The National Basketball Association is back! Only a year ago, LeBron James scooped up his fourth Bill Russell NBA Finals MVP award, as well as his fourth NBA title, with Anthony Davis by his side and the late-great Kobe Bryant's Los Angeles Lakers on his back. Lest we forget, hardly three months ago, Giannis Antetokounpo tore through DeAndre Ayton and the Phoenix Suns to win his first world championship and Milwaukee's second in franchise history. The '21-'22 NBA season will also see the most online sports betting action of any to date with many states legalizing sports betting like Arizona & Louisiana.
It's always a joy to welcome basketball back on our screens and after a summer of sagacious storylines - where the wardrobe choice of any one star player can spark a frenzy of trade rumors - as is the tradition in the NBA, regular season basketball is back, and there's no better feeling in the world.
Basketball lovers all across the world will be especially excited for the 2021-22 Regular Season as the National Basketball Association will be celebrating its 75th anniversary!
#Hooper's and #casuals alike the world over are eternally indebted to the genius of James Naismith who invented the game we all love with little more than a pair of peach baskets in Springfield, Massachusetts more than a century ago.
75 years of anything is incredible.
75 years of the NBA is unbelievable.
Much fanfare has been made about the significance of the NBA's 75th Anniversary, and rightly so!
So if you note an uptick in deranged sports takes on social media, pay it no mind, it's likely nothing more than the ramblings of impassioned visionaries on #BasketballTwitter. All those flagrant tweets about LeBron's hairline, KD's bald patch, and Kyrie's third-eye are meant to make you laugh, not cry!
With that being said, let the games begin!
As the 2021-22 NBA Regular Season gets underway with plenty of Live NBA Betting action, so too does the quest to capture basketball's ultimate prize begin in earnest.
Last year, no one could have predicted that an NBA season that began with a healthy LeBron James, Kevin Durant, and Stephen Curry would end with neither of them scoring a single basket in June. Giannis Antentekounpo and Devin Booker were more than happy to crash their party and draw a close to the decade-old tradition of NBA Finals featuring the talents of King James and Chef Curry. Prior to last year's Finals, the Phoenix Suns had not clinched a playoff spot since the 2009-10 NBA season when Brooklyn Nets Head Coach Steve Nash still laced 'em up for 'The Valley', proving that anything really is possible in the NBA.
Since the founding of the National Basketball Association on that fateful June night in 1946; the story of the best basketball league on Earth has been one of the dynasties. However, as we've already seen in the NBA, history has a way of upending itself.
In each of the past two seasons, you would have been hard-pressed to find anyone outside the cities of Miami and Phoenix who believed either of those franchises would be playing for the Larry O'Brien trophy in June, yet they did.
Should the Milwaukee Bucks fail to defend their throne atop the NBA's mountain: the Association will crown its fifth champion in as many seasons for the first time since the late 70s.
Cinderella stories aren't uncommon in the NBA. Magic is the status quo. Each victory feels more Herculean than the next. And that shouldn't surprise anyone. After all, the Association is "Where Amazing Happens".
Amazing is the perfect word to describe a league of freakishly athletic 7-footers who seem to soar when they take flight.
Just how else would you describe future Hall of Famers Russell Westbrook, Carmelo Anthony, Rajon Rondo, and Dwight Howard joining LeBron James and Anthony Davis on the Los Angeles Lakers and making the dreams of countless Photoshop obsessed Laker fans in 2013 come true?
It's the only word to describe a league where a world championship can be decided by shoe size.
And now with the 75th season of NBA basketball underway, it's time to look at which teams are the betting favorites to be crowned 2021-22 NBA Champions.
Nothing's been the same since Kevin arrived in the NBA.
A generational talent, blessed with ethereal scoring ability and the frame of a wiry Goliath; Kevin Durant the basketball player has reached heights many legends couldn't dream of.
The "Slim Reaper" in every sense, Durant's lanky 7ft frame glides across the court with deathly finesse, slicing through opponents with confounding efficiency, leaving corpses in his wake all across the court.
Kevin Durant is the End Game.
For all that's been said about Kyrie Irving, James Harden and the Brooklyn Nets; the only name that matters in Bedstuy is Kevin Durant.
There's no question who the best player in the world is.
