Article courtesy OddsShark (@OddsShark)
Earlier this decade, acquiring Dwight Howard was a big deal for the Los Angeles Lakers because he was arguably the most dominant center in the NBA at the time. While that move did not work out for the Lakers, they decided to bring him back last week to help anchor their defense.
However, that move had no impact on their odds to take home the Western Conference title during the 2019-2020 NBA season, as they are the +350 co-second choice (bet $100 to win $350) along with the Houston Rockets behind the favored Los Angeles Clippers (+225) at sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark.com.
Howard has suffered from back problems and other injuries throughout his career, and when healthy has been a force both offensively and defensively. But the biggest issue with him is that he has hurt team chemistry, something the Lakers have said they will not tolerate upon signing him.
The Clippers are still a much more sound defensive team thanks to the addition of forwards Paul George and Kawhi Leonard this offseason. That is one of the main reasons they are favored to advance to the NBA Finals at online betting sites.
Offensively, it will also be interesting to see how the Lakers incorporate their new star player Anthony Davis into the mix. One of Howard’s biggest complaints during his first stint with them was that Kobe Bryant shot the ball too much. Davis must co-exist with LeBron James, who has done his best to help turn around the team since last season.
Chemistry issues could be a factor with the Rockets as well after they traded away point guard Chris Paul for Russell Westbrook. While Houston’s backcourt might look better on paper with a pair of triple-double machines leading the way and though the duo did play together with the Oklahoma City Thunder, there is only one basketball to go around.
Other top contenders to win the West on the NBA odds include the Golden State Warriors (+800), Utah Jazz (+800) and Denver Nuggets (+1000). The Warriors have won the conference title each of the previous five years, but they lost Kevin Durant via free agency and Klay Thompson is expected to miss most of the season with a torn ACL.
The Jazz are a solid sleeper after picking up point guard Mike Conley from the Memphis Grizzlies while the Nuggets hope to build on last season when they finished with the West’s No. 2 seed.