After reaching the NBA Finals last season, the Miami Heat and Oklahoma City Thunder have convinced many they will be the teams to beat over the next decade or so. With superstars LeBron James and Kevin Durant leading the way, these two teams have a bright future ahead with potentially a few more head-to-head matchups in the Finals in the years to come.
Heading into the 2012-13 NBA season, Oklahoma City has kept the squad relatively intact while Miami added Rashard Lewis and Ray Allen. with that being said, it would be safe to say that both teams will be legitimate NBA title contenders once again.
Leading the way for these elite squads during the upcoming season, LeBron and Durant leading candidates for NBA MVP followed by Kobe Bryant of the Los Angeles Lakers via Kurt Helin of ProBasketballTalk:
Professional odds makers don’t do it wrong. So when the guys at offshore book Bovada put together a list, you know who is at the top. But the real value is farther down the list. Here is their top 15.
LeBron James (MIA) 9/5
Kevin Durant (OKC) 15/4
Kobe Bryant (LAL) 12/1
Russell Westbrook (OKC) 16/1
Dwight Howard (LAL) 16/1
Steve Nash (LAL) 16/1
Chris Paul (LAC) 20/1
Kevin Love (MIN) 20/1
Dwyane Wade (MIA) 22/1
Deron Williams (BK) 25/1
Blake Griffin (LAC) 25/1
Carmelo Anthony (NYK) 25/1
Tony Parker (SAN) 25/1
Rajon Rondo (BOS) 28/1
Dirk Nowitzki (DAL) 30/1
With three MVP awards to his credit already, it’s hard to bet against LeBron winning a fourth especially with the added confidence of winning his first NBA title and second gold medal.
If LeBron fails to earn his fourth MVP, Durant is clearly the next best option as these odds suggest, but it’s interesting to see three Lakers in contention with Kobe, Steve Nash and Dwight Howard rounding out the top six along with the Thunder’s Russell Westbrook.
In case you missed it: Kobe talks A-Rod, growing up in a family of “a-holes.”
[jwplayer config=”lakersnation_player” file=”http://youtu.be/Tho5CABW5rk” autostart=”false”]