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Who Are the Favorites to Win the NBA in 2025?

As the dust settles on another electrifying NBA season, attention swiftly turns to the future. The 2023-24 campaign was a spectacle of high-flying action, strategic genius, and individual brilliance, setting the stage for what promises to be an even more competitive chase for Larry O’Brien next term. Ultimately it was the Boston Celtics who emerged victorious, as they have threatened to do over the last few years without actually climbing to the summit, and now it remains to be seen whether they can kick on and become the NBA’s next dynasty.

The Beanttown outfit has a number of sides hunting them down to themselves become champions. Here are the five frontrunners for the crown next year.

Boston Celtics

The Boston Celtics finished the 2023-24 season with a stunning record of 64 wins and 18 losses, dominating the Eastern Conference. That put them in the driver’s seat for the title however, they found themselves in a similar position last year before being stunned by the Miami Heat in the conference finals. This year, however, they made no mistake.

With Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown firing on all cylinders, the TD Garden outfit made their way to the Finals with a minimum of fuss. They gained redemption against the Heat in the first round with a dominant 4-1 series victory, before beating the Cleveland Cavaliers by the same scoreline in the conference semifinals. Nex tup came the upstart Indiana Pacers, but they too weren’t able to extinguish the red-hot Celtics who powered their way into the finals.

There they met a Dallas Mavericks team in the midst of a fairytale run of their own, and the heavyweight duo of Luka Doncic and Kyrie Irving was expected to make a contest of things. Ultimately, however, that didn’t happen, and Boston ran out dominant 4-1 series victors to claim a record-breaking 18th championship, their first in 16 years. Now, the latest NBA lines make them a short-priced +300 favorite to retain the crown next term.

New York Knicks & Oklahoma City Thunder

Both the New York Knicks and the Oklahoma City Thunder are listed as +750 joint-second-favourites and for good reasons. The Big Apple outfit is in the midst of a resurgence thanks to the emergence of Jalen Brunson into a genuine star. They headed into the postseason as the second seeds out East, but they were dispatched by the Pacers in a seven-game thriller in the second round of the playoffs. Their improvement is palpable, and if they continue on this trajectory, the sky’s the limit in the 2024/25 campaign.

On the flip side, the Oklahoma City Thunder has been quietly building a powerhouse in the West. Their young core, combined with strategic acquisitions, has positioned them as a dark horse in the championship race for the first time since they assembled a star-studded roster a decade ago. Their upstart side is spearheaded by the incomparable Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, who had an MVP-caliber year last term as he helped his side finish top of a stacked Western Conference.

If their 25-year-old Canadian ace can continue in a similar vein of form, there’s no reason for their side to think that they can’t have a similar outcome next term. The Toronto-born star finished third in the league in terms of points per game and second in the league when it comes to steals. Similar performances next season may well lead OKC to a first NBA Championship since their relocation from Seattle.

Denver Nuggets

At +800, the Denver Nuggets are right behind the frontrunners. They claimed the first Larry O’Brien in franchise history in 2023 as Nikola Jokic led his side to a dominant 4-1 series victory against Jmmy Buttler’s Heat. Last season, the Joker was on fire again as he claimed his third MVP award in four years, cementing his status as perhaps the finest player in the league. However, his usual support cast led by Jamal Murray was nowhere to be seen in the postseason, and as such their defense of the title ended in the conference semifinals at the hands of the Minnesota Timberwolves.

Next term, the Colorado outfit will be looking to come back with a bank. In recent years they have consistently been a formidable force in the Western Conference, thanks to their balanced attack and defensive solidity. With a system that maximizes the talent on their roster, Denver is a team that could easily go all the way. And if Jokic adds another stellar campaign to an already Hall of Fame caliber career, there’s no reason to think that they won’t return to the summit next term.

Dallas Mavericks

The Dallas Mavericks, with odds of +1000, round out our list of favorites. Led by the phenomenal Luka Dončić, the Mavericks have the firepower to take down any team on their day, as they displayed route to the finals last term. Their challenge has been on the defensive end and in supporting cast consistency. They partially addressed the latter of those issues when they brought Kyrie Irving to the Lone Star State, and similar shrewd acquisitions may well be required if they are to get over the line in 2025.

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