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[BKL] Jun 11, 2018

NBA Title 2019: Four Best Value Bets

By Gracenote

NBA Title 2019: Four Best Value Bets

Most casual bettors can correctly predict the two participants in the NBA Finals at the start of the season because of how few surprises basketball presents its viewers. Here are five teams with value to win the NBA championship:

Boston Celtics

Why we like them: The Celtics finished with the best regular season record in the Eastern Conference a year ago and they came one game shy of representing the conference in the Finals even though their two best players never played a minute in the playoffs. They'll come back next season with a starting five of guards Kyrie Irving and Gordon Heyward joining centre Al Horford, rookie sensation Jayson Tatum and shooting guard Jaylen Brown (who may transition to small forward in order to crack the starting five).

New Orleans Pelicans

Why we like them: Power forward Anthony Davis reminded everyone of just how unstoppable he can be on the basketball floor. He averaged 33 points, 11.8 rebounds and 2.8 blocks during a four-game sweep of the Portland Trail Blazers in the first round of the playoffs.

Coming out of the Western Conference is always a difficult challenge with the Golden State Warriors looming large, but they hung with them for the first three games of their second round series this year.

Milwaukee Bucks

Why we like them: Again, it's a superstar league and power forward Giannis Antetokounmpo fits the bill. He is one of the 10 best players in the Association and he's still only 23 years old. The Bucks finally found themselves a decent NBA coach in Mike Budenholzer and they have other young pieces that should improve next season. We expect Budenholzer to get more out of point guard Eric Bledsoe and centre Thon Maker.

Los Angeles Clippers

Why we like them: The Clippers can offer everything that their Staples Centre roommates (the Los Angeles Lakers) can only without the burden of playing under all the banners. They have two first round draft picks and could have a max salary slot if centre DeAndre Jordan and point guard Austin Rivers opt out.

If free agent small forward Paul George wants to play in LA, maybe he does it in a Clippers jersey instead of a Lakers one. And the Clippers have enough contracts expiring in 2019 to be able to create more cap space pretty easily.
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