There might still be fans in the streets of Cleveland celebrating the Cavaliers 2016 NBA title, but it’s never too early to talk about the 2017 NBA Finals.
Are the Cavaliers the favorite to win back-to-back titles? Are the Warriors poised to take back the crown? Let’s dig in.
The Cavs rallied back from a 3-1 series deficit to win the NBA championship this year. LeBron James was the key in each game, and has said that he plans to return to Cleveland next season. This would lead one to believe the Cavs are the favorite next year. Not so fast.
The Warriors led the NBA Finals 3-1 this year before star forward Draymond Green got suspended for Game 5. Center Andrew Bogut was injured in the same game. The Warriors wouldn’t see another win. You have to believe with a full roster, things may have ended differently.
But the Warriors almost didn’t make the Finals. The Oklahoma City Thunder led the Western Conference Finals 3-1 and almost made the Finals, themselves. If Kevin Durant stays in Oklahoma City, it could be a different story next year.
The San Antonio Spurs had one of the best records in the NBA last year but fell short of the Western Conference Finals. With returning stars Kawhi Leonard and LaMarcus Aldridge, could 2017 be the year?
According to the online gambling site Bovada, the Warriors are the early favorites to win the title next year. The Cavaliers are second, followed by the Spurs. The Thunder are fourth, and the LA Clippers round out the top 5.
With so many story lines still to follow, who do you think is the favorite to raise the Larry O’Brien trophy next season?