lakers went on a seven-game winning streak between Game 21 and Game 27 but have since gone 1-2, losing 102-122 at the Denver Nuggets on Game 28 and 98-109 on Game 30. Fans of the Lakers hope this is just a minor blip because the Lakers are already 2.5 games behind the hot-running Utah Jazz.
Can Utah Jazz Keep Up Their Amazing Form?
Jazz has only lost five games this season and boasts an incredible 24-5 record. They are currently on a nine-game winning streak and are 20-1 over their last 21 games, and have won 18 of those games by at least 10 points. That is championship-winning form.
Utah Jazz has never won the NBA Champion since their formation in 1974, but that could all change this season. Jazz looks unstoppable and is playing some incredible basketball.
Donovan Mitchell is in the form of his life. The shooting guard has started 27 games this season and averages 24.2 points per game. Mitchell is on course for a career-best season.
Rudy Gobert is another Jazz star enjoying career-best form. The massive center leads the Jazz in terms of blocks (2.7 per game) and rebounds (13.4 per game) all while averaging 14.2 points per game; his career average is 11.9 points per game.
Jazz are over-performing, nobody is denying that, but they are questioning whether or not they can keep up this frantic pace through to the end of the season. Online bookmakers don’t think they can, as is evident by their +1200 odds.
Which Other Teams Are Front Runners?
The Brooklyn Nets (+400), Los Angeles Clippers (+550), and Milwaukee Bucks (+750) are the three teams most likely to stop the Lakers, and perhaps the Jazz.
Nets are 19-12 and are on the back of a five-game winning streak. They currently occupy second place in the Eastern Conference behind the Philadelphia 76ers. Nets have shown far too much inconsistency to be considered legitimate title challengers.
The same can be said of the Bucks whose 16-13 record places them third in the Eastern Conference. The bucks were flying high but a run of five straight defeats has taken the shine off their impressive start.
It is the Clippers who stand the best chance of toppling the Lakes and the Jazz come the end of the 2021 season. Their 21-9 record would ordinarily be enough to lead the Western Conference, but the Lakers and Jazz’s ridiculous form sees the Clippers occupy third place.
Jamaica’s Richards Finding Game Time Limited
We know NBA fans who frequent this site look for the Charlotte Hornets’ results thanks to Jamaican Nick Richards being on their roster. Bismack Biyombo is the Hornets’ first choice center and he’s keeping Richards out of the team. Richards has only featured in eight games thus far, averaging 2.9 minutes per game.
Perhaps Richards will receive more game time in the coming week, especially with the Hornets (13-15) languishing in eighth place in the Eastern Conference. The Chicago Bulls, Atlanta Hawks, and Miami Heat are breathing down the Hornets’ necks in the race for a playoff berth.
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