2011 NBA Playoff Predictions: NBA Championship Odds for All 16 Teams
With Andrew Bynum hurt again, are the Los Angeles Lakers still the favorite to win the 2011 NBA Championship?
This slideshow ranks all 16 playoff teams by their Vegas odds for winning this year's NBA Finals...
16: Indiana Pacers
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
14: New Orleans Hornets
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
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.
12: Atlanta Hawks
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.
11: Portland Trailblazers
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
9: Denver Nuggets
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
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
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.
6: Dallas Mavericks
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
The Bulls have the top seed in the east, but I guess Vegas is counting on inexperience to catch up with them.
At the same time, every team has to have their first time.
4: San Antonio Spurs
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
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
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
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.