The Los Angeles Lakers and the Brooklyn Nets have emerged as the top favorites to reach the 2022 NBA Finals next June.
Both teams have formed their own versions of Big-3 and are already considered the two grand favorites for the coveted title.
After a disappointing ending to the 2020/21 season, where they were eliminated in the opening round of the playoffs, the Lakers made many changes to their roster.
They parted ways with several players, including Montrezl Harrell, Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, Kyle Kuzma and Dennis Schroder.
At the same time, they landed former NBA MVP Russell Westbrook, via a trade from the Washington Wizards. This brought them over the cap, therefore they filled their roster with several veterans, such as Carmelo Anthony and Dwight Howard.
Thanks to their signings, their roster now fits better to the playing style of LeBron James and Anthony Davis, while the addition of Westbrook lets them emerge as top candidates for the championship.
On the other hand, the Nets came a step away from the Eastern Conference Finals, but got eliminated in Game 7 by the Milwaukee Bucks, who went on to claim the title.
Brooklyn was the favorite to go all the way in the East, but injuries to Kyrie Irving and James Harden prevented them from being in full force in the last part of the season.
Even though Kevin Durant was unstoppable in the playoffs, the Nets failed to win the title and now want to bounce back next season.
With their Big-3 ready to go and fully healthy (Durant is coming off an impressive run in the Tokyo Olympics), they are expected to come out of the East and reach the Finals.
Their supporting cast didn’t help last season, but the additions of Patty Mills and Cameron Thomas (via the NBA Draft) could further bolster the roster.
The Nets will take on the Milwaukee Bucks on NBA opening night, whereas the Lakers will clash with the Golden State Warriors. Both games will take place on October 19.
Last but not least, both the Lakers and the Nets will face tough competition in order to go all the way. All elite teams, like the Warriors, the Miami Heat, the Phoenix Suns, the Philadelphia 76ers and the Denver Nuggets, among others, are expected to be in the title race next season.
Especially the Heat, with the signings of Kyle Lowry, Markieff Morris and PJ Tucker (all former champions), have already created high expectations for the upcoming year.
As a matter of fact, according to Sports Betting Dime’s listed sportsbooks here, the Heat saw the biggest move in the 2022 NBA title odds, now the second shortest team in the East at +1600.
But, this is a topic we will address in another article here at TalkBasket.net before the start of the season.