Figure 1 There is already excitement about the 2023 NBA season
The Golden State Warriors have only just beaten the Boston Celtics to become the 2022 champions. But the NBA Finals betting markets have already gone into overdrive as basketball fans try to predict who will take the Dubs’ crown next year.
With the players at its disposal, it is completely possible that Golden State will repeat in 2023. But who are the main challengers for next season’s NBA Finals? Read on to find out.
It is fair to say that the Celtics surprised everyone by making the finals this year. After starting the regular season so badly it didn’t look as though they would even make the playoffs at one point. But in the end, Boston pushed the Warriors as well as anyone did in 2022 – but couldn’t quite do enough.
Now Boston will be one of the favorites to take the crown next year. Much of the belief will center on the form of Jayson Tatum. He didn’t quite play to his potential in the finals against Golden State but is young enough to come back stronger next year and lead a charge to the 2023 finals.
The 2022 NBA season didn’t go as planned for the Nets. With KD, Kyrie Irving and James Harden, Brooklyn was tipped to go all the way. But in the end, it barely made it through to the first round of the playoffs before being swept by the Celtics. Harden wasn’t even with the team by the time that came around.
He had already jumped ship for the Sixers – and Kyrie Irving had missed large chunks of the season thanks to his vaccination status and New York state laws. There will be a renewed effort next season to bring the franchise its first finals win. But which of its players are still around will have a big say on any chance of success.
The Suns were another team that was tipped to compete last year. They were the best team by a long way in the regular season and then pushed past the Pelicans in the first round with little problem. But then it all went wrong in the Conference semifinals, losing to the Mavs in seven.
There is a big chance Deandre Ayton will not be a Sun next season – but the team should be able to cope without him if it does bring in some players. There is Chris Paul, of course, and it will be largely down to him if Phoenix is to do better in 2023. The Suns definitely look good for the West again.
Figure 2 Could the Big Easy celebrate a first ever NBA championship?
New Orleans Pelicans
There are other teams that are fancied to do well more than the Pelicans. But, for an outside chance of making the finals, you could do worse than take a look at New Orleans. This is a team that has largely gotten used to playing without its star player – and it still made the playoffs in 2022.
Zion Williamson will be back next season and could be the little extra that the Pelicans need to go deep into the playoffs. They had an excellent draft, bringing in Dyson Daniels and, more surprisingly, E.J. Liddell. Alongside the current roster, there seems to be good news on the horizon for New Orleans.
But Can Anyone Beat the Warriors?
There are other contenders to take into consideration, of course. But that is assuming that the Golden State Warriors won’t just come back next year and win it again. This is a dynasty organization now and it will be looking to win its fifth championship in just nine years.
Some of the stars – Steph Curry, Klay Thomson and Draymond Green – are getting on a bit. But there have been some good younger players coming through and the ‘veterans’ are some of the best in the league. It looks like another great NBA season coming up, but don’t count the Warriors out of the running for another championship.