As the midway point of the 2020-21 season fast approaches, teams are jockeying for position in their respective divisions. With no team completely eliminated from the playoffs yet, the movers and shakers are starting to emerge.
Revised odds to win divisions are also starting to emerge, with every division now having posted odds. Since this league is largely a game of runs, let’s look at a few teams to keep an eye on.
Odds courtesy of FanDuel Sportsbook.
After a sluggish start, including a six-game losing streak, the Mavs have started to right the ship. They’re winners of four straight and five of their six, and Luka Dončić is starting to show flashes of why he was a preseason MVP favorite.
If Tim Hardaway Jr. can provide the same spark off the bench that he did last season, the Mavericks are just a piece or two away from not only winning the division, but going deep in the Western Conference playoffs.
Relative newcomers to the Southwest division, the New Orleans Pelicans have one of the league’s best young starting fives. Led by young phenom Zion Williamson down low, the Pelicans’ starting lineup also includes two recent No. 2 overall picks in Lonzo Ball and Brandon Ingram.
Throw in big man Steven Adams at the center position and former NBA All-Defensive First Team guard Eric Bledsoe, and the Pelicans have the talent to compete with anyone in the league, let alone their division.
Long Shot Play
Heading into the week just 4.5 games behind the Lakers in the Pacific division, the Suns are playing great basketball right now. Winners of seven of their last 10, including their last four straight, the Suns should be right in the thick of things if they stay healthy.
Admittedly, this would require the Lakers and Clippers to rest their stars down the back half of the season. However, with limited or no fans likely in attendance, will they make the late push we have seen in years’ past?
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