In the past week, a lot has happened in the National Basketball Association. The NBA declared a start date, the Detroit Pistons know exactly who they want to draft next week, and the Rockets believe they can still win the NBA Championship. Check out what’s happened the past week in our basketball update so you can get all set to make your bets against our NBA odds for the upcoming season!
NBA COVID-19 Update – November 10th Edition
2020-2021 NBA Season
2021 NBA Championship Odds
- Golden State Warriors +600
- Portland Trail Blazers +4500
- New Orleans Pelicans +5500
- Oklahoma City Thunder +8000
- Washington Wizards +12500
- Minnesota Timberwolves +30000
- Cleveland Cavaliers +30000
2020-2021 NBA starts on Dec. 22
The National Basketball Players Association approved the owners’ plan to start the upcoming NBA Season on Dec. 22. The NBA’s goal is to get back to as much of a normal season as possible after the Orlando bubble year of 2020.
The reason? The league lost mass amounts of revenue by keeping fans from arenas and having the NBA Playoffs and Finals in late September and early October. The NBA competed against MLB, the NFL, and college football. October was also the last month before the 2020 U.S. Presidential Election.
Because Adam Silver and the owners want to start the season before the annual Christmas Day slate of games, and because players have approved the schedule, this year’s free agency period won’t last longer than a week or two. Plans call for free agency to open on Nov. 20, a couple of days after the NBA Draft.
NBA training camps are slated to open in less than a month on Dec. 1. Teams like the Miami Heat, Denver Nuggets, and Los Angeles Lakers have a short turnaround. Although many players hated the idea, nobody wants to lose more money than required, which is why the NBPA signed on to the start date.
Pistons angling to grab LaMelo first in NBA Draft
When the NBA Draft happens on Nov. 18, one team has already said what they plan on doing. The Detroit Pistons will move up in the draft to grab the consensus number one pick, LaMelo Ball.
Ball, who’s brother Lonzo plays for the New Orleans Pelicans, has amazing passing skills. He’s a great pure point-guard, but like his brother, doesn’t defend as well as he should and, also like Lonzo, shoots miserably. 46% from the field and 25% behind the arc are terrible.
But the Pistons could use a pure point-guard like Ball while the team with the top pick, the Minnesota Timberwolves, can’t as much. Detroit has a top frontcourt player in Blake Griffin. The T’Wolves do as well in Karl-Anthony Townes, but Minnesota requires more than a great passing point-guard that can’t shoot to help their team win games.
Expect the T’Wolves to hand over the top pick to Detroit. Why not if they can get a couple of proven players for it?
Rockets keep title hopes alive after GM and coaching changes
Houston GM Daryl Morey and coach Mike D’Antoni are both gone but that hasn’t stopped the Rockets from believing they’ve got a good enough team to win the NBA Championship. Houston’s new general manager, Rafael Stone, and new head coach, Stephen Silas, believe they can win rings with the current roster.
One of the reasons for the bullish sentiment is because James Harden and Russell Westbrook played well together in their first on the same team. Russell averaged over 27 points, close to 8 boards, and 7 assists per. The Beard knocked down over 37 per game.
Harden also dished 7.5 assists per. The Rockets start two of the top five point guards in the NBA. The key for Houston may be to tweak their isolation offense. Both Harden and Westbrook can beat any opponent one-on-one, and even though the isolation offense worked for the most part, adding more traditional offense elements like pick and rolls and dump downs to bigs in the paint could be more fruitful.
Silas seems to know this, which is why the Rockets tried to make a trade for Oklahoma City backup center Nerlens Noel. Nerlens is 6’10” while Houston’s listed starting center is 6’5” P.J. Tucker.
The Rockets won’t need a double-double every night from their best big to contend for the title. If they can get a center like Noel, OKC put the kibosh on the trade, Houston should be one of the better teams in the Western Conference this season.
Most teams planning on spending big in 2021
Free agency starts on November 20. By Thanksgiving the following week, NBA fans should know where the top free agents have landed. The reason? Most big free agents won’t become free agents until after this upcoming season.
That’s when the teams with money will look to spend big. We’ll dive deeper into the draft and free agency in next week’s update. Until then, have a great week!
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