We're only 12 months removed from LeBron James lifting his fourth NBA Finals, and NBA Finals MVP trophies respectively, and reclaiming his throne atop the NBA's hierarchy.
The "King" will be eager to bring the City of Angels its first championship parade since Kobe Bryant city on his back in 2010.
Milwaukee Bucks (+650)
50-14-5, are the only numbers you need to know about Giannis Antetokounmpo and the Milwaukee Bucks.
Giannis stands alone in the 75 year history of the NBA; he is the only player to record at least 50 points, 10 rebounds, and 5 blocks in an NBA Finals game.
Joel Embiid, Philadelphia 76ers (+1100)
There's no doubt in my mind that Joel Embiid will win the 2021-22 NBA Regular Season MVP Award.
Truthfully, he should have won the award last year but he missed too many games.
As Westbrook's historic triple-double season illustrates, the MVP comes to those who have torrid fallouts with their All- NBA teammates and tally gaudy statistics the year after.
You don't need to win all the games. You just need to win enough, and look good while doing it.
Jalen Green, Houston Rockets (+210)
Jalen Green is going to win the 2021-22 NBA Rookie of the Year award and, whether he believes it or not, its precisely because he didn't go #1 in the draft.
Getting drafted by the Rockets was a blessing in disguise for Green for one reason only; the Rockets stink and they're unlikely to turn it around this season.
There's plenty of shots to go around on bad teams, and Jalen Green is on an awful one.
The NBA's Rookie of the Year award winner is almost always a combination of youthful swagger, shameless stat padding, and a lottery draft pick.
Trust me, Jalen Green is that guy.
It's no surprise the oddsmakers have him as the favorite to begin the season.
Jordan Poole, Golden State Warriors (+1000)
If you watched the Warriors at all last year, one thing is clear:
Chef Steph is still cooking! And for as long as he's still bombing deep threes off the dribble 40-ft from the hoop, Golden State is in with a chance.
However, as is the norm in every top flight restaurant in the world - every Head Chef needs a Soux - and Chef Steph is going to need all the help he can get if he expects to make a curry!
And by the looks of the recently concluded 2021-22 NBA Preseason, Golden State's Jordan Poole is ready to do more than just break a few eggs to make an omelette.
In just 5 Golden State preseason games, Poole averaged 22ppg, and 3apg all while shooting an impressive 50.6% from the field.
If the Warriors are to vault themselves back to contender status this season they need Jordan Poole to perform like the Most Improved Player in the National Basketball Association from Game 1 through to 82.
Tyler Herro, Miami Heat (+1200)
Tyler Herro opened the year saying he believes he belongs in the same conversation with the best young stars in the Association, naming Luka Doncic, Trae Young, and Ja Morant directly.
Now, we all know very well that Tyler Herro does not in fact belong in those conversations because each of the guys he mentioned are already 'franchise guys' earning max money on their rookie extension.
Herro on the other hand is being discussed in the 6MOY section of the column.
Make of that what you will.
It's not to say the kid can't play, after all, he did score 10+ in his first 20 NBA Playoff games, setting a record for rookies in the Association in the process.
So while he may not be the face of the league just yet, Tyler Herro is a promising young basketball player who can make an instant impact on the floor with his laser sharp shooting and is among the betting favorites to win the 2021-22 Sixth Man of the Year award.
Bam Adebayo, Miami Heat (+1400)
Rudy Gobert is a #fraud and is exposed as such at the end of every season.
The NBA's reigning Defensive Player of the Year, and three-time overall award winner, gets played off the floor every Playoffs because he can't guard the perimeter.
This year will be no different. It will end in tears, as it always does.
In fact the only reason he leads all candidates in odds to win the DPOY at (+380) is almost entirely due to this predictable pattern.
And when it does, you'll look and feel like an idiot for listening to bloggers obsessed with advanced statistics instead of trusting your own two eyes (or mine!).
Bam Adebayo is your Defensive Player of the Year for the 2021-22 NBA Regular Season (and likely for many more seasons to follow) for one reason: there is no spot on the court be cannot cover!
Adebayo possesses a unique combination of basketball IQ, discipline, and athleticism that make him the most nightmarish defender in the league today.
Barring significant injury, Bam easily wins the DPOY award this season.
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