Early Season Picks: Which Teams Have Impressed In First NBA Matches Of The Season?
Anyone with even a passing interest in the NBA knows that the season is a long and grueling one, and as such, any team that hasn’t gotten off the starting blocks still has plenty of time to turn things around.
However, it is possible to see the early seeds of progress in those sides that may have what it takes to go long into the postseason, as well as judge how the favorites have fared after the opening three or four games.
When the season tipped off, the NBA Championship Odds had the Brooklyn Nets firmly in place as the team to beat. Steve Nash’s side still heads the odds at (+250), well ahead of the Lakers (+500) and the Bucks (+850), despite their 1-2 run thus far.
So which teams have impressed so far?
Last season the Bucks picked up their first NBA title in 50 years, and not many predicted that they’d repeat that feat this time around. Fortunately, Milwaukee has arguably the best player in the league right now, Giannis Antetokounmpo, and he’s taken up just where he left off.
The Greek star picked up 32 points in the Bucks opening game win over the Nets, and he continues to receive great support from Khris Middleton, and you can expect Mike Budenholzer’s side to go far in 2021-22.
Another team from the Atlantic Division, the Bulls, has started the season in explosive fashion and is impressing a great many. It’s true that a lot of their hopes lie with Zach LeVine; it’s also true that he’s getting some able support this season from the likes of DeMar DeRozan and Lonzo Ball.
The Bulls have suffered four successive losing seasons but look a different prospect this time around, albeit it’s early days. Could this Bulls side become the first to secure NBA glory since the days of Michael Jordan? It’s still a long shot but one worth keeping an eye on.
Golden State Warriors
At the beginning of the season, Steph Curry’s side sat among the ‘contenders’ for the NBA title, and their early run of wins confirms that the Warriors do have a lot to offer this season.
A lot of the talk over a possible NBA title appears to be related to the likely reintroduction of long-term injury concern Klay Thompson. The 31-year-old has missed the last two seasons due to a torn ACL suffered during the Golden State Warriors’ game six loss in the 2019 NBA
Finals. He could be back as soon as December, and the three-time NBA champion would certainly help Steve Kerr’s push for a long run into the playoffs this season.
These three are teams that have shown a good level of form in the opening weeks of the season but clearly in an 82-game regular season, it’s fair to say there will be many ups and downs between now and the final weeks of the campaign.
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