NBA Lottery Favorites For 2021 – The Race for NBA LVP
One of the most competitive NBA basketball divisions is the Eastern Conference and the race for the NBA LVP (Least Valuable Player) title is heating up. Cleveland is the prohibitive favorite to win the Central Division. The problem for the Cavs is whether they have enough to get past the defending champion Chicago Bulls or the Minnesota Vikings. A trip to the Conference Finals would mean another six or seven games against the top teams in the NBA and an even tighter race for the Larry O’Brien trophy. Here’s a look at some of the teams that will be in the spotlight when the playoffs get underway.
Boston Celtics: The Celtics are one of the most intriguing teams in the NBA’s Eastern Conference. They lost Rajon Rondo to free agency, but they’ve added Al Harrington and rookie big man Carrick Martin on top of the acquisition made by the former Celtic Rajonasen. Boston has depth in the frontcourt with starters Paul Pierce, Ray Allen and Gerald Wallace, as well as second unit greats like Wallace and Tanish Douglas. However, the Celtics are missing a lot of big scorers and they’re going to have to rely on a lot of points from the outside in the paint to keep their opponents from playing team basketball the way they want. Bradley, who has been very effective in the last two playoff series, might be the difference maker.
Detroit Pistons: The Pistons need to add a few pieces to their championship roster if they want to repeat as the NBA’s Detroit Pistons. The first move should be to sign center Andre Drummond to a long-term deal. Drummond is a perfect fit for the small forward position in Detroit because of his ability to both rebound and post up on the perimeter. The Pistons don’t have a natural big man and they need Drummond to stretch the floor on a regular basis if they want to compete in the Eastern Conference.
Sacramento Kings: The Kings are a decent basketball team but they’re not a true title contender. DeMarcus Cousins is a nice talent that can help to provide some scoring off the bench but he’s not exactly a leading scoring option. That leaves Ben McLemore, a promising young player who will have to develop a lot more skills if he’s going to make an impact in the NBA. Right now, though, McLemore is one of the best backup centers in the league and he could wind up being the best NBA rookie of the Year.
Dallas Mavericks: The Mavericks have the nucleus that can win a lot of games. The only problem is that everyone else on the team is better than average. Deron Williams is the premier star, but his performance is marred by the poor performances of his teammates. Jason Terry, Vince Carter and Dirk Nowitzki are also solid players that are worth drafting and having at your disposal. The Mavs will always have a chance to upset the Heat but they’ll never get the job done in the playoffs.
Detroit Pistons: There aren’t many legitimate contenders in the NBA. And that’s exactly how coach Joe Dumars wants things. Andre Drummond is a sensational player that will draw a lot of attention, but he’s not the guy that will bring the Pistons over the top. Don’t worry, though, as with point guard, he’ll get ample opportunities to score inside the painted area. Unfortunately, he’s probably the only player on the team that can really make an impact on the game. The Pistons will likely be mediocre for the first half of the season.
Utah Jazz: The Jazz have a ton of talented players, but none of them seem to be able to put the team on their shoulders. This is particularly the case with center Joe Johnson. He’s a fantastic rebounder for Utah, but the Jazz just don’t have anybody on the floor that can knock down shots off the dribble. That makes Johnson’s production less than it’s actually worth. I like Utah’s chances of sneaking into the top three during the second half of the season.
Philadelphia 76ers: The Flyers are a very young team that looks like it may be able to surprise a few people. A lot of experts don’t think the Flyers will be able to do well in the Eastern Conference. If they can manage to win one or two games out of the conference, however, things could get very interesting in the playoffs. With the right player or two, the Flyers could even push the champion Miami Heat into the playoffs. There are a lot of teams in the NBA Lottery that could use a player or two, and the Flyers might be the odd team out.