2011 NBA Playoff Predictions: NBA Championship Odds for All 16 Teams

Andy Bailey@@AndrewDBaileyFeatured ColumnistApril 14, 2011

2011 NBA Playoff Predictions: NBA Championship Odds for All 16 Teams

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    EL SEGUNDO, CA - SEPTEMBER 25:  Kobe Bryant #24 and head coach Phil Jackson of the Los Angeles Lakers pose with NBA Finals Larry O'Brien Championship Trophy during  Media Day at the Toyota Center on September 25, 2010 in El Segundo, California. NOTE TO US
    Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images

    With Andrew Bynum hurt again, are the Los Angeles Lakers still the favorite to win the 2011 NBA Championship?

    Do new Eastern Conference powerhouses Miami and Chicago have legitimate hopes?  Does Boston still have one more run in them?

    This slideshow ranks all 16 playoff teams by their Vegas odds for winning this year's NBA Finals...

16: Indiana Pacers

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    BOSTON, MA - MARCH 16:  Danny Granger #33 is pulled away from the referee by teamamte Tyler Hansbrough #50 of the Indiana Pacers on March 16, 2011 at the TD Garden in Boston, Massachusetts. Granger was called for a techical foul. The Celtics defeated the
    Elsa/Getty Images

    Odds: 1000/1

    The Pacers are the only team in the playoffs with a losing record, and they're matched up against MVP favorite Derrick Rose and his Eastern Conference-leading Chicago Bulls.

    Indiana is clearly at a disadvantage in at least three starting matchups (point guard, power forward and center), and many would say Luol Deng has the advantage over Danny Granger at small forward.

    The chances of them getting out of the first round are extremely slim.  So by extension, they have the worst odds of winning it all.

15: Memphis Grizzlies

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    CHICAGO, IL - MARCH 25: Head coach Lionel Hollins  of the Memphis Grizzlies gives instructions to Sam Young #4 during a game against the Chicago Bulls at the United Center on March 25, 2011 in Chicago, Illinois. The Bulls defeated the Grizzlies 99-96. NOT
    Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

    Odds: 200/1

    Memphis's odds are five times better than Indiana's, but their chances are still extremely slim.

    They would have been better off if Rudy Gay hadn't been injured.  Even with him, Memphis is still a couple years away from being any kind of a contender.

14: New Orleans Hornets

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    NEW ORLEANS - NOVEMBER 28:  Emeka Okafor #50 of the New Orleans Hornets makes a layup during the game against the San Antonio Spurs at the New Orleans Arena on November 28, 2010 in New Orleans, Louisiana.  NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agr
    Chris Graythen/Getty Images

    Odds: 100/1

    If David West hadn't been injured, the Hornets would have had an outside shot at winning a series or two.

    Without him, they're almost certainly going down in the first round.

    Another early exit could lead to the departure of Chris Paul within the next couple years.

13: Philadelphia 76ers

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    MIAMI, FL - MARCH 25:  Guard Andr Iguodala #9  and Guard Elton Brand #42 of the Philadelphia Sixers argue with the referee against the Miami Heat at American Airlines Arena on March 25, 2011 in Miami, Florida. The Heat defeated the Sixers 111-99. NOTE TO
    Marc Serota/Getty Images

    Odds: 100/1

    Philly has a very unfortunate first-round matchup.  They have a few talented young players but will almost certainly be overwhelmed by the Heat in four games.

    If by some miracle, they squeak by Miami, they'd face Boston or New York in the second round.  They would have a shot against New York, but I doubt we'll have to think about that.

12: Atlanta Hawks

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    ATLANTA - NOVEMBER 12:  Josh Smith #5 of the Atlanta Hawks walks to the bench as Al Horford #15 reacts after missing two free throws in the final seconds of their 90-86 loss to the Utah Jazz at Philips Arena on November 12, 2010 in Atlanta, Georgia.  NOTE
    Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

    Odds: 100/1

    Every year, I wonder if the Hawks are going to the next step and become legitimate contenders.  They have plenty of individual talent, but it never amounts to anything in the playoffs.

    This year, they've actually taken a step back.  They've improved their record in each of the past five seasons but blew that streak this year.

