2011 NBA Playoffs Predictions: Updated Odds To Win the NBA Title for Every Team
Now that the second round of the 2011 NBA Playoffs are underway, we have a better idea as to where each team stands in their respective quests for the NBA Championship.
Consequently, at this time it is much easier to predict how these remaining eight teams will ultimately fare.
But with franchises like the Western-Conference-leading San Antonio Spurs already sent packing, it's evident that this season's title is still up for grabs.
Nevertheless, the following slides will attempt to shed some light the remaining eight teams' odds to bring home the league title.
(all odds taken from teamrankings.com)
8: Atlanta Hawks
Odds: 0.27 percent
The Atlanta Hawks followed up a rather uninspired regular-season effort up with a surprising 4-2 upset of the Orlando Magic.
However, they were dominated inside by Magic center Dwight Howard (who scored 27 points per game on 63 percent shooting), and they were blown out in Game Five by a whopping 25 points.
And with MVP-favorite Derrick Rose and the Chicago Bulls imposing frontcourt duo of Carlos Boozer and Joakim Noah coming in next, the Hawks will likely run out of steam.
And that's not even to mention the fact that Atlanta would have to take on the winner of the Miami Heat-Boston Celtics series next.
Therefore, the Hawks have the worst chances of any remaining teams at winning the NBA title.
7: Memphis Grizzlies
Odds: 3.29 percent
The Memphis Grizzlies backed into the postseason, dropping their final two contests and only earning the West's eighth seed.
Moreover, with star forward Rudy Gay out for the season with a shoulder injury, things looked grim for Memphis as they were to enter a first-round matchup with the San Antonio Spurs.
Nevertheless, they managed to knock off the Spurs in six games, setting up a series against the Thunder (who had just defeated the Denver Nuggets in five hard-fought games).
Then, once again playing the role of the underdog, the Grizzlies managed to steal away the first game in Oklahoma City.
Consequently, the Grizzlies' once-bleak title odds are continuing to improve.
6: Boston Celtics
Odds: 6.09 percent
After winning the 2010 Eastern Conference Championship and falling just short in the Finals, the Boston Celtics entered the 2010-11 season just as strong as ever.
And while they faded down the stretch of the regular season, they still managed to sweep the New York Knicks in the first round of the playoffs.
However, in their second-round faceoff against the Miami Heat, they dropped the first game of the series after trailing throughout.
But even if they are to overcome the Heat, they will still have a tough road ahead.
And that's not to mention that the C's are always an injury away from fading out of contention.
5: Oklahoma City Thunder
Odds: 9.02 percent
The Oklahoma City Thunder entered the season as the same exciting young team that pushed the Los Angeles Lakers to the limit in last year's playoffs.
However, they were not just back, but better than ever, led by an All-Star duo of Kevin Durant, the NBA's leading scorer, and standout point guard Russell Westbrook.
Therefore, they took only five games to defeat the Denver Nuggets, although they were all relatively close games.
But in the second-round opener in Oklahoma City, the Thunder dropped one to the Memphis Grizzlies.
Consequently, while the Grizzlies' title odds are continuing to improve, while the Thunder are seeing their chances drop.
4: Dallas Mavericks
Odds: 10.09 percent
The Dallas Mavericks had yet another solid regular season in 2010-11, although their play wasn't that impressive down the stretch.
Nevertheless, they still managed to dispatch the Portland Trail Blazers in the first round, to the tune of 4-2.
And while the team's postseason woes have been well-documented, it is undeniable that they have loads of talent.
Nevertheless, they will be facing off against the two-time defending champion Los Angeles Lakers in the second round, and when that tough matchup is combined with their poor track record in the playoffs, it's difficult to expect too much from the Mavs.
3: Los Angeles Lakers
Odds: 16.03 percent
Behind Kobe Bryant, the Los Angeles Lakers have won the last two NBA Championships.
And with Pau Gasol, Lamar Odom and Andrew Bynum, they also have as much quality size as any team in the league.
Moreover, their depth is a significant strength as well, with Odom, Matt Barnes, Steve Blake and Shannon Brown all coming off the bench.
And Ron Artest and Derek Fisher are pretty good too.
So with all of this talent, one is forced to wonder how they struggled down the stretch during the regular season, and how the team looked terrible at times during their six-game victory over the New Orleans Hornets in the first round.
And it is this failure to consistently bring their A-game which has the potential to hinder the Lakers going forward.
2: Miami Heat
Odds: 22.82 percent
However, they struggled at times during the regular season, and they often had trouble in close games and against the NBA's best teams.
Nevertheless, the Heat seem to have gotten hot at the right time, as they cruised down the stretch and picked up a relatively easy five-game victory over the Philadelphia 76ers in the first round.
What's more, Miami took Game 1 of their second-round series against the Boston Celtics, setting the tone for what promises to be an very entertaining series.
And should they knock off Boston, then the Heat will definitely be a scary team as they advance.
1: Chicago Bulls
Odds: 32.39 percent
The Chicago Bulls managed to earn the NBA's best record during the 2010-11 NBA season.
Moreover, they managed to achieve that despite missing Carlos Boozer and Joakim Noah for significant stretches of time.
This occurred largely due to the stellar play of soon-to-be MVP Derrick Rose.
And with Rose now playing alongside a mostly-healthy Noah and Boozer, the Bulls will certainly be dangerous for the rest of the postseason.
So despite the fact that they struggles at times against the Indiana Pacers in the first round, Chicago should roll over the Hawks and make a serious run at the title.