Photo: Los Angeles Lakers/Twitter

Basketball, one of the most popular games in the United States and other European countries, traces its origins to 1891 in Massachusetts. Its inventor, Dr James Naismith introduced the game as a less injury prone game than football. The game developed into a worldwide attraction and spread like wild-fire beyond the borders of the United States. The organizational set-up together with the expertise required to organize the NBA in the United States is only matched by the organizational structure of playing baseball in the US and football (soccer) in Europe and Latin America.

The 2021-2022 NBA season commenced on 19 October 2021 with 82 games scheduled to be played. The playoffs are expected to begin in April 2022 and run through June of the same year. The finals will take place in June. Similar to other sports, the basketball transfer market saw substantial movement of players from one team to another with talented and well-established players changing the colour of their jersey and joining other teams.

Bookies have already started to express their views and odds, however at this initial stage of the season, one has to be careful as things may change more quickly than one expects. This could be due to a number of reasons such as the integration of new players in the tactical set-up of their new team; how coaching staff respond to the exigencies of their players; the mode of training session and how this will serve to preserve the stamina of the team throughout the season; injury to key players and how quickly they can recover and lastly but surely not least how newcomers to the squads are welcomed by fellow teammates.

Initial odds indicate four established teams to win the new NBA Championship namely, the Brooklyn Nets, Los Angeles Lakers, Golden State Warriors and Milwaukee Bucks. That said, one cannot rule out other contenders like the Phoenix Suns, Utah Jazz and the team from Philadelphia. Topping the odds list goes to the Brooklyn Nets followed closely by the Milwaukee Bucks and Los Angeles Lakers.

Current champions, the Milwaukee Bucks were nearly ousted last season by the team from Brooklyn. The latter were somewhat hindered by a long injury list however they now appear to have recovered from injured players and are expected to be one of the main contenders to win the championship. The champions managed to keep the core of their players and this could serve them to settle more quickly to current circumstances than other teams. The Milwaukee Bucks will also benefit from the recovery of crucial and important players who now seemed fully prepared for the challenges that lay ahead.

The NBA championship is not all about who will win the championship. Not less important, it is also about who will be the next MVP. The closure of the last season saw Nikola Jokic take the podium as the MVP for the season 2020-2021. The previous two seasons the MVP title was awarded to Giannis Antetokounmpo of the Milwaukee Bucks. These two talented players are at the top of the list to challenge for the MVP title for the forthcoming season.

Other contenders include the 33 year-old Kevin Durant of the Brooklyn Nets (one has to keep in mind whether the body of a 33 year-old can withstand the physical and mental pressure of the NBA tournament); Luka Doncic of the Dallas Mavericks (the coaching staff at the Dallas Mavericks are vying to build the team round Doncic and if the mechanism work to perfect Doncic might be a strong contender for the title); Stephen Curry of the Golden State Warriors (Curry’s performance and scoring power last season outshined his fellow adversaries) and; LeBron James of the Los Angeles Lakers (before his injury last season LeBron was one of the top contenders to take the MVP title).

According to the latest odds the bookies are putting the Brooklyn Nets at the top of the list (+250); followed by the LA Lakers (+300); Milwaukee Bucks (+900); Golden State (+1000) and; Utah (+1400). All you need to do is head over to your favourite sports wagering site and scoop the absolute best online casino promotions. And if you are joining for the first time, there is most probably a welcome offer to scoop and enjoy betting on your favourite NBA possible winner.

The NBA journey has just commenced and as in all other sports, predictions are only what they are predictions. What is for sure is that we are all in for an exciting NBA journey, so sit tight and enjoy the games.