    They have a small chance against the Magic in the first round but would likely get steamrolled by Chicago in the second round.

11: Portland Trailblazers

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    PHOENIX, AZ - JANUARY 14: (L-R) Marcus Camby #23, Nicolas Batum #88, LaMarcus Aldridge #12 and Andre Miller #24 of the Portland Trail Blazers huddle up during the NBA game against the Phoenix Suns at US Airways Center on January 14, 2011 in Phoenix, Arizo
    Christian Petersen/Getty Images

    Odds: 60/1

    Portland has once again had more than their fair share of injuries.  And once again, they've emerged as a first-round dark horse despite their problems.

    Even if they do score a first-round upset, there's almost no chance they make it all the way to the finals, let alone win the championship.

10: New York Knicks

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    DALLAS, TX - MARCH 10:  Forward Carmelo Anthony #7 of the New York Knicks at American Airlines Center on March 10, 2011 in Dallas, Texas.  NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is cons
    Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

    Odds: 50/1

    I think the Knicks actually would have had a decent shot in the first round against Miami, but I don't see them beating Boston.

    If they can land Chris Paul or Deron Williams in the next couple years, they'll be legitimate contenders.  Right now, they're not.

9: Denver Nuggets

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    LOS ANGELES, CA - APRIL 03:  Kenyon Martin #4 of the Denver Nuggets celebrates with teammate Danilo Gallinari #8 after scoring a basket against the Los Angeles Lakers during the NBA basketball game at Staples Center on April 3, 2011 in Los Angeles, Califo
    Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images

    Odds: 50/1

    Almost no one thought the Nuggets would emerge from the Melo trade as the better of the two teams involved, but they have.

    They are one of the deepest teams in the league, haven't lost a step on offense and now play defense.

    I wouldn't be at all surprised if they win their first-round series, but I can't see them going any further than that.

    However, with the recent infusion of youth, this team could be legitimate title contenders in a year or two.

8: Oklahoma City Thunder

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    PHOENIX, AZ - MARCH 30:  The Oklahoma City Thunder stand attended before the NBA game against the Phoenix Suns at US Airways Center on March 30, 2011 in Phoenix, Arizona. The Thunder defeated the Suns 116-98.   NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges an
    Christian Petersen/Getty Images

    Odds: 15/1

    If these rankings were based on my own feelings, Oklahoma City would definitely be in the top five.  But Vegas is right a lot more often than I am.

    With the addition of Kendrick Perkins, they now have one of the most intimidating defensive front lines in the league.

    Perkins and Serge Ibaka make the team very hard to score on in the interior.

    And of course, they have two of the most exciting, young offensive talents the NBA has to offer in Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook.

    I think a lot of their success will be contingent on how well Westbrook takes care of the ball.  He leads the league in turnovers, which could plague the team in the playoffs.

7: Orlando Magic

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    ORLANDO, FL - FEBRUARY 03: (L-R) Guard Gilbert Arenas #1, Guard Jameer Nelson #14, Center Dwight Howard #12 and Forward Earl Clark #3 of the Orlando Magic line against the Miami Heat at Amway Arena on February 3, 2011 in Orlando, Florida. NOTE TO USER: Us
    Marc Serota/Getty Images

    Odds: 12/1

    I've been wondering a lot lately about what kind of team the Magic would be if they hadn't traded Rashard Lewis for Gilbert Arenas. 

    Or, if Stan Van Gundy would finally move Chris Duhon ahead of Arenas on the depth chart.

    They have a lot of talent and an extremely balanced offensive attack, but Arenas has plagued the team for months.

    However, this team will always have a chance as long as Dwight Howard is in the middle.

    Remember, almost no one expected the Magic to be in the finals in 2009. 

    I wouldn't be surprised if they pulled off a couple upsets like the one they scored in the '09 Eastern Conference Finals against LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers.

6: Dallas Mavericks

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    LOS ANGELES, CA - MARCH 31:  Dirk Nowitzki #41 of the Dallas Mavericks reacts to his basket in front of Shawn Marion #0 against the Los Angeles Lakers at Staples Center on March 31, 2011 in Los Angeles, California.  NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledg
    Harry How/Getty Images

    Odds: 12/1

    Many of you already know my feelings on the Mavericks, but even I have to admit that I wouldn't be surprised to see them lose in the first round.

