The NBA Top 30 is our weekly post aimed on ranking the teams from best to worst with a 2016 NBA Futures minded approach. Using a combination of futures odds, standings and our own eye test we look to scout the NBA championship winner long before the Finals.
The Warriors are one of only three teams to start the season 15-0 and with a win against the Lakers they will set the record for best start in NBA history. That win should be a no-brainer and everyone is asking how far this will go. The NBA record for consecutive wins is thirty three games. The Warriors aren’t even halfway there yet, but just for fun think about this: Game 33 is against the Cavaliers on Christmas day. Could you imagine?
Play of the Week:
The Warriors are the best and it’s not even really close right now. To get to 15-0 Golden State you need to be good, but you also need to be a little lucky too. Harrison Barnes had them covered there.
Stuff of the Week:
Whenever Deadspin runs a headline like “DeMar Derozan Ends Rudy Goebert’s Life With Ferocious Dunk” you can pretty much count on that being our Stuff of the Week.
I mean… wow.
Below you’ll find this week’s NBA Top 30 with current future odds courtesy of Bovada.
NBA Top 30
1. Golden State Warriors (+175)
Down from -200 last week, the Warriors just keep on going down in the futures market. If you are going to make a bet on them to win it all, you are running out of time. The value is shrinking and should only continue to shrink as the rest of the West proves themselves unworthy to the Warriors’ crown. These lines aren’t going to get any better.
2. Cleveland Cavaliers (+250)
Before the season started it seemed like things might be a bit more open at the top of the mountain, but the Warriors have shut down the West and the Cavaliers are shutting down the East. There are injury concerns always, but the best bet in the NBA right now is the Finals being a rematch.
3. San Antonio Spurs +500
The second best point differential in the NBA and the team best equipped to beat the Warriors in a seven game series. They can run with the Warriors and if there is anyone with a shot of stopping Steph Curry it has to be the defending Defensive Player of the Year, Kawhi Leonard.
Sadly, we don’t get to see these two teams play each other until January 25th.
4. Oklahoma City Thunder +1400
They are a work in progress, but a healthy Kevin Durant teaming with Russell Westbrook is always a threat in the West. They are just a match-up nightmare for any team in basketball and when they’re on, it’s over. That being said, there’s a reason their championship odds keep dropping. The Warriors and Spurs are just better. Enes Kanter and Dion Waiters in the rotation in a big playoff series against one of those teams would be an absolute disaster.
5. Miami Heat +2500
6. Chicago Bulls +1800
We’re moving these guys up from last week, but that has more to do with the Clippers and Rockets than what they’ve done.
I love Miami more than most and I think they are the toughest match-up for the Cavs in the Eastern Conference. If they are able to get the second seed (which I believe they will (this week)) than that puts them on a collision course for the Eastern Conference Finals with Lebron James. That series would be huge from a media standpoint and for Lebron’s career. If there is anyone in this league who could game plan for the Cavs, wouldn’t it be Erik Spoelstra? The guy who got the very best out of Lebron James and guided him to a championship? I love this idea so much. Please stay healthy everyone.
The Bulls continue to be in the same spot they’ve been in for years. Very good, not great. Jimmy Butler and Derrick Rose are two phenomenal talents, but I’m not sure they fit together in a way that leads to championships.
7. Los Angeles Clippers +1200
8. Houston Rockets +3300
The Los Angeles Clippers are imploding. They are just 3-7 over their past ten games and Josh Smith is swearing at coaches. The defense hasn’t been great, but what’s really alarming is how big of a step back the offense has taken since last year. There is a lot of blame going around, but this has to rest on Doc Rivers who put together this roster of volatile personalities. Any goodwill Paul Pierce brought to the table was quickly shelved when they added Lance Stephenson and Josh Smith. This team is a mess and they need to turn it around quickly before guys really start fighting and the locker room is lost.
The Houston Rockets are in a similar position and they fired coach Kevin McHale last week in hopes of righting things. It didn’t work and the Rockets sit at 5-9 on the season. There is too much talent here for us to completely write them off, but something needs to change. This wasn’t a coaching problem, it’s an effort problem and that’s on the players.
Both of these teams are better than we’ve seen and I really hope they turn it around. Not only for them, but for our playoff enjoyment level. Imagine if one or both of these teams missed the playoffs? Imagine if two of the top four teams in the West last season suddenly weren’t at that level anymore? That would be not fun.
9. Toronto Raptors +4000
10. Atlanta Hawks +2800
Two great regular season teams that probably won’t make it past the second round of the playoffs. It’d be cool to be proven wrong, but I just don’t see it.
11. Indiana Pacers +7500
12. Dallas Mavericks +6600
Putting these two teams together for a very specific reason: coaching. Neither one of these teams deserves to be where they are right now based on their personnel, but here they are. That is all thanks to Rick Carlisle and Frank Vogel. They put the guys in the best position to succeed and focus on what they can do, never what they can’t. Just a great job so far by these guys and I’d love to see their teams in the playoffs. They would be a tough beat for anyone.
You know, it’s almost as if Larry Bird knows a thing or two about finding great coaches.
13. Washington Wizards +6600
14. Phoenix Suns +25000
15. Boston Celtics +5000
16. New York Knicks +10000
17. Utah Jazz +10000
18. Memphis Grizzlies +3300
19. Detroit Pistons +7500
20. Milwaukee Bucks +15000
21. Charlotte Hornets +20000
22. Orlando Magic +30000
Some of these teams will make the playoffs. Some might even make it to the second round!
23. Portland Trailblazers +20000
24. Denver Nuggets +30000
25. Sacramento Kings +15000
26. Minnesota Timberwolves +20000
27. New Orleans Pelicans +25000
28. Brooklyn Nets +200000
29. Los Angeles Lakers +50000
30. Philadelphia 76ers +200000