The NBA trade deadline and All-Star Weekend has come and gone with potential title contenders making some moves, while others didn’t. With most of the league passed the 52 game mark, it’s time to identify the contenders and pretenders for the 2019-2020 NBA championships.
Los Angeles Clippers: The Clippers are already the deepest team in the league, now they have added Marcus Morris and Reggie Jackson. Not only do the Clippers get a versatile forward who can shoot from outside and defend multiple positions, but they also added another playmaking guard that can hit big shots. The Clippers are loaded at every position and should be the favorites to win the NBA Championship.
Los Angeles Lakers: As long as you have a healthy LeBron James with Anthony Davis, you’re a contender. While the Lakers sit atop the Western Conference standings, their depth will be a question mark going forward. Expect the Lakers to cruise into the Playoffs and not overplay their 35-year-old superstar.
Milwaukee Bucks: The reigning and defending league MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo continues to flex his muscles on the rest of the league. The Bucks as a team is clicking on all cylinders. The team is in play to win 70 games and is all but a lock for the number one seed in the Eastern Conference.
Houston Rockets: The Rockets are committed to small ball. While that may work in the regular season, having no big men will prove to be fatal in the playoffs. Right before the All-Star break, the team added two more wing players in Jeff Green and Demarre Carroll to go along with former league MVPs, James Harden and Russell Westbrook. If this was an NBA 2K game, the Rockets best team to play with.
Boston Celtics: The Celtics have three 20-point per game scorers in Jason Tatum, Jaylen Brown and Kemba Walker. Unfortunately, that’s not enough to come out of the Eastern Conference. The Celtics didn’t do much of anything to improve the depth of their bench. While they do have a great core and a smart head coach, they don’t makeup well against a longer Bucks’ team and even a Toronto Raptors’ team.
Philadelphia 76ers: With their assembled talent and the potential to be a great defensive team, there’s no reason why the Sixers shouldn’t be serious title contenders. Unfortunately, things haven’t worked out at all for the Sixers. The team lacks shooters and their best player maker Ben Simmons can’t shot and their best player Joel Embid can’t stay healthy.