2022 NBA Playoffs: Top Five Title Contenders

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The NBA is the most popular and hotly contested basketball league in the world, featuring the world’s greatest superstars.

Between LeBron James, Steph Curry, James Harden, Kevin Durant, and Joel Embiid, there is no shortage of great players to watch most nights in this league.

Even recently crowned superstars, such as Giannis Antetokounmpo, are pushing the boundaries of what an athlete can achieve on a basketball court.

With all that in mind, fans may be wondering about the NBA Odds for the rest of the season. Who is most likely to emerge as the champion when all is said and done?

Below are the top five NBA teams heading into the 2022 Playoffs.

2022 NBA Playoffs: Top Five Title Contenders

1. Philadelphia 76ers

If you had read a prediction about who would win the NBA title a few weeks ago, the 76ers would likely have been a lot lower on this list.

A team that features a superstar like Joel Embiid will always have a chance to win rings. He has been one of the best players in the league in 2022 and is one of the front-runners to win the Most Valuable Player award.

However, there is no denying that trading Ben Simmons for James Harden has changed the equation around the team. Harden is a proven winner – someone who can get the team 30 or more points a night, even when the going is tough. 

Anyone who wants to win the NBA Championship will likely have to deal with the 76ers at some stage of the playoffs. This is a great roster, made even better with the Harden trade, and it has the tools to go all the way.

2. Brooklyn Nets

Despite losing James Harden, there is no reason to count out the Brooklyn Nets entirely. They still have some outstanding basketball players, including Kevin Durant, who has enough experience winning NBA Championships to teach his teammates a few tricks.

There is also the small matter of Kyrie Irving, who last won a championship with LeBron James in Cleveland. His stance around vaccinations may still make him a problem for the team, but if they can get him featuring in as many playoff games as possible, they have one of the best scoring lineups in the league.

How this team adds Simmons to its lineup will determine if they can go all the way. Ben Simmons was notorious for his scoring problems in Philadelphia, especially in the playoffs. If they can get him assisting the likes of Durant and Irving, they could set up an outstanding trio of superstars.

2022 NBA Playoffs: Top Five Title Contenders

3. Golden State Warriors

The standings last season may have caused some fans to believe the dynasty at the Golden State Warriors had come to an end. While the team is no longer the all-conquering and dominating force that it was three or four years ago, they are still a very good basketball team.

Steph Curry is 100 percent healthy, while Draymond Green is approaching his best form as well. Most importantly, the Warriors can now count on Klay Thompson, who is back from a lengthy injury absence.

With their superstars healthy and approaching their best form at the business end of the season, the Warriors have the capacity to surprise a lot of people in the playoffs. 

Steve Kerr’s team may not be the very best in the league, and they could still fall short if their superstars are not able to achieve their pre-injury levels of greatness, but they have a shot at winning it all.

4. Milwaukee Bucks

Being an NBA Champion in the previous year does not necessarily make that team the favorite to claim the crown again. The Bucks should have no problem reaching the playoffs, as they are one of the top seeds in the Eastern Conference.

However, the problem for the Bucks is that they do not have enough superstars around Giannis Antetokounmpo. He is still one of the best in the league, but most of the teams in contention for the title have multiple such superstars in their lineup.

As the Bucks did not make any major moves in the trade deadline, they are outside contenders for the NBA Title. They could surprise teams and go all the way, but Milwaukee fans should not expect to pick up another chip in the coming months.

2022 NBA Playoffs: Top Five Title Contenders

5. Phoenix Suns

When you assess the Phoenix Suns roster, you would think they were a decent team that could win a few playoff games. Then you watch the team play, and you realize they are one of the best units in the NBA.

Veteran Chris Paul leads the offense, while they have stars such as Devin Booker, Deandre Ayton, Mikal Bridges, and JaVale McGee taking up other spots in the lineup.

The Suns are such a great team because they play for each other. Even if they lack the true superstar quality of some other teams, they are excellent on both ends of the floor. The question is whether their franchise’s lack of recent playoff experience will count against them when the season’s most important games roll around.

Who Will Win It All?

The NBA season is at an exciting stage. Teams are vying to get into the final playoff positions, while the top seeds hope to consolidate their spots and secure home-field advantage for playoff matchups.

The trade between the Philadelphia 76ers and Brooklyn Nets to send James Harden to Philly and Ben Simmons to NYC will likely have significant implications on the rest of the season.

The question remains whether the 76ers can gel quickly enough and if Simmons can combine well with Kyrie Irving and Kevin Durant to mount a serious playoff push for Brooklyn.

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