The 2012/13 NBA season will be tipping off on October 30th and that’s when the Miami Heat’s title defense will begin. The actual NBA Finals will not be contested until June 6th however that doesn’t mean that speculation isn’t abounding regarding who will win the championship. The NBA managers were recently asked who they thought would be left standing following the 2013 NBA Finals and 21 of 30 answered that it would be the Heat.
Miami, coached by Erik Spoelstra, return several key players from last season’s championship team including their big three in Lebron James, Chris Bosh and Dwyane Wade. Several other players remain with the club including veteran Mike Miller, a player who shot .413 from beyond the arc during last season’s playoffs, and Shane Battier, a player who started sixteen postseason games last year. A key addition to the Heat might prove to be Ray Allen, formerly of the Boston Celtics. Allen is 37 years old but last year he posted a career best .453 three point shooting percentage for Boston and he remains an effective scorer.
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Other teams that received votes in the poll included the Los Angeles Lakers and the Oklahoma City Thunder. The Lakers received seven votes while the Thunder garnered two following their run to the finals last season. The Lakers revamped following a disappointing 2012 postseason by adding two stars in Dwight Howard and Steve Nash. OKC still have Kevin Durant, a potent scorer that promises to keep the Thunder’s contingent hopeful of continued success.
Betting odds in the futures market for the 2013 NBA championship also imply a repeat title for the Heat. EZStreetSports have made Miami a 2/1 (+200) favorite with both Los Angeles and Oklahoma coming in at 7/2 (+350). Longer odds on the Heat could be found with SBGGlobal as that firm has the Heat priced at +230 (23/10).
Here’s a quick breakdown of the top eight favorites at Bovada:
1. Miami Heat +240 (12/5)
2. LA Lakers +275 (11/4)
3. OKC +425 (17/4)
4. Boston Celtics, +1200 (12/1)
5. San Antonio Spurs, +1600 (16/1)
6. Chicago Bulls, +1600(16/1)
7. LA Clippers, +2500 (25/1)
8. Brooklyn Nets, +2800 (28/1)
The GMs also offered their opinions on who would win the MVP Award and Lebron James received 67 percent of the vote while Kevin Durant picked up 30 percent. Anthony Davis, the top pick in the 2012 NBA Draft, is the strongest candidate for the Rookie of the Year award. The 19 year old former University of Kentucky standout received 77 percent of the votes with Damian Lillard coming in second.
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Betting odds subject to change but accurate as of 10am ET on October 25th.