Updated 2015 NBA Championship Odds

Updated 2015 NBA Championship Odds

Oddsmakers have made some significant adjustments since the last time we checked in on the NBA Championship contenders. With the Playoffs only four days away from tipping, the 16 teams fortunate enough to advance to the NBA’s second season are gearing up to survive the arduous journey to the Finals in June. Can the Warriors build on the momentum of a scintillating regular season? Will LeBron’s second stint with the Cavs produce a ring? Are the Hawks for real or merely the product of a weak Eastern Conference? Do the Spurs have enough legs to repeat? Which title hopefuls have seen their stock rise or fall the most? Here’s a look at the latest odds to win it all in pro hoops.

Golden State 2/1 – As they have been for the majority of the new year, the Warriors are leading the pack. Best record, most explosive offense, the would-be MVP — what’s not to like? The biggest hurdle will be how they handle physical, defensive-minded opponents. Then again, nobody fills the basket quite like the Warriors.

Cleveland 21/10 – With apologies to Steph Curry, James Harden, and Russell Westbrook, the best player on the planet should be the MVP. LeBron won’t take home the prize, but he has helped morph Kyrie Irving into a more complete player, not to mention make Cleveland basketball relevant once again. They still have issues on the glass, and can get a bit three-point happy, but facing them will be difficult.

San Antonio 5/2 – Don’t look now but the defending champs have reeled off 11 straight wins and appear more than ready to make another run at the Larry O’Brien Trophy. A month ago they weren’t even a lock to make the postseason. With a game left they have a chance to be the No. 2 seed out West. Never underestimate Gregg Popovich and the grizzled trio of Duncan, Ginobili, and Parker.

Atlanta 16/1 – Special season for the Hawks that few pundits predicted. This is an unselfish bunch who contest every trip down the floor. Problem is, it takes superstars to seize a title and Atlanta doesn’t have one. Paul Millsap and Jeff Teague are solid players, but neither is a proven clutch performer. And comparing this team to the Spurs is misguided. Similar styles? Yes. Similar talent? No way.

Chicago 18/1 – Jimmy Butler is a rising star and Derrick Rose is back. A title run isn’t out of the question, especially if they switch to stingy mode. That said, every time Rose hits the deck a collective crossing of fingers can be seen inside the building. Sitting on pins and needles isn’t a recipe for success.

Houston/LA Clippers 25/1 – Clones of one another. Both can light up scoreboards and both are immune to defense. They will be fun to watch until they get outmuscled by better coached opponents.

Washington 100/1 – The Grizzlies of the East. John Wall is the best all-around point guard in the league. Paul Pierce might have one last hurrah in him. At these odds, why the hell not? If they get past Toronto, an upset of the Hawks wouldn’t be shocking in the least.