    If they can get back to the kind of hard-nosed defense they played at the beginning of the year, they might have an ever so small shot at a championship.

    With Dirk Nowitzki, it's hard to ever count them completely out.  Even at 32, he may still be the most difficult individual matchup in the NBA.

5: Chicago Bulls

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    CHICAGO, IL - MARCH 25: (L-R) Derrick Rose #1, Loul Deng #9, Joakim Noah #13 and Kyle Korver #26 of the Chicago Bulls gather to talk during a game against the Memphis Grizzlies at the United Center on March 25, 2011 in Chicago, Illinois. The Bulls defeate
    Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

    Odds: 5/1

    The Bulls have the top seed in the east, but I guess Vegas is counting on inexperience to catch up with them.

    Derrick Rose is about to become the youngest MVP in league history, but I'm just not sure they're ready to knock off playoff-hardened teams like Boston, Orlando or Los Angeles.

    At the same time, every team has to have their first time.

4: San Antonio Spurs

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    CHARLOTTE, NC - NOVEMBER 08:  Teammates Tony Parker #9 and Tim Duncan #21 of the San Antonio Spurs walk onto the court against the Charlotte Bobcats before their game at Time Warner Cable Arena on November 8, 2010 in Charlotte, North Carolina.  NOTE TO US
    Streeter Lecka/Getty Images

    Odds: 7/2

    Despite his decreased role, I think San Antonio's chances depend on the health of Tim Duncan.

    Without him, the size of teams like the Lakers or Thunder will likely overwhelm them prior to the finals.

    If he is healthy, it looks like this experienced team may have at least one more run left in them.

3: Boston Celtics

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    BOSTON, MA - FEBRUARY 06:  Rajon Rondo #9 of the Boston Celtics is congratulated by teammates Paul Pierce #23,Glen Davis #11,Kevin Garnett #5 and Ray Allen #20 after Rondo drew the foul in the second half agianst the Orlando Magic on February 6, 2011 at t
    Elsa/Getty Images

    Odds: 5/2

    Boston has struggled down the stretch, but let's not forget about the playoff switch they flipped last year.

    This team knows exactly what they're doing and always saves their very best for last.  I wouldn't be surprised to see them sweep the Knicks and get a little playoff momentum rolling.

    If they play the way they did at the beginning of the year, they certainly have the advantage over the Heat.

    Health will be a big part of their chances too.  With everyone in place, they have a deep and versatile roster.

2: Miami Heat

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    WASHINGTON, DC - MARCH 30:  LeBron James #6 of the Miami Heat stands with teammates Chris Bosh #1,  Dwyane Wade #3, and James Jones #22 against the Washington Wizards at the Verizon Center on March 30, 2011 in Washington, DC. NOTE TO USER: User expressly
    Rob Carr/Getty Images

    Odds: 5/2

    The Heat are playing pretty well right now, and I don't think anyone really wants to meet up with them right now.

    If they manage to beat the Celtics in the second round, their confidence will be on high, and they could be well on their way to the finals.

1: Los Angeles Lakers

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    DALLAS, TX - MARCH 12:  Kobe Bryant #24 and Pau Gasol #16 of the Los Angeles Lakers react after a 96-91 win against the Dallas Mavericks at American Airlines Center on March 12, 2011 in Dallas, Texas.  NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees
    Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

    Odds: 9/5

    For those of you predicting a doomsday for Los Angeles, let me remind you of last year.

    The '09-10 Lakers were 3-4 in April and 16-12 after the All-Star Break.  This year's squad is 3-5 in April, but 19-6 after the break.

    With the obvious exception of Andrew Bynum, they're not limping into the playoffs like many think they are.  Much like Boston, this time has a playoff switch.

    Yes, their casual attitude and lack of interest in games that aren't must-win can be frustrating, but this is still the best all-around team in the NBA.

    Plenty of people were counting them out at this time last year, and they won the title.

    If I had to pick a team to win it all right now, I'd have to say the Lakers.


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