2012 NBA Playoffs: Updated Odds for Every Survivor Playoff Team to Win NBA Title
While there are currently seven teams still left in the playoffs, some undoubtedly have much a higher chance of hoisting the 2012 Larry O'Brien Championship Trophy than others.
Ahead are the championship odds for every team still in the NBA playoff picture—from the ones holding on for dear life, to the ones who haven't lost a game yet.
Los Angeles Lakers: 75 to 1
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Oh, how the mighty have fallen in the city of Los Angeles.
Just when it seemed like the Lakers were ready to even up the series with the Oklahoma City Thunder, Kevin Durant decided to take things into his own hands and ended the Lakers' hopes of making it to the Western Conference finals.
I know the Lakers could still win Games 5, 6 and 7 and end up heading to the WCF, but in all reality that's as feasible as me becoming an NBA player, which isn't happening any time soon.
What's most concerning about the Lakers' play in this second-round series is the fact that they've led for a majority of the matchups and fallen apart at the end. It's odd that a team led by Kobe Bryant would fail in the clutch, but he certainly hasn't been helping his team out in those clutch-time moments.
Only eight teams have come back from a 3-1 playoff deficit, and while you should never count out Kobe Bryant, the Thunder are just too good of a team to let the Lakers be the ninth.
In a somewhat related note, Kobe needs to stop blaming his teammates for playoff losses.
Indiana Pacers: to 1
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I know the Indiana Pacers are all tied up at two games apiece, but I don't see the Pacers rebounding from their Game 4 loss after a first-half domination of the Heat.
The Pacers biggest problem moving forward in the playoffs is the inconsistent play of Roy Hibbert.
In Game 3, Hibbert dominated every aspect of the game with 19 points, 18 rebounds and five blocks. In Game 4, Hibbert returned to his sporadic form, accounting for just 10 points, with eight coming in the first half.
The Pacers thrive when Hibbert plays like the 7'2" center he is. But, unfortunately, Frank Vogel and staff can't rely on Hibbert with any confidence and consistency.
LeBron James and Dwyane Wade showed the Pacers that they can beat them all by themselves, and that's exactly what's going to happen in the next few games—resulting in the Pacers subsequent elimination from the playoffs.
The Pacers certainly have a bright future with all of the young talent on their roster, but unfortunately this year just isn't their year.
Boston Celtics: 20 to 1
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The Boston Celtics should already be in the Eastern Conference finals, waiting for the winner of the Pacers-Heat series.
Unfortunately for the Celtics, they've blown numerous double-digit leads and have let an inexperienced and youthful 76ers team overpower and outwork them on both sides of the ball with too much frequency.
It looks like the Celtics' age and lack of depth coming off the bench is finally catching up to them.
If the Celtics can't hang with a woefully inconsistent Sixers team, then why should one think that they'll be able to contend with a team like the Oklahoma City Thunder or the San Antonio Spurs in the NBA Finals?
It's wild to think that the Celtics could be knocked out of the playoffs by a team like Philadelphia, but that's certainly becoming a very realistic possibility. It's safe to say that if the Celtics don't make it past the second round, the futures of franchise players like Kevin Garnett and Ray Allen will certainly be in doubt.
Philadelphia 76ers: 15 to 1
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Raise your hand if you thought the Boston Celtics and Philadelphia 76ers would be tied at two games apiece heading into Game 5?
Don't worry. You're not alone if your hand isn't raised.
The 76ers' resiliency in the Eastern Conference semis has been impressive to say the least, and that's why their championship odds are the second highest of any team in the East.
The Sixers aren't the prettiest or flashiest team in the playoffs, but they know how to fight back, and that's a very valuable quality to have—especially come playoff time.
If Philly had a few more star players, their championship odds would be higher, but their roster is filled with role players who simply fit perfectly into Doug Collins' system.
I know the 76ers winning it all is a massive long shot. But if they keep playing the way they have against a veteran Celtics team, their unlikely postseason run may just continue.
Miami Heat: 5 to 1
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The Miami Heat just reminded the entire NBA world just how good they can be when they are all on the same page and playing like their lives depended on it.
I know the Heat looked outmatched and out-played in Game 3 and the first half of Game 4, but when LeBron James and Dwyane Wade have had their back against the wall, they've risen to the challenge and responded in impressive fashion.
Even without Chris Bosh in the lineup, the Heat still have two of the NBA's top 10 players in LeBron and D-Wade. And that's why they're still so high on this list, even with their series tied 2-2.
The Heat certainly don't have an easy path to the 2012 NBA finals, but that doesn't mean they aren't capable of getting there.
Their battles with Indiana Pacers certainly will help them as they move forward, as being battle-tested is always a good thing.
Don't ever count a team out that has Dwyane Wade and LeBron James, especially this year. The Heat are most desperate for the 2012 title, and LeBron and Wade will certainly do everything they can to get it.
San Antonio Spurs: 3 to 1
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There's no doubt that the San Antonio Spurs are the best team in the NBA, as evidenced by their inability to lose a single game in the 2012 playoffs.
Unfortunately for the Spurs, that doesn't mean they are a lock to coast to the 2012 NBA title. The Oklahoma City Thunder are standing in their way, and the Thunder could very well be the superior squad of the two.
With that being said, there's no team in the NBA playoffs that has played as consistent, as efficient and as much like a true team of players as the Spurs have so far.
If you're a basketball coach and want to show your players what true team basketball looks like, and how effective it can be, look no further than the Spurs. From ball movement, to half-court defense, to execution of their half-court offense, the Spurs are as close to perfection as you'll ever get.
The Spurs' dominance has been impressive to say the least, but they haven't been forced to win extremely close games yet, like their OKC Western Conference pals. Overcoming adversity is a huge part of being a championship-caliber team, and that's why the Thunder currently have the higher odds for the 2012 championship.
Oklahoma City Thunder: 2 to 1
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Raise your hand if you're one game from the Western Conference finals, you have a hipster running the point, and your best player is a cold-blooded killer.
Yep, the only team with their hand raised right now is the Oklahoma City Thunder.
What makes the Thunder such a dangerous team is that while their biggest strength is their pure offensive abilities, they also are a sneakily efficient team on the defensive side of the ball.
Teams going up against the Thunder must contend with the Thunder's perimeter offense from Kevin Durant, Russell Westbrook and James Harden, and they must also overcome the athletic frontcourt tandem of Kendrick Perkins and Serge Ibaka. That's a tall task for any team, even the veteran San Antonio Spurs who have yet to lose these playoffs.
The reason why the Thunder are the favorites for the 2012 NBA Finals is because they're truly battle-tested. Kevin Durant has proven that he's ready to pick up and carry his team when needed, and that's really what makes them such a dangerous team.