Now that the 2019-2020 NBA season finally came to an end earlier this month, congratulations Lakers fans and band-wagoners alike, the fan-bases of the other 28 teams can finally set their eyes on next season and see how their teams prepare for whatever kind of season we get in 2021.
Last week, sportsbooks opened betting on next season, starting with title odds. Whether you’re into crypto sports betting, or you prefer to put actual cash on the line, the five teams with the highest projection to win it all next season are, in order, the Lakers, Clippers, Bucks, Warriors and Celtics. Given the current makeups of these rosters, I don’t think anyone is surprised, especially for their history in the last ten years and further back.
Taking a look at history and greatness over the last decade or two, it is rather surprising how far you have to scroll to find one of the premiere franchises in NBA history – the San Antonio Spurs. Given their recent history, is it really surprising though?
2021 NBA title odds are already here 👀
— br_betting (@br_betting) October 12, 2020
Opening at +25000 (bet $100 to make $25k), this has to be the lowest projection for the silver and black in the last 20 years. At these odds, the Spurs are only ahead of the Cleveland Cavaliers, Detroit Pistons, New York Knicks and the Charlotte Hornets when given a chance to win the franchise’s elusive sixth NBA Championship. That means teams like the Bulls, Magic and Wizards are more likely to win it all, according to the sportsbooks. Ouch.
Coming off their worst season since 1996-1997, and missing the playoffs for the first time since then, the team still has a head coach in Gregg Popovich that is a lock for the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame. Under his tutelage, there’s an interesting mix of young guards and wings, though none are near the level of star power that made up the championship rosters of 1999, 2003, 2005, 2007 and 2014.
With the other roster constructs around the NBA, a championship might not be a realistic expectation, and rightfully so. The given standard over the last two decades has been making playoffs, at the minimum. When the futures come out on the postseason in general, will the Spurs be set on the outside looking in then too? If so, 22 years of playoff appearances gives reason to take those odds. And hey, for only a $10 wager to win $2500 if the Spurs can win a title too? As the meme reads, “Shut up and take my